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Definitions Of Esp By Different Scholars English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2902 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Hutchinson Waters describes ESP is an acronym for English for specific purposes and it refers to a strong movement which is rapidly spreading all over the world. ESP is very powerful itself and effective for every fields of life. ESP regard as a field in which the learners can overcome their learning problems remaining in the specific area of their needs. ESP is helpful, keeping in view the fact that it satisfied the learner’s particularity then needs. Nowadays, classrooms are learner’s centered and the Teacher has to work more on their needs and Teacher work as essential aid to the learner for development.

Definitions of ESP by Different Scholars

Different scholars have given different definition of ESP over the passage of time some of them are given below:

According to Evans (1977) ESP is delineating to encounter the distinct needs of the learners.ESP emphasis on the language appropriateness and its semantic and Morphological meaning not on the lexical or syntactic meaning of the language.

Hutchinson stated (1987) ESP is an approach of teaching a language having proper command on syllabus, Methods and the activities used for learning a language on the basis of the needs of the learners and for the antecedent of their learning.

According to Dudley- Evans & John (1998, p.1): Nowadays, ESP has been shifted from modals to general ELT still it has reserved its focus on the practicalities of the results. ESP is always been concern with the needs analysis so with the help of knowing the needs we can see and also enhance the ability of the learners so that they can communicate effectively in their work and study with the help of defined task.

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Emergence of ESP

McDonough stated (1984) that ESP has grown from the early 1960’s different reports from all over the world were coming in the developing discontentment with the learning of language and its teaching practice then the present day. Where east learners was given the knowledge of literature what so ever their needs and interests they have in the target language.

As above mentioned ESP has started as a separate discipline from the early 1960’s and then after that become a part of EFL. Many universities all over the world are developing courses in ESP for every field of life because of globalization of English language and English is need of the day for every field of life for academic and professionals.

According to Anthony (1998) ESP becomes the most valuable and the remarkable area at the age of 1960’s and everything which are taught in our institutes nowadays is all because of the existence of ESP. Many of the universities in the world were offering special master degree in ESP e.g. university of Birmingham & Aston University in UK. Many other institutes all over the world develop short courses, diplomas and other special classes are held considering the needs of the learners.

According to Mumbusho (1994) universities must have full liberty to design their own curriculum according to need of the learners and it was seen that after giving liberty to the universities there was a rapid growth of courses of English language in all most all the fields and courses offered by the universities and ESP courses rapidly take place of general English.

Hutchinson & Waters (1989) also identify three main reasons of emerging ESP given below:

The development in all the speakers of life, due to which learners had come up with their specific objectives. The actualization of the fact that the need of language change from situation to situation. Progress in educational psychology.

Types of ESP

Carter (1983) describes types of ESP and explains that ESP has been developed in the past few years as there were many new fields immerging and to facilitate the learners and their individual language needs. ESP got more importance nowadays

ESP has become part of our curriculum as see it in different fields such as Engineering; Medical & Teaching has their own registers so to overcome the barrier of discourse specific needs are to be kept in mind. As we considered ESP as a approach of language teaching in a specific fields and ESP is further divided into branches according to needs of the learners for their academic and communicating needs. ESP is categorized into sub division given below




English for academic purposes

(For all kinds of fields)

English for occupational purposes

(For teaching & training)

Figure 1ESP Classification( Carter,1983)

Actually there is no exact system of classification but there is a general scheme introduced in this figure.

Characteristics of ESP

According to Evans (1997) He elaborates the meaning of ESP and elaborates the meaning of ESP by using the metaphoric definition of ESP in the shape of “Absolute” & “Variable” characteristics.

Absolute characteristics.

Evans (1997) introduces the characteristics that ESP explained as a separate discipline may helpful to fulfill the requirements of learners.ESP helps to use learner’s contextual knowledge and uses different techniques and approaches it serves.ESP emphasis on the appropriateness and the meaning of communication rather then on the structures of language.

Variable characteristics.

Evans (1997) introduces the characteristics that ESP is a separate discipline which is useful for making different courses for every field of life. In ESP courses are different from general English because ESP serves situational setting for learners in real life situation.ESP is rapidly used nowadays for designing courses for adult learners to cop up with their professional needs and they can freely communicate in real life situations. More often ESP courses use the language and linguistics background knowledge of learners for better and effective learning.

The ESP Approach

According Barrantes Montero (2009) stated that ESP is a long time maintained and mature field in education some people took ESP as broader and separate field and some people take it under the field of teaching a language.

Syllabus developers they describe precisely as the teaching of English in our academic studies and also for vocational and professional studies. ESP is actually an approach to language teaching here the goals and the procedures are customized according to the needs of the learners. ESP introduced in early ages but with passage of time many reform movement effects upon ESP and many approaches use to teach ESP. it change to the paradigms of teacher centered to learner centered approach. In ESP mainly emphasized is on the usage of language in the real life situation not on the structures of grammar of language. And the purpose behind learning a language was just to facilitate the learner and motivate them so they can easily use language at work places and use it for more and more for communicative purposes.

EGP (English for general purposes) & ESP (English for specific purposes)

According to Holmes (1996, pp. 3-4) While preparing syllabus for the students studying general English in the course of ESP always designed by keeping in view the nature of language and the classroom atmosphere where the learning take place. The syllabus in general English based on the real life situation and the methodology and activities designed based on the language used for communication in real life setting. Mostly courses developed for the teenagers while considering their language needs by conducting need analysis then designers design language based activities for learners to use language in real life situation. ESP considers a sensible way for the syllabus designers to find out the need of the learners and then develop a course according to their needs.

