English language teachers in higher education: a different tribe?

Research output: Working paper

266 Downloads (Pure)


Recent years have witnessed a heightening of interest in the role of teachers working in EAP (English for Academic Purposes), particularly with regard to defining and debating their professional identity. However, it must be said that most authors have painted a rather dismal picture, when comparing the status and professional standing of English language teachers in Higher Education with that of academics working in other disciplines. Drawing on concepts and sociological models developed by the educationalists Tony Becher, Basil Bernstein and Pierre Bourdieu, this reflective paper proposes a theoretical framework to account for why these differences in status might be so. The paper concludes that EAP as an academic discipline currently faces some significant threats. However, the paper also argues that if EAP practitioners are to gain the professional recognition they desire, then they themselves must strive to trade more explicitly on the forms of capital valued by the academy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Publication series



  • English Language Teaching
  • EAP
  • professional status
  • academic identity
  • academic tribes
  • symbolic capital
  • private providers
  • Becher
  • Bernstein
  • Bourdieu


Dive into the research topics of 'English language teachers in higher education: a different tribe?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this