Register in English for Academic Purposes and English for Specific Purposes
Susan Conrad, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University (USA), contributes this article on the applications of register research to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Her research focuses on topics including academic register variation, discipline-specific language, student and workplace writing, and grammar and writing pedagogy. Since the 1990s, her work has advocated for and exemplified the ways in which register-based descriptions can facilitate language teaching, including building awareness of register variation in learners and novice writers themselves. This focus is illustrated in her book Real Grammar: A Corpus-Based Approach to English (Conrad & Biber 2009, Pearson Longman), which takes many of the major register-based patterns of variation in English grammar (described in the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English, Biber et al. 1999) and translates them into practical grammar lessons for language learners, making explicit how grammar use is mediated by register. Her applied focus is also evident in her work as Principal Investigator for the Civil Engineering Writing Project <http://www.cewriting.org/>. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, addresses the writing needs of Civil Engineering students through corpus-based register comparisons (of university student writing, practitioner workplace writing, and published academic writing), applying the results to the development and evaluation of pedagogical materials that improve students’ preparation for writing in the workplace.
- 1.How is register conceptualized in the field of EAP/ESP?
- 2.How does register relate to the research goals within EAP/ESP?
- 3.What are the major methodological approaches that are used to analyze or account for register in EAP/ESP?
- 4.What does a typical register study look like in EAP/ESP?
- 5.What are the most promising areas of future register research in EAP/ESP?
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