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ESP and why it’s not: learner motivation, teacher
competence, and indigenous assessment criteria
Shona Whyte

BCL, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur (Nice, France)
Valorizing practice: grounded histories of language learning and teaching Bremen 15 November 20191
Language learning and teaching for what?
• modern foreign language studies
as a gateway to cultural enrichment
• languages (English) for specific purposes
for access to international science or commerce
• general language (English) certification
as a basic skill
2http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
ESP and TENOR (Abbott 1980)
• modern language studies
as a gateway to cultural enrichment
• English for Specific Purposes: ESP
for academic or occupational purposes
• Teaching English for No Obvious Reason
as a compulsory subject
3http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
@neil_mcm
outline
i ESP and TENOR

ii learner motivation

iii teacher competence

iv assessment criteria
4http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
outline
i ESP and TENOR

ii learner motivation

iii teacher competence

iv assessment criteria
5http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
an English controversy
6http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
http://bit.ly/ESP_SW
a little light mud-slinging
7http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
ESP practitioners
tend to become
partisan and
dogmatic about
particular issues in
ESP
I know of at least three
applied linguists of
high repute who have
also been known to
exhibit naïve notions
based on inadequate
teaching experience
Kennedy (1980)
Abbott (1980)
Fundamental
problems in ESP
Chris Kennedy
8http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.frhttp://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
ESP and TENOR
Gerry Abbott
Gerry Abbott
• 1935-2019 

• University of Manchester
(1965-1992) and British Council in
Amman, Uganda, Thailand,
Malaysia, Myanmar (Beaumont
2019) 

• The Teaching of English as an
International Language (Abbott &
Wingard 1981) 

• articles in ELT Journal, English
Today, System; PhD by publication

• a socialist and a humanist, wrote
poetry and autobiography

• outsider, contrarian stance in ELT
My own view of good
teaching is that it is a
subversive activity, in that
it actually fosters the
questioning and
challenging of authority
Abbott (2003)
http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr 9
Chris Kennedy
• taught overseas with the British
Council 

• combined lecturing in ELT and
applied linguistics in the UK with
international secondments 

• directed the Centre for English
Language Studies at the University
of Birmingham, full professor 

• president of IATEFL (1991-93) and
chair of the British Council's English
Teaching Advisory Committee.

• publications in ESP, and ELT, often
in terms of change management or
innovation.
10
ESP has already made a
valuable contribution to
ELT theory and practice.
It is a creative force which
has effected a rewarding
amount of research and
innovation in syllabus and
materials design, and
which will continue to
play an important role in
second language learning
and teaching.
Kennedy 1980
http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
11
ESP is not so scientifically
rigorous as its proponents
claim, and it is ethically
questionable to reduce
teaching goals to meeting the
perceived needs of the market
or workplace
some of ESP's champions in
applied linguistics lack the
pedagogical credentials to
command respect among
teachers, while the return on
ongoing teacher investment
in materials development is
not guaranteed
the actual needs and
motivation of ESP learners
may not be reducible to
practical short-term goals and
many learners around the
world fall outside its rather
narrow confines
Gerry Abbott
a grounded history of ESP
• debate over learner needs
and motivation

• language teacher concerns in
materials development, and
content expertise

• tensions between theorists
(applied linguists) and
practitioners

• conflict between language
policies and educational
values

• issues of ESP assessment
12http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
outline
i ESP and TENOR

