About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1616-1620
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1356

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


P. Gherardelli

Zanichelli (ITALY)
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) relates to the learning and teaching of the language used in specific professional sectors. In a time where specific knowledge, skills and competences are increasingly in demand, the need to provide the vocabulary and language tailored to the needs of world of work has become a must.

The first extensive production of English for Specific Purposes textbooks in my country dates back to about twenty years ago.
This was triggered by a legislation that introduced the teaching of ESP in the last three years of vocational and technical high schools.
This innovation opened up a series of opportunities and problems.

From the first textbooks which proposed a somehow random collection of technical texts and exercises without a real learning objective in mind, ESP has certainly come a long way. Today we can boast many years of hands-on experience in the field, which have changed our perspective of the topics. The impact of ICT has contributed to an increasing awareness of the need to master a language along with an easier access to all kinds of materials.

Within this scenario the main questions addressed by this paper are:
Where are we? What are the main objectives of an ESP textbook in the 21st century? How should a textbook be structured? Which elements have to be taken into account in order to stimulate the learning of the language? How can we provide technical materials and activities that do not ‘scare’ the teachers of English? What role do textual materials have? And where can they be found? How should the various activities be organized and chosen? Is the language still the main focus or can such a textbook be an opportunity to access knowledge of the specific subjects as well? We are increasingly asked to provide a hands on approach to the topics covered, but how can this be done within the classroom and with the limited resources available?

In my presentation I will talk about my production of textbooks and learning materials, which spans over two decades and is rich and varied. It includes a number of ESP textbooks both for high school students and for people on the job. More recently it includes materials and texts for subject teachers using the CLIL methodology.

I will show how my production has evolved over time and what has contributed to its development and what my objectives have become today.

I will cover the methodology which is at the basis of my production. Alng with the structure, I will include an explanation of a new approach to the texts and the innovative activities proposed.

I will present some of the projects which were carried out in the classroom, the procedure, the results obtained and how they have affected my production.

I will include some samples of my recent and in progress textbooks and materials in order to show how all this translates in practice.
I will conclude with a brief overview of my future challenges and projects.
author = {Gherardelli, P.},
title = {ESP: WHERE ARE WE?},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1356},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1356},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {1616-1620}}
AU - P. Gherardelli
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1356
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 1616
EP - 1620
ER -
P. Gherardelli (2016) ESP: WHERE ARE WE?, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 1616-1620.