Enhancing oral participation across the curriculum: Some lessons from the EAP classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Internationally, English is increasingly being adopted as the language of post-secondary education. In Asia however efforts by universities to promote the use of the English language both inside and outside the classroom may be threatened by the supposed reticence of Asian learners. This paper problematizes Chinese learners alleged reticence by examining how one group of undergraduates at an English medium of instruction university in Hong Kong were able to meet the demands placed upon them for participation in spoken activities within their English for academic purposes classroom. Interviews with students and teachers, classroom observations, audiovisual recordings of classroom interaction and documentary analysis were used to understand how students participated in classroom discussion. The results suggest that learners adopted particular oral roles and drew upon a range of resources in ways that enabled them to conceptualize participation in classroom discussion as, in part, the result of learner agency. Implications for classroom practices in content classrooms traditionally dominated by a transmission mode of teaching are discussed. Copyright © 2009 Asian EFL Journal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-270
JournalAsian EFL Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009



Trent, J. (2009). Enhancing oral participation across the curriculum: Some lessons from the EAP classroom. Asian EFL Journal, 11(1), 256-270.


  • Classroom discourse
  • Reticence
  • Language across the curriculum