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Teaching English for Specific Purposes: An Introduction Jeremy Day Mark Krzanowski

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CAMBRIDGE UN IV ERS ITY PRES S Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Dubai, Tokyo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK Š Cambridge University Press of 2011 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2011 Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Information regarding prices, travel timetables and other factual information given in this work are correct at the time of first printing but Cambridge University Press does not guarantee the accuracy of such information thereafter.

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Contents Introduction to ESP 1.1 What is ESP? 1.2 Who needs ESP? 1.3 How is ESP different from General English?

Needs analysis 2.1 I’ve been given an ESP class – What do I do now? 2.2 How detailed should the needs analysis be? 2.3 How well do I have to know the subject?

Finding the right materials 3.1 Where can I find suitable course materials? 3.2 What should I look for when choosing an ESP coursebook?

Lesson planning 4.1 How should I plan an ESP lesson? 4.2 How can I teach professional communication skills? 4.3 How do I deal with a low level of English in the ESP classroom?

Assessment 5.1 How do I evaluate students on an ESP course? 5.2 Are there any exams for ESP?

Reference and further reading

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About the authors Jeremy Day is Series Editor of Cambridge English for‌, a series of ESP courses on Engineering, Human Resources, Job-hunting, the Media, Marketing, Nursing and Scientists. He is also the author of the Teacher’s Books for International Legal English, Dynamic Presentations and Flightpath, and has written business and ESP activities for Professional English Online (http://peo.cambridge. org/). He is also an editor at English360 (http://www.english360. com/), a web-based Business English and ESP learning platform.

Mark Krzanowski is the Co-ordinator of the ESP SIG (English for Specific Purposes Special Interest Group) of IATEFL, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign language. He is Lecturer in TESOL and Teacher Training in the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster London and is also engaged in academic consultancies abroad. His most recent overseas work includes various ESP and EAP projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, China, Oman, Yemen, Sudan, Cuba, and South Africa.

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Introduction to ESP 1.1 What is ESP? ESP (English for Specific Purposes) involves teaching and learning the specific skills and language needed by particular learners for a particular purpose. The P in ESP is always a professional purpose – a set of skills that learners currently need in their work or will need in their professional careers. This broad definition can be taken to include business skills, such as English for Job-hunting or Presentations, but many ESP teachers see their field as distinct from mainstream Business English. Preparation for an exam (such as the Cambridge PET or First Certificate) is not usually considered to be ESP (even though there is a particular reason for studying). ESP exams do exist, of course, but they tend to focus on the learners' ability to function effectively at work, rather than purely their level of English. ESP contrasts with General English, which is aimed at a very wide range of learners. It also contrasts with Business English, although there is considerable overlap between the two branches. A lawyer and a marketing executive might both benefit from attending the same Business English course, focusing on the generic skills they both need at work (such as writing an email or participating in a meeting), but they might get more from attending an ESP course in legal or marketing English respectively as this will focus more precisely on their needs.


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1.2 Who needs ESP? In theory, all learners need ESP and would benefit from a course tailored to their needs. In practice, however, there has to be a compromise where learners with sufficiently similar needs can be grouped together. This is fairly easy in the context of pre-experience courses (e.g. an English course for Media Studies students at a university), where a large number of students have similar needs, decided in advance by experienced specialists (e.g. university professors). This branch of ESP is sometimes called ESAP, (English for Specific Academic Purposes). In principle, there is a clear distinction between ESAP, which trains students for their future work, and EGAP (English for General Academic Purposes), which trains them for their current studies, but in practice the distinction is often blurred. ESP courses can also be created for working professionals (e.g. a teacher providing in-company lessons at a law firm). In such cases, the course will not only be for the needs of a specific profession (e.g. lawyers, human resources personnel) but also for the specific organisation. Here, the ESP teacher has the opportunity to base activities on the situations and texts the professional learners actually need English for in the workplace.

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1.3 How is ESP different from General English? For teachers of General English, a key question is finding materials and methodologies which are effective for a particular class (e.g. ‘Is the approach or method I’m using appropriate for learners of this age, culture, level, first language(s) etc.’?). This question is also relevant to ESP but one other factor should also be considered: subject specific knowledge (of legal procedures, of engineering methods, of software programming etc.). By definition, the learners on an ESP course will usually know more about the subject than the teacher. This additional factor is often what makes ESP a daunting, but also an exciting, challenge. However, there are three key strategies open to ESP teachers whose knowledge of the specific subject is limited: honesty and openness, preparation and confidence. •

Honesty and openness are about managing expectations. ESP teachers don’t need to pretend to be something they are not. Don’t be afraid to tell your learners that you are unfamiliar with the specific subject. An important skill for any specialist is the ability to describe what they do (and why) in language non-specialists will understand: a doctor explaining a medical procedure to a patient; an engineer explaining to a client why a project cannot be completed in less than four months. You can be their starting point in developing that essential skill. Learning should be a joint process based on the teacher’s expertise in language and methodology and the learner’s subject knowledge.

That said, preparation should include learning as much about the learners' professional field as the teacher can: research before the course; careful planning of the language and problems that are likely to come up in a lesson; strategies to deal with vocabulary problems that can’t be solved during the lesson; and a commitment to learn, actively, the learners’ specialisation in order to be more prepared next time.

