The study explores English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students’ perceptions of (a) their awareness and knowledge of written academic genres in the first languages (L1s) and in English, which they acquired in previous writing experiences and (b) the relationship between their prior L1, English, and current EAP writing. The qualitative empirical study uses Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approaches to genre as its theoretical framework. The data collected from eight participants include a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Interview
transcripts were thematically coded using techniques informed by the modified constructivist grounded theory. The data analysis has revealed the student participants' implicit L1 genre knowledge, their perception of limited prior L1/English academic writing experience, and a lack of connection with their EAP writing, which may hinder successful transfer of EAP students' prior genre awareness and knowledge to their EAP practices. Implications for genre-based EAP pedagogy are discussed.