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THE WORLD OF ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES “ESP”

English for Specific Purposes or English for Special Purposes ESP, is one of the most important areas of English teaching, the ESP began to grow from 1960 and now it is an useful area of EFL teaching. ESP is an excellent way to teach English in specific conditions. What do you do?, what do you study? What are your needs when you learn English? ESP means English for engineers, lawyers, secretaries, nurses, English for business, for each field of study or work. The material that is worked in ESP has to be according to the different topics or to the different groups that are being worked. Technical glossary, specific expressions and real contexts are worked in ESP; the study skills and all the activities are organized in order to work with a specific methodology that can be different from that of General English.

Authors like: Tony Dudley-Evans, Tom Hutchinson and Alan Waters have worked about ESP, they are in contrast with some ideas about ESP, their ideas can be different about the exactly definition, the group or ability range, but the important is the way how they think about ESP as an approach, a method based on the learner´s reason for learning.

The English Teachers at UAC are working in ESP, so we use this approach or this method, and it is necessary to be creative, rigorous and precise in order to focus the needs of the learners.


I want to finish this writing with a story that shows the EPS world. These are some acronyms used in the story: ELT (English Language Teaching)

ESL (English as a Second Language)

EFL (English as a foreign language)

EOP (English for Occupational Purposes)

ESP (English for Specific or special Purposes)

EBE (English for Business and Economics)

EVP (Earned Value Professional)

VESL (Vocational English as a second Language Program)

EAP (English for Academic Purposes)

´“The city of ELT” Once upon a time there was a city called ELT. The people of ELT led a comfortable, if not extravagant, life, pursuing the noble goals of literature and grammar. There were differences, of course: some people preferred to call themselves EFL people, while others belonged to a group known as ESL. But the two groups lived in easy tolerance of each other, more united than disunited. Now it happened that the city was surrounded by high and legend had it that the land beyond the mountains was inhabited by illiterate and savages tribes called Scientist, Businessmen and Engineers. Few people from ELT had ever ventured into that land. Then things began to change. Some of the people in ELT became restless. The old city could not support its growing population and eventually some brave souls set off to seek their fortune in the land beyond the mountains. Many of ELT were shocked at the prospect. It was surely no place for people brought in the gentle landscape for English literature al language. But, as it turned out, the adventurers found a rich a fertile land. They were welcomed by the local inhabitants and they founded a new city, which they called ESP. the city flourishes and prospered as more and more settlers came. Soon there were whole new settlements in this previously uncharted land. EST and EBE were quickly followed by EAP and EOP (the letters confusingly also known EVP and VESL). Other smaller

Aura Carrero English teacher

groups took on the names of the local tribes to found a host of new towns called English for Hotel Staff, English for Marines Engineers, English for Medical Science and so on. A future of limitless expansion and prosperity looked assured. But as with all things the reality proved less rosy. A number of people at the frontiers were forced to abandon their settlements and return to the larger cities. Many settlers, who had come to the newly developed land because ELT could no longer provided them with a living, longed for the comforts and certainties of the old city. Others were confused as to where their loyalties lay: were they still citizens of ELT? Was EAP an independent city or a suburb of ESP?. Did the people of English for Medical Science owe allegiance to EAP, EOP or ESP? Worst of all, there were even examples of groups from ELT being transported against their will to the new territories. Added to all this, the scientists, Businessmen and other tribes were becoming more demanding. Some became to resent the interference of the settlers in their area; others complained that the promised benefits had not materialized. The future in short began to look, if not gloomy, then a little confused and uncertain for the brave new world of ESP´. Taken from “English for specific purposes” by Tom Hutchinson and Alan Waters. 1987


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