Differences exist in how people interpret the meaning of ESP. Hutchinson and Waters (1987) defined ESP as "an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content  and  method  are  based  on  the  learner's  reason  for  learning"  (p.  19).  Strevens (1988) described it as English language teaching which is designed to meet specified needs  of  the  learner.  In  the  view  of  Chen  (1993),  ESP  is  “a  major  specialization within the discipline of English language teaching” (p. 80). Still, others specified ESP as  the  teaching  of  English  for  academic  studies,  or  for  vocational  or  professional purposes,  as  opposed  to EGP,  English  for  general  knowledge  and  skills  (Brunton, 2009; Carver, 1983; Hyland, 2006). Hence, we have such acronyms as EAP (English for academic purposes), EOP (English for occupational purposes), EMP (English for medical  purposes),  EBP  (English  for  business  purposes),  and  EST  (English  for science and technology). All of these are part of the ELT (English Language Teaching) repertoire. Whatever name it assumes, ESP is now a term connoting promise for more effective  and  more  useful  English  language  instruction  (Tsou,  2009;  Yogman  & Kaylani, 1996).

Definition of ESP (Dudley-Evans, 1997) Absolute Characteristics

a.       ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learners

b.      ESP makes use of underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves

c.       ESP is centered on the language appropriate to these activities in terms of grammar, lexis, register, study skills, discourse and genre

2.       Variable Characteristics

a.       ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines

b.    ESP may use, in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of General English

c.       ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either at a tertiary level institution or in professional work situation. It could, however, be for learners at secondary school level

d.      ESP is generally designed for intermediate or advanced students.

e.       Most ESP courses assume some basic knowledge of the language systems

The definition Dudley-Evans offers is clearly influenced by that of Strevens (1988), although he has improved it substantially by removing the absolute characteristic that ESP is "in contrast with 'General English'" (Johns et al., 1991: 298), and has revised and increased the number of variable characteristics. The division of ESP into absolute and variable characteristics, in particular, is very helpful in resolving arguments about what is and is not ESP. From the definition, we can see that ESP can but is not necessarily concerned with a specific discipline, nor does it have to be aimed at a certain age group or ability range. ESP should be seen simple as an 'approach' to teaching, or what Dudley-Evans describes as an 'attitude of mind'. Such a view echoes that of Hutchinson et al. (1987:19) who state, "ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner's reason for learning".

3.        TYPES OF ESP

ESP is traditionally been divided into two main areas according to when they take place: 1) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) involving pre-experience, simultaneous/in-service and post-experience courses, and 2)  English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) for study in a specific discipline (pre-study,  in-study, and  post-study) or as a school subject (independent or integrated). Pre-experience or pre-study course will omit any specific work related to the actual discipline or work as students will not yet have the needed familiarity with the content; the opportunity for specific or integrated work will be provided during in-service or in-study courses.

Another division of ESP divides EAP and EOP according to discipline or professional area in the following way: 1) EAP involves English for (Academic) Science and Technology (EST), English for (Academic) Medical Purposes (EMP), English for (Academic) Legal Purposes (ELP), and English for Management, Finance and Economics; 2) EOP includes English for Professional Purposes (English  for Medical Purposes, English for Business Purposes – EBP) and English for Vocational Purposes (Pre-vocational English and Vocational English); in EAP, EST has been the main area, but EMP and ELP have always had their place. Recently the academic study of business, finance, banking, economics has become increasingly important especially Masters in Business Administration (MBA) courses; and 2) EOP refers to English for professional purposes in administration, medicine, law and business, and vocational purposes for non-professionals in work (language of training for specific trades or occupations) or pre-work  situations (concerned  with finding a job and interview skills).

