Meredith MacAulay and Tania Bencic, UNSW Global
Innovating for Engagement in an English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) course

The aim of an EGAP course is to teach the academic skills, language and strategies students need for university, from a multidisciplinary perspective. A typical EGAP class may be comprised of students set to study different majors, rather than one particular field. Because of this, students may not always perceive the relationship between their course and their future disciplines, seeing the course as a hurdle rather than an important pathway. This has created a challenge for us, as teachers of an EGAP course, to keep our students engaged and motivated.

This presentation will focus on our 2018 Action Research Project that we carried at UNSW Global. In this project we carried out innovations to our current curriculum to further engage our students and help them make connections with their future disciplines. It will draw on principles of learning transfer and motivation. In this research project, students were given opportunities to research the structure, content and expectations of their future UNSW courses by accessing course documents, university staff and students. The results of the research were very positive with students acquiring greater knowledge of their future courses, valuable research skills and connections with other students from their discourse communities. They also reported increased levels of motivation, stemming from their perceptions of the relevance of their EGAP course and research activities.

Meredith MacAulay currently teaches Academic English on a Direct Entry Pathway course at UNSW Institute of Languages, where she is also a teacher trainer. She has developed course materials in both of these areas and has recently written a book of activities for teachers called Energising EAP (the round, 2017). Her research interests are learner motivation and transfer.

Tania Bencic is currently teaching Academic English on various pathway programs at UNSW Institute of Languages. She has experience in course curriculum development and assessment design for Direct Entry Pathway courses. Her research focus aims to enhance teaching strategies to improve student learning, language performance skills, motivation and learner-engagement.