Practitioner research in a UK pre-sessional: The synergy between exploratory practice and student motivation

Sal Consoli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper will illustrate the affordances which Exploratory Practice may offer to both EAP teachers and learners. In particular, the focus will be on a UK pre-sessional course where the author was the EAP teacher for a group of Chinese students preparing to complete an MSc in Project and Programme Management. This paper will demonstrate that, despite some initial dilemmas, EP was highly beneficial for these students and the teacher. By devising Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities (PEPAs) which suited this specific pre-sessional context, the author was able to engage the students in classroom-based inquiries which aligned with the students’ interests and questions about life in the UK as well as the new cultures of learning and teaching. Some questions were raised about the power dynamics and the egalitarian research approach promoted by EP. However, overall, the students viewed the experience as ‘relevant, social practice’ which led to skills development and better clarity about the new academic practices and norms. Importantly, EP also helped them engage more actively with the EAP course. This paper thus shows that practitioner research can enhance EAP practices whilst motivating teachers and students to work together to develop mutual understandings of Quality of (classroom) Life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101108
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • exploratory Practice
  • motivation
  • practitioner research
  • pre-sessionals


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