Finally, ESP teachers need to be confident that they have the skills that will help their learners, such as knowledge of how to make learning successful, how to make language memorable, and how to motivate learners. In other words, an ESP teacher with strong methodology but limited subject knowledge may be more effective than a subject specialist with no knowledge of methodology (although of course a subject specialist with strong methodology would be even better!)


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Professional English

Cambridge English for



CasE study

Troubleshooting satellite TV

Part 1

Try to complete the names of the satellite and digital TV components in 1–6, using the words in the box before answering the question below. cable (x 2)


satellite (x 2)


1 .................... receiver 2 .................... dish 3 HD .................... 4 HDMI .................... 5 LNB .................... 6 coaxial .................... ●●

Case studies for Cambridge English for Engineering are free to download from the course website Do you know, or can you guess, what HD, HDMI, LNB and TV stand for?

Part 2 a

Try to complete the diagram of an HD satellite TV installation using the six terms from Part 1. A B






Work in pairs. Compare your answers to Exercise a and explain the function of each component.

Part 3 Imagine that you and your partner are engineers working for a manufacturer of satellite TV receivers. You are preparing to write the troubleshooting section of an instruction book for customers who want to install dishes and receivers themselves. Make a list of installation faults that could prevent a picture from being received on the TV screen, and which should therefore be included in the troubleshooting section. Look at the diagram in Part 2 to help you.


Cambridge English for Engineering Cambridge University Press 2010


From Cambridge English for Engineering © Cambridge University Press 2008

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Needs analysis 2.1 I’ve been given an ESP class – What do I do now? The first thing to do is to carry out a needs analysis (sometimes known as a skills audit). In some ways it may be similar to the pre-course questionnaire commonly handed out to learners on General English courses. The difference is that a needs analysis is normally more comprehensive, and includes many relevant details about the target learners and their needs and wants. If a needs analysis for each and every learner is conducted well, then the chances of delivering a quality ESP course that will satisfy its participants are very high. The findings from such a skills audit will also help the teacher to create (and update as the course progresses) an ILP (Individual Learning Profile) for each learner. There are many vital questions that an ESP teacher may need to ask to deliver a course designed according to the preferences of the learners. Here is a checklist of 10 basic question sets to be included in a good needs analysis: •

Am I expected to deliver a tailor-made (custom-made) ESP course or can I adapt or modify an existing course (e.g. published ESP coursebooks such as Good Practice or Cambridge English for Engineering)?

Who are the learners in my ESP group? Are they university students or a group of professionals employed by a specialist company? Where do they come from? How much information do I have about their age, qualifications and experience?

Are they paying for the course themselves or are they being sponsored by their employer? If they are being sponsored, the needs analysis will need to include the expectations of both the learners and their employers.

Do the learners in my group expect to be consulted in the process of the syllabus design (in which case the final course will be delivered through syllabus negotiation) or will they ‘delegate’ this task to me in the hope that I get it right for them?

Are my ESP learners ‘homogenous’ in their skills or are they a mixed ability group? Does any member have a ‘spiky profile’ (i.e. different levels of ability and performance in speaking, writing, reading, and listening)? Are the learners self-aware enough to inform me of this in the needs analysis questionnaire?


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Which aspects of their professional register (that is, the particular forms of the language used in particular professional activities) do they habitually use in their everyday work? For example:

(a) engineers need to write internal memos, reports, funding applications (b) nurses need to write summaries of patient records, produce prescriptions in the absence of a doctor (in approved cases), fill out specialist charts with precision and linguistic accuracy (c) doctors need to write academic articles (for international recognition and career progression), medical reports, internal memos.

Does the client or the organisation who has commissioned the ESP course also have funds for the design of new materials to supplement what cannot be readily found in published coursebooks?

Where and how will I deliver the ESP course, e.g. on the premises of a university or college, or private company, or even online? What impact will this have on the process of learning and teaching? Will the learners have enough time for self-study or homework after the classes?

What are the learning styles and preferences of my learners (e.g. visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, tactile, ICT-oriented)?

To what extent am I familiar with the specific subject matter (e.g. law, nursing, marketing)? Will the learners provide me with some specialist materials from their work that I can use in classroom materials?

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2.2 How detailed should the needs analysis be? The answer to this question has to be ‘How long is a piece of string?’ However, for a teacher new to ESP the advice would be: as detailed as possible (time and resources permitting). The more experience you have, the better you’ll be able to make decisions about the length and the amount of detail a needs analysis requires. Certainly there are many good models or templates of needs analysis in ESP literature, and novices to the profession are advised to refer to, for example (see also opposite page): 4 From profiles to course activities: mechanical engineers 89

Dudley-Evans & St John. Developments in English for Specific Purposes, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 140–144

Huhta, Vogt, Johnson, Tulkki, David R. Hall (Editor). Needs Analysis for Language • express views • ask rhetorical questions Course Design: A holistic approach to ESP, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013

Hutchinson & Waters. English on forwhat Specifi c Purposes, Cambridge, Cambridge • comment others have said and make additional points. University Press, 1987, p. 59 The distribution of the following type of needs analysis questionnaire will already be

familiar toJack. experienced ESP teachers. However, the in the profiNew le givesYork, the teachRichards, Curriculum development in information language teaching, Cambridge er a benchmark against which the information collected from the learners can be assessed. University Press, 2001 – Appendix 3 Needs analysis questionnaire for non-English For example, if the learner group consists of pre-service professionals, it may be interesting background students to compare which areas they expect to be confident in against what the profile shows profes-

• interrupt a speaker

• ask for more detailed information

sionals already working in the industry regard as the most demanding situations (Part E). And if (as often happens in our experience) the results of the questionnaire show that the majority of the learner group want further development of their spoken English, then the profile again provides guidance for the most relevant contexts of spoken interaction. These contexts will be exemplified in simulation activities on the course.


