English for academic purposes and discourse analysis

Authored by: Ken Hyland

The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415551076
eBook ISBN: 9780203809068
Adobe ISBN: 9781136672927


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English for academic purposes (EAP) is an activity at the forefront of language research and teaching today, with a distinctive focus on the particular linguistic preferences, discourse features and communicative practices used in specific academic contexts. Driven by the globalization of higher education and by the emergence of English as the international lingua franca of scholarship, EAP has crucially depended for its growth on its ability to identify accurately what these features and practices are, so that they may be taught to students and relayed to academics seeking to publish in English. In this enterprise discourse analysis, particularly text-based forms of genre analysis, has become established as perhaps the most widely used and productive methodology. It has helped to describe texts within textual and social contexts and has provided insights into the ways rhetorical choices are related to social and epistemological practices in the disciplines. This chapter will offer an overview of the importance of discourse analysis in this area of research and pedagogy, outline something of my own contribution to the area, and make some predictions about future research directions.

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