EAP Teacher Agency in a Digital Age

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In English for Academic Purposes (EAP), there has been an increased recognition of the importance of teacher agency – the power that teachers have over the nature and quality of their practice (Bond, 2020; Ding and Bruce, 2017). Meanwhile, discourses of digital technology emphasize choice, often promising to liberate teachers and students from the constraints of the classroom. Approaches such as blended or flipped learning are presented as empowering, while big data offers opportunities for efficient task selection and individualization. Technology would therefore seem like a good fit for teacher agency. However, for all that technology offers, it can impose practices, values and routines that may be incongruous or inconsistent with a teacher’s beliefs about teaching and learning. Technical constraints may take the form of prescription of content or methods, and big data may involve the technicalized evaluation of students, limiting the judgement of the teacher and working against notions of teacher agency and autonomy (Selwyn, 2020; Willamson, 2017; MacGilchrist, 2019; Knox, Williamson and Bayne, 2019). In this chapter, I explore the relationship between technology and technicalized structures and teacher agency in EAP.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractitioner Agency and Identity in English for Academic Purposes
EditorsAlex Ding, Laetitia Monbec
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3502-6326-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-3502-6323-9
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameNew perspectives for English for academic purposes


  • agency, digital technology, practitioners, teacher autonomy, technicalized structures


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