ii learner motivation

iii teacher competence

iv assessment criteria
13http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
Learner motivation, communicative competence and LSP
• “What people want to do through language is more important than
mastery of language as an unapplied system” (Wilkins 1972)
• ESP “should focus on the learner and the purposes for which he
requires the target language, and the whole language programme
follows from that” (Munby 1978: 2)
• “Perhaps the current interest in teaching language for ‘special
purposes’ may eventually reveal the challenge to curriculum
designers: that all learners regard themselves as learning a
language for some special purpose” (Breen & Candlin 1980)
• "if there is a need, it should be satisfied" (Kennedy 1980)
14
Dimensions of communicative competence (Hymes 1972)
15
COMMUNICATIVE	COMPETENCE PERFORMANCE
Knowledge Ability	for	use Actual	use	&	events
1 What	is	possible	
Systemic	possibility	
“GrammaKcality”	(in	terms	of	syntax	but	also	
culture,	communicaKon)
•MoKvaKon	
•AffecKve	&	
voliKve	factors	
•CapaciKes	in	
interacKon	(e.g.,	
composure,	
presence	of	mind,	
stage	confidence)
•Behavioural	
record	
•Imperfect	or	
parKal	realizaKon	of	
individual	
competence	
•InteracKon	
between	individual	
competence,	
competence	of	
others,	and	
properKes	of	events
2 What	is	feasible	
PsycholinguisKc	reality	
Constraints	on	memory,	percepKon
3 What	is	appropriate	
SituaKonal	judgement	
Acceptability	in	context
4 What	is	performed	
Actual	occurrences
Communicative competence in LSP (Whyte 2019)
16
Knowledge Strategies	for	use
linguis1c comprehension grammar discourse organisaKon
expression vocabulary argumentaKon
intelligibility pronunciaKon delivery
fluency
pragma1c appropriateness interacKon management
accommodaKon engagement
empathy
content scienKfic performance demeanor
occupaKonal non-verbal	behaviour
professional overall	impression
Fundamental problems (Abbott 1980)
• externally defined needs "may not be very strongly felt by
the learner"
• students may have a different motivation (oral
communication or 'Social English'), or indeed no
immediate instrumental motivation
• learners may show little enthusiasm for their own
subjects, meaning a related ESP course will share in this
aversion: "if the subject is for any reason 'unwanted,' the
language tends to be 'unwanted' too"
17
Abbott’s Paradox (Abbott 1981)
• Proponents of communicative methods often say or imply that it is
not very respectable to get your class to do oral drills, which are
condemned as ‘meaningless,’ ‘boring,’ or uncommunicative
• In a monolingual group, the greater the wish to communicate
orally, the greater the urge to abandon English and use the mother
tongue
• in a multilingual group, the greater the wish to communicate, the
greater the use of ‘stem-form’ English [or] ‘interlanguage pidgin’
• Are drills really so useless? Granted that they are not sufficient, are
they not necessary as a preparation for acts of communication?
18
outline
i ESP and TENOR

ii learner motivation

iii teacher competence

iv assessment criteria
19http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
Teacher competence
• “since we are inviting the learner, directly or indirectly, to
recognize the linguistic components of the language
behavior he is acquiring, we are in effect basing our
approach on the learner’s analytic capabilities” (Wilkins
1976)
• EFL teachers have traditionally relied on intuition and eclectic
approaches and should continue to do so (Kennedy 1980)
• ESP teachers include "retrained" scientists and others who
"willingly re-educate" and/or collaborate with subject-
specialist teachers (Kennedy 1980)
20
ESP problems (Abbott 1978,1980)
• “the preparation of tailor-made "ESP materials for 'one-off'
purposes" is tiring for teachers, without necessarily
resulting in attractive activities for learners”
• problem of “level of knowledge of a specific subject (or
occupation)" and the heterogenous classes they are
expected to teach. Unreasonable "to demand that every
ESP teacher be a polymath"
• “I would just like everyone involved in the ESP industry to
be more ready to admit that its processes are full of
uncertainties, and to be less prone to constructing
pseudo-scientific justifications”
21
EFL as education (Abbott 1987)
• “efforts in Europe towards establishing systematic ways of providing
language instruction for specific purposes (LSP) have influenced our
ideas about syllabus specification quite profoundly - perhaps too
profoundly”
• “the new methods and materials currently advocated tend to assume
more favourable conditions (e.g. smallish classes) and facilities (e.g.
access to a photocopier) than actually obtain in most secondary
schools “
• “education must not be allowed to become a mere governmental
training-ground for the work-force it thinks it needs.”
• proposals to adapt fledgling CEFR (van Ek 1976) by focusing on
content and including monologue
22
outline
i ESP and TENOR

ii learner motivation

iii teacher competence

iv assessment criteria
23http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
LSP Testing
• high-stakes tests (gatekeeping -
Fulcher 2013): physicists, students
(EAP), veterinarians, medical
doctors, airline pilots

• performance tests: content,
method, assessment criteria

• inclusion of indigenous criteria (=
views of occupational experts, non-
language specialists, linguistic
laypersons)

