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UTN Group 1 What is ESP


Published on

Anabella Durán
Denise Guerrero
Débora Lignassi

Published in: Education, Technology

UTN Group 1 What is ESP

  1. 1.
  2. 2. CHAPTER 1: THE ORIGINS OF ESP ESP was not a planned and coherent movement, but rather a phenomenon that grew out of a number of converging trends.
  3. 3. <ul><li>The demands of Brave New World. </li></ul><ul><li>A revolution in Linguistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the learner </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>1) The demands of Brave New World </li></ul><ul><li>End of WWII in 1945 heralded an age of enormous and unprecedented expansion in scientific, technical and economic activity on international scale. </li></ul><ul><li>This expansion created a world unified and dominated by 2 forces: TECHNOLOGY and COMMERCE, which generated a demand for an international language. </li></ul><ul><li>English became the accepted international language. It created a new generation of learners WHO KNEW SPECIFICALLY WHY THEY WERE LEARNING A LANGUAGE. </li></ul><ul><li>Time and money constraints created a need for cost-effective courses with clearly defined goals. English became subject to the needs and demands of people other than language teachers. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>2) A revolution in Linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Main idea: if language varies from one situation to another, it should be possible to determine the features of specific situations and then make these features the basis of the learner's course. </li></ul><ul><li>Late 1960s and early 1970s: greatest expansion of research into the nature of particular varieties of English. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: English for Science and Technology (EST). For a time EST and ESP were considered synonymous. </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding principle of ESP: “tell me what you need and I will tell you the English that you need ” </li></ul>
  6. 6. 3) Focus on the learner <ul><li>Emphasis on the central importance of the learners and their attitudes to learning </li></ul><ul><li>“ Relevance” to the learners’ needs and interests were paramount. </li></ul><ul><li>All 3 factors seemed to point towards the needs for increased specialization in language learning. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>ESP has undergone 3 main phases of development. </li></ul><ul><li>It is now in a 4 th phase with a 5 th phase starting to emerge. </li></ul><ul><li>ESP has developed at different speeds in different countries. </li></ul><ul><li>The concept of special language: register analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the sentence: rhetorical or discourse analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Target situation analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Skills and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>A learning- centered approach </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>1)The concept of special language: register analysis </li></ul><ul><li>1960s and early 1970s. </li></ul><ul><li>The aim was to identify the grammatical and lexical features of the different registers. Teaching materials then took these linguistic features as their syllabus. </li></ul><ul><li>Register analysis revealed that there was very little that was distinctive in the sentence grammar of Scientific English beyond a tendency to favour particular forms such as the present simple tense, the passive voice and nominal compounds . </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The main motive behind register analysis was the pedagogic one of making the ESP course more relevant to the students´ needs. </li></ul><ul><li>The aim was to produce a syllabus which gave high priority to the language forms students would meet in their Science studies and in turn would give low priority to forms they would not meet. </li></ul><ul><li>ESP has focused on language at the sentence level, on sentence grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Description of surface forms. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>2) Beyond the sentence: rhetorical or discourse analysis </li></ul><ul><li>ESP focused its attention on the level above the sentence, as ESP became closely involved with the emerging field of discourse or rhetorical analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>The leading lights in this movement were Henry Widdowson, Larry Selinker and Louis Trimble. </li></ul><ul><li>Attention shifted to understanding how sentences were combined in discourse to produce meaning </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The concern of research was to identify the organizational patterns in texts and to specify the linguistic means by which these patterns are signaled. These patterns would then form the syllabus of the ESP course . </li></ul><ul><li>Basic hypothesis: “ we take the view that difficulties which students encounter arise not so much from a defective knowledge of the system of English, but from an unfamiliarity with English use, and that consequently, their needs cannot be met by a course which simply provides further practice in the composition of sentences, but only by one which develops a knowledge of how sentences are used in the performance of different communicative acts” (Widdowson , 1974) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>3) Target situation analysis </li></ul><ul><li>What it aimed was to take the existing knowledge and set it on a more scientific basis, by establishing procedures for relating language analysis more closely to learners’ reasons for learning </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of an ESP course is to enable learners to function adequately in a target situation, that is, the situation in which the learners will use the language they are learning. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>The ESP course design should proceed by first identifying the target situation and then carrying out a rigorous analysis of the linguistic features of that situation. The identified features will form the syllabus of the ESP course. This process is usually known as NEEDS ANALYSIS. </li></ul><ul><li>The target analysis stage marked a certain “coming of age” for ESP. Learner need was apparently placed at the centre of the course design process. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>4) Skills and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>The principal idea behind the skills-centered approach is that underlying all language use there are common reasoning and interpreting processes , which, regardless of the surface forms, enable us to extract meaning form discourse . There is therefore, no need to focus closely on the surface forms of the language. </li></ul><ul><li>The focus should rather be on the underlying interpretive strategies , which enable the learner to cope with the surface forms, for example guessing the meaning of words from context, using visual layout to determine the type of text, exploiting cognates, etc. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>This approach generally puts the emphasis on reading or listening strategies . </li></ul><ul><li>The characteristic exercises get the learners to reflect on and analyze how meaning is produced in and retrieved from written or spoken discourse. </li></ul><ul><li>The language learners are treated as thinking beings who can be asked to observe and verbalize the interpretive processes they employ in language use. </li></ul><ul><li>Description of underlying processes </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>5) A learning- centered approach </li></ul><ul><li>The 4 stages outlined above are based on descriptions of LANGUAGE USE. Our concern in ESP is not with LANGUAGE USE- although this will help to define the course objectives- our concern is with LANGUAGE LEARNING . </li></ul><ul><li>A truly valid approach to ESP must be based on an understanding of the processes of language LEARNING . </li></ul><ul><li>The learning- centered approach will form the subject of this book. </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>What ESP isn’t </li></ul><ul><li>It is not a matter of teaching “specialized varieties” of English </li></ul><ul><li>It is not just a matter of words and grammar for each area </li></ul><ul><li>It is not different kind from any form of language teaching </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>ESP must be seen as an approach not as a product </li></ul><ul><li>ESP is not a particular kind of language or methodology, nor does it consist of a particular type of teaching material. </li></ul><ul><li>It is an approach of language learning which is based on learner’s need . </li></ul><ul><li>All decisions as to content and method are based on the learner’s reason for learning. </li></ul>