Is English for Academic Purposes the program for me? The advantages of EAP programs

When choosing to study English abroad, you have so many choices to make. In which country will you attend courses? What accommodations are best for you? What language school is right for you? And which courses are best to enroll in?

One of the many courses you may have to choose from is English for Academic Purposes. English for Academic Purposes (often called EAP) is a popular course in language schools. EAP classes are designed to provide students with the English listening, speaking, writing, reading, and grammar skills necessary in order to prepare students for life in the academic setting. Many students, therefore, attend traditional college or university classes after they graduate from an EAP class.


Here are some questions to ask when deciding if the EAP course is right for you:

  • What are my ultimate English goals? Am I interested in improving my speaking skills for travel, communication, and socialization? Or do I want to pursue education in English or a job where I use English?
  • In the future, will I need an EAP certificate for a potential job? Or will a certificate from communication-based courses suffice?
  • Am I a more serious student? Am I willing to dedicate more hours toward study than communication classes require?

CISL San Diego class

After deciding that an EAP program is right for you, make sure that you research your school’s EAP program. A good EAP program should have the following:

  • Clearly defined curriculum that leaves room for adjustment so that it meets the needs of individual students
  • Emphasis on academic vocabulary
  • Curriculum designed to help you understand the research and citation processes
  • Access to a computer lab and its online resources
  • At least one academic paper and lessons about how to correctly edit/receive feedback
  • Clear grading policies to ensure that you earn your grade
  • Options for students who want to pursue an education in the U.S. after graduation from the EAP class


Once you’ve decided to enroll in an EAP course, here are some tips for your next moves:

  1. Begin researching your education options for after your EAP course. Are you interested in taking a semester of classes at an American community college, like with CISL’s Academic Year Abroad Program? Or are you interested in obtaining a degree from the U.S., like with CISL’s University Pathway Program?
  2. Start studying now! Begin researching academic English vocabulary and idioms, TOEFL and IELTS exams, and also research what life is like in the American classroom to better prepare. Here are some CISL Blog articles to help you:
    1. Five Academic English words to impress your professors
    2. Improve your English by learning academic-based vocabulary words
    3. Daily habits to improve your English skills
    4. Choosing to Study Abroad: The advantages of a U.S. College Degree
    5. Question Styles for TOEFL Reading

Click here to learn more about CISL’s English for Academic Purposes Program, the Academic Year Abroad, and University Pathway.