Learning development and English for academic purposes: opportunities and challenges in collaboration





EAP, collaboration, learning development, student experiences, professional identities


The aim of this practitioner’s mini keynote was to reflect on the experiences of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and learning development (LD) practitioners from across UK higher education institutions to explore how we can collaborate to benefit students’ educational experiences and outcomes. Despite different pedagogical and professional contexts and identities, both EAP and LD practitioners aspire to develop students’ understanding of, and engagement with, key academic and disciplinary literacies (McCulloch and Horak, 2019). Within many institutions, however, EAP and LD colleagues deliver provision separately – either to different cohorts or through different teaching models (pre- and in-sessional delivery, for example). Although this separation speaks to specific disciplinary identities and points of theoretical and pedagogical difference (see, for example, Wingate, 2012), it can cause duplication of content, confusion for students, and competing demands for institutional funding and support. Given increasing student numbers, widening diversity of student needs and experience, and funding concerns, it is more important than ever to understand how EAP and LD practitioners can collaborate in the best interests of our students.


Prompt questions:


  • What opportunities for collaboration between EAP and LD colleagues are available at your institution, and what challenges or barriers have you experienced?
  • How can EAP and LD practitioners effectively collaborate while maintaining their professional identities?
  • How can effective collaboration between EAP and LD practitioners benefit student education experiences and outcomes?

Author Biography

Emily Webb, University of Leeds

Emily Webb is a Learning Advisor at the University of Leeds, where she works closely with the Schools of Education and Political and International Studies. Taking a collaborative and student-centred approach, Emily is passionate about supporting students to become confident in their learning. Her current scholarship is centred on student research dissemination and ways to build academic collaboration across institutions.


McCulloch, S. and Horak, T. (2019) ‘What we talk about when we talk about writing: exploring how English for Academic Purposes teachers and learning developers conceptualise academic writing’, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 15, pp. 1–25. Available at: https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.v0i15.526 (Accessed 12 September 2023).

Wingate, U. (2012) ‘Using Academic Literacies and genre-based models for academic writing instruction: a “literacy” journey’, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11(1), pp. 26–37. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2011.11.006 (Accessed 12 September 2023).




How to Cite

Webb, E. (2023) “Learning development and English for academic purposes: opportunities and challenges in collaboration”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (29). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi29.1104.

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