Initiatives

Here we share EAP and Social Justice related initiatives from around the world.

Initiatives

Call for EAP practitioners to participate in research on

‘Social Justice in an English for Academic Purposes Classroom

Dear  Colleagues,  

We are warmly inviting you to participate in  a research project  investigating  Social Justice in an English for Academic Purposes Classroom  conducted by the committee members of Social Justice in EAP, a recently formed Special Interest Group within the British Association of Lecturers for English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP).  

While social justice traditionally engages with issues of class, gender, age, race, language or culture, it can also be seen in terms of compassion in face to face and/or online teaching, equity, democratic values and many more. Having in mind this inherent complexity of what counts as social justice, in this research we invite colleagues to share how they understand social justice, how this understanding shapes their EAP classroom practices as well as what (if any) institutional support is offered in embracing social justice in an EAP classroom. We hope to uncover a variety of perspectives and experiences, and we are keen to hear from EAP practitioners at various stages of their career in the EAP field.   

The research consists of two parts: a questionnaire and a follow-up interview. Please note that you can choose to respond to our questionnaire without offering to take part in the interview. Both the questionnaire and the interview will take approximately 30 minutes each.  

This research was approved by Queen Mary University of London Research Ethics Committee, reference number: QMERC20.215.   A detailed participant information sheet can be found here and the consent form can be viewed here. Both forms are also attached for the ease of reference.  

We are pleased to confirm that all participants in this research can enter a draw to win one of two copies of a book by Leonie Rowan (2019) on  Higher Education and Social Justice: The Transformative Potential of University Teaching and the Power of Educational Paradox, published by Palgrave MacMillan. 

If you would like to participate in our study, we would be grateful if you could complete the questionnaire – please click here to access the questionnaire. Towards the end of the questionnaire, you will be asked to indicate if you would like to take part in a follow-up conversational interview and if you wish to enter our book draw.  

Thank you in advance for participating in our research and collectively helping us bring the socio-political aspects of our practice into the limelight.  

With best wishes,  

Weronika Fernando (on behalf of the EAP for Social Justice SIG committee https://eap4socialjustice.net/)  


CARA SYRIA PROGRAMME

The Cara Syria Programme provides weekly online lessons for over 80 Syrian academics in exile in Turkey delivered by voluntary EAP teachers from around 16 universities. In addition, the programme runs online and face to face workshops in EAP and academic skills, arranges research visits to the UK, funds research grants and facilitates connections between Syrian academics and academics in the UK.

The programme was launched in 2016 to provide support to Syrian academics affected by the crisis, working primarily with those in Turkey where the largest number has sought refuge. Nearly all are committed to return when security allows, but in the immediate future they urgently need support to facilitate their continued academic development, engagement and contribution whilst in exile. As a major part of Syria’s intellectual capital, this group will be vital to the rebuilding of Syria, its Higher Education sector and the training of a new generation of professionals, including teachers, engineers, medics, architects and, of course, academics.

The EAP strand of the programme blends weekly one-to-one online lessons, with week-long face-to-face workshops in Istanbul every 2 or 3 months. EAP teachers generally commit to a 1 hour weekly online lesson with an estimated additional hour for preparation and communication. The participants’ levels range roughly from CEFR A1 to C1. Organisation background: Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics: https://www.cara.ngo/ ) was established in 1933 by Sir William Beveridge and other key figures of the day to rescue academics being persecuted under the rise of Nazism and Fascism across Europe. Our founders defined their goal as ‘the relief of suffering and the defence of learning and science’. Those helped included Nikolaus Pevsner, Karl Popper, Ernst Chain, Ernst Gombrich, Karl Mannheim and Sigmund Freud. Cara’s work has continued over the decades, responding when world events place academics in danger. More recently, Cara’s focus has shifted to the Middle East, and Syria in particular.

“This programme is very beneficial for us, after the circumstances we have been living, after all routes were cut off around us, the roads towards research were closed in our faces. This programme is like a candle that is a light in a very dark tunnel.” – Syria Programme Participant

For further information, or to volunteer, please email Michael Jenkins at Michael.jenkins@ed.ac.uk attaching a copy of your CV.

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