Achieving Quality Peer Interaction in EAP Programs

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Marcel Van Amelsvoort, Juntendo University

Reference Data:

Van Amelsvoort, M. (2016). Achieving quality peer interaction in EAP programs. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

Talk in the classroom can take many forms. In an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, it is particularly important for learners to have academic discussions in which they engage more deeply with the content and each other, developing thinking, collaboration, interaction, and language skills at the same time. This type of academic discussion gets learners exploring topics from multiple perspectives, building on and extending ideas until something new is created. It also fosters habits of providing and evaluating evidence, referencing texts, and synthesizing and summarizing. These are all important academic skills. To achieve good academic discussions, however, requires a structured and comprehensive program with clear goals for specific discussion skills. It also requires considerable modeling, formative feedback, and practice. The purpose of this paper is to consider conversation among students in EAP classes.