Personal information

Name: ………………………………………………………………… Course: ……………………………………………………………… First language: ……………………………… Student ID: ……………………………… Email: ………………………………


Knowledge of foreign languages

Complete the table below with information about the foreign languages you know.

Foreign language

Can you speak this How long have you language? (Please been learning this write Y (Yes) or N language? (No))

What is your level in this language? (Please use the language level scale in the box below)


Language 2 Language 3

Language level scale Pre-intermediate (A2): I know some vocabulary words Questionnaire Needs Analysis for Language Course Design © Cambridge University Pressand 2013I can understand some


and phrases in conversation and lectures. I do not use this language much, because it takes time.


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Intermediate (B1): I understand some texts on familiar topics and parts of clear conversations and lectures; I can deal with many ordinary daily situations with help.

Teaching English for Specific Purposes: An Introduction

Upper intermediate (B2): I understand texts, conversations and lectures; given time I can manage daily situations without help, and can be an active participant in interaction for limited periods of time.

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guage level scale in the box below)


Language 2 Language 3

Language level scale Pre-intermediate (A2): I know some vocabulary and I can understand some words and phrases in conversation and lectures. I do not use this language much, because it takes time. Intermediate (B1): I understand some texts on familiar topics and parts of clear conversations and lectures; I can deal with many ordinary daily situations with help.

Upper intermediate (B2): I understand texts, conversations and lectures; given time NeedsAnalysis Analysisfor for LanguageCourse CourseDesign Design 9090 INeeds can manage dailyLanguage situations without help, and can be an active participant in interaction for limited periods of time. Advanced(C1): (C1):I understand I understandgeneral generaland andprofessional professionaltexts; texts;I understand I understandnative native Advanced speakers’normal normalconversation conversationand andlectures; lectures;I can I canexpress expressmy myviews viewswell wellinin speakers’ conversationand andhave havenonodiffi diffi cultybeing beingactive. active. conversation culty

Profi cient(C2): (C2):I understand I understandcomplex complexprofessional professionalwriting; writing;I understand I understandnative native Profi cient speakers’fast fastspeech, speech,including includingregular regularaccents accentsand anda avariety varietyofoflectures. lectures.I take I takeinitiative initiative speakers’ conversationand andcan canexpress expressmy myideas ideasfluently fluentlyininprofessional professionalconversation. conversation. ininconversation

KnowledgeofofEnglish English CC Knowledge

Whatare aresome someofofyour yourstrengths strengthsand andweaknesses weaknessesininthis thislanguage? language?Look Lookatatthe the What informationbelow belowand andthen thentick tick(9) (9)the theoption optionthat thatyou youbelieve believeisistrue truefor foryou. you. information

Engineeringterminology terminology Engineering Speaking Speaking

I amstrong strong I am I amOK OKbut butneed need I need I needtotoimprove improve I am thisarea area work workininthis thisarea area ininthis thisarea area ininthis

Understandingspoken spokenEnglish English Understanding Understanding texts Understanding texts Writing(reports, (reports,etc.) etc.) Writing Grammarand andaccuracy accuracywhen when Grammar speakingororwriting writing speaking

Other: Other: ………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………

Englishfor foryour yourcareer careerininengineering engineering DD English

Lookatatthe thelist listofofcommunication communicationsituations situationsfor formechanical mechanicalengineers. engineers.How Howconfi confi dent 1 1 Look dent youfeel feelabout aboutcommunicating communicatingininEnglish Englishinineach eachofofthese thesesituations? situations?Complete Completethe the dodoyou tablebybyputting puttinga atick tick(9) (9)ininthe thecolumn columnthat thatisistrue truefor foryou. you. table Communicationsituation situation Communication

Givinga apresentation presentationabout aboutyour your Giving companytotocustomers customersororclients clients company Givinga aproduct productpresentation presentationtoto Giving customersororclients clients customers

I believethat that…… I believe I willneed needa alot lot I can I canmanage manage I am I amconfi confi dent I will dent practiceinin quite quitewell wellininthis thisininthis thistype typeofof ofofpractice thissituation. situation. situation situationbut but situation situationand anddodo this somepractice practice not notneed needfurther further some wouldbebeuseful. useful.practice would

Describingprocesses processes/ /how how Describing somethingworks works(or (orwill willwork) work) something

Participatingororconducting conducting Participating meetingsand andnegotiations negotiationswith with meetings customersororclients clients customers Needs Analysis for Language Course Design © Cambridge University Press 2013

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2.3 How well do I have to know the subject? ESP teachers need to remember that in order to best meet learner and teacher expectations they can get a lot of help by reading the instructions and guidance contained in the Teacher’s Books (such as Good Practice) or the detailed notes in the Answer Key (in e.g. the Cambridge English for… series). See opposite page for example. A lot of specialist guidance can also be found on the Internet: •

Jeremy Day’s ESP blog:

IATEFL ESP SIG: Its bi-annual Journal called ‘Professional and Academic English’ contains topical ESP articles, and its three books deal with selected aspects of ESP

IATEFL BESIG: Its e-mail discussion list can be useful for ESP teachers involved in teaching Business English-related courses

The ESP Interest Section of TESOL US:

The Asian ESP Journal

An ESP teacher does not need to know an ESP topic very well to begin with. What is desirable is an interest in, and at times a passion for, a particular subject or discipline, and then the hands-on knowledge will be picked up as you go along. Some teachers of Medical English that I have met at universities in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, say that over the years they have become so familiar with various areas of medicine that they almost feel as if their medical knowledge is as good as that of the doctors they teach! In some cases (such as at university), it might be possible for the ESP teacher to team up with a teacher of the specialist subject. Here, for example in written work, the ESP teacher can feed back on the use of English whereas the subject specialist can feed back on the actual content. Although such arrangements are rare (due to the cost and organisation) it can be worth trying to find out if it is possible in your situation.


