Teaching English for Specific Purposes by Vander Viana, Ana Bocorny and Simona Sarmento

Teaching English for Specific Purposes by Vander Viana, Ana Bocorny and Simona Sarmento (2019) TESOL International

Teaching English for Specific Purposes is part of TESOL’s English Language Development Series. 

According to then series editor (page v), “The English Language Teacher Development (ELTD) Series consists of a set of short resource books for English language teachers that are written in a jargon-free and accessible manner for all types of teachers of English (native and nonnative speakers of English, experienced and novice teachers). The ELTD series is designed to offer teachers a theory-to-practice approach to English language teaching, and each book offers a wide variety of practical teaching approaches and methods for the topic at hand. Each book also offers opportunities for teachers to interact with the materials presented. The books can be used in pre-service settings or in in-service courses and can also be used by individu­als looking for ways to refresh their practice.”

Teaching English for Specific Purposes, by Vander Viana, Ana Bocorny, and Simone Sarmento, explores various aspects of teaching English for specific purposes (ESP) and how such an approach can inform language teaching.

This little book (53 pages) has five chapters: introduction , needs analysis,  genre , specialized vocabulary, corpus linguistics, conclusion.

The introduction compares general English with English for specific purposes. It then looks at types of ESP: English for academic purposes (EAP)  and English for occupational purposes (EOP), with the book focussing on EOP. The chapter finishes with a discussion of teachers’ and students’ roles in an ESP course and materials. Chapter 2 focusses on the importance of needs analysis in ESP and illustrates how needs relate to language and presents some sources and methods that can be used to collect useful data.

Chapter 3 points out that the results of the needs analysis will probably indicate which genres are required in a particular ESP course. It defines genre and relates it to the various ESP contexts in which ESP is taught. Useful methods for undertaking genre analysis and utilising this information in an ESP course follows.

Vocabulary is usually considered to be important in ESP and chapter 4 focusses on the vocabulary needs of ESP students and ways in which ESP teachers can deal with it.

The final chapter focusses on ways in which the ESP teacher with no specialised knowledge of their students’ subjects can use corpus linguistics techniques to help. It looks at the main types of corpora available, both general and specialised and suggests ways in which personalised corpora can be made.

The book concludes with a summary of what has been included in the book and suggest ways to continue the study of ESP.

It finishes with a useful list of references

Overall, this is a good introduction to ESP teaching for teachers with no previous experience. It might also be useful for subject teachers who want to help their learners with the language of their subject.

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