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UBC Theses and Dissertations

English for academic purposes in Canada : practitioners’ assessment practices and construction of assessment literacy Abrar-ul-Hassan, Shahid


English for Academic Purposes (EAP) continues to expand across post-secondary education settings. In EAP programs, assessment practices play a key role in achieving learning goals and integrating students into relevant academic communities. Research on this critical area, especially in Canada, has been limited. For the most part, neither teacher education nor professional development activities have fully addressed the specialized and interdisciplinary nature of EAP assessment. The present study was designed to explore the issue of the assessment literacy (AL) of EAP practitioners from public and private post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada. The study investigated the acquisition and development of practitioners’ AL, their self-assessed competence in assessment, engagement in various assessment practices, and assessment practices as members of a peer community in the teaching context. This study was grounded in a theory of learning ecology, which views learning as a socially mediated activity. Participants were EAP practitioners (n=57) representing the diverse population of EAP educators at post-secondary institutions in the region. The study utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, and the data were analyzed to document participants’ roles as assessors and to identify the factors that mediated the development of their AL as well as assessment practices. Findings of the study contribute to the understanding of instructor-oriented EAP assessment in a Canadian context.

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