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Gaby Luna

on 23 October 2014

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In ESP situations, there is no best approach to take; all techniques and methods are a response to a particular situation, ESP teachers should have the ability to assess a situation so as to select and adapt their methodology according to the learner's needs. Moreover, it is true that the classroom is the only place in which learning takes place, but in current days there are other autonomous ways of learning that are beginning to be used thanks to the developments in technology.
Teaching and learning Materials

The kind of teaching material used. Framework material and owned authentic material from the learner's job or studies are very useful for the ESP practitioner since they contain learner's carrier content and their existing language competence. So it saves time for the teacher to think over input and determine activities for the learners.
Methodological Approaches

PPP (present, practice, perform):
it works effectively when both the language and the communicative event are new to the learner. In the more "common core" EGAP or ESAP classes this traditional method is appropriate depending on learner's expectations, learning styles as well as the materials being used.

its aim is to set a task and ask Ss to perform. The learners use their existing L2 competence, discovering its strength and its weaknesses. The task is focused on the S and its likely to reflect their personal and professional world. It is effective on short intensive courses and where learners are in their communicative events in their L1. The main input comes after the performance, based on comments from the teacher and from the learner and peers.

2-Harnessing learner's cognitive and learning strategies

By integrating the methodologies of other disciplines, is one way in which cognitive learning processes can be harnessed. In ESP situations, the T needs to activate and build on the learning styles ( visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) and strategies (techniques learners use e.g grouping words, following a text while it is read aloud, etc) which have been developed through the specialist field. Thus, ESP teachers should encourage Ss activate their own learning styles and to recognize similarities and differences with their own. There are two subject learning approaches that have been adopted in ESP situations.
It can vary because an ESP teacher could have just one S or a group of 60 or 100 Ss.

There is no notion when a class is large since it depends on situation, purpose and experience.
- the design and costs of HOs
-learning Ss' names; behaviour & noise; assessment and feedback; individual attention;
involves a shift of attitudes and encouragement of the strategies used by the SS.
-Allow Ss to consult each other; -introduce pair and group work; -new feedback procedures: peer assessment of written work, self-checking using teacher checklist
The Four I's: Involvement:
reduce noise levels
avoid boredom
allow each person to work and contribute in their own manner.
allows Ss to learn in their own ways rather than controlling them through teaching.
There are some features that influence and impact on ESP classroom practice
Learner's specialist knowledge:

Latent communication knowledge:

It is the knowledge that learners do not have the ability to control, such as how the tense system in English works. It is a sort of "know-how" but the knowledge won't be demonstrated until those aspects are ingrained. So ESP teacher's job is to develop a conscious awareness over language, rhetorical structure or communication skills.
Content knowledge

It is the knowledge that learners bring to their language learning from their specialist field. So learners do not expect ESP teachers to have that knowledge but they expect a knowledge of how language is used in their particular field. An ESP practitioner has to acquire the ability to balance content level and language level and to see the real content
The impact of learner's knowledge

Roles and relationships:

the kind of relationship that is appropriate between teachers and ESP learners.
ESP teachers' role should be a "consultant" not "the font of all wisdom".
ESP teachers must acknowledge and use the learners' carrier content.
An appropriate relationship would be :

ESP T <-----> ESP L
But it depends on the learner's experience, cultural expectations and teacher's status.

Gabriela Luna
are a feature of many professional courses such as business, law, engineering and medicine.

to present Ss with some aspect of a real-life scenario through which they can apply and integrate knowledge, skills, theory and any experience .

This approach can be broken down into 3 main stages: data input, data processing and output presentation. It is
a deep- end approach
where the ESP teacher makes decisions about Ss' needs as regards language and skills.
Case studies require a degree of subject expertise by the ESP teacher in order to grasp the relevant concepts and gain more confidence and respect from the Ss.
Project Work:
There is higher degree of involvement and ownership since the Ss generate their own brief by finding and assimilating information. The project:
Classroom---->outside world----->Classroom

providing an opportunity for real world and classroom experience .
It has become a standard feature of much EAP work as most Ss have to carry out a project during their undergraduates studies (e.g write a report, give an oral presentation or seminar) but it rarely runs in parallel with the subject project, so the ESP teacher have to think on a project.
In ESP situations, it is appropriate to encourage Ss to gather information from different sources, compare it, select it then transform it into spoken or written format because this involves the use at least of two skills or probably four skills.
One-to-one Teaching:
it can be divided into two categories:
Intensive courses:
equate almost exclusively with professional people in the business and diplomatic worlds.
the contact is occasional or spread over several weeks or months, and it is found in EAP and EOP situations.
In most situations there is direct contact between T & L, but in
e-mail and telephone courses there is no direct contact. These courses provide contact with no travel time and minimal disturbance to the work routine.


The teaching is much more personal.
Its aim is to establish an interpersonal learning dialogue where both participants will be learning.
The T goes at the S' pace.
The T should create a good rapport with the S so as to reduce teacher power, in this case the T should share information and decision making with the L.
Learning is exploring and technology provides opportunities for exploration. The use of technology complements and extends the learner-centred approach since learners can access the source materials in their own pace, choose topics and subjects areas of their interests.
There are five modes of technology that can be used in ESP teaching:
Video Discs and CD-Roms:
to support a course, revising basic skills, to enhance a course, by providing extra topics; to provide data, to be exploited for language purposes; to provide authentic material, listening to a monologue.
The Internet:
provides the opportunity for courses to be used by all learners, Ss follow them on their own time, the interaction is between the S and the computer screen. It can be used as a source material for ESP classes where Ss are involved in project work or case studies.
it has become very useful between educational, administrative and business institutions. But in ESP teaching, it is used for commenting on Ss' writing/ S-to-S peer commenting.
CALL materials:
" It is and approach where the computer is used as an aid to the presentation, reinforcement and assessment of material to be learned, usually including a substantial interactive element"(https://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/gpg/61). It have all the advantages of self-access materials; Ss can work on their own without the T' support or feedback.
Computer-based Corpora in texts:
it is relevant to both EAP and EOP and for ESP researchers, teachers and ESP learners. For teachers it gives the opportunity to look in detail at lexical features (using a technique they can discriminate the words into technical terms, semi-technical terms and general vocabulary) ;for ESP teaching it is a resource for Ss to check collocation in their writing.
To sum up, as there is no one methodology for ESP, an ESP practitioner should integrate the methodology of other disciples such as case studies or project work in their teaching so as to harness learners' cognitive and learning strategies in the course. In addition, the ESP teacher should incorporate in the course the use of technological devices and make Ss exploit them in order to let them to have control of their own language learning.
Dudley-Evans, T; St John, M, (1998), Developments in English for Specific Purposes, a multidisciplinary approach, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Davies, G,
CALL (computer assisted language learning),
2014, 22 October 2014, 10:23am.
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