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Blended EAP professionals in corporatized higher educational institutions: a critical grounded theory

Hadley, Gregory Stuart (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

As momentous changes continue to sweep across higher education, tertiary-level English for Academic Purposes (EAP) has experienced a time of challenging and sometimes painful professional transition. In many Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) around the world, EAP units have been transferred from academic departments to administrative offices responsible for international student recruitment and entrepreneurial talent development. The new locus of conflict for many teachers of EAP has centered on the significant disconnect between them and their new administrative managers about the purposes of second language pedagogy.

This thesis is a qualitative grounded theory study situated within these restive dynamics. Drawing from in-depth interviews of over ninety informants at eleven higher educational institutions in the UK, Japan and the United States, I focus upon the new middle managers of EAP units, referred to in this thesis as Blended EAP Professionals (BLEAPs). I develop a Critical Grounded Theory about the processes and strategies BLEAPs use to survive in corporatized HEIs while working with international students and Teachers of EAP (TEAPs). It was discovered during the
course of analysis that, even while BLEAPs are often responsible for teaching EAP classes, those who succeed in corporatized HEIs dedicated most of their energies to
processes identified as Hunting & Gathering, Weighing & Measuring, and Molding & Shaping. All of these are linked to a basic social process, which is theorized to be that
of Struggling to Manage and to Lead. This thesis discusses each of these processes in detail, and after explaining how the data used in this grounded theory study was philosophically construed, methodologically structured and theoretically analyzed, I consider the implications of this theory for Tertiary EAP as the profession approaches
the middle of the 21st century.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Koester, Almut and Edwards, Corony
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English
Subjects:L Education (General)
PE English
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3543
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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