• use of actual examples of test
performance and thematic coding
of commentary

• Elder, McNamara, Kim, Pill & Sato
2017, Douglas 2001
24http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
physics conference presentation
problem
characterise academic talk involving L1
and L2 speakers
participants
academics, researchers, graduate
students at lab meetings
method
observation, conversation analysis,
grounded theory for categorisation
findings
➤ focus entirely on content: effective
presentation of scientific material
➤ no attention to L1 or L2 speech
Jacoby 1999, Jacoby &
McNamara, 1999
25http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
problem
hypothesised mismatch between linguist and
lay interpretations of oral competence
participants
lay judges of Chinese College English Test-
Spoken English Test (monologue) and
Cambridge English (paired interaction)
method
thematic coding
findings
➤ discrepancies between lay and language
testers’ criteria
➤ overall impression + content (1/3 grade);
linguistic resources (1/10)
English for academic purposes
Sato 2014, Elder et al. 2017
26http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
problem
evaluate special Rural and General Practice
option in veterinary programme via Individual
Process Assessment (role-play)
participants
veterinary professionals, veterinary students,
applied linguists
method
comparison of categories across three groups
findings
➤ veterinary experts used most explicit and
widest range of categories
➤ applied linguist and student views differed
Veterinary consultation
Douglas & Myers, 2000
27http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
problem
Overseas English Test failed to identify
proficient International Medical Graduates
participants
medical professionals
method
comparison of indigenous criteria with
language testing specialists
findings
➤ discrepancies between doctor and
linguist criteria
➤ revision of test to include new categories
and delete irrelevant rubrics
medical consultation
Pill 2013, Elder et al. 2017
28http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
problem
Korean English Proficiency Test for Aviation
perceived as poor indicator of professional
competence
participants
pilots and air traffic controllers
method
professionals’ feedback on recordings of
abnormal/emergency/distress situations
findings
➤ discrepancies between pilot and language
test criteria
➤ communication errors by both L1 and L2
speakers
PIlot-traffic controller exchange
Kim 2012, Kim & Billington 2016,
Clark 2017, Elder et al. 2017
29http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
30
Content specialists (including average speakers
who are not linguists) are generally able to agree
on what constitutes effective communication in a
specific domain and how to evaluate particular
speakers. They generally do so with little reference
to particular formal linguistic features, suggesting
that they may be intuitively working with a broader
model of communicative competence.
Whyte (2019)
Some conclusions
• learner motivation is often nebulous and fluctuating; ESP
often imposes external goals dictated by needs of
industry or commerce
• teacher competence in own contexts goes beyond
intended curricula in pedagogical technique but also
learner needs/benefits
• assessment criteria developed by ESP teachers and
testers don’t meet real-world requirements; content
specialists employ a broader understanding of
communicative competence
31
ESP and why it’s not: learner
motivation, teacher competence,
and indigenous assessment criteria
Shona Whyte

Université Côte d’Azur 

(Nice, France)

Valorizing practice: grounded
histories of language learning and
teaching
AILA research network HoLLT
Bremen, Germany 

November 2019

Photo by Filip
Zrnzević on Unsplash
32http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr

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ESP and why it’s not: learner motivation, teacher competence, and indigenous assessment criteria

