Friday, 25 September 2015

Fundamentals of ESP Training

Before we discuss further about the fundamentals of ESP training, let’s take a look on the definition of ESP itself. ESP or English for Scientific Purposes is a branch of English Language Teaching (ELT).Some people described ESP as simply being the teaching of English for any purpose that could be specified. Others, however, were more precise, describing it as the teaching of English used in academic studies or the teaching of English for vocational or professional purposes. According to Dudley-Evans (1997) in his one hour speech in a conference in Japan, he defined ESP in terms of ‘absolute’ and ‘variable’ characteristics.

The division of ESP into absolute and variable characteristics, in particular, this is very helpful in determining what is and is not ESP. From the definition, we can see that ESP can but is not necessarily concerned with a specific discipline, nor does it have to be aimed at a certain age group or ability range. ESP should be seen simple as an 'approach' to teaching, or what Dudley-Evans describes as an 'attitude of mind'. Similarly, Hutchinson et al. (1987:19) who state, "ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner's reason for learning".

Meanwhile, ESP training is any training that is related to language and its objective is to achieve goal in the specified purposes. There a lots of ESP Training that has been designed in many fields for example; English training for Oil and Gas, Aviation, Automotive, Engineering, Finance, Insurance, Law, Marketing, Medical and Military. In fact, you could find hundreds of sites that offered you a variety of ESP training's just with a click.

Here is a list of site that provides ESP Training:


In order to design ESP training, we need to know more about its fundamentals.There are three fundamentals in ESP Training which are centrality of training need analysis, authenticity of language & tasks and interactivity and communication. All of these three rudiments will be explored thoroughly in another posts. However, the main focus would be related to the question which is “Discussing the role of needs analysis, authentic language and tasks and communicative purposes?”

Click links below to understand more about the fundamentals
i)    centrality of training need analysis
ii)   authenticity of language & tasks
iii)  interactivity and communication

Overall, fundamentals of ESP training can be translated as the core, or the basics of ESP training, which brings our understanding that fundamentals of ESP training, is keys in doing ESP training. In this topic, we had elaborated 3 basics in doing ESP training. 

The first one is centrality in need analysis, which means first we must centralized our needs that is why we shall do need analysis, in this case we shall focus on what and who we shall analyse before we conduct need analysis. The need assessment shall help the trainer to identify the students’ needs before designing a module to conduct the training.

Next is authenticity of language and task, this means in ESP training it is compulsory to use real language; language that is used in everyday and the tasks given should be relatable with real life action. For example, while training a group of Malaysian tour guides, we as trainers we should train them using Malaysia English or English that their oriented with. It is not compatible if we use American English with them as they are not used to it. For the tasks given, it is better if we give them real life oriented task as this will help improve their understanding and easier for them to apply it in their work field, for example, in training a group of tour guides it is right to let them practice the language in environment they familiar with like, giving description about a museum which they usually go to not just pick a random place. 

The third fundamental of ESP training is interactivity and communication in other words, the students and trainers must cooperate with each other. There must be communication between them, not only between trainers and learners but also learners and learners, trainers and trainers. It is essential to have our learners interact with each other as communication can help develop the learning process. For example, the learners can have a group discussion among themselves and trainers. This can be done through tasks given and assessment at the end of lesson. In the ESP training it is crucial to have two ways input and output, what is taught must be tested and used. Therefore, in designing ESP training, a trainer must think ways to have their learners interrelate with what they want and what is taught to them. 

All these fundamentals are vital in ESP training and they are related to each others as they ensure the effectiveness of a training. Thus, we need to understand them before designing and developing an ESP training. 

Dudley-Evans, Tony (1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes: A multi-disciplinary approach. Cambridge University Press. (Forthcoming)
Hutchinson, Tom & Waters, Alan (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A learner-centered approach. Cambridge University Press.

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