Esp-LET Review

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Information about Esp-LET Review

Published on March 23, 2014

Author: h4976


ENGLISH for SPECIFICENGLISH for SPECIFIC PURPOSESPURPOSES Key Notions and Significant TermsKey Notions and Significant Terms

English for Specific Purposes refers to… ∞ the teaching of a specific genre of mostly technical English for students with specific goals, careers or fields of study ∞ a sphere of teaching English language including Business English, Technical English, Scientific English, English for medical professionals, English for waiters, English for tourism, English for Art Purposes, etc.

Hutchinson and Waters (1987) "ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner's reason for learning."

Hutchinson and Waters (1987) The early beginnings of E.S.P. start in the 1960s and that this domain of theory and practice in the teaching of English has undergone five phases:   1. The concept of special language: register analysis 2. Rhetorical and discourse analysis 3. Target situation analysis 4. Skills and strategies 5. A learning-centred approach


REGISTER  is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose, situations, or in a particular social setting  specialist language use related to a particular activity, such as academic jargon  first used by the linguist Thomas Bertram Reid in 1956  brought into general currency in the 1960s by a group of linguists who wanted to distinguish among variations in language according to the user (defined by variables such as social background, geography, sex and age), and variations according to use, "in the sense that each speaker has a range of varieties and choices between them at different times" (Halliday et al., 1964)

M.A.K Halliday and R. Hasan (1976) interpret “register” as…  "the linguistic features which are typically associated with a configuration of situational features – with particular values of the field, mode and tenor..."

Field, Mode, Tenor  Field - the total event, in which the text is functioning, together with the purposive activity of the speaker or writer; includes subject-matter as one of the elements  Mode - the function of the text in the event, including both the channel taken by language – spoken or written, extempore or prepared – and its genre, rhetorical mode, as narrative, didactic, persuasive, 'phatic communion', etc.  Tenor - the type of role interaction, the set of relevant social relations, permanent and temporary, among the participants involved

TWO E-MAILSTWO E-MAILS Illustrative Samples for FIELD, MODE, and TENOR

E-MAIL No. 1: From a Seminar Organizer to a Participant (unequal status/ low affective involvement/ occasional contact) Mr. Psy: We are very pleased to hear that you have been appointed to represent G-Style at the 17th TESOL Seminar in Budapest, Hungary. I would be very grateful if you could let me have your full postal address so that we can send you a signed invitation. In the meantime, please find attached the draft programme and other documents concerning the seminar.

E-MAIL No. 2: From a Family Member (equal status/ high affective involvement/ frequent contact) HIIII!! thanks sooo much for sponsoring me. im very very grateful. how are things? so you can probably tell from the late reply of this email that i havent really got myself organised, though i have just sent off my accommodation application form for brown exciting. ive just recovered from tonsillitis which wasnt fun but im ok now and thats all that matters. any news in hungary? not in hungary generally, i could look that up on the net if i wanted i mean any news with you?

JARGONS and ARGOTS  JARGON is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, or event. The term covers the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest.  The term argot is also used to refer to the informal specialized vocabulary from a particular field of study, hobby, job, sport, etc.

What profession, field, or activity?  excise  cauterize  inoculate  defibrillate  chasse  pirouette  entrée  tutu  blanch  julienne  deglaze  flambé  biome  estuary  symbiosis  fauna

SLANG  the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered acceptable in certain social settings  are words that are widely used in informal speech and writing but are not accepted for formal use. They may be new words or old ones used with a new meaning  is a part of every profession, trade, sport, school, and social group  is invented the same way formal language is, its basis is usually metaphor (a word or phrase that ordinarily means one thing but is used for another thing to suggest a likeness between the two)

Profession-/Sports-/Trade-related Slang  ammo   couch surfing   scrub suit   goalie   shrink   cabbie   rookie   upper/downer  military tourism medicine football psychiatry transportation sports pharmacology


SLANG The desire to say old things in a new way leads to slang.

