Learning from Short-Term Study Abroad to Innovate Intensive English Programs on U.S. Campuses


  • Jonathan K. McNair Kanda University of International Studies
  • Eric Friginal Georgia State University
  • Alison Camacho Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta Campus




intensive English programs, English for academic purposes, short-term study abroad


A major focus of Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in most universities in the United States (U.S.) is English for Academic Purposes (EAP), which prepares English language learners for undergraduate and graduate study, delivered or facilitated in English across scholarly and professional settings. The same EAP approach may also be successfully implemented for short-term, inbound study abroad programs for international students and professionals hosted in the U.S. This qualitative review of current best practices aims to (1) to explore and document measurable trends on the efficacy of outbound study abroad programs from U.S. universities that may, ultimately, help develop short-term, inbound EAP programs, (2) provide a framework that could help IEP directors and coordinators in running short-term EAP courses, and (3) discuss innovations and future directions in hosting short-term EAP programs in an IEP setting in the U.S. Data sources include an extensive review of literature in the field (especially focusing on faculty-led study abroad courses overseas), ethnographic interviews of various stakeholders, and assessment/evaluation results from EAP materials developed specifically for international students in short-term IEP programs.


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Author Biographies

Jonathan K. McNair, Kanda University of International Studies

Jonathan K. McNair is an ELI Lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan and has previously taught Intensive English and Study Abroad programs in the U.S. and in a public elementary school in Seoul, South Korea. His research and teaching interests include data-driven learning in English as a Foreign Language settings, especially with pre-intermediate language learners, as well as Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Eric Friginal, Georgia State University

Eric Friginal is Professor of Applied Linguistics and ESL and Director of International Programs at the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University. He specializes in applied corpus linguistics, cross-cultural communication, distance learning, discipline-specific writing, bilingual education, and the analysis of spoken professional discourse. His recent books include English for Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy (Bloomsbury, 2019, with Elizabeth Mathews and Jennifer Roberts) and The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Approaches to Discourse Analysis (2020, co-edited with Jack A. Hardy).

Alison Camacho, Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta Campus

Alison Camacho is the Associate Director of the Language Studio at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) - Atlanta Campus. Her professional career started in Japan, where she worked for three years as a high school English teacher. She has also taught ESL at several language schools and universities in different areas of the U.S. In addition to teaching ESL/EFL, Alison has worked as a teacher trainer and program coordinator with teachers from Egypt, Mexico, Iraq and students from China and Japan.


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How to Cite

McNair, J. K., Friginal, E., & Camacho, A. (2020). Learning from Short-Term Study Abroad to Innovate Intensive English Programs on U.S. Campuses. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 32(3), 182–207. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v32i3.584