Teaching English for Specific Purposes has been growing in importance in Mexico over the past 30 years. In universities, the need for academic reading skills in English in different subject areas is well-established. More recently, the demand for preparation for postgraduate study in the United States or England has been growing in importance. In technological universities, graduates working in companies will need varying degrees of proficiency in English in all four skills. In all regions of Mexico, the demand for English for occupational purposes is significant and growing all the time. Some university language centres offer courses which have a special emphasis on English for work purposes.
The growth in all forms of ESP inside and outside universities in Mexico, has not been matched by training initiatives for ESP teachers .
ESP teaching has sometimes been called another name for good English teaching, because of its starting point: the learner and their needs and wants. However, there are three important features reflecting the essential nature of ESP teaching: Processes, contexts and materials.
2. List the different forms of needs analysis and explain their rationale.
3. Establish a set of course objectives based on this needs analysis.
4. Analyse samples of relevant texts and discuss distinguishing linguistic features.
5. Describe the different types of syllabus available to the ESP course designer.
6. Select and sequence the topics, language, skills, activities and situations relevant to their learners.
7. List criteria for the analysis and selection of materials relevant to your learners.
8. Apply these criteria to possible course materials in your own teaching situation.
9. Evaluate the success of commercially produced and locally produced materials in your own teaching situations.
10. Recognise different forms of course evaluation and apply them to your own courses .
ESP How? THE COURSE OUTLINE 1. An Introduction to ESP 2. Gathering Information 3. Planning an ESP course 4.Teaching and learning 5. Selecting, adapting and producing materials 6. Evaluating and assessing
Dudley_Evans T and MJ St John (1998) Developments in English for Specific Purposes . Cambridge.
Hutchinson T and A Waters (1987) ESP . Cambridge.
Jordan R (1997) English for Academic Purposes: A Guide . Cambridge.
Robinson P (1990) ESP Today . Pergamon Press.
The English Language Teaching Journal sometimes carries ESP-related articles and is now available on the web.
English for Specific Purposes is the leading ESP journal and an excellent source for case studies and reports on ESP teaching and research world-wide, as well as for review articles and discussions of current issues and developments.
Adapted from The Study Guide for the Diploma in Teaching English for Specific Purposes, Copyright the British Council, 2002.