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Keynote Speakers

Professor Ken Hyland, University of East Anglia

Let’s be specific: disciplinary writing in EAP

Ken Hyland

Professor Ken Hyland

It is now largely accepted that, for the moment at least, English should be taught to facilitate students’ studies at university and encourage participation in global networks of scholarship, but more controversial is exactly what kind of English should be taught.  In this paper I argue that as ESP teachers we should attend to the specific contexts of language use. Because texts are only effective when writers employ conventions that other members of the community find familiar and convincing, these conventions are likely to differ across disciplines. Identifying the particular language features, discourse practices, and communicative skills of target groups therefore becomes central to teaching English in universities, and teachers have to become researchers of the genres they teach.  In this presentation I will draw on my research over the last decade to highlight the disciplinary-specific nature of writing and argue for a specific view of teaching EAP.

Ken Hyland is Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education at the University of East Anglia. He is well known for his work on academic writing and EAP, having published published over 240 articles and 27 books on these topics with over 38,000 citations on Google Scholar. He was founding co-editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, co-editor of Applied Linguistics and now editos book series with Routledge and Bloomsbury. He is an honorary professor at The Universities of Hong Kong, Warwick and Jilin. A collection of his work was recently published as The Essential Hyland, Bloomsbury, 2018.

Dr Nigel Harwood, University of Sheffield

Is everything rosy in the EAP garden? Points to ponder from a study of proofreaders of student writing

Dr. Nigel Harwood

Dr Nigel Harwood

In this plenary I discuss a recent study of student proofreading (Harwood 2018) and how it speaks to several wider themes of concern to the EAP community at large.

In my study, 14 UK university proofreaders all proofread the same authentic, low-quality master’s essay written by an L2 speaker of English to enable a comparison of interventions. Proofreaders explained their interventions by means of a talk aloud while proofreading and at a post-proofreading interview. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data revealed evidence of widely differing practices and beliefs, with the number of interventions ranging from 113 to 472. Some proofreaders intervened at the level of content, making lengthy suggestions to improve the writer’s essay structure and argumentation, while others were reluctant to do more than focus on the language. Disturbingly, some proofreaders introduced errors into the text while leaving the writer’s errors uncorrected.


Nigel Harwood is a reader in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield, UK. His research interests include academic writing, citation analysis, and TESOL textbooks and teaching materials. He is co-editor of the journal English for Specific Purposes.

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