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Unit 1 Receiving the patient LEARNING OUTCOMES At the end of this unit, learners will be able to: • greet a patient and put them at ease • introduce themselves and their role • ask the opening question and set the agenda for the interview

Background Establishing rapport Being able to establish rapport with the patient is the crux of the whole interview; indeed, the way in which a doctor receives a patient can make or break the consultation that follows. A doctor needs to treat their patient with respect, of course, but establishing rapport within the first few minutes is also about how doctors greet the patients and introduce themselves, ensuring that they have clarified their role, making sure patients are comfortable and even that the seating arrangement is appropriate (see audio 1.1). Opening question The next step is to understand the issues the patient wishes to address or the reason for their visit. The doctor’s opening question needs to require more than simply a Yes or No answer so that the patient will express his/her story. It should be a question that opens up the discussion, e.g. What would you like to discuss today? or What brings you here today? The patient will then produce his/her opening statement. Note that a follow-up visit might start with Am I right in thinking you have come about your routine check up? but could then follow with Is there anything else you would like to discuss today? to ensure that all avenues are covered – the patient may well wish to bring up other issues. Opening statement

The opening statement is when the patient reveals the issues he/she wishes Background information to discuss. Interrupting the opening statement (which is something many for teachers doctors do) means that fewer complaints are elicited and vital signs and symptoms may be missed, possibly resulting in misdiagnosis. Instead, doctors should use active listening skills to determine the salient points of the statement in order to set the agenda for the consultation, using the verbal and non-verbal patient cues (looking upset, sounding frustrated, etc.) that determine both the physical and emotional state of the patient. Setting the agenda Setting the patient’s agenda, as opposed to carrying out the doctor’s agenda, is important. Based on the salient points of the opening statement, the doctor must decide on a schedule or structure to the encounter, e.g. Shall we start with … and then we’ll come back to the problems you’ve been having with …? Doctors should not forget to obtain the patient’s agreement on the agenda, e.g. … if that’s OK with you? William Osler (1849–1919) The celebrated 19th-century physician from Ontario, Canada, Osler, known as one of the most influential physicians in history, is still quoted today by many experts in medical communication skills. He believed students learnt best by doing and that clinical instruction should begin and end with the patient. Quotes from Osler include: Medicine is learnt by the bedside not in the classroom and Care more for the individual patient than for the special features of the disease. For more information, see


Unit 1 Receiving the patient

From Good Practice © Cambridge University Press 2008


Write to to request a free online inspection copy

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Finding the right materials 3.1 Where can I find suitable course materials? A good starting point is a publisher’s catalogue which these days is usually easy to find on the Internet. It is worth noting, however, that publishers sometimes put their ESP titles under the broader heading of Professional English. Comprehensive coverage is available for the following ESP areas: Engineering (e.g. Cambridge English for Engineering), Finance (e.g. English for the Financial Sector), Hospitality (e.g. Welcome!), ICT (e.g. Professional English in Use ICT), Law (e.g. International Legal English 2nd Edition), Maritime (Safe Sailing, a DVD-ROM), Marketing (e.g. Cambridge English for Marketing), Media (e.g. Cambridge English for the Media), Medicine (e.g. Good Practice), Nursing (e.g. Cambridge English for Nursing), Aviation and Air Traffic Control (e.g. Flightpath), Human Resources (e.g. Cambridge English for Human Resources), Management (e.g. Professional English in Use: Management) and Scientific Research (e.g. Cambridge English for Scientists). If your learners have very specific needs that cannot be met by using a single coursebook, it is now possible to mix and match materials from several courses using a blended learning platform (such as This also illustrates a common feature of ESP courses: that they are often taught in a blended or online environment. Some complete courses, such as Cambridge Financial English exist only online. Finally, it is important to supplement your course with additional materials that you have selected based on your learners’ needs. For ready-made supplementary materials, many published coursebooks nowadays offer photocopiable worksheets and classroom activities online at the course website. For example, every title in the Cambridge English for… ESP series has Teacher’s Notes which include extension activities and/or additional material such as case studies which can be downloaded for free. It is therefore well worth exploring a coursebook’s site (see opposite page for examples). There are also dozens of free ESP and Business English lesson plans available at Professional English Online (http://peo.cambridge. org/).


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Information about the Cambridge English: Legal exam (former ILEC)


Free resources: •

Vocabulary trainer for revision and practice of new vocabulary

Authentic problems and research tasks to develop learners’ professional research and problem solving skills

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3.2 What should I look for when choosing an ESP coursebook? The most obvious question to ask when choosing a coursebook is 'Does it cover my learners needs?' things to look out for include: •

listening exercises of realistic situational dialogues in which professionals are doing their job, not just interviews with people about their jobs;

step-by-step guidance for learners on how to cope in similar situations and role-plays to practise those skills – what to say and how to act;

authentic texts that represent the types of documents that your learners will need to read and write in their jobs and which they are likely to have problems with;

guidance on how to use the model texts to inform the learners’ own writing.

