A COMPREHENSIVE MODEL FOR THE ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
University of Warsaw (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The paper presents the Comprehensive Model for the Analysis of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), a descriptive instrument developed by the author for the purpose of describing various types and sub-types of specific purpose English instruction, and discusses its practical utility in the practice of ESP. In developing her model, the author has been influenced by earlier models developed by by Spolsky, Stern, and more recently, Basturkmen. Like the earlier models, the proposed framework for the analysis of ESP seeks to examine the approach in terms of the theoretical assumptions held by the teacher, which comprise theory of language, theory of learning, and theory of second learning acquisition. In addition, the model introduces an additional descriptive dimension of linguistic and social context, which together with the theoretical assumptions shapes ESP by informing content and methodological choices made by its practitioners. Among the variables collectively forming the context are those pertaining to the target language and culture (ESL vs. EFL) and those pertaining to the three stakeholders involved: learner, course organizer and teacher, such as their personal experience in the discipline (subject matter) to which ESP is related or membership in the target discourse community (target group) and familiarity with its culture. The proposed model has been labeled ‘comprehensive’ for the reason that it combines theoretical and social considerations in an attempt to describe ESP as an independent approach to English teaching, distinct from both General English and CLIL. At the same time, the model can be used normatively to help identify the optimal syllabus for a given variety of ESP by disclosing the factors affecting its design in addition to the findings of both target needs analysis and student needs analysis.
Keywords: ESP, teaching model, syllabus design, theory of language, theory of laerning, theory of SLA, stakeholder variables.