n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - An academic literacy course : making choices




Academic Literacy (AL) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses have been initiated at various South African Institutions of Higher Education to assist English Second Language students in their tertiary studies. This article presents the choices that may confront course or materials designers when developing such courses for mainly rural students. The choices mainly lie between English for general purposes or for specific purposes; whether to focus on academic literacy or on study skills; which approach or method is most appropriate for teaching English in an academic literacy course to speakers of vernaculars particularly in a rural context. Whether to adapt the level of complexity of the course and the materials to the level of language skills and proficiency with which rural students enter the university or to expect them to cope with a set standard, also needs to be considered. The choices made for the context of this study were based on the findings of a study of the development of evaluation criteria for tertiary in-house EAP materials for first-entering students at the University of Limpopo (UL), but could also apply to any institution hosting learners from impoverished English input contexts such as rural Limpopo.


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