There are of course many other elements that can and should be included in an ESP course, but these tend to be easier to find from other sources. These might include: •

a grammar syllabus, which may come from a separate book (e.g. Grammar for Business);

generic business skills, which may come from separate books (e.g. Dynamic Presentations);

lists of vocabulary, which may come from online or printed dictionaries;

newspaper articles, which may come from online news sites, etc.

Another crucial issue when choosing a coursebook is its credibility. Has the book been written by an ESP teacher who is also a subject specialist (or a subject specialist in partnership with an experienced ESP teacher)? Have the authors worked closely with professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing? Has that professional body collaborated on or endorsed the book? Is the book based on relevant and up-to-date developments within the subject area? See the opposite page for examples. Finally, it is important to investigate the support available for teachers. Within ESP, Teacher’s Books are essential as a way of giving the teacher the expertise and knowledge to cope with difficult subjects. A good Teacher’s Book should provide background reading, vocabulary and technical explanations and pronunciation of professional terminology, as well as guidance on how to manage the lessons.


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UnIT 10 l l l

Presenting research at a conference


basis course deadline keynote strictly submit updates

Giving a paper at a conference Socialising at a conference Presenting a poster

1 application 2 on a first-served 3 4 online 5 poster

In pairs, answer the following questions.

Look at the online poster advertising a conference and answer the following questions. 1 Who might be interested in attending this conference? 2 If a researcher applies on 7 May, could he/she give a paper at this conference? 3 If you were interested in this conference, how could you find out more?

Keynote speakers

7th annual European Malaria Conference July 31 – August 5 Trinity College Cambridge United Kingdom

• Zoltán Szabó European Institute of Malaria Research (EIMR) • Miremba Kabasomi Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda

registration (x2)

Realistic dialogues of professionals at work Authentic model texts Step-by-step guidance for students on how to cope in professional situations

research summarised in a visual display an early plan for the conference (some details may change later) look for further information money you must pay to attend the conference soon the Internet must be used to send personal information for the conference


the last date that personal information can be sent to the conference organisers the most important presenters at the conference the organisers will only accept applications in the order they receive them

h i

to send a written summary of your research because you want to present a paper


2 a

first-come, speakers only


6 programme 7 fees 8 to an abstract 9 in due 10 check back for

a b c d e f


Coordinated by the University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK


Match the words and phrases (1–10) in Exercise 1c to the definitions (a–j).


1 Have you ever presented your research to your team or study group? How did you prepare? 2 Have you ever given a paper to a large audience at a conference? 3 Why might presenting your research at an international conference be more difficult than presenting to your team or study group?



• •

Giving a paper at a conference 1 a

Complete the following words and phrases from the poster using the words in the box.

The diagram below shows how the adaptive immune system responds after vaccination with an attenuated (weakened) virus. In pairs, discuss what you think the diagram shows. 1



Preliminary Programme A list of other invited speakers and preliminary session topics is currently being developed by the Conference Chair and will be announced in due course. Please check back for updates. For further information about us see


virus antigen immature T cell


antigenpresenting cell


killer T cell

6 Registration is on a strictly firstcome, first-served basis.

Application deadlines 4 April for abstract or poster presentation submissions 7 May for attendees

Registration fees

Academia – €450 Students – €350 Commercial/Industry – €650


effector Th cell memory Th cell

B-cell antibody cytokines


Unit 10 Presenting research at a conference

Unit 10 Presenting research at a conference


From Cambridge English for Scientists © Cambridge University Press 2011

Endorsed by

• •

Information about the author's professional experience Information about the professional body that endorsed the book

From Cambridge English for Marketing © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Lesson planning 4.1 How should I plan an ESP lesson? Many teachers new to ESP wonder how they will be able to handle lesson planning in ESP classes, and are often anxious that there may be too many hurdles to overcome. Some reassuring advice is that most of the principles used in the teaching of General English are directly transferable to ESP with only minor modifications and adjustments. For further reading on the generic aspects of lesson planning, please see Mark Krzanowski’s presentation on the subject at There are similarities between lesson planning for a General English class and an ESP class. For example, you would want to consider the following elements when planning for both types of classes: •

Class profile: the number of learners, their age(s), preferred learning style(s) etc. (all of the elements a good needs analysis will tell you)

Aims and sub-aims: an example of a specimen main aim could be: ‘To provide practice in speed reading (skimming and scanning) of specialist texts with emphasis on selecting most relevant information’ An example of a specimen sub-aim could be: ‘To improve group cohesion/group dynamics through use of communicative activities (e.g. pair work and group work)’

Learning outcomes: ‘By the end of the lesson, the learners will have learnt basic strategies for speed reading when dealing with specialist literature’

Anticipated difficulties: ‘Some learners may feel "resistant" to communicative methodologies, and may need more encouragement or patience on the teacher's part’

Assumptions: ‘The initial syllabus should more or less work otherwise the teacher may have to apply a "process syllabus" model and renegotiate certain parts of the syllabus with his/her group of learners’

Pronunciation: 'How will this be taught?'

Materials to be used: coursebooks? audio? video? online learning?

