Syllabus Design In English Words Teacing Education Essay


It is debatable whether ESP has a distinctive technique and syllabus. Thispaper argues that technique and syllabus design in English Terms Teacing (ELT) andESP differ little and that it is not possible to say whether general ELT hasborrowed ideas for strategy from ESP or whether ESP has borrowedideas from basic ELT. two quality featuresof ESP methodology are identidfied: ESP can bottom part activities on students' specialism, and ESP activities can have a truly authenticpurpose produced from students' focus on needs. Dudley-Evans and St. John(1998) maintain that what haracterizes ESP strategy is the utilization oftasks and activities reflecting the students' specialist area


"In the 1970s, EFL instructors first ventured out of the Arts Faculty and the 'light landscape of dialect and books' into 'the land beyond the mountains inhabited by illiterate and savage tribes called researchers, businessmen and designers", published Ramsden (2002). Within the light of the quotation, Ramsden pours his scorn within the turning point in the history of language teaching from artwork to research; and from British for general purposes(EGP) to English for specific purposes(ESP). Though ESP emanates from EGP, it has generated itself as a distinct development. The distinctions between ESP and EGP are very fuzzy. To clarify the issue, Hutchinson and Waters (1987) pointed out that there is no difference theoretically, but in practice, there's a great deal.

This paper delves deeply in to the literature of ESP and EGP to uncover their details of similarities and variances, chiefly at the level of syllabus design, technique and instructional materials. For the sake of clarification, theoretical preliminaries will be provided from the outset. Needlessly to say, the current paper is comparative in characteristics and selective in illustration.

Theoretical Preliminaries:

Definitions of:


According to Blackwell, EGP is polarized with ESP ( British for specific purposes) to make reference to contexts such as the school where needs cannot immediately be specified. This view is misleading, since purpose is always natural. EGP is more usefully regarded as providing a broad foundation rather than in depth and selective specification of goals.

EGP, then, refers to that basic linguistic code that could be used in greater framework and in everyday conversation. It does not consider neither certain requirements of a work area nor needs of learners. Being basic in its dynamics, EGP keeps a sway at the main level of words instruction.


According to Longman dictionary of applied linguistics, ESP refers to the role of English in a dialect course or program of training where the content and seeks of the course are set by the precise needs of a specific group of learners. For instance courses in British for academics purposes, English for knowledge and technology, and English for Nursing.

In this respect, ESP is chiefly associated with special terminology or register. However, Hutchinson and Waters )1987, p. 19) claimed that "ESP is not really a particular kind of terminology or technique, nor would it consist of a specific type of instructing material. Understood properly, it is an method of language teaching. "

From the above definitions, you can notice that there is no absolute clear chop between ESP and EGP. To ask which embraces the other will probably generate divergent views. In an attempt to answer this question, Hutchinson and waters ) 1987. p. 18) have attracted a tree of ELT where the ESP is just one branch of EFL/ESL, that are themselves the key branches of British Language teaching generally. .

However, A closer gaze at the tree also to the ramifications of ESP and EGP uncovers the distinctive top features of each. These features will be tackled in following section.

Distinctive features of ESP and EGP:

Despite the overlapping links between EGP and ESP, there are several variations at the amount of their concerns and tactics.

First, the focus in ESP is on training students to conform well to certain requirements of the place of work; whereas, in EGP, the primary emphasis is on education. Widdowson( 1983) views the difference between Education and Training as that of creativity versus conformity (in White, 1988: p. 18).

Second, Developing a course content in EGP is a lot more challenging than in ESP for the issue of predicting the near future needs of EGP students. Knowing about only learners success needs is quite unbeneficial since it can lead to an oversimplified language, unauthentic communicative structure and unrealistic situational content.

Third, ESP learners are usually adults with the average mastery of English words. Their main goal is to connect and learn a set of professional skills. In EGP, age learners, however, varies from years as a child to adulthood. Their key purpose behind learning British is to achieve communication in the essential everyday communication.

At the amount of macro-skills, the four language skills are integrated and reinforced in EGP instruction, while in ESP selecting language skills is dependant on needs analysis. For example, in studying British for knowledge and technology, the emphasis is on framework and subject matter of the course.

