Academic Literacy: An Investigation of Problematic Areas in EAP at KNT University of Science and Technology

Authors

1 Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch

2 The University of Tehran

3 Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch

Abstract

Despite its sociopolitical basis, Academic Literacy (AL) is recently referred to as a set of complex skills such as writing, which lays undeniable foundations for success in academic communities (Hyland
& Lyons, 2002). This study is aimed at improving students' AL in general and their writing skill in particular at Khaje Nasiredin Toosi (KNT) University of Science and Technology. Based on the domain of EAP (Flowerdew & Peacock, 2001; Jordan, 1997), and among various academic assignments (Braine, 1995; Canseco & Byrd, 1989), students' summary writings at KNT University were selected to be investigated. Besides the summaries, 20 students were interviewed to delve more into the problematic areas. Data analysis of 1270 written errors indicated that sequence of tense, article use, and appropriate selection of words are the most prevalent error types. Further analysis of the data revealed that students had failed to develop their ideas properly in unified paragraphs. Moreover, students were unsuccessful to put their ideas in the simple format of introduction, body, and conclusion. The paragraphs also lacked cohesive ties. The article, accordingly, ends with some practical recommendations addressing the present issues.

Keywords