The classification of ESP courses creates numerous problems by failing to capture fluid nature of the various types of ESP  teaching and the degree of overlap between “common-core” EAP and EBP and General English - e.g. Business English can be seen as mediating language between the technicalities of particular business and the language of the general public (Picket, 1989),  which puts it in a  position between English for General Purposes (EGP) and specialist English. Therefore, some authors suggest (Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998) the presentation of the whole of ELT should be on a continuum that runs from General English courses to very specific ESP courses

4.        The ESP Practitioner

If we agree with the above definition, we begin to see how broad ESP really is. In fact, one may ask 'What is the difference between the ESP and 'General English' approach?' Hutchinson et al. (1987:53) answer this quite simply, "in theory nothing, in practise a great deal". In 1987, of course, the last statement was quite true. At the time, teachers of 'General English' courses, while acknowledging that students had a specific purpose for studying English, would rarely conduct a needs analysis to find out what was necessary to actually achieve it. Teachers nowadays, however, are much more aware of the importance of needs analysis, and published textbooks have improved dramatically allowing the teacher to select materials which closely match the goals of the learner. Perhaps this demonstrates the influence that the ESP approach has had on English teaching in general. Nevertheless, the line between where 'General English' courses stop and ESP courses start has become very vague indeed.

Ironically, although many 'General English' teachers can be described as using an ESP approach, basing their syllabi on a learner needs analysis and their own specialist knowledge of using English for real communication, many so-called ESP teachers are using an approach furthest from that described above. Coming from a background unrelated to the discipline in which they are asked to teach, ESP teachers are usually unable to rely on personal experiences when evaluating materials and considering course goals. At the university level in particular, they are also unable to rely on the views of the learners, who tend not to know what English abilities are required by the profession they hope to enter. The result is that many ESP teachers become slaves to the published textbooks available, and worse, when there are no textbooks available for a particular discipline, resolve to teaching from textbooks which may be quite unsuitable.

Dudley Evans describes the true ESP teacher or ESP Practitioner (Swales, 1988) as needing to perform five different roles. These are 1) Teacher, 2) Collaborator, 3) Course designer and materials provider, 4) Researcher and 5) Evaluator. The first role as 'teacher' is synonymous with that of the 'General English' teacher. It is in the performing of the other four roles that differences between the two emerge. In order to meet the specific needs of the learners and adopt the methodology and activities of the target discipline, the ESP Practitioner must first work closely with field specialists. One example of the important results that can emerge from such a collaboration is reported by Orr (1995). This collaboration, however, does not have to end at the development stage and can extend as far as teach teaching, a possibility discussed by Johns et al. (1988). When team teaching is not  possibility, the ESP Practitioner must collaborate more closely with the learners, who will generally be more familiar with the specialized content of materials than the teacher him or herself.

Both 'General English' teachers and ESP practitioners are often required to design courses and provide materials. One of the main controversies in the field of ESP is how specific those materials should be. Hutchinson et al. (1987:165) support materials that cover a wide range of fields, arguing that the grammatical structures, functions, discourse structures, skills, and strategies of different disciplines are identical. More recent research, however, has shown this not to be the case. Hansen (1988), for example, describes clear differences  between anthropology and sociology texts, and Anthony (1998) shows unique features of writing in the field of engineering. Unfortunately, with the exception of textbooks designed for major fields such as computer science and business studies, most tend to use topics from multiple disciplines, making much of the material redundant and perhaps even confusing the learner as to what is appropriate in the target field. Many ESP practitioners are therefore left with no alternative than to develop original materials. It is here that the ESP practitioner's role as 'researcher' is especially important, with results leading directly to appropriate materials for the classroom.

The final role as 'evaluator' is perhaps the role that ESP practitioners have neglected most to date. As Johns et al. (1991) describe, there have been few empirical studies that test the effectiveness of ESP courses. For example, the only evaluation of the non compulsory course reported by Hall et al. (1986:158) is that despite carrying no credits, "students continue to attend despite rival pressures of a heavy programme of credit courses". On the other hand, recent work such as that of Jenkins et al. (1993) suggests an increasing interest in this area of research.

