English for Specific Purposes
what it is, how to teach it and some examples. Expert opinion - Usama Beshara.
ESP strives to get students to their target quickly, as opposed to general English language education, which typically sets out from point A toward a destination that is frequently very undefined and sails over entirely unexplored waters. The idea that ESP is primarily a practical undertaking might arise from the emphasis on getting from point A to point B in the most time and energy-efficient way possible.
ESP students are often adults with some prior knowledge of English who are studying the language to express a specific set of professional abilities and to carry out certain job-related tasks. An evaluation of the needs, goals, and tasks for which English is necessary forms the foundation of an ESP program.
Unlike teaching English as a Second Language, where the focus is on teaching grammar and language structures, ESP concentrates more on language in context. It covers a wide range of topics, including management, tourism, and IT. English is interwoven into a subject matter area that is significant to the pupils, not taught as a subject distinct from their real world (or desires). This is the focus of ESP.
ESL and ESP, however, differ not only in the characteristics of the learner but also in the purpose of instruction. In reality, whereas the four language skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing are equally prioritized in ESL, ESP uses a needs analysis to identify which language skills are more important to the students, and the curriculum is then created in accordance with those findings. For instance, a program in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) may place a strong emphasis on the development of reading abilities in students preparing for graduate studies in business administration or the promotion of spoken skill development in students learning English to become tour guides.
The word "specific" in ESP denotes the particular reason why one is studying English. Students approach learning English through a subject that is familiar to them and relevant to their lives. This indicates that they can immediately apply what they learn in the ESP classroom to their jobs and academic pursuits. Since their interest in their profession will inspire them to connect with speakers and texts, the ESP approach increases the relevance of what the students are learning and allows them to use the English they already know to learn even more of it.
You have numerous roles to perform as an ESP teacher. You can be expected to plan lessons, make learning goals, provide a supportive learning environment in the classroom, and assess the development of your students.
You must first establish your learning objectives before incorporating them into an educational program with appropriate activity scheduling. One of your key responsibilities will be choosing, creating, and arranging the course materials. You'll also need to assist the students in their efforts and provide them comments on how they're doing.
Setting Objectives and Goals
You set up the learning environment in the classroom and establish both long-term and short-term goals for student success. The key to creating a syllabus with achievable objectives that takes into consideration the students' concerns in the learning environment is your understanding of their potential.
Developing Classroom Atmosphere
The classroom environment is created by your communication and conflict resolution abilities. When a student has the chance to engage with native speakers of the language, they learn the language. Language learners are constrained in ESP lessons because they are unable to show themselves as well-informed adults using their natural language skills. Because of this, the instructor should foster a supportive environment for the pupils in the language classroom. You have a duty to assist the student in gaining confidence since they need it in order to communicate.
The teacher aids students in identifying their language learning challenges and resolving them, learning the skills they should concentrate on, and taking ownership of their learning decisions. The pupils will be able to get information from you on their language learning progress.
Here are some ESP lessons you can find in Amazy Community
1. Process Endings -ing and others in Marketing, B1
2. Hired or Fired - Recruitment, Selection and the Passive Voice, simple tenses, B1
3. Writing Formal Letters, B2
4. Writing a Resume/CV, C1
5. Employability Skills: Definition and 10 Examples, C1
6. Writing Emails (basics) / Present and past tenses revision, A2
1. Negotiations and persuasion, B2
2. Introduction to Soft Skills - Communication, B2
3. Soft Skills - Adaptability, B2
4. Soft Skills - Persuasion and Strategic Communication, B2
5. Connection and Communication - Verb Forms and Idiom, B2
6. The importance of critical thinking, B2
1. Dentistry, A2
Do you have experience teaching English for Specific Purposes? What difference do you find here with General English courses?
Hi, I’m Usama Beshara, it’s my pleasure to write here for the second time. This time I’m glad to share with you my thoughts and experience in teaching ESP – English for specific purposes. A little bit about me before I start. I’ve been teaching English as a second language for over 12 years, mainly to adults. I’m very thankful to have had the pleasure of teaching to many different nationalities with different first languages, teaching in different companies, and teaching to CEOs and top level managers. I’m a holder of Cambridge CELTA, and I have a bachelor degree in business administration.
Teaching ESP can be challenging in that you can’t go about running the lesson the same way you run a general English lesson. Firstly, you, as a teacher, are most probably less knowledgeable in the field (but certainly not in the language!) than your student, be it business, IT, ... etc. Another thing is that you can’t just be more or less introducing some terms and definitions related to this field. Apart from being boring, and the vocabulary being easily forgotten, it’s the guaranteed way to run a lesson isolated from reality. I’d like to share with you three quick and useful tips for running effective ESP lessons that I keep in consideration in my lessons.
1- Know what you’re talking about really well. If you’re teaching business English, you’re definitely not expected to teach a business discipline, but, if you want to be effective, you should have an understanding of the “sense” and the “spirit” of business studies. Read much more than what you’re going to teach, and watch educational videos. This will immensely help you in designing and delivering intriguing lessons, and know how to say what the learners can relate to. If you want to be interesting, you need to be interested first!
2- Let them share what they know. They’re definitely so interested in the topic, and they like to talk about it. A CEO once told me something like: “I can do negotiations really well. It’s my area of talent. But, when it comes to negotiations in English, I’m more like a complete novice”. Don’t teach the new phrases and vocabulary, but get them to display their skills in negotiations using them. Do role plays and discuss cases. Get learners to think and produce, and do some little guidance in vocabulary and grammar. Aristotle is known to have said “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”
3- Be creative in the context you use to deliver the information. A content without context is just noise. But context is specifically critical here because learners are interested in this certain field, and in most cases have hands-on experience in it. Come up with a story that can set a realistic context that they face in real life, one they can easily relate to. Do some effort to choose your material well. Your imagination, along with the background information you gathered (tip 1) and listening to the learners sharing their opinions, talents, and expertise (tip 2) will definitely help you create an outstanding, captivating, and effective lesson.
Thank you for taking the time to read till the end. I’ll be really glad if these tips help in creating more effective and valuable lessons.
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