  • 1. ESP and why it’s not: learner motivation, teacher competence, and indigenous assessment criteria Shona Whyte BCL, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur (Nice, France) Valorizing practice: grounded histories of language learning and teaching Bremen 15 November 20191
  • 2. Language learning and teaching for what? • modern foreign language studies as a gateway to cultural enrichment • languages (English) for specific purposes for access to international science or commerce • general language (English) certification as a basic skill 2http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 3. ESP and TENOR (Abbott 1980) • modern language studies as a gateway to cultural enrichment • English for Specific Purposes: ESP for academic or occupational purposes • Teaching English for No Obvious Reason as a compulsory subject 3http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr @neil_mcm
  • 4. outline i ESP and TENOR ii learner motivation iii teacher competence iv assessment criteria 4http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 5. outline i ESP and TENOR ii learner motivation iii teacher competence iv assessment criteria 5http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 6. an English controversy 6http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr http://bit.ly/ESP_SW
  • 7. a little light mud-slinging 7http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr ESP practitioners tend to become partisan and dogmatic about particular issues in ESP I know of at least three applied linguists of high repute who have also been known to exhibit naïve notions based on inadequate teaching experience Kennedy (1980) Abbott (1980)
  • 8. Fundamental problems in ESP Chris Kennedy 8http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.frhttp://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr ESP and TENOR Gerry Abbott
  • 9. Gerry Abbott • 1935-2019 • University of Manchester (1965-1992) and British Council in Amman, Uganda, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar (Beaumont 2019) • The Teaching of English as an International Language (Abbott & Wingard 1981) • articles in ELT Journal, English Today, System; PhD by publication • a socialist and a humanist, wrote poetry and autobiography • outsider, contrarian stance in ELT My own view of good teaching is that it is a subversive activity, in that it actually fosters the questioning and challenging of authority Abbott (2003) http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr 9
  • 10. Chris Kennedy • taught overseas with the British Council • combined lecturing in ELT and applied linguistics in the UK with international secondments • directed the Centre for English Language Studies at the University of Birmingham, full professor • president of IATEFL (1991-93) and chair of the British Council's English Teaching Advisory Committee. • publications in ESP, and ELT, often in terms of change management or innovation. 10 ESP has already made a valuable contribution to ELT theory and practice. It is a creative force which has effected a rewarding amount of research and innovation in syllabus and materials design, and which will continue to play an important role in second language learning and teaching. Kennedy 1980 http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 11. 11 ESP is not so scientifically rigorous as its proponents claim, and it is ethically questionable to reduce teaching goals to meeting the perceived needs of the market or workplace some of ESP's champions in applied linguistics lack the pedagogical credentials to command respect among teachers, while the return on ongoing teacher investment in materials development is not guaranteed the actual needs and motivation of ESP learners may not be reducible to practical short-term goals and many learners around the world fall outside its rather narrow confines Gerry Abbott
  • 12. a grounded history of ESP • debate over learner needs and motivation • language teacher concerns in materials development, and content expertise • tensions between theorists (applied linguists) and practitioners • conflict between language policies and educational values • issues of ESP assessment 12http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 13. outline i ESP and TENOR ii learner motivation iii teacher competence iv assessment criteria 13http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 14. Learner motivation, communicative competence and LSP • “What people want to do through language is more important than mastery of language as an unapplied system” (Wilkins 1972) • ESP “should focus on the learner and the purposes for which he requires the target language, and the whole language programme follows from that” (Munby 1978: 2) • “Perhaps the current interest in teaching language for ‘special purposes’ may eventually reveal the challenge to curriculum designers: that all learners regard themselves as learning a language for some special purpose” (Breen & Candlin 1980) • "if there is a need, it should be satisfied" (Kennedy 1980) 14
  • 15. Dimensions of communicative competence (Hymes 1972) 15 COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE PERFORMANCE Knowledge Ability for use Actual use & events 1 What is possible Systemic possibility “GrammaKcality” (in terms of syntax but also culture, communicaKon) •MoKvaKon •AffecKve & voliKve factors •CapaciKes in interacKon (e.g., composure, presence of mind, stage confidence) •Behavioural record •Imperfect or parKal realizaKon of individual competence •InteracKon between individual competence, competence of others, and properKes of events 2 What is feasible PsycholinguisKc reality Constraints on memory, percepKon 3 What is appropriate SituaKonal judgement Acceptability in context 4 What is performed Actual occurrences
  • 16. Communicative competence in LSP (Whyte 2019) 16 Knowledge Strategies for use linguis1c comprehension grammar discourse organisaKon expression vocabulary argumentaKon intelligibility pronunciaKon delivery fluency pragma1c appropriateness interacKon management accommodaKon engagement empathy content scienKfic performance demeanor occupaKonal non-verbal behaviour professional overall impression
  • 17. Fundamental problems (Abbott 1980) • externally defined needs "may not be very strongly felt by the learner" • students may have a different motivation (oral communication or 'Social English'), or indeed no immediate instrumental motivation • learners may show little enthusiasm for their own subjects, meaning a related ESP course will share in this aversion: "if the subject is for any reason 'unwanted,' the language tends to be 'unwanted' too" 17
