Off Course: A Comparison of University and EAP Coursebook Writing Tasks – #TESOL2017

Here, you can find both my PowerPoint (in PDF format) and my handout from my presentation today (March 23) at TESOL 2017 In Seattle. My presentation looked at my research comparing university writing tasks and EAP coursebook writing tasks.

Thanks for attending or checking out my material. Comments and feedback are appreciated!

10 thoughts on “Off Course: A Comparison of University and EAP Coursebook Writing Tasks – #TESOL2017

  1. Rachel Dictor says:

    Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the presentation, and for sharing your slides! I am the Writing Curriculum Coordinator at the DePaul University IEP in Chicago, and your presentation was one of the best ones I attended. Great work!

    • Anthony Schmidt says:

      Thank you very much Rachel! I sincerely hope it can be useful and has an impact on EAP writing instruction.
      I look forward to TESOL in Chicago next year!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with those of us who couldn’t attend!
    It’s nice to have some hard evidence (albeit from a small sample) to support my team’s feelings that EAP writing textbooks don’t really do the job we want to do in our academic writing classes!
    We’re just preparing our next course, to start in April, and your work will help us to make some key decisions! Our biggest challenge is fitting everything in, when we have just 13 lessons to cover it all! I think instead of a writing textbook, what we need is a time-turner!! 🙂

    • Anthony Schmidt says:

      No problem! I am happy that many people are finding this useful for their programs – that’s what I heard at TESOL. I will be resubmitting it for publication, with minor changes, but my overall conclusions and findings remain valid.

      I wonder what you will do with your program? From my research, the best thing to do is to have a limited thematic focus and build a research/reading pack based on that topic. This helps students both form topical knowledge, have focused and accumulating readings, and offers great opportunities for integrating reading and writing.

      • It’s hard to choose a topic, though, isn’t it? Something that’s relevant and interesting to all of the students, and fits in with their otehr studies… My students are all studying English Studies as a major, so I usually have linguistics/literature as a general theme. The problem is all the skills and language they all need!
        Let me know abut any publications that come out of your work! 🙂

        • Anthony Schmidt says:

          My manuscript has been reviewed and I’ll be making changes over the summer.

          Re: topic, I agree that it’s sometimes hard. Trying to choose a general topic that can touch multiple majors is a good idea. For me, I’ve been working with US history because at my uni, all undergrad international students MUST take US history, so I’m building background knowledge, critical thinking skills, and just general awareness as a means to facilitate this. There is so much content – it’s wonderful!

    • Anthony Schmidt says:

      This is great! Thank you very much. It gives me some ideas for future projects. I wish the author had used more coursebooks to compare against – I’m not familiar with those titles.

  3. Anthony, thank you for posting your PPT here. Much appreciated. The work that Dan Horowitz did in the 80s was excellent, and it’s disheartening that we don’t find more — MUCH MORE — of this kind of useful research (useful for teachers) in TESOL Quarterly and other top journals. What is truly sad is that we don’t see lots more of this kind of research in today’s TESOL-related journals. How can teachers teach better if we don’t know more about what our students will actually need to be able to do with English once they leave our ESL classroom? Thanks again for posting this.

    • Anthony Schmidt says:

      Thank you for checking out my research and posting a comment. I am currently revising my manuscript and hopefully it will be accepted for publication this year. I completely agree with you about disseminating this kind of research. That is one reason I started – to get research that might otherwise be lost or inaccessible out to the public.

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