The Efficacy of Teacher Agency in L2 Writing Instruction: Insights from the EAP Classroom

Subrata Bhowmik


L2 scholars (e.g., Gao, 2010; Mercer, 2011; Ollerhead, 2010) have underlined the importance of teacher agency in making classroom instruction successful. This article reports on the findings of an empirical study on the efficacy of teacher agency in an EAP writing classroom in Bangladesh. Studying five EAP learners, this qualitative case study examined what aspects of writing instruction with teacher’s agentive practices are useful and what students’ perceptions are when the teacher employs agentive practices. The analysis of data shows that teacher’s agentive practices were considered to be useful in the following aspects of EAP writing instruction: (a) instruction of grammar, (b) illustration of the purpose of writing, (c) raising awareness about audience, and (d) raising awareness about writing styles. Findings suggest that students perceived teacher’s agentive practices positively for the following reasons: (a) it helped them apply the learned topics to their writing, (b) it provided a more complete process of learning, (c) it minimized the stress of learning, and (d) it minimized the difficulty of internalizing grammar rules. Based on the findings, this paper argues that teachers’ agentive practices are helpful in making writing instruction more accessible to and meaningful for EAP students. Implications for teaching and learning are discussed.



teacher agency; EAP; L2 writing; student perceptions

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