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What's so special about LSP? (Languages for Specific Purposes)


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Guilbaud, B., Kantus, M. and Tual, D., 2015. What's so special about LSP? (Languages for Specific Purposes). In: Superdiversity in Language Centres, AULC Conference 2015, Cambridge University, 8-9th January 2015.


Languages for Specific purposes (LSP) are frequently regarded as a sub-category of language teaching, considered to differ from general courses only by presenting a specific terminological focus. Whilst extensive research has been conducted in the field of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), the area of language teaching for specific purposes within other modern foreign languages remains largely to be explored. Within this remit, this presentation sets out to provide a clearer definition of LSP and to establish a more comprehensive set of characteristics. Looking at a national context of increasingly diverse demand from our students and their prospective employers, the speakers will reflect on the role LSP can play alongside general language courses. The multi-faceted dimension of LSP courses will be considered, from their linguistic features to the social and cultural elements they should include. Issues surrounding course design and materials will be also be discussed. Finally, this will lead to a reflection around the tutor’s role and considerations of other practical issues surrounding LSP courses. Examples from existing provisions including engineering and medical language courses, respectively at Cambridge and Manchester Universities, will be used to illustrate some of the points above.

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What's so special about LSP? (Languages for Specific Purposes)

  1. 1. What’s so special about LSP? Benoît Guilbaud - The University of Manchester Martin Kantus - Cambridge University David Tual - Cambridge University (Languages for Specific Purposes)
  2. 2. Introduction LSP & superdiversity Our provisions Our purpose today
  3. 3. Towards a definition...
  4. 4. Towards a definition... What is it? Why a LSP provision? LSP for beginners?
  5. 5. Differentiating LSP
  6. 6. Differentiating LSP Horizontal disposition Vertical stratification
  7. 7. Differentiating LSP Horizontal disposition Vertical stratification
  8. 8. Differentiating LSP Horizontal disposition Vertical stratification
  9. 9. Differentiating LSP Horizontal disposition Vertical stratification
  10. 10. Syntactic features Word formation non-personal constructions (e.g. passive voice) nominalizations pre-modifying constructions compound nouns/adjectives specific collocations abbreviations/acronyms ... ...
  11. 11. LSP in practice Double diversity Opportunities for genuine communication Specific objectives Para-linguistic content and context
  12. 12. A tutor’s guide to LSP Specialist knowledge Student-centered by essence LSP tutor as facilitator Role reversal Anxiety
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