At the amount of micro skills, EGP has shed too much focus on teaching of sentence structure and language framework; yet the concentrate in ESP is on the framework and subject matter of the course.

Finally, a unique feature of ESP class is team- teaching, where the instructor of words collaborates with subject educator in the delivery of the lesson. This feature is, however, absent in EGP class room where the terms teacher seems sufficient to teach broad topics.

To sum up, though ESP stems from EGP, it includes preserved for itself distinctive characteristics as outlined before. Last but not least, Stevens says that ESP has four complete characteristics

1. Was created to meet specific needs.

2. Is related to themes and issues particular to job.

3. Is devoted to language appropriate to those activities, in conditions of lexis, syntax, discourse pragmatics, semantics and so forth.

4. The aforementioned is in contrast to General English (Stevens 1988 in Dudley-Evans & St. John 1998: p. 4).

In the next section, the newspaper will take both EGP and ESP a stage further to list the similarities and differences at the amount of syllabus design. To facilitate the process of comparing and contrasting, an example of each course content will be outlined.

Syllabus design in EGP

A syllabus refers to a specific plan of your course. It is a doc that details the structure and operation of your respective class. It can be called the basic reference file that courses students and the teacher by using a course (Breen 1984). In today's section, this section aims to uncover the salient types of syllabus followed in EGP and ESP based on items of two books: Natural English( EGP textbook) and British for Professions: Travel and leisure, (ESP textbook)

Based on the observations of standard English language programs, Brown (1995) and Richards (1990) list the next types of syllabuses. In addition they explain that courses tend to be based on a combination of

Structural (organized mainly around sentence structure and sentence patterns).

Functional (organized around communicative functions, such as discovering, reporting, correcting, describing).

Notional (organized around conceptual categories, such as length of time, amount, location).

Topical (organized around themes or templates or topics, such as health, food, clothing).

Situational (organized around conversation settings and the trades associated with them, such as shopping, at the lender, at the supermarket).

Skills (organized around microskills, such as listening for gist, hearing for specifi c information, being attentive for inferences).

Task- or activity-based (organized around activities, such as sketching maps, following directions, subsequent instructions).

Extract. 1: Articles of Natural English,

As can be observed in the content of Natural English, one of the primary goals of the textbook is to permit General British learners to increase the four terminology skills, especially speaking and hearing everyday British. Yet, the integration of the four vocabulary skills is not the only real distinctive feature of the textbook.

The items of course publication also appear to respond to the general needs of GE learners for the reason that it all addresses functions, notions, vocabulary and grammar. Each unit introduces GE learners to notions, functions and grammatical constructions in an equivalent weight of emphasis. Thus, a point that one can infer is the fact that EGP syllabus is integrative. Vocabulary skills as well as functions, notions, forms and semantic entries are all fused alongside one another.

For example, in unit 2, the book introduces notions such as "shopping" and "work. Pertaining to functions, expressing question and responding with sympathy are the key functions found in unite 1. The grammatical forms are so mixed from using today's continuous to unaggressive voice. What's so remarkable is that the communication of a concept entails the utilization of adequate focus on functions.

From the design of Natural British, it is evident that the products are arranged on topics. Unit you are on Cartoon Mobile Invasion, device two on Joke lost in desert, and three on Cartoon Perfect Day. However, a attractive existence of situations looms chiefly in prolonged speaking. Students are in the front several situations, such as on coach, on christmas, and should interact, following the necessities of dreamed communicative environment.

To conclude, the relevant remark we can deduce from the course content of EGP is that its syllabus is integrative and fabricated in aspect. Functions, notions, varieties, situations and skills gain enough room in the EGP syllabus. Nevertheless, these elements are tackled more broadly. For instance, It seems that the subject matter are too standard, the functions and notions are repeated in lifestyle issues, and words skills are not relevant to any professional field.


ESP makes intensive use of content-based strategies. According to Master and Brinton (1998), CBI has the pursuing features. The syllabus is arranged around subject matter content; for example, in English for Jobs: Tourism, an ESP textbook, the topic subject is on a number of topics from travel and leisure, such Registration Client perceptions and offer and demand. Teaching activities are specific to the subject matter being shown and are geared to stimulate students to believe and learn through the use of the target terminology. Language is viewed holistically, and learners learn from working with whole chunks of dialect and multiple skills.