If these seven points represent the first part of the plan, the next step (as with General English) is to draw up a grid showing the what, how and when of the lesson. See opposite page for examples.


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Exact duration (e.g. 10 mins)

Series of steps in chronological order (what and how)

E.g. information gap or jigsaw reading

Describing specific classroom configuration (e.g. T to SS; SS-SS; SS-SS; ‘silence’; pair work; group work)

Unit 1

Living in a digital age

Topics Different uses of computers The magic of computers

A sample lesson plan from Infotech Fourth edition Teacher’s Book

Learning objectives To talk and write about computer applications in everyday life Language Grammar: Verb-noun collocations Vocabulary: Computers in education, banks, offices, airports, libraries, entertainment, Formula 1 cars, factories, etc. Basic terms: digital, data, word processor, monitor, online, download, store

Skills Listening: Listening for specific information in short descriptions Speaking: Discussing what computers can do in particular areas Reading: Matching texts to pictures Deciding where removed sentences should go in a text Writing: Summarizing a discussion

Plan Teacher’s activities

Students’ activities

Module page You may want to point out the learning objectives for your SS.

SS familiarize themselves with the topics and objectives of the Module.

1 The digital age A Draw SS attention to the pictures. Then ask them to match each picture to a caption. B and C Ask SS to discuss how computers are used in the situations illustrated by the pictures. Then tell them to read the text to find out if they are correct. D and E Encourage SS to guess the meaning of unknown words from the context. F You may like to write some key language on the board: Computers are used to … They can help us store/make calculations. You can also write SS’ answers on the board.


A SS match the captions to the pictures. B and C In pairs, SS discuss how computers are used in the situations illustrated by the pictures. They then read the text to check their answers. D SS guess the meaning of the words from context; they decide whether the words are nouns, verbs or adjectives. E SS match the words with the correct meanings. F SS discuss the questions, in pairs or as a whole class.

This first unit is deliberately less technical than the others. It is meant to be a gentle introduction to the book.


From Infotech: English for computer users Fourth edition © Cambridge University Press 2008

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So what are the differences in planning for an ESP class? ESP lesson plans can have the following additional features as well: The first part of the lesson plan (the background) can include: •

The balance of, and emphasis on, various skills (e.g. in English for Aviation the focus would normally be on listening and speaking)

The choice of and rationale for any specific vocabulary to be taught in the lesson

What aspects of specific ESP register and genres (that is, particular forms of the language used in particular professional activities) to cover (e.g. features of report writing in English for Engineers)

A justification of the teaching methods and approaches used. In some ESP contexts a mixture of methodologies may be more appropriate than adherence to a single approach e.g. CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) but with some ‘touches’ of GrammarTranslation (two methodologies normally considered to be in opposition to each other). Some ESP classes may even require a higher-than-normal amount of T-T-T (TeacherTalking-Time).

Occasionally you may find yourself in a situation when you need to teach an ‘expensive’ ESP course which has been commissioned by an important organisation (‘the client’) with highpowered participants (‘the customers’). It may well be that the client and the customers in such a context would expect a teacher to deliver quite a lot of input in the classes, in which case the amount of T-T-T would substantially increase. The second part (the grid showing the what, how and when of the lesson) will be basically the same for both General English and ESP classes.


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DVD Unit 4

When attention is diverted 25a Watch the Eurocontrol clip When attention is diverted (0.00–0.00) and answer the questions.

Communication practice and specific language focus

1 How many aircraft are involved? 2 In what flight phases are the aircraft? b Watch the clip again and take notes about the errors which lead to the runway incursion. c Work in pairs. Compare your notes with your partner. Do you agree about the errors? 26 Report this incident either as a pilot, in the form of a debriefing, or as a controller, in the form of a report to your supervisor. 27a Watch the Eurocontrol clip Fog and poor procedures (0.00–0.00) and answer the questions. 1 Where are the men working? 2 What do they decide to do? 3 What happens as a result? b Discuss with a partner the contributing factors to this incident. How could it have been avoided? 28a Watch the Eurocontrol clip 40 seconds (0.00–0.00) In pairs, describe what happens in your own words and discuss what you think is the cause of the incident. b Number these transmissions in the correct order with your partner.


7 14

C-Jet 333, wind 170 degrees, 7 knots, runway 15L, cleared to land. Continue approach Runway 15L, C-Jet 333. C-Jet 333, continue approach, Runway 15L, Number 1. UNIT 1 LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION IN AVIATION Behind landing Runway 15L, lining up and wait behind, B-Jet 110. Holding at intersection A 3 for Runway 15L, B-Jet 110. Readback Checklist completed. Cleared to land, Runway 15L, C-Jet 333. 1.5 Listen to eight ATCO instructions, clearances 5a A-Jet 234, Runway 15L, cleared for take-off. and approvals. For each transmission, read back or B-Jet 110, taxi to and hold at intersection A 3 for Runway 15L. respond appropriately. Pay attention to pronunciation, clarity and delivery. Cleared for take-off, Runway 15L, A-Jet 234. What’s that? Right! Go right! ATCO Descend to Flight Level 130 A (Pilot) Descending to Flight Level 130* B-Jet 110, behind landing 15L, line up and wait behind. OK, that’s our landing. Lining up. *NOTE: Some States have preferred to omit to in such clearances to avoid confusion with two OK, thank you. Checklist completed. and too but ICAO has not supported this decision.

c Watch the clip again and check your answers.

b Pilots ➔ p000 ATCOs ➔ p000 Take turns to give instructions and information or make requests. Request clarification if necessary.

d Identify the different errors which were made.