Absolute characteristics of ESP by Strevens (1988) ESP consists of English language teaching which is: 1. designed to meet specified needs of the learner; 2. related in content (i.e. in its themes and topics) to particular disciplines, occupations and activities; 3. centred on the language appropriate to those activities in syntax, lexis, discourse, semantics, etc., and analysis of this discourse; 4. in contrast with General English

Modified Definition (Dudley-Evans & St. John, 1997) At a 1997 Japan Conference on ESP, Dudley-Evans and St. John postulated:  ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learner;  ESP makes use of the underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves;  ESP is centred on the language (grammar, lexis, register), skills, discourse and genres appropriate to these activities.

Variable Characteristics of ESP (Dudley-Evans & St. John, 1998) o ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines; o ESP may use, in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of general English; o ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either at a tertiary level institution or in a professional work situation. It could, however, be for learners at secondary school level; o ESP is generally designed for intermediate or advanced students; o Most ESP courses assume some basic knowledge of the language system, but it can be used with beginners (1998, pp. 4-5).

TYPES of ESP (David Carter, 1983) 1. English as a restricted language 2. English for Academic and Occupational Purposes (EAP; EOP) 3. English with specific topics

English as a restricted language  The language used by hoteliers, restaurateurs, or by waiters are examples of English as a restricted language.

English for Academic and Occupational Purposes In the 'Tree of ELT' (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987), ESP is broken down into three branches: a) English for Science and Technology (EST) b) English for Business and Economics (EBE) c) English for Social Studies (ESS) Each of these subject areas is further divided into two branches: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). An example of EOP for the EST branch is 'English for Technicians' whereas an example of EAP for the EST branch is 'English for Medical Studies.'

English with specific topics Carter notes that it is only here where emphasis shifts from purpose to topic. This type of ESP is uniquely concerned with anticipated future English needs of, for example, scientists requiring English for postgraduate reading studies, attending conferences or working in foreign institutions


1. The following words seem to belong to the same register, EXCEPT--- a) ledger b) debit c) depreciate d) litigate e) liquidate

2. Which of the following is a jargon of psychology? a) toxic b) choleric c) bucolic d) thoracic e) pandemic

3. Which of the following texts is a product of academic writing? a) college application essay b) conference paper c) research proposal d) project paper e) all of the above

4. Which of the following words qualifies as slang? a) ammo b) goalie c) byte d) scrub suit e) none of the above

5. Which is an example of a course for English for Occupational Purposes? a) English for Classroom Application b) English for Aviation c) English for Research Writing d) English for Social Advocacy e) English for Forensic Studies

References Gregory, M. (1967), "Aspects of Varieties Differentiation," Journal of Linguistics 3: 177–197. Halliday, M.A.K. and R. Hasan (1976), Cohesion in English, London: Longman. Halliday, M.A.K. (1964), "Comparison and translation," In M.A.K. Halliday, M.McIntosh and P. Strevens, The linguistic sciences and language teaching. London: Longman. Halliday, M.A.K. (1978), Language as Social Semiotic: the social interpretation of language and meaning. Edward Arnold: London. Joos, M.(1961), The Five Clocks, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Quirk, R., Greenbaum S., Leech G., and Svartvik J. (1985), A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Longman, Harcourt. Reid, T.B. (1956), "Linguistics, structuralism, philology," Archivum Linguisticum 8. Swales, J. (1990), Genre Analysis. English in Academic and Research Settings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Trosborg, A. (1997), "Text Typology: Register, Genre and Text Type," In Text Typology and Translation: 3–23. (ed: Anna Trosborg), John Benjamins. Trudgill, P.(1992), Introducing language and society, London: Penguin. Wardhaugh, R. (1986), Introduction to Sociolinguistics, (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Blackwell Werlich, E. (1982), A Text Grammar of English, Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer.


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