The Problem of Presentations: An EAP Lecturer’s Approach to Teaching Presentation Skills


  • Jodie L. Martin University of British Columbia



Teaching Practice, Classroom Presentations, Post-Secondary Education, Teaching and Learning Cycle, English for Academic Purposes, Presentations


Presentations are often incorporated into higher education without any instruction on how to present, or the features by which presentations will be assessed. This lack of instruction risks disadvantaging many students judged by tacit criteria they may not meet, including English as an additional language students, first generation university students, and international and/or cross-disciplinary students coming from educational contexts with different presentation styles and values. This paper presents one lecturer’s efforts to meet the needs of her students to develop presentation skills by focusing a significant portion of an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course on presentations over four years. The paper outlines the curricular design for this focus, which included multiple presentations in multiple formats and an explicit Teaching and Learning Cycle (Rothery, 1994). Further, it presents some of the concepts and approaches that are used to shape an intersemiotic awareness of presentations, including the grammar of bullet point form, image-language relations, how to talk about complex slides, presentation delivery strategies, and how to scaffold practising in class. Finally, it concludes with some challenges about the formal evaluation of such presentations. It offers both design and activity descriptions for interested teachers to consider incorporating, whether in EAP or in other courses.




How to Cite

Martin, J. L. (2023). The Problem of Presentations: An EAP Lecturer’s Approach to Teaching Presentation Skills. BC TEAL Journal, 8(1), 29–42.