Content-based solutions reject 'synthetic' approaches to course design-the idea that vocabulary or skills can be atomized into discrete items to be shown and employed by learners individually. The approach employs authentic text messages to which learners are anticipated primarily to act in response with regards to the content. It's been argued (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987) that after we remove the text message from its original framework, it loses some of its authenticity. For instance, the expected audience is modified once the traditional text is brought in into the class room. Authenticity also relates also to the reader's purpose in reading the text. For example, suggestion studies for the purchase of technological equipment are, in their original framework of use, devised for the purpose of helping the reader decide which of two or more items of equipment to buy. If, however, a suggestion report is transferred into a language teaching class and students receive an activity whose purpose is to answer comprehension questions onto it, the match between word and task is manufactured.

Content-based instruction will try to avoid some of these potential problems by using content (genuine texts) in ways that were similar to those in real life. Content-based approaches entail also the integration of skills. Writing often practices on from listening and reading, and students are often required to synthesize facts and ideas from multiple resources as preparation for writing (Brinton et al. , 1989).

In reality, ESP syllabi (in cases like this an British Vocational Purposes syllabus) differ from English Standard Purposes (EGP) syllabi, both in goals and content. Below can be an outline of some major variations modified from Widdowson (1983 in White 1988: pp. 18 & 26), Hutchinson & Waters (1987) and Stevens (1988) (both in Dudley-Evans & St. John 1998: pp. 2-4).

The ESP syllabus must be based on a previous evaluation of the students' needs, which includes not only an examination of the situations in which the language will be utilized and of the dialect appropriate in these situations, but also an analysis of the students' needs and subjective needs.

The whole business of the management of vocabulary learning is far too sophisticated to be satisfactorily catered for by a pre-packaged group of decisions embodied in coaching materials. Quite simply, even with the best motives no single textbook can possibly work in all situations. (Sheldon, 1987: 1)If we are to recommend content, we have to ask, whose content?


Having uncovered the nuances existing between ESP and EGP syllabi, This current section will move a stage further to draw an evaluation and compare at degree of technique, chiefly at the types of techniques employed by each and the assignments they enjoyed in portion the students needs.

As identified by Robinson (1991), methodology refers to how are you affected in the class also to what students have to do. Using technical conditions, it identifies classroom activities and techniques. You will discover way too many techniques which generally surfaced in EGP class such as responsibilities, role play, simulations, etc etc. These techniques soon followed by ESP professionals.

Concerning responsibilities, Little John and Hicks ( ) pointed out that valuable jobs in EGP have certain characteristics: they 'should be motivating and absorbing; and exploit learners prior knowledge'. In ESP, the above requirements are also predominant, but what's specific here is that ESP tasks comprise linguistic and professional skills. For example, medical students studying British may be assigned to handle a series of operations as outlined below

Moreover, the role play and simulations are used in different ways in ESP and EGP. While interacting with simulatons in ESP, Strutridge() pointed out that they were formerly used in business and armed service training with concentrate on outcome as opposed to the means -words- of training. In EGP, the results was, however, less important than the means used to attain fluency. You need to not understand hastily that means in esp have no disregarded. Stutridge concludes that in ESP end is really as important as the means.

Taking case studies into account, Nunan within an outsanding research tested the validity of the technique to ESP course. He found out that it can help ESP students to draw upon their professional skills, utilizing the cognitive and behavioral styles of their work alternatively than of traditional language classroom. Case studies may demonstrate difficult to be conducted by EGP learners if we consider their younger age and Worse of al their professional immaturity. For ESP students who aren't fully licensed in their occupation, the utilization of circumstance studies help to induct them into some areas of professional culture ( Charles 337, pp. 28-31)

Project work is out-of-class activity used in both ESP and EGP class. However, Fried() witnessed the more advanced examples of job work would be befitting ESP.

