Students in ESP courses should be exposed to a wide variety of work-related situations, in order to help them understand and cope with these situations in real-life jobs. Not all students in the course will have the same proficiency with the English language. Teachers should make allowances for this by offering extra help and being available for consultation. Students learn in a variety of ways, and will have to use their skills in a variety of settings.
For that reason, teachers should strive to address diverse learning needs and styles in their courses, relying on auditory, visual, and kinesthetic styles whenever possible, so that students have good opportunities to learn and understand every concept. What is ESP? ESP is a relatively new subject which is intended to teach English to students in a way that is meaningful to them in relation to their careers or studies. English has become more and more important as a language in the last several years, spreading to other countries as well.
Many kids are taught English from a young age even in countries where English is not the primary language. This means that in this country, students must be very familiar with the language in order to use it in on-the-job situations. ESP, in fact, means “English for a Specific Purpose. ” This refers to English classes which address a student’s actual English needs. The class is aimed at helping a student become proficient in the language without being a general English class, as was previously common.
The materials used in the course are specifically relevant to the student’s situation. Teachers in the ESP program may be English teachers who are not necessarily familiar with their students’ career paths and needs. However, it is generally thought that if teachers focus on the skills they can help the students with – language skills – and they allow the students to incorporate materials from the other studies, and/or bring in materials that relate to the students’ studies, then the class will be useful.
Teachers have a responsibility to their students to rely on useful materials rather than standard English texts. Teachers should, then, have at least a basic understanding of their students’ particular needs, and be willing to collaborate with other professionals to meet those needs as necessary. When teachers are working with students, they must keep several things in mind. First, teachers will be dealing with a diverse array of students. These students will have varying English skills and various interests.
Teachers will need to be able to gear instruction to a variety of different levels and student needs. Also, teachers must remember that the students in the class are not necessarily interested in English for the sake of learning the language, but are interested in learning English in order to help them further their careers (and some, within that group, may be there because their employers have requested it). This is why the class is considered ‘for a specific purpose. ’ Course Design Course design is of particular interest, because these English classes are not like typical English classes.
These classes aim to serve a particular need. The best way to find out what the students need is to ask them via a ‘needs analysis. ’ In designing these questionnaires, teachers must take into account the student demographics, what subject area they are working in, in what situations they will use the language, and what they want to acquire through the course. Teachers must also look at how their students learn – by looking, listening, or doing first; then, by what methods specifically (projects? Conversations? Taking notes? Etc. ).
Once the needs of the students have been established, teachers must choose appropriate materials. These materials should be from published works available from a variety of sources, like books, newspapers, websites, etc. These materials should be at the appropriate difficulty level for the students (and increasing difficulty as necessary during the course) and should be relevant and interesting to them. It is also essential to make sure that the materials further the course’s objectives. Students should practice their language skills in as many real-life situations as possible.
For this reason, materials that are not specifically language-related should be used, so students can practice language by having a discussion about the materials. This is one example of a task-based learning situation, where learners are asked to use their skills in context. Students should not be given tasks which require language that is beyond their current level. Evaluation is also an important part of course design. Students should be evaluated prior to their placement in the course, to ensure that no student is far below or above the level the course is geared to.
During the course, students should be continually evaluated to make sure that their skills are improving. These evaluations can take the form of practical tests in which students are required to use their language in scenarios they may encounter on the job. Finally, an evaluation of the instructor and course should be completed, so that students can give feedback on how relevant and interesting the course was, and if they felt it served their needs well. Examples of these evaluations and their analysis will be presented at the end of the case study.