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Home Journal Index 2019-1

A Mixed-Methods Study on International Students’ Perceptions of EAP Writing Programs-- “To What Degree It Could Help Me”

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Xuan Jiang

Florida International University, USA

 

Lu Chen

Wenzhou Business College, China

 

Abstract

U.S. universities host the most international students worldwide, including those whose first language is not English. When these students do not meet their university entry requirement regarding their English proficiency, they are usually required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, including EAP writing courses. Despite the huge number of international students in the U.S., relatively few research studies have been conducted focusing on EAP writing courses for this student population. Having noticed this subgroup of underrepresented students, we used a mixed methods research design to explore the perceptions of international students in relation to their EAP writing courses and the effect they had on their subject fields. Thirty international students were recruited from a southern university in the U.S. and were asked to complete questionnaires and share their thoughts in interviews. Our findings, which drew upon students’ opinions about the holistic benefits of EAP writing courses, revealed that the courses led to a noticeable improvement to their English skills and coursework. Recommendations for future EAP writing courses could contribute to curriculum and research of EAP writing programs. 

Keywords: mixed methods; learning transfer; exploratory; case study