(ATCO) Air France similar 475, report ready for 29 Make a list of all the errors which were made in these three clips. Have Ayou encountered pushback errors? B (Pilot) B (Pilot) A (ATCO)

ICAO FOCUS Lack of a readback or an incorrect readback, not challenged by the air traffic controller, resulted in confusion events and runway incursions. Michel Trémaud, Runway Confusion in Flight Safety Foundation AeroSafety World, May 2010 ◆

In what ways does good readback discipline reinforce aviation safety and avoid confusion?

In your experience, do pilots and controllers always monitor readback?

Ready for pushback, Air France 475 Malaysian 261, request ILS approach Runway 31 Left Malaysian 261, cleared ILS approach Runway 31 Left

Communication errors: Omitted or incorrect call signs 6

1.6 Listen to eight controller-pilot communications in which there is either no readback or an incorrect readback. For each communication, give a correct readback.

ATCO 9780521178716c01_pp001-130.indd 49

A (Pilot)




Omitting the call sign or using an incorrect call sign jeopardises an

Aeroflot 238, cleared to land Runway effective readback/hearback. 26 Right, Wind 220 degrees, 6 knots 02/02/2011 11:24 Flight Safety Foundation ALAR Briefing Note Cleared Runway 26 Right, 6 knots, 2.3 – Pilot-Controller Communication Aeroflot 238 Gulfair 4752, turn left heading 290, intercept ILS 26 Left Turn left heading 250, intercept ILS 26 Left, Gulfair 4572 Gulfair 4752, I say again 4752, negative. Turn left heading 290, I say again 290, intercept ILS 26 Left

What outcomes could an omitted or incorrect call sign have? Give examples.

What is the difference between readback and hearback?


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From Flightpath © Cambridge University Press 2011


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4.2 How can I teach professional communication skills? Modern workplace communication expects well-rounded professionals who not only have an excellent command of their subject area, but who can also communicate well both with colleagues and the general public. The focus needs to be on communication, and consider both accuracy and fluency (with fluency being possibly more important than accuracy ‘at all costs’). This ability to go beyond the subject specialism and be able to communicate well in professional (and by extension ESP) contexts is called ‘soft skills’ (cf: wiki/Soft_skills). A set of further answers to the question ‘How can I teach professional communication skills?’ would be: •

by creating an atmosphere in the classroom which is conducive to learning and teaching (in other words, applying the humanistic principle of ‘caring and sharing’, promoted so effectively in CLT)

by setting a memorable context, with meaningful activities and authentic activities to enhance learning

by applying a judicious mix of activities and techniques (depending on the level of the learners), e.g. information gap, opinion gap, role play, drilling, ‘find someone who’, pair work, group work, project work – to mention but a few

by providing learners with meaningful models of good practice to emulate (e.g. TV or radio footage, workplace written correspondence and archived documentation)

by identifying and reinforcing aspects of communication most relevant for a particular profession (e.g. identifying the kind of language used in professional communication internationally among pilots and air traffic controllers).


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7 sections with a variety of topics organised according to IMO SMCP (International Maritime Organisation’s Standard Marine Communication Phrases) and followed by a test

From Safe Sailing Š Cambridge University Press 2009

Complete word list plus translations in 6 languages

Listening activity with voice recording functionality for pronunciation practice

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4.3 How do I deal with a low-level of English in the ESP classroom? In the past it used to be assumed that ESP should not be attempted with low-level learners of English (say, pre-intermediate or below) as the view was that they should normally go through the basics of General English first. At present there seems to be more flexibility exercised in the classroom in this respect, and many ESP books are aimed already at pre-intermediate or intermediate (approximately A2–B1 in the Common European Framework) learners. In addition, given that English is a global international language, it is relatively easy for an ESP teacher to encourage low-level ESP learners to communicate in English (this could be more difficult if a ‘rare(r)’ language was taught, e.g. Farsi or Xhosa). While normally each and every class is a mixed ability one, the chances are high that at least 30–40% of learners in a given group might be expected to speak or write English better than the others. A skilled teacher may well use these more proficient learners to help the other less confident students in communicative activities such as pair work or group work. A lot depends on the culture and the context where ESP classes are held, and the willingness of students to communicate. For example, in the Middle East, most learners genuinely want to talk and communicate – the most important issue is to get them to do so in English. In other cultures, low-level ESP learners and their ability to communicate may present some problems due to the cultural norms affecting the conventions related to communication in the classroom. Ready-made solutions to perceived problems with low-level ESP learners may not exist, but sample activities which may work include short presentations (e.g. ‘Who I want to be in the future and why’), games (‘Find someone who ...’) and simple guided questionnaires. One solution is to use good classroom speaking practice from a General English coursebook (such as English Unlimited Elementary) and try to transfer the format into specific ESP context (the topical Teaching Speaking by the British Council: might be helpful here).


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ESP is already the subject of curricula in post-16 education (e.g. the ESP books published by the Ministries of Vocational and Technical Education in the Middle East). In many cases, speaking (and listening) is not included in these books. If so, local and international teachers are advised to look at how this is approached in successful ESP publications and transfer the frameworks into other ESP contexts.

Returning a patient to the ward

2 a

Label the pictures (1–8) below using the words in the box. blanket pain relief


dressing pillow










IV cannula pain relief pillow vomit bowl

Mr Brodzik’s knee hurts. Rachel is going to get Mr Brodzik some pain relief. The dressing is comfortable. The IV cannula feels OK. Rachel gets Mr Brodzik a pillow.