  • 18. Abbott’s Paradox (Abbott 1981) • Proponents of communicative methods often say or imply that it is not very respectable to get your class to do oral drills, which are condemned as ‘meaningless,’ ‘boring,’ or uncommunicative • In a monolingual group, the greater the wish to communicate orally, the greater the urge to abandon English and use the mother tongue • in a multilingual group, the greater the wish to communicate, the greater the use of ‘stem-form’ English [or] ‘interlanguage pidgin’ • Are drills really so useless? Granted that they are not sufficient, are they not necessary as a preparation for acts of communication? 18
  • 19. outline i ESP and TENOR ii learner motivation iii teacher competence iv assessment criteria 19http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 20. Teacher competence • “since we are inviting the learner, directly or indirectly, to recognize the linguistic components of the language behavior he is acquiring, we are in effect basing our approach on the learner’s analytic capabilities” (Wilkins 1976) • EFL teachers have traditionally relied on intuition and eclectic approaches and should continue to do so (Kennedy 1980) • ESP teachers include "retrained" scientists and others who "willingly re-educate" and/or collaborate with subject- specialist teachers (Kennedy 1980) 20
  • 21. ESP problems (Abbott 1978,1980) • “the preparation of tailor-made "ESP materials for 'one-off' purposes" is tiring for teachers, without necessarily resulting in attractive activities for learners” • problem of “level of knowledge of a specific subject (or occupation)" and the heterogenous classes they are expected to teach. Unreasonable "to demand that every ESP teacher be a polymath" • “I would just like everyone involved in the ESP industry to be more ready to admit that its processes are full of uncertainties, and to be less prone to constructing pseudo-scientific justifications” 21
  • 22. EFL as education (Abbott 1987) • “efforts in Europe towards establishing systematic ways of providing language instruction for specific purposes (LSP) have influenced our ideas about syllabus specification quite profoundly - perhaps too profoundly” • “the new methods and materials currently advocated tend to assume more favourable conditions (e.g. smallish classes) and facilities (e.g. access to a photocopier) than actually obtain in most secondary schools “ • “education must not be allowed to become a mere governmental training-ground for the work-force it thinks it needs.” • proposals to adapt fledgling CEFR (van Ek 1976) by focusing on content and including monologue 22
  • 23. outline i ESP and TENOR ii learner motivation iii teacher competence iv assessment criteria 23http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 24. LSP Testing • high-stakes tests (gatekeeping - Fulcher 2013): physicists, students (EAP), veterinarians, medical doctors, airline pilots • performance tests: content, method, assessment criteria • inclusion of indigenous criteria (= views of occupational experts, non- language specialists, linguistic laypersons) • use of actual examples of test performance and thematic coding of commentary • Elder, McNamara, Kim, Pill & Sato 2017, Douglas 2001 24http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 25. physics conference presentation problem characterise academic talk involving L1 and L2 speakers participants academics, researchers, graduate students at lab meetings method observation, conversation analysis, grounded theory for categorisation findings ➤ focus entirely on content: effective presentation of scientific material ➤ no attention to L1 or L2 speech Jacoby 1999, Jacoby & McNamara, 1999 25http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 26. problem hypothesised mismatch between linguist and lay interpretations of oral competence participants lay judges of Chinese College English Test- Spoken English Test (monologue) and Cambridge English (paired interaction) method thematic coding findings ➤ discrepancies between lay and language testers’ criteria ➤ overall impression + content (1/3 grade); linguistic resources (1/10) English for academic purposes Sato 2014, Elder et al. 2017 26http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 27. problem evaluate special Rural and General Practice option in veterinary programme via Individual Process Assessment (role-play) participants veterinary professionals, veterinary students, applied linguists method comparison of categories across three groups findings ➤ veterinary experts used most explicit and widest range of categories ➤ applied linguist and student views differed Veterinary consultation Douglas & Myers, 2000 27http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 28. problem Overseas English Test failed to identify proficient International Medical Graduates participants medical professionals method comparison of indigenous criteria with language testing specialists findings ➤ discrepancies between doctor and linguist criteria ➤ revision of test to include new categories and delete irrelevant rubrics medical consultation Pill 2013, Elder et al. 2017 28http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 29. problem Korean English Proficiency Test for Aviation perceived as poor indicator of professional competence participants pilots and air traffic controllers method professionals’ feedback on recordings of abnormal/emergency/distress situations findings ➤ discrepancies between pilot and language test criteria ➤ communication errors by both L1 and L2 speakers PIlot-traffic controller exchange Kim 2012, Kim & Billington 2016, Clark 2017, Elder et al. 2017 29http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr
  • 30. 30 Content specialists (including average speakers who are not linguists) are generally able to agree on what constitutes effective communication in a specific domain and how to evaluate particular speakers. They generally do so with little reference to particular formal linguistic features, suggesting that they may be intuitively working with a broader model of communicative competence. Whyte (2019)
  • 31. Some conclusions • learner motivation is often nebulous and fluctuating; ESP often imposes external goals dictated by needs of industry or commerce • teacher competence in own contexts goes beyond intended curricula in pedagogical technique but also learner needs/benefits • assessment criteria developed by ESP teachers and testers don’t meet real-world requirements; content specialists employ a broader understanding of communicative competence 31
  • 32. ESP and why it’s not: learner motivation, teacher competence, and indigenous assessment criteria Shona Whyte Université Côte d’Azur 
 (Nice, France) Valorizing practice: grounded histories of language learning and teaching AILA research network HoLLT Bremen, Germany 
 November 2019 Photo by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash 32http://bit.ly/ESP_SW Valorizing practice Bremen 15 /11/2019 whyte@unice.fr