К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011
Автор: Меркулова Елена Сергеевна
relations in the spheres of business, industry, economy and culture, which have
grown in the last decades, make great demands of modern specialists. One of
the most important elements of success and demand for specialists is their
foreign language proficiency. Under modern conditions, speaking foreign
language becomes a very essential component of specialist’s future professional
activity, for this reason such discipline as English for specific purposes
(ESP) becomes more and more needed. Professional specificity, aiming at
realization of objectives of future professional activity must be taken into
consideration while teaching English for Specific Purposes. Professionally
oriented approach in teaching English among adult people, which assists them in
forming ability to use English in concrete professional business spheres and
situations, taking into account peculiarities of professional thinking, gains
oriented teaching should be considered as teaching based on people’s needs in
study the foreign language which are dictated by the peculiarities of a future
profession and specialty. It plans to combine professional-oriented language
acquisition with the development of learners’ personal characteristics based on
professional and linguistic knowledge.
According to the
educational sample program nowadays the goal of teaching ESP consists in further
improvement the communication-intercultural and forming the professional
competence of students. Teaching ESP presupposes taking into account learners’
needs in the studied language, which are determined by the special features of
a future profession.
communication-intercultural competence consists in further forming of communication
skills, more profound picture of the world’s perception, understanding its
sense key-points, and the ability to observe similarities and differences
between communicating cultures and use it in the context of intercultural
communication. Language material is enriched by means of rising idiomaticity of
learners’ speech, further intensification of background knowledge and
specialty’s metalanguage, and in whole, broadening general philological,
culturological, and pedagogical learners’ outlook within the cultural and professionally
oriented component of educational content and forming communication skills.
sample program learners’ professional competence is ensured with the help of:
• Subject content
of speech, which is defined within general professional and special
professional spheres of communication, providing learners’ with professionally
oriented knowledge and metalanguage;
professionally oriented skills by solving pragmatic-professional problems in
profession-based situation of communication [1;21].
realization of educational goals unconventional forms and methods of planning
the lessons of ESP, such as talk shows, press-conferences, and discussions, and
dialogue technologies of teaching (business and role games, project work) must
find application in the classroom [1; p. 21].
Studies of the
English language take place on different levels, in various settings and
contexts, and there is the link between two types of English – General and
Specific. In spite of the fact that teaching English is always based on the
language skills acquired at a secondary school there is the necessity to make
the language a professional oriented subject, it should help the learners to
build their professional skills as well as to contribute to their education as
persons maturing active members of society [2; p. 21].
It is an
unquestionable fact that today foreign language proficiency has great importance.
However, teaching ESP should not be considered as teaching of English with the
help of special material and content. Development of linguistic skills and the
acquisition of specific information are the main components of ESP. Even
planning home assignment these skills and professionally oriented direction
should not be omitted.
The division of
English language studies into two types requires carefully investigation of
learners’ interests and needs. Even a college student does not think a lot
about how the acquired skills and foreign language knowledge will be used in
his future professional activity. Thanks to general English teaching, within
which fundamentals of grammar, expressions as well as of phonetics are
presented, all these components become a necessary basis for later language
professional or occupational, social and other needs of the learner determine
teaching Language for Specific Purposes. As a result ESP consists in
specialized programs which goal is to develop the communicative use of English
in a specialized field of science, work or technology. To know just general vocabulary
is not enough in order to be able to speak on a professional subject. However,
a great part of professional vocabulary consists of general words, which acquire
new meaning or become compound words or word combinations.
With the help of
ESP the language becomes the means of teaching profession and appears to be
significant in the context of the professional world [2; p. 21]. Today in the
age of information learners have access to the Internet where the knowledge of
the English language gives them an opportunity to get global information and
exchange information in the sphere they are interested in.
teaching or learning ESP is said to be professionally oriented as it takes into
consideration professional needs of learners. Specific skills are acquired from
the selected texts where special vocabulary and the richness of the meanings
are presented. To be able to use the English language for professional purposes
undoubtedly the knowledge of general English should be taken as a basis and
then it should be revised and developed for many different everyday uses of
English. The student is expected to use all the acquired knowledge in his
professional environment as well as in the everyday situations, by taking part
in different conversations, asking and answering questions.
