Teaching academic integrity: Lessons learned from a Canadian EAP program

James Corcoran and Bruce Russell

Abstract

Academic integrity (AI) is currently a topic of concern across global post-secondary contexts, including Canada. With increasing ‘internationalization’ of English-medium university campuses, students who use English as an additional language (henceforth EAL) appear to be at greater risk of contravening academic integrity rules, particularly with regard to ‘unintentional’ or ‘textual’ plagiarism. Researchers from the fields of L2 writing studies and applied linguistics have convincingly argued that many of the academic communication practices or ‘academic literacies’ employed by EAL students are learned over time as students are gradually ‘socialized’ into their new academic communities. Canadian universities seem to be taking an increasingly pedagogical approach to building student awareness of AI; however, there is little empirical work pointing to the efficacy of such pedagogies and policies either domestically or globally, including in pre-sessional English for academic purposes (EAP) programs. This article presents findings and discussion related to a mixed-methods investigation into the impact of an EAP program on students’ AI awareness. Findings derived from descriptive and inferential analysis of pre- and post-program survey data, semi-structured interviews with EAP stakeholders (director, instructors, students) and targeted textual analysis of students’ academic writing point to a significant impact of a content and language integrated, year-long EAP program on EAL students’ awareness of AI, as well as their increased confidence in academic writing with sources. This article concludes with a call for greater recognition of the academic literacies work done by EAP professionals, including more ‘bi-directional’ flow of knowledge between EAP programs/practitioners and other university stakeholders on how to effectively and equitably support the growing population of EAL students in Canadian higher education.

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