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ESP

English for Specific


Purposes

Contents

Origins of ESP
Meaning of ESP
Types of ESP
Characteristics of ESP courses
The word SPECIAL in ESP
Conclusion

Introduction

English has become the internationally accepted


language of almost all the fields of knowledge.
Depending on their specific needs and
requirements,
new
learners
who
knew
specifically why they need English appeared.
In some cases people with inadequate
proficiency in English need to be taught to
handle specific jobs.
To fulfill the needs of these new learners new
specific courses were designed and introduced.
ESP is one of these specific courses.

Contd
From early 1960s, ESP has emerged
as one of the major areas of EFL
teaching today.
Various universities across the globe
are offering a number of ESP courses
nowadays.
Examples: English for Chemists,
English for Finance, English for
Advertisements, English for Media,
etc.

Meaning of ESP

ESP means English for specific purposes.


ESP is defined in the terms of its absolute
and variable characteristics by DudleyEvans.
Absolute Characteristics:
Meets specific needs of learners.
Makes use of underlying methodology and

activities of the discipline it serves.


Is centered on the language appropriate to
these activities in terms of grammar, lexis,
syntax, study skills, discourse, and genre.

Meaning contd

Variable Characteristics:
May be related to or designed for specific

disciplines.
May use, in particular situations, different
methodologies from general English.
Is likely to be designed for adult learners,
either at an institute or at a work place.
Is generally designed for intermediate and
advanced students.
Most of the ESP courses assume some basic
knowledge of the language systems.

Meaning contd

ESP is an approach to teaching.


ESP is an attitude of mind.
ESP is concerned with turning learners
into users.
Hutchinson et al. (1987:19) state,
ESP is an approach to language

teaching in which all decisions as to


content and method are based on the
learners reason of learning.

Types of ESP
David Carter
(1983)
identifies three
types of ESP:

English as a
restricted
language, e.g.
of a pilot, or a
waiter.

Only used for


specific contexts.
Knowing this
type of English
may not help to
communicate
effectively
outside the
specific context.

English for
Academic
and
Occupational
Purposes.

English for
Academic
Purposes
(EAP), e.g.
English for
medical
studies.

English for
Occupational
Purposes
(EOP), e.g.
English for
Technicians.

English with
specific
topics.
Uniquely
concerned with
anticipated
future English
needs, e.g.
Scientists
requiring English
for postgraduate
studies or
attending
conferences.

Example of an EOP course for


doctors

Examples of EAP courses for university


students

Characteristics of ESP
Courses

Carter (1983) discusses three


characteristics of ESP courses.
Authentic material
Study material must be authentic.
Purpose-related orientation
Orientation lessons must be according to the
needs of the learners.
Self-direction
Learners must have a degree of freedom to
decide what, when and how they will study.

The Word SPECIAL in


ESP

The word SPECIAL refers to:


Purpose for which learners

learn language; not the nature


of language.
Restricted repertoire of words
and expressions selected from
the whole language.

Conclusion

ESP-English for specific purposes has


emerged as a significant field in
Applied Linguistics. It is mostly
concerned with the learners needs for
a specific field of academics or
occupation. Restricted skills of words
and expressions, purpose of learning
and the language are the areas to be
considered in ESP.

BOOKS
English For Specific Purposes A learning centred
approach, Tom Hutchinson and Alan Waters
Developing Courses in English for Specific
Purposes
Helen Basturkmen. University of Auckland, New
Zealand
The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes
Edited by Brian Paltridge and Sue Stareld
Ideas and options in English for Specific
Purposes
Helen Basturkmen. ESL and Applied Linguistic
Professional Series