What is English for Specific Purposes

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English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses are on the rise as the world becomes increasingly internationalised, people more mobile and English the lingua franca of business and technology. More and …

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses are on the rise as the world becomes increasingly internationalised, people more mobile and English the lingua franca of business and technology. More and more people need English for work, and often in highly technical industries, such as engineering, oil & gas, aviation, and medicine.

This presentation give an outline of what ESP courses aim to achieve, how they are put together, and what skills and resources successsful ESP teachers need.

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  • 1. What is English for Specific Purposes? Chris Moore, Managing Director, Specialist Language Courses
  • 2. English for Specific Purposes Courses are… • • • • • Targeted – ESP courses focus only on the language you need Relevant – ESP is about your life outside the training room Specialist – ESP trainers need to understand the context Motivating – ESP language is business or work-critical Cost-effective – ESP training wastes no time specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 3. ESP Courses are Vocational People study English for Specific Purposes so they can.. • • • • perform better in a globalised economy progress in an English-speaking company talk to and manage international teams preserve health and safety in complex, multilingual environments They study targeted ESP courses, such as English for • • • • • • • • Doctors Engineers Pilots Lawyers Maritime Officers Soldiers Bankers Human Resources specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 4. ESP is Business Critical ESP MATTERS. It is critical to what the learner does at work. They need the training. Examples: 1. Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots who need to pass a recognised Aviation English test to show that their English is at ICAO Level 4 standard, so they can work in international air space. 2. Ship Officers managing multinational, multilingual crews on commercial ships 3. Oil & Gas engineers working on international energy projects 4. Doctors relocating to English-speaking countries 5. Lawyers working for a global firm where the lingua franca is English specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 5. ESP is Needs Driven ESP courses start by clearly identifying the learner’s language needs. These become the objectives of the course. The learner’s needs may be a. Highly focused, for example how to read legal documents b. More varied, such as the many types of language required to manage an international team Needs Analysis needs to be detailed. It examines the specific scenarios the learner needs to use their target language in. It identifies what language knowledge and skills they need to do that. Needs Analysis can also involve learner managers, company HR and Learning & Development specialists. specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 6. ESP Requires Accurate Level Assessment • Needs Analysis is combined with a language level assessment. This measures how far the learner currently is from being able to achieve their objectives. • This assessment should focus on the areas the learner will be using the language in. It should be scenario-specific, and target the relevant skills the learner will focus on during their course. • The assessment results should be shared with the learner in order to manage their expectations. • If there is a wide gap between level and needs, but not much time allocated, then course objectives will need to be scaled back to what is achievable. specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 7. ESP Course Design Course design works back from the objectives determined in the Needs Analysis and Level Assessment process If ‘Writing Reports’ is a key objective, then a course will map out a series of focus points, such as: - Writing to your audience Formal language – register, style, passive voice, modal verbs Connecting ideas within and between sentences, different clause types Format – headings, paragraphing Expressing key ideas, eg summary, problems, conclusions, recommendations Case studies, industry examples specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 8. ESP Course Design – Common Objectives Typical objectives in ESP courses are: • Describing technical issues in plain English • Understanding what people say in specific work scenarios • Responding effectively in unpredictable or emergency situations • Understanding business and industry-specific jargon, abbreviations and acronyms • Dealing with native speaker phrasal verbs, collocations and idioms • Understanding how different cultures communicate with each other • Understanding different ‘Englishes’ specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 9. ESP Involves Task-Based Lessons If language taught is meaningful, it is easier to remember. Learners can apply it to their lives. They can see their improvement and are motivated by this. ESP teachers give learners tasks where they need to use English to successfully achieve a specific result. Tasks reflect real life and learners focus on meaning instead of practising a grammatical point or specific word set, for example. They are free to use any language they want. Tasks include role plays, solving problems, exchanging information, or playing a game, among others. specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 10. Task-Based Lessons – 3 Part Flow Pre-task Preparation (no real life tasks are done in isolation) Learners perform the task Teacher supports, listens, takes notes Feedback and Language focus. Teacher discusses language points to improve – grammar, vocab, pronunication specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 11. Teaching ESP ESP teachers are a. Experienced, adaptable English language teachers, able to work with demanding students, often at advanced levels b. Subject specialists, able to teach complex technical English language required by the area A working background in engineering, medicine, the military, oil and gas, or law can make a big difference to the impact of the course the teacher designs and delivers. Of course, many excellent ESP trainers have learnt their trade by research, practice and a commitment to their professional development. specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 12. Teaching ESP – Professional Development On-going Professional Development is vital to the ESP teacher. Here are a few things they do to keep up to date in their field: • Talk with subject specialists and other ESP trainers • Attend targeted training courses and workshops, including publisher-led events • Attend conferences, such as the IATEFL BESIG conference, the IATEFL annual conference, the ESP conference, and subject-specific events. These all have online streams. • Keep up to date with published ESP materials • Use the web, both for English language and industry-based materials • As they teach, learn from the student, their experience, and their company materials, both online and printed specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 13. ESP Resources specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 14. ESP Course Examples Here are some of the courses we have recently organised • English for Oil & Gas for 2 senior managers at a global oilfield services company in the UK • English for HR for the HR Director of a global fashion company • Business English for a widespread group of international managers at a global retail company • Maritime English & Teacher Training for a Maritime English teacher at the University of Montenegro • English for Hotel Staff at a luxury 5 star hotel in London • English Report Writing for a group of auditors at a global consultancy specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 15. Is ESP the Future? In a word, ‘Yes’. General English is being taught better and better at primary and secondary schools around the world. Business is increasingly globalised. English is the lingua franca – of industries and of many companies, even where there are no native speakers present. However, while they may have a good grounding in the language, learners increasingly want and need the right language to be successful at work. ESP courses meet these needs. Course participants learn the language skills to perform and participate effectively in an international environment. specialistlanguagecourses.com
  • 16. Find out more Specialist Language Courses organises outstanding ESP courses around the world. Choose from: • Intensive immersion courses at business language schools around the English speaking world • Tailor-made in-company courses • Specialist online courses • A blend of the above Contact us to find out more: e: enquiries@specialistlanguagecourses.com t: +44 1273 757535 w: www.specialistlanguagecourses.com specialistlanguagecourses.com