Put the following words in the correct order to make Rachel’s questions. 1 2 3 4



2.2 Some of the information below is incorrect. Listen again and correct any mistakes in the following sentences. 1 2 3 4 5


IV cannula

2.2 Rachel, the Ward Nurse, is checking Mr Brodzik back on the ward. Listen to the conversation and tick ✔ the items below that you hear. blanket dressing drink of water ice pack


ice pack vomit bowl

are/feeling/you/how/? still/hip/does/hurt/your/? dressing/how’s/the/hip/your/on/? IV cannula/arm/how/the/does/in/feel/your/?

Unit 2 Caring for patients after an operation

Language and listening activities for lower level English learners.

From Cambridge English for Nursing Pre-intermediate © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Assessment 5.1 How do I evaluate students on an ESP course? This all depends on your aims for the course, which in turn goes back to your original needs analysis. With some ESP courses, the aims are subjective and learner-led, so in many ways the assessment is related to their performance in the workplace: Do they feel better able to perform in the situations that they identified at the start of the course as their needs? Have they learnt useful skills and language that they can use in their work? Are they more confident or sophisticated in their use of English at work? If you need to provide an assessment of progress, or if you feel it would motivate your learners to study harder, here are some ideas which can be used to test how much they have learnt, either as an end-of-course assessment or throughout the course as continuous assessment: •

choose some of the situations identified as priorities in the needs analysis, and ask learners to perform a role play or simulation of that situation (in a role play, learners play a ‘character’, in a simulation, learners are themselves in an imaginary situation). Examples would include a nurse admitting a patient to hospital or a lawyer advising a client. Make sure all learners have a chance to play their own part (e.g. a nurse in the role of the nurse, not the patient or a lawyer in that role, not the client), and only assess them on that part of their performance.

set regular writing assignments during the course, designed to simulate the type of writing the learners will have to do in their jobs, and assess them on such criteria as professionalism, successful communication and impact on the target reader.

keep a note of vocabulary covered during the course, and come back to it at the end with a matching task (words to definitions), gap-fill (fill in the blanks) or sorting exercise.

keep a note also of other important language topics covered during the course, including grammar structures, dependent prepositions, writing techniques and useful phrases.

If you need a more objective assessment of their end-of-course level of English, you could use a past paper from a General or Business English exam such as IELTS or BEC. The advantage of this approach is that you can measure their reading and listening skills very accurately as well as their deeper knowledge of the structure of English. The disadvantage, of course, is that the exam will have little relation to the course you have completed. However, if an aim of your course is to raise the learners’ general level, such exams may be a good way of assessing their progress.


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Easy reference, effective practice






Vocabulary resource books such as the Professional English in Use series provide explorations and exercises for all the key terms professional learners need.


9780521702690 28

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5.2 Are there any exams for ESP? It is important to distinguish between exams of subject knowledge, such as university course exams, and exams focused solely on candidate’s level of English in the context of their professional needs. Exams which try to measure both subject knowledge and English level at the same time may fail to measure either. Two of the best-known ESP exams are the International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) and the International Certificate in Financial English (ICFE). Both of these exams are organised by Cambridge English Language Assessment (previously Cambridge ESOL) (www., part of Cambridge Assessment. These exams are objective, reliable and internationally recognised. Cambridge English has created the exams with highly respected and experienced professional partners to ensure that the exams really meet the needs of the professionals involved: TransLegal, the world’s largest firm of lawyer linguists, and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the global body for professional accountants. Both ILEC and ICFE are aligned with the Common European Framework for Language (CEF), reflected in the three passing grades (B2 pass, C1 pass and C1 pass with merit). This allows them to be compared directly with thousands of exams for English and other languages. See for more on ILEC and for more on ICFE.


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Reproduced with the permission of Cambridge English Language Assessment, Cambridge Financial English

• • •

ICFE Handbook with detailed information about the exam ICFE Past Papers Teacher’s notes

Information about the Publisher, the Examination board and the professional body

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References and further reading Dudley-Evans & St John. Developments in English for Specific Purposes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998 Huhta, Marjatta, Karin Vogt, Esko Johnson, Heikki Tulkki, David R. Hall (Editor). Needs Analysis for Language Course Design: A holistic approach to ESP, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2013 Hutchinson & Waters. English for Specific Purposes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987 Richards, Jack. Communicative Language Teaching Today. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006 Richards, Jack. Curriculum development in language teaching, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001 Robinson, Nick. Vocabulary in ESP: ideas for bridging the ‘information gap’, Belgrade, International Conference (proceedings) 'Language for Specific Purposes: Theory and Practice', 2008


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Writing for Impact (available September 2012) provides a progressive syllabus on the process of writing (including emails, letters, meeting minutes and all aspects of report-writing), whilst also giving learners essential tips and communication skills related to business writing.

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Communicating Across Cultures equips learners with the tools they will need to ensure they can work effectively with colleagues and business partners the world over.

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For more information on the Cambridge Business Skills titles, including downloadable Trainer's Notes for each book, sample materials, DVD video clips and worksheets, and more, visit

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Teaching ESP: An Introduction by Jeremy Day and March Krzanowski  

Practical advice on how to teach English for Specific Purposes, from analysis of the learner's needs to where to find materials and availabl...

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