EAP course design within a context of institutional change and cross-disciplinary collaboration: Factors shaping the creating of ‘writing for commerce’

  • Fiona Jackson


Many reports of needs analysis and curriculum design of EAP courses focus largely on the immediate pedagogic context and ensuing decision making and materials design processes of the course designers. This paper explores the process of curriculum design from the perspectives of both debates and developments within the field of language and literacy education, and the impact of international, national and institutional shifts in higher education on one course design process within one South African university. The paper explores the realities of institutional and disciplinary histories and changes that impacted on the design of an EAP course for a linguistically, culturally and racially diverse group of first-year commerce students. The intricacies of creating such a course as an inter-disciplinary school, rather than departmental, project are explored and briefly evaluated. The key principles underpinning the course design are explained. The paper concludes with consideration of why the collaborative inter-disciplinary project has faded, although the course has continued successfully.


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Author Biography

Fiona Jackson
Fiona Jackson lectures inter-cultural communication, sociolinguistics and academic literacy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus. She is a co-author of ‘Exploring Our Voices: Effective English Teaching in Multilingual Classrooms’.Email: FJackson@ukzn.ac.za