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The development of English for specific purposes (ESP) - Essay Example

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The fourth stage is already in progress, with the fifth beginning to emerge from the horizon. We shall describe each of the five stages in detail in later chapters, but it will provide a useful perspective giving…
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The development of English for specific purposes (ESP)
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Download file to see previous pages in fact, Swales (1985) uses the development of EST to illustrate the development of ESP in general:
‘With one or two exceptions…English for Science and Technology has always set and continues to set the trend in theoretical discussion, in ways of analyzing language, and in the variety of actual teaching materials.’
The phase took place between 1960’s and 1970’s. The major proponents of this phase included Peter Strevens (Halliday, McIntosh and Strevens, 1964), Jack Ewer (Ewer and Latorre, 1969) and John Swales (1971). Operating on the basic principle that the English of, say, Electrical Engineering constituted a specific register different from that of, say, Biology or of General English, it is important to distinguish the grammatical and lexical features of these registers. Teaching materials have adopted these linguistic features in their syllabus, a good example being A Course in Basic Scientific English by Ewer and Latorre (1969) (see below p. 26).
In fact, as Ewer and Latorre’s syllabus shows, register analysis revealed that there was little distinction in the sentence grammar of scientific English beyond the tendency to favor particular forms such as the present simple tense, the passive voice and nominal compounds. However, the syllabus did not reveal any forms found in General English. But we must be wary of making unfair criticism. Although there was an academic interest in the nature of English registers per se, the main motive behind register analyses, such as, Ewer and Latorre’s was the pedagogic one of making the ESP course more relevant to learners’ needs. The main purpose was to create a syllabus that would give priority to forms of language that students would use in their Science studies. Ewer and Hughes-Davies (1971), for example, compared the language of the texts their Science students had to read with the language of some widely used school ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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