A final strategy which is common in ESP and EGP as well is the oral presentations. Usually, they are the culmination of job or case studies conducted beyond your threshold of class room. The tool of such activity is the fact it trains students to build up their home autonomy and expert the four skills of the mark language. Word processor and PowerPoint become familiar opportinity for presentations,

Succinctly, the technique endorsed by ESP is quite similar to that of EGP chiefly if we consider the types of techniques and activities. Yet, the ways that techniques are employed in ESP differ a whole lot from that in EGP.

the next chapter will try to decipher how materials design becomes a site of innovation after the emergence of ESP. Being in its heyday, ESP materials suppose a divergent way from EGP. ESP designers produce in-house materials quite plausible to the students needs more than the overall ready-made books which maintain their power in EGP classrooms.

Materials Design

One of the normal characteristics of of material design in ESP is the living of an established custom of ESP professors producing in-house materials. These materials are the result of needs analysis. the customized materials accounts to the learners needs greater than a basic textbook can do. , However, several questions may emerge to the top

What are the major factors behind the over-existence of in-house materials in ESP as opposed to its acute scarcity in EGP?

-what are the key features that distinguish ESP materials from EGP?

One of the key factors behind the profusion of in-house materials in ESP is because of its reliance on needs examination. Need evaluation is rarely carried out in GL school room. This is partly due to difficulty of specifying GL learners and partially because of a lack of books on the particularities of inspecting needs data. Needs research tends to be associated with ESP and is also neglected in GE classroom. Hutchinson and Waters(1987, p. 53-54) say that "what distinguishes ESP from GE is not the lifetime of a need as a result but rather a knowledge of the need for the moment, the custom persists in GE that learners needs cannot be specified and because of this no make an effort is usually designed to discover learners true needs. Subsequently, The fact that ESP materials are customized to the needs of specific band of learners makes its total adoption by other ESP professors futile. 'Even when suited materials can be found, it might not be possible to get them because of import restrictions' pointed out Hutchinson and Waters (1987, p. ).

If textbooks will be more available in EGP than in ESP, ESP books have never been immune from criticism. Ever and Boys(p. 57) support a solid a strike on the EST textbooks suggesting that the majority of them were created for, or will be the final result of, remedial or supplementary programs and assume that students already possess an understanding of British. unhappily, this is not at all known by potential users, especially in developing countries abroad where the biggest demand for EST prevails'. Another firmly worded harm was that the heavy matter of ESP professionals with strategy and methodology leads these to ignore issues such the accuracy and reliability of explanations, validity of good examples and suitability of linguistic content.

Because ESP materials are relevanct to focus on needs, This may increase the inspiration of ESP students, but there are other aspects that are also highly important, such as Waters (1987: 48) said, "ESP, approximately any good teaching, must be intrinsically motivating. (. . . ) Students should get satisfaction from the actual connection with learning, not merely from the prospect of eventually using what they have learnt". The next task, for example, could be interesting for Engineering students:.

Another characteristic of ESP materials is that it is more traditional than EGP

materials. The second option might be produced for the intended purpose of teaching words, while in ESP authenticity refers to the materials used in the students' specialist office or study organization. Also, for ESP genuine text selection usually follow the needs examination.

To conclude, the whole business of language learning management is much too sophisticated to be satisfactorily catered for by the pre-packaged set of decisions embodied in teaching materials. Quite simply, even with the best motives no textbook can possibly work in all situations. (Sheldon, 1987: 1). However, building tailor made materials would in theory be motivating, real and impressive.


This newspaper has highlighted some of the issues involved in ESP curriculum development. It could be argued that terminology varieties are located in and increase from the core of terminology. Or it could be argued that words types are self-contained entities. Needs research can be seen as an completely pragmatic and objective endeavour to help course creators identify course content that is actually relevant to the learners, or it can be argued to have a bias towards the institutions and could overemphasize objective needs at

the cost of subjective needs. It could be argued that syllabuses should identify content (what is to be educated). Or it can be argued that they should specify method (how language is usually to be educated). Some claim that the ESP courses

should be as narrow-angled as you possibly can. Others argue that this is not practica

EST is at a parlous express and is being abandoned by many tertiary institutions who, like Sultan Qaboos College or university, found that 'the English instructors seemed to learn a great deal of science, but the students didn't seem to be to learn much English'

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