In academic disciplines, content rather than writing accuracy is usually emphasized (Hyland, 2013), leaving many English-as-an-additional-language (EAL) students unmotivated to improve writing accuracy. However, the workplace may demand accurate and clear writing. Thus, Ferris (2002, 2011) calls for research into employers’ perspectives on inaccurate and unclear writing of EAL employees to help raise academic faculty and EAL student consciousness. To respond to Ferris' call, this study investigated: 1) employers’ expectations regarding writing accuracy of EAL employees, 2) EAL employees’ language problems in work-related writing, and 3) the impact of writing problems on EAL employees’ employment and career opportunities. The study employed qualitative interviews with ten Canadian employers for data collection and a grounded theory approach for data analysis. Results indicated that the participants generally maintained the same writing standards for EAL and native-English-speaking (NES) employees. The study showed a disconnect between the academic and professional worlds regarding EAL writing standards.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.