Multimodal approaches to English for academic purposes

Authored by: Kay L. O’Halloran , Sabine Tan , Bradley A. Smith

The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138774711
eBook ISBN: 9781315657455
Adobe ISBN: 9781317328100


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As the field of English for academic purposes (EAP) has grown and expanded, one important development, identified by Hyland (2009), has been the inclusion of multimodal perspectives. Changes in higher education, especially in the use of digital technology, have revolutionised traditional academic practices, with an increasing recognition of the need for students and teachers to develop multimodal competencies across a range of communicative platforms:

while in the past the main vehicles of academic discourse were written texts, now a broad range of modalities and presentation forms confront and challenge students’ communicative competence. They must learn rapidly to negotiate a complex web of disciplinary-specific text types, assessment tasks and presentational modes (both face-to-face and online) in order first to graduate, and then to operate effectively in the workplace.

(Hyland 2006: 3).

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