This post has been written by Dr Lia Blaj-Ward, one of the experts at the BALEAP doctoral study PCE last month. At the end of the post we share Lia’s ‘Tips for the EAP Research Journey’
“What matters in EAP?” is one of the questions I keep coming back to – and at the moment my answer to this question is: joining professional conversations. Research feeds into professional conversations at all levels, and a space to debate doctoral research in EAP was long overdue. That this space has been created by future doctoral researchers with a strong link to the EAP profession is all the more valuable, because they (and other doctoral student contributors) will be asking all those pertinent questions we need answers to.
A wise person taught me that research capacity building starts with showing people you have faith in their ability to do research. I hope the doctoral EAP blog plays that role – giving people confidence to move forward with their research; encouraging them to join conversations which help shape research projects; helping them negotiate any tensions arising between doctoral thesis genre constraints and wanting to give something valuable back to the EAP community (professionals and students).
I am very much looking forward to reading contributions to this blog – and also to the stage where those contributors currently at the beginning of their research journey become research student supervisors themselves. It was encouraging to see so much enthusiasm for EAP research at the 2015 BALEAP Conference PCE and I hope the blog will contribute to turning all that creative energy into answers about things that matter to us, the EAP professional community.
Dr Blaj-Ward is currently researching strategies and models of quality assurance and enhancement of EAP provision and of higher education delivered through the medium of English to non-native speakers of this language.