5.        Various  fields  of  ESP

There  are  several  materials  that  explain  various  fields  covered  by  ESP.  Here,  I'll  cite  two  examples  which  I  think  show  the  width  of ESP  coverage.  

One  is  Longman  Dictionary  of  Business  English  which  gives  the following  25  fields:  Accounts,  Advertising,  Agriculture ,  Banking,  Commerce,  Com-    modity  exchange,  Computers ,  Economics,  Economic  history, Economic  theory,  Finance ,  Industry,  Industrial  relations,  Indus-    trial  safety,  Insurance,  Law,  Management ,  Marine  insurance, Public  finance,  Quality  control , Shipping,  Stock  exchange,  Taxa-    tion,  Tourism,  and  Transport.

The  other  is the  Macmillan  Career  English  Series  which  includes  12 kinds  of  textbooks,  i.e., Agriculture  (3),  Aviation  (3),  Business—Banking,  General  Busi-   ness,  International  Trade,  Computers  (3),  Engineering  (2),  Hotel Personnel,  Medicine  (2),  Restaurant  Employees ,  Secretaries,  and Tourism.

I  am  a  former  banker  and  teach  Banking  and  Business  English  at a  Japanese  university  for  the  last  three  years .  In  my  seminar  my students  are  collecting  technical  terms  from  Longman  Dictionary  of Business  English  for  their  graduation  theses .

Students  are  allowed  to  select  three  to  five  fields  from  the  25 fields of  the  dictionary.  They  make  cards,  give  headings  to  the  cards ,  and add  explanations  in  Japanese,  which  will  become  their  Japanese-English  glossary  for  a  certain  profession.  I  think  that  such  an individually  made  collection  of  technical  terms  will  become  valuable assets  for  the  students'  future  careers  in  business ,  no  matter  what profession  they  may  actually  take  up.

From  my  experience  teaching  Business  English  to  company employees,  I feel  strongly  that  experts  in  various  fields  should  participate  in  teaching  ESP  at  university

6.        Financial  English  as  ESP

Now,  I'd  like  to  deal  with  the  subject  of  Financial  English.  I  do  not distinguish  banking  from  finance  very  strictly.  Finance  is  a  broad term  including  banking,  but  we  usually  use  the  expression  "banking and  finance"  to  show  a  wide  spectrum  of  such  business  activities.

There  are  many  textbooks  about  Financial  English  which  have been  published  in  England  and  the  U.S.A.  These   include: Materials  for  Language  Practice-----Bank  on  Your  English, Pergamon  Press,  1984 World  at  Work----Banking,  Longman,  1982 Business-----Banking,  Macmillan  Career  English,  1984 Instrumental  English-----English  for  Banking  and  Finance,  McGraw-Hill,  1983  Berlitz -----English  for  Banking,  Accounting  &  Finance,  1979 BBC  English-----Financial  English,  The  Economist,  1986 English  for  Careers-----The  Language  of  International  Finance in  English  :  Money  and  Banking,  Regents  Publishing,  1976 English  for  International  Banking  and  Finance,  Cambridge University  Press,  1990  I  think,  however,  that  these  textbooks  are  not  always  compiled  on the  basis  of  English  Language  Teaching  (ELT)  and  ESP  theories.

In  either  case,  learning  Financial  English  will  go  a  long  way  toward promoting  understanding  between  native  and  non-native  speakers  of English,  especially  in  the  area  of  international  business.  I,  therefore, encourage  my  students  to  have  a  greater  knowledge  of  English  on  as many  specific  fields  of  business  as  possible.


7.        Teaching Business Studies Students

As a result of this transformation many EFL teachers are being asked to teach English for Academic Purposes (EAP). As you can probably imagine, the market is already at such a size that many teachers are also required to teach English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP). Fortunately, TEFL teachers are by and large an adaptable species. Changing countries, shifting from teaching children to adults, or moving from General English to Business English are all  common scenarios we face, but just what are  the specific challenges faced when teaching  Business Studies students?