V. Cook asks “What
does another language do?” and the answer is: “Learning another language makes
people think more flexibly, increases language awareness and leads to better
understanding of other cultures” [6; p. 197]. For effective communication linguistic
and cultural norms set by English native speakers must be used. Here we again
approach teaching the two types of English – the General and the Specific. In
both cases the development of learners’ ability to communicate in oral and
written forms takes place, linguistic knowledge is presented by correctness of
grammatical structures, proper choice of words and precision of their meaning.
The primary goal
in teaching ESP is to provide the student with practical use of English
revising the knowledge built earlier. ESP concentrates not only on the
recognition of particular structures of sentences or word combinations, but
also on the choice of terms and meanings of words in different kinds of
contexts. Grammatical competence is the domain of linguistic studies proper,
while specific competence includes interdisciplinary field together with the
understanding of the particular context the language is used in [2; p. 21].
teacher’s work in ESP learners’ needs should be understood and carefully
examined. In spite of the fact that it is difficult to achieve, it is necessary
to plan the work in the classroom in such a way that it will not just be the
presenting of a piece of new material but it must be a very interesting and
pleasant occupation. The main teacher’s goal is to make learners active
participants by all possible means (giving some interesting or more complex
material for studies, assigning special tasks, etc.).
should include general language with additional spices inherent to a
professional language (new meanings of already known words, unknown terms, some
grammar structures which are used in the chosen field of study). General
English should not be opposed to ESP or vice versa. ESP is always based on the
knowledge of general English. ‘ESP is aimed at consolidating grammar,
pronunciation and other skills and at acquisition of a specialized meaning of
words in specific professional contexts’ [2; p. 21]. The goal of teaching
general English is devoted to grammar structures and general vocabulary.
It is very
important for a teacher to help students to overcome their barrier of fears to
make possible mistakes. The students must be taught how to learn the language
independently and become independent learners. The profit of such activity is
obvious, it makes learners think and express their ideas in English, because
without speaking it is impossible to learn the language.
Learners who come
to the ESP classroom already have some English knowledge, well-built adult
learning strategies and, what is more important, a specific interest for learning.
People learn language effectively if they understand and work with the language
in the context that they find interesting. Students will acquire English as
they work with materials which they find interesting and relevant and which
they can use in their professional work or further studies. The more learners
pay attention to the meaning of the language they hear or read, the more they
are successful: the more they have to focus on the linguistic input or isolated
language structures, the less they are motivated to attend their classes.
Learners who have
already chosen ESP are generally aware of the purposes for which they will need
to use English. When people have already oriented their education toward
specific field, English training becomes as complementing to this orientation.
Knowledge of the subject gives a student an opportunity to identify a real
context of structures within ESP classroom. In such way, learners can take advantages
of what they already know about the subject matter to learn English.
To learn a foreign
language for adults is more difficult rather that for children, but on the
other hand adult learners already have some learning skills which they “bring”
to the class and use them in order to learn faster and more efficiently. They
developed these skills in their native language that’s why it helps to make the
process of learning a foreign language easier. Perhaps the knowledge of learners
who will decide to start learning ESP will be limited; however, the language
learning abilities of the adult in the ESP classroom are potentially enormous.
Educated adults are constantly learning new language behavior in the native
languages by expanding vocabulary, becoming more fluent in their fields, and adjusting
their linguistic behavior to new roles or new situations.
linguistic skills demanded by professional needs of learners is great educational
work done by the language teacher; the learner defines and expresses his
attitude towards some questions discussed during a lesson. Language learning is
intended for humanization of students’ activities by developing his cognitive
and social experience along with their understanding of their own needs and
preferences. Learning process develops creative thinking of students by
stimulating them to try to find a way how to connect what is written in the
book with that what exists in their minds.
In fact one may
ask “What is the difference between the ESP and General English approach?”
