Academic Reading for Non-Native English Speakers
This paper reports on the author’s final assignment to obtain the Baden-Württemberg Certificate for Teaching and Learning at University Level that focused on reading English academic texts for non-native English speakers. The paper firstly defines English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in light of the growing number of international students and the internationalisation of German universities indicated by English-language degree courses, publications, and research groups. It then analyses the current EAP and study skills courses offered by the University of Heidelberg to undergraduate and postgraduate students and identifies the gap in supporting academic reading skills, either in English or German language. Due to the importance of reading English academic texts for non-native English speakers in today’s academia, the paper describes a one-off teaching experiment on the subject. The seminar “reading English academic texts” suggests learning objectives and different methods for possible future development of academic reading courses as part of EAP programs. The students’ evaluation of the course demonstrated a significant desire by students to receive further training in this area. The project further highlights the importance of teacher training, improvement of feedback channels between students and curriculum designers, and integration of academic reading into language and study skills programs.
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