EAP assessment: Project-based student forums and conferences in mainland China
One of the biggest pedagogical challenges in promoting EAP in mainland China is to motivate students to learn EAP in the context where English is not the medium of university instruction. In order to create an “artificial” environment where EAP skills can be practiced and applied, many Shanghai universities have initiated project/research-based instruction in EAP classes. Project/research-based instruction, initially class-based, has gradually been developed into discipline-based forums such as the student forums on medicine, finance and engineering, the forums being organized on different campuses in Shanghai in recent years. Since 2015, the Shanghai International Collegiate Conference has been held annually where undergraduates from home and abroad present their papers on such themes as “Environment and Sustainability” and “Challenges of Urbanization”. Students, when submitted, are especially required to include IMRD (Introduction—Methods—Results–Discussion) elements. Students as well as their instructors benefit linguistically and academically from the participating in this event.
Jigang Cai is a full professor at the Foreign Languages and Literature Department of Fudan University, China. He is currently President of the China EAP Association and Vice President of the Chinese Association for ESP. In addition, he works for the Shanghai government as Chair of the Shanghai Advisory Committee on EFL teaching at Tertiary Level. His research interests include contrastive linguistics to applied linguistics and ESP/EAP studies. His publication list includes more than 80 research articles and about 6 books on the subjects of these two fields.