Transfer climate and EAP education: Students' perceptions of challenges to learning transfer

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21 Scopus citations


This study examined the applicability of the construct transfer climate in EAP education. In an EAP setting, transfer climate can be viewed as the support for learning transfer from an EAP course that students perceive in mainstream academic courses. The research question was as follows: What can a transfer climate perspective reveal about challenges EAP students face in a mainstream academic setting? Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 52 students who were enrolled in several sections of a university EAP writing course and who were concurrently taking other academic courses in various disciplines. The interviews focused on students' perceptions of (a) instructors' support for learning transfer, (b) peers' support for learning transfer, and (c) personal outcomes resulting from learning transfer. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of data revealed that students can perceive a lack of support for learning transfer and pointed to specific features of the mainstream academic setting that contributed to these perceptions (e.g., instructors'/peers' explicit negative references to EAP courses; instructors'/peers' ineffective or careless language use; little or no connection between language use and grades). Implications of these findings for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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