Teaching Business Studies students is much the same as teaching business people in the sense that it is often about striking a balance between giving students transferable language whilst at the same time meeting each individual’s demands from the needs analysis. Just as eight people who work for the same company will not have the same needs, neither will studying the same field mean that students’ needs are identical. In the UK alone there are nearly 2000 Business Studies courses, not including related degrees such as Economics or Management, so how do we pin down a useful transferable set of skills for such a vast array of students?

As with other realms of ESP, one of the benefits for teachers when devising a syllabus is that the specificity limits us in what is useful and applicable to teach. Take grammar for example. Ninety percent of all academic texts are written in either the past simple or present simple tense (biber et al, 1999). This means that we can happily leave behind a number of tense forms that have challenged and frustrated both students and teachers in equal measure. If certain elements of grammar can be left behind then evidently vocabulary must come to the fore. From the perspective of individual lexical items, corpora play a big role in determining lexical sets. In 2000 Averil Coxhead developed a list of nearly 600 words that are the most common lexical items in academic texts regardless of discipline. More recently Paqout (2010) developed a Key Academic word list totaling some 970 words, again across a range of disciplines. Moving beyond individual words, collocations play a key role in academic writing. If verb phrases diminish in importance then almost inevitably noun phrases increase in importance, so teaching these lexical chunks becomes key to enabling our students to understand academic texts.

In terms of the traditional four skills, a greater emphasis is placed on reading and writing rather than speaking and listening. This shift in role and the dynamics created within the classroom presents its own unique challenges. Clearly, no matter what the but what we do with the text and the purpose  for reading varies greatly. In General English, texts are used largely for discussion purposes or to present a specific language point that needs to be taught. However, most university students, whatever their discipline, will read to inform their knowledge so that they can perform an assessable task. This brings in a whole new skill set that the student needs to learn: paraphrasing, summarizing, referencing and writing a bibliography. Furthermore, the extended nature of the texts and sheer volume of reading also means that students need to learn new reading skills, or at the very least transfer a set of reading skills they  have in their own language to the second language setting.

As with any other TEFL setting, teaching business studies students is not without challenge, but it is fortunately an area in which much research is being done to inform both the development of teaching practices and of materials.Louis Rogers genre, comprehending a text is essential.


Brunton, M. (2009). An account of ESP – with possible future directions. English forSpecific  Purposes  Issue,  3(24),  Vol.  8

Strevens, P. (1988). ESP after twenty years: A re-appraisal. In M. Tickoo (Ed.), ESP:State of the art (pp. 1-13). SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

Chen, H. C. (1994). Team-teaching English for special purposes: A new perspective.Selected  papers  from  the  second  international  symposium on  English  teaching

Hyland,  K.  (2006). English  for  academic  purposes:  An  advanced  resource  book.London: Routledge.

Tsou,  W.  (2009).  ESP  (English  for  Specific  Purposes)  makes  college  EFL  learningeffective.  Paper  presented  at  TESOL  2009  Annual  Conference.  March  26-28,2009. Denver, Colorado, USA.

Yogman,  J.  &  Kaylani,  C.  T.  (1996).  ESP  program  design  for  mixed  level  students.English for Specific Purposes, 15(4), 311-324

Dudley-Evans, T. & St. John, M. (1998). Developments in ESP: A multi-disciplinaryapproach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Johns, A. M. & Dudley-Evans, T. (1991). English for Specific Purposes: International in Scope,Specific in Purpose. TESOL Quarterly 25:2, 297-314

Hutchinson, T. & Waters, A. (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A learner-centered approach.Cambridge University Press.


Tsou,  W.  (2009).  ESP  (English  for  Specific  Purposes)  makes  college  EFL  learningeffective.  Paper  presented  at  TESOL  2009  Annual  Conference.  March  26-28,2009. Denver, Colorado, USA.


HUB 085398507498

Postingan terkait: