The Teaching of EAP to Native Arabic Literates at Petra University: Serious Language Problems and Syllabus Design Solutions

Dr.Nihal Ameireh

This paper brings to attention a variety of difficulties in the teaching of English for academic purposes ( EAP) in tertiary education. It indicates the growing recognition that students learning English as a means of access to advanced knowledge in the various disciplines at Petra University in Jordan have highly specific language requirements. But equally, the paper reflects the sense of concern felt by language and special-subject teachers at the sheer scale of the problem now posed by students requiring specialist language help. Parallel with this is the increase in the variety and degree of language difficulties which they experience. The paper seeks to provide an overview of students’ language difficulties investigated in previous and current research conducted by the researcher. The purpose is to draw these difficulties together and show how the constituents of an appropriately designed syllabus might ease some of the difficulties encountered. Hence, the proposal is for a general pattern for EAP syllabus which will ensure unity by teaching the skills and language that are common components of English for General Academic Purposes ( EGAP), and at the same time allow for diversity by building in a range of constituents on a disciplinary basis; thus, teaching some prime linguistic and discourse features that are specific components of English for Special Academic Purposes ( ESAP) which must be taken into account in the teaching of EAP to native Arab literates. The paper concludes with some new directions for progress in EAP materials and methodology. Students gain autonomy and a creative problem-solving ability in learning through the use of various technological innovation in EAP teaching.