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ESP-English for

Specific Purposes

Basharat Rasheed Mirza

Meaning of ESP
Types of ESP
Characteristics of ESP courses
The word SPECIAL in ESP
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 are created.
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.
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
Examples: English for Chemists,
English for Educationists, English for
Advertisements, English for Media,
Meaning of ESP
ESP means English for specific purposes.
ESP is defined in the terms of its absolute
and variable characteristics by Tony
Dudley Evens.
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
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
three types of

English as a
English for English with
Academic and
language, e.g.
Occupational specific
of a pilot, or a topics.

Only used for English for
English for concerned with
specific contexts.
Academic anticipated future
Knowing this type Occupational English needs, e.g.
of English may not Purposes
Purposes Scientists
help to (EAP), e.g.
communicate (EOP), e.g. requiring English
English for for postgraduate
effectively outside English for
the specific medical studies or
Technicians. attending
context. studies. conferences.
Characteristics of ESP
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.
Learners must have a degree of freedom to
decide what, when and how they will study.
The Word SPECIAL in
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.

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
the language are the areas to be
considered in ESP.