Transfer of learning from a university content-based EAP course

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34 Scopus citations


This article describes an investigation into the learning outcomes that transferred from a university content-based English for academic purposes (EAP) course to other courses and the factors that influenced that transfer. The study was a longitudinal qualitative case study in one faculty at a large North American university. Data were collected over one academic year through multipronged assessment measures from five first-year students who were participating in a content-based EAP course concurrently with other first-year university courses, as well as from two instructors of the content-based EAP course, 16 instructors of other courses, and one administrator. Data included interview transcripts, participant journals, class observation notes, and samples of course work. Evidence emerged to indicate that learning transfer did occur from the content-based EAP course to the students' other courses. The learning transfer fell into six broad categories that reflected a range of academic language skills (e.g., listening comprehension skills, writing skills) and other learning outcomes (e.g., study skills). The transfer of these learning outcomes was influenced by eight factors (e.g., requirements for learning transfer in activities in other courses, similarity between the content-based EAP course and other courses). Implications of these findings for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-806
Number of pages24
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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