Hutchinson and Waters answer this very simply, “In theory - nothing. In practice
- a great deal”. As to the distinction between these two terms, these authors
stated that, ‘what distinguishes ESP from general English is not the existence
of a need as such but rather the awareness of the need. If learners, sponsors
and teachers know why the learners need English, that awareness will have an
influence on what will be acceptable as reasonable content in the language
course and, on the positive side, what potential can be exploited” [3, p. 53].
did not pay much attention to needs analysis to find out what was really
necessary to actually achieve it. However, nowadays teachers are much more interested
in needs analysis taking into account the learners’ goals at all stages of the
learning process. Perhaps it is the demonstration of the influence of ESP on
English teaching in general but the line where General English courses stop and
ESP courses start has become very vague indeed [4; p. 2].
The main important
difference between General English and ESP can be named as learners’ purposes
for learning English. Students who are interested in learning ESP are generally
adults who already have some English language proficiency and who decide to
study the language to be able to communicate a set of professional skills and
to perform particular job-related functions. So purposes and needs and the job
functions for which English is required compose the foundation of an ESP
preference language in context rather that is aimed at teaching grammar and
language structures. It covers so many different subjects from computer science
to aviation and business management. The peculiarity of ESP consists in the
following idea: English is not taught as a subject separated from the students’
real world (or wishes); instead, it is integrated into a subject matter area
important to the learners [5; p. 1].
difference between ESP and General English lies not only in the nature of the
learner, but the aim of the instructor is very important, too. In fact, while
teaching General English, all four language skills (listening, reading,
speaking, and writing) have the same importance and are taught equally. In
teaching ESP needs analysis takes the first place and according to it language
skills the most needed by the learners are defined and only then the syllabus
is designed. So an ESP program might be aimed at the development of reading
skills in students if, for example, they are going to work in the sphere of
business administration; or the development of spoken skills in students who
are studying English for work which consists in conducting negotiations or
being tourists guides.
English language teaching and subject matter gives students the opportunity to
apply all the knowledge they are getting in their English classes to their main
field of study, whether it is jurisprudence, tourism business or management.
They are able to use all the vocabulary and grammar structures which they learn
from meaningful contexts and it helps to increase their motivation and
reinforce all the knowledge they are taught.
main filed of study assists them in acquiring English in the classroom.
Knowledge which they have got during their professional activity gives them the
content they need to understand English of the classroom. The teacher in the
ESP class should show and explain how subject-matter content can be expressed
in English and use it in order to help students learn English faster.
So if we take the
term “ESP”, “specific” here refers to the specific purposes of students for
learning English. Learners are taught English within their professional sphere,
that’s why they can use all the knowledge from the classroom right away in
their work. Thanks to the ESP approach the importance of what students are
learning is stressed and their interest in the professional occupation
motivates them to interact with speakers and text [5; p. 1].
ESP continues to evolve along several distinct paths, all these branches are
closely connected with each other. It focuses not just on learners’ immediate
needs and wants but also on their future needs and wants, continues to focus on
individual learning, learner centeredness, and learner autonomy. ESP is today
more vibrant than ever with a bewildering number of terms created to fit the
increasing range of occupations where the use of ESP is indispensable. It seems
with increasing globalization and mobility of the world’s workforce that the demand
for specific courses will not decrease but only rise. However learners should
understand that the English language should not be used only in some narrow
target situations but also as a means of self-expression.
Sample program. Foreign language: two foreign languages. The Ministry of education
and science, Almaty, 2007
Laimutė Kitkauskienė. General English and English for Specific
Hutchinson, Tom &Waters, Alan. English for Specific Purposes: A
learner-centered approach. Cambridge University Press, 1987
4. L. Anthony. English for Specific Purposes: What does it
mean? Why is it different?. Department of Information and Computer Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering Okayama University of Science, 2005
Lorenzo Fiorito. Teaching English for Specific Purposes, 2005
V. Cook. Second language learning and language teaching. London: Oxford Unive rsity Press.2001, p. 197
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011