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From EAP to ESP: curriculum redesign for IENs’ L2 reading and writing

Faculty Advisor




course design, English for academic purposes, English for specific purposes, internationally educated nurses, language pathways, L2 literacy

Abstract (summary)

This article describes the process where by MacEwan University modified an existing EAP course, consisting of broad reading and writing topics, into an ESP course with a more targeted focus on relevant nursing-related themes to better serve the unique literacy needs of internationally educated nurses (IENs). Differing from the existing EAP course, the newly devised ESP course drew on authentic, nursing-specific content provided by IENs themselves with a view toward tailoring the course to their academic and discipline-specific language and literacy needs. The new ESP course, piloted over two terms, was found to have strengthened student outcomes in their L2 literacy, while their disciplinary knowledge contributions also enriched the curriculum. These modifications also assisted in the identification of similarities and differences between EAP and ESP for the institution. In this article, we describe the modification and implementation of this newly devised ESP course, which drew on learner input—a “negotiated syllabus.” We also provide recommendations regarding determining and designing appropriate language pathways (EAP versus ESP course offering) to respond to the language and literacy needs of diverse student groups in the Canadian context.

Publication Information

Yeung, M., & Mah, E. (2023). From EAP to ESP: Curriculum redesign for IENs’ L2 reading and writing. TESL Canada Journal, 40(1), 137-150.


Item Type




Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)