Access EAP: Foundations – Course Book with audio CDs

Sue Argent, Olwyn Alexander


An integrated EAP language and skills course for lower intermediate learners.

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ISBN: 9781859645246

CEF Level: B1  IELTS Level: 4.0 to 5.0

Product Description

Access EAP: Foundations

Written by the authors of the highly successful EAP Essentials, the first part of this two-level course teaches academic language and competence to pre-intermediate and intermediate learners.

Access EAP: Foundations is based on real student life and prepares students for the tasks that they will face while doing an English-medium higher education degree. Each unit follows the progress of three students in their first year at university as they have discussions, listen to lectures, read texts, work on assignments and make choices about how to study. Students will develop the language they need to meet the expectations of their lecturers, comparing ideas, explaining cause-effect relationships, interpreting data, writing assignments and e-mails and joining in discussions.

The book has ten units, each divided into five lessons. The first lesson usually introduces an aspect of university life. Listening, reading, speaking and writing tasks are linked together around each theme, while other tasks develop the ability to think critically and to study effectively. Key words that are useful for academic study are listed by the texts in which they are presented, and regular tasks help understanding, support learning and practise using these key words. Students will learn the important language and grammar patterns needed for understanding and producing academic texts. They will also discover essential aspects of academic style, such as moving from general to specific information and from what is familiar to what is new.

Key Features

  • Functional syllabus linked to a series of academic themes
  • Integrated tasks and language practice
  • Focuses on key language and skills in a specific academic context
  • Improves students’ ability to tackle and succeed in IELTS and other gateway examinations
  • ‘Simulated authentic’ texts targeted to present specific functions and vocabulary
  • Written by EAP trainers from Heriot-Watt University

An accompanying Teacher’s Book is also available.

Read a recent article written by Olwyn Alexander that discusses Access EAP: Foundations here

Format: Paperback


Book map
Unit 1: Preparing for university studies
Unit 2: Freshers’ week
Unit 3: First steps and new routines
Unit 4: Finding information
Unit 5: New ideas and new concepts
Mid-course review
Unit 6: Borrowing and using ideas
Unit 7: Something to say
Unit 8: Linking ideas
Unit 9: Supporting ideas
Unit 10: Exams
End of course review
Additional material

Author details

Sue Argent co-authored Garnet Education’s EAP Essentials and Access EAP. She has taught EAP for a number of years in universities in Papua New Guinea and in China, as well as in the UK. She has also taught in adult and further education delivering ESOL and EAP training and supporting teachers.

She has written corpus-based EAP courses for distance learning with Olwyn Alexander and Jenifer Spencer, including specialist courses for business studies and science and technology. Her interests are critical thinking and student autonomy.

Olwyn Alexander co-authored Garnet Education’s EAP Essentials and Access EAP. She teaches English for Academic Purposes to engineering, management and translation studies students at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. She has collaborated with colleagues Sue Argent and Jenifer Spencer in writing two distance learning courses: Academic English for Business and Academic English for Science and Technology.

Her current research interests include the use of learning teams for managing large classes and how to establish links between research and teaching in the EAP classroom.


A complete package for students starting their pathway program.

- Kerry Ryan, La Trobe University, Melbourne

“It is a timely resource due to an increasing need for EAP materials that can prepare intermediate-level, EFL learners to commence tertiary studies in English-medium institutions. The course book’s most notable features include an engaging narrative approach, a focus on cultural awareness and a multifaceted approach toward the development of critical thinking, study and academic language skills. It is driven by rhetorical functions presented in authentic academic texts which have been adapted for intermediate-level learners. The overarching goal of the course book is to empower EAP learners to become increasingly autonomous by training them in the effective use of resources (both materials and human) and encouraging them to participate in learning communities”… “This timely, principled resource offers EAP learners an excellent introduction to academic life and much of the training and tools needed to become autonomous learners within a learning community”.

- G. Klassen for the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2013

"All in all, I am happy to give this book a strong recommendation. Given the level of the students who will be using it, I think the author’s choice of focus and topics is entirely appropriate, and I strongly support the emphasis given by the authors to the voices and experiences of students."

- Rosemary Wette for the TESOLANZ newsletter, December 2012