‘At your service’? Can collaboration between UK EAP and subject teachers obviate Raimes’ so-called ‘butler stance’?

Smart, Jonathan (2017) ‘At your service’? Can collaboration between UK EAP and subject teachers obviate Raimes’ so-called ‘butler stance’? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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This study examines the notion of Raimes’ (1991) ‘butler’s stance’ assessment of EAP practitioners’ ‘subservient’ relationship to teaching faculties, subject content and subject content teachers. It investigates first whether Raimes’ metaphor has any grounding in the reality of UK EAP teachers’ perceptions and secondly whether the process of collaborative working can restore parity of status between the two sets of professionals. To address this question, a small-scale survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted with EAP professionals and the results analysed and evaluated. It was found that the issues identified in the literature review concerning EAP’s status, and the contributory role of HE institutions and the commodification of EAP in a neo-liberal HE environment were also identified in both the Survey and in the semi-structured interviews. It was also revealed that EAP and EAP teachers’ perceived status is the result of multi-faceted and complex inter-related issues, including the question of its credibility and acceptance by the academic community as a valid discipline. In addition to this, the role of non-academic language collocations in determining EAP’s academic credibility is briefly considered. The act of collaboration between EAP and subject content teachers is found to produce positive outcomes in terms of benefits accorded to the EAP lecturer, including the cognitive authority (Wilson 1983, 1991) or academic ‘validation’ in the eyes of students when the two professionals are seen to share the same teaching and learning platform. It is posited that the communication that results from collaboration leads to greater mutual understanding between EAP and subject teachers and consequentially an increased parity of status, thus offsetting ‘the butler’s stance.’ The final recommendations encourage EAP’s greater engagement with academic disciplines at both practitioner level, with collaborative research and conference contributions and between such organisations as BALEAP and the Higher Education Academy.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 16:27
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 10:02
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50305

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