Evaluation and learning in language programmes

Document Type

Book Chapter


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This chapter examines the evaluation instrumentation, in particular the structured discussion technique which provided glimpses into the learning experience of the marginalised students most in need of English for Academic Purposes programme (EAP) which ultimately privileged the more articulate stronger students. It explores the nature of the evaluation and – the programme construct that is both the focus of the evaluation and the key values of participants which give the programme its character in implementation. The chapter has two functions: it describes and validates the evaluation format and activities, and it relates aspects of the programme and its evaluation to the wider project of knowledge construction in EAP and Applied Linguistics. From the discussion throughout this chapter it is seen that there has been a wealth of fresh and innovative ideas from a range of sources. Each of these ideas requires sustained implementation in contexts of practice so that over time an ecological fitness for purpose is established. The example set out at the beginning of this chapter illustrates how evaluation as a dynamic programme resource adapts to the context: the group discussion technique and the reporting aspect are adapted by the teacher and other members of the EAP team. Whereas earlier approaches to programme evaluation viewed on line adaptations of a preconceived work plan as deviant and problematic in terms of blueprint fidelity, current thinking would see them as reflecting ownership, agency and individualisation within programmes


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Handbooks of Applied Linguistics: Communication Competence Language and Communication Problems Practical Solutions