A Review of Research into Needs in English for Academic Purposes of Relevance to the North American Higher Education Context

Waters, Alan
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RM-96-07, TOEFL-MS-06
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
English (second language) higher education literature reviews


This survey examined reports of research into needs in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) of relevance to the North American higher education context, in order to assess requirements for further test-development- related research. First, a wide range of North American studies were summarized and critically analyzed in terms of findings related to the four skills, writing, listening, speaking, and "other" needs. The research methods employed were also reported and evaluated. Overall conclusions were drawn, and implications for further research were adumbrated for each of the studies. Next, a number of major, in-depth British studies of relevance were also summarized and critically scrutinized. All of these reports were concerned with the formulation of a picture of EAP needs as a basis for the development of a test proficiency in English for Academic Purposes. A number of overall conclusions were once again drawn. The survey as a whole showed that there was no existing body of research that could form an adequate basis for the development of a test of EAP of relevance to the North American higher education context. Based on a critical analysis of the reports surveyed, a number of proposals for a program of further research were made.

Read More


Find a Publication

Advanced Search

Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement GapLearn more about ETS's commitment to closing the achievement gap through rigorous research, thought-provoking forums and more.