Delgrego (2010) states that ESP (English for specific purposes) can delineate antithetical of English for general purposes. EGP (English for general purposes) can be is a language we use in our daily life for communication in real life situation. Whereas English for specific purposes is a language we use for academic or professional purposes.

Bowker (2002) declared that in ESP classrooms students came just to fulfill their needs of English language to achieve their goals for future and all the discussion students done in class not become professional or academic debate at the end it was just a aforementioned communication. The most important thing is the focus on each skill in language classroom and the atmosphere where learning can take place and students can express their though in target language without any hesitation

Bowker (2002) conclude that However, if we see at both programs there was a indistinguishable point that at the completion in both programs EGP (English for specific purposes) & ESP (English for specific purposes) in both courses there is mainly focus on use of English language in communication. Students grow is classes having highly motivation and some of them become proficient and achieve their aims at the completion of the program.

Learner’s Necessities

A program or course of ESP highly designed to achieve the objectives of learners and it start with the finding out their goals and needs of the learners and ends on the achievement and analysis of their learning needs of an individual and group of learners.

Stapa (2003) proclaims that the teachers should seriously first search out the needs of the learners and then use the different methodology according to the classroom situation and their linguistics background knowledge.

According to Hutchinson and Waters (1989, pp.55-57) they declared that the specific needs works as inclusive term to fulfill their needs, lacks & desires. Needs were determined by the specific goals in inclusive situation and it may help the learner to work efficiently for their objectives in the target language. The absence between the learners linguistic knowledge and the existing background knowledge prevails a gap between the target results of learners in the target situation wants are sagacity of learners what they learns and what was the needs of all the individuals.

Language Skills to Meet Learners’ Necessities

According to Ellis (1992, pp.80-81.) Speakers and listener skill hang on linguistic and cognitive shift. A speaker can make all the choices of words & phrases’ which can help to express their thoughts that can help to differentiation among possible meanings and the listener can interpret the language of speaker by using his existing linguistic and contextual knowledge. In our perception we can say that language play a role of chain to link the sender and receiver in a communicative process and the language skill and their background knowledge help them to choose the appropriate words which can be a tool for communication. Communication skills substantially contain as language skill but both have so many differences among them. It is totally wrong to employment the expressions of communication skills and language skill substitutable

According to Smeltzer and Leonard (1994, pp.39-43) Communication skill is collectively capability of an individual to communicate and to express their thoughts for understanding. In addition to this they give six factors which can effect on individual communication while communicating because of things like their lankness of linguistic and background knowledge, cultural values, their financial and mental status, their stance, and last but not the least their emotions effect the communication skills.

Language Skills as Focus of Instruction

There were four major language skills and the order of the skills is speaking, listening, reading and writing. Speaking and listening skill help to express language through aural medium but if we sight upon other two skills reading and writing are helpful to express our thoughts by using visual medium. In speaking and writing we actively involve by using action so this is a productive skill because we show our actions and reaction in the current situation but in the other side reading and listening are receiving are receptive skills in other words we can say them as passive language skill.

Sender Receiver

Oral medium

Speaking skill

Listening skill

Written medium

Writing skill

Reading skill

Figure 3 Hartley and Clive (2002, p.6)

According to Murphy, Hilde Brandt and Thomas (2000) they state that all of that both of the mediums of communication oral or written had their regions of productiveness of message. Howe ever, both mediums of communication differentiates each other by having different characteristics.



Instant feedback

Linger on feedback

Chunks of language

Long phrases’


More formal

Action in a stance

Linger on action

Information to convey meaning

Detailed information

Used of personal pronouns

Interpersonal pronouns

Productive skills

Receptive skills

Active language

Passive language

As Michael Long Intimate that English or any other language is teach with concrete unambiguous means in mind. The Instructions uses in teaching language may look to learners to learners like “Language for no purpose,” to borrow Long’s words.

EAP (English for Academic purposes)

Etic (1975) states that EAP (English for Academic Purposes) is apprehensive with those communication skills which are obligatory for learning in formal tutoring According to Jordan (1997) EAP take position in range of settings and situation. The country might have English the same as foreign language and use as average of teaching at school and colleges. The students might require EAP (English for academic Purposes for instruction and study in their own country. The students might use EAP (English for Academic Purposes) pre disappearance courses in their own country and to cram abroad.

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Liyanage and Birch (October, 2004) states that the numeral of worldwide students who move toward from non-English communication backgrounds to countries where English is the primary language is on the ascend necessitate the condition of English for Academic Purpose (EAP) plan courses for students to learn in English-speaking institutions. Because of the diversity of educational backgrounds of students inflowing these courses, module take the shape of English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP).

ESP (English for specific purposes) and EAP (English for academic purposes)

Ahsan (29 August, 2009) states in her article that in present context the globalization of English language have several effects on our lives all over the world. In those country where first language is not English the authorities and linguists are trying to provide the awareness to the students through different programs e.g. ELTL (English language teaching) EIL (English as international language etc.

Nowadays, English languages have so many varieties for every field there were separate jargons to fulfill learners’ professional requirements of language. People use English for business, professional and academic purposes and in present context English is frequently uses by non native speakers.

Rahman (2002) stated that English language is requisition by the students in present days and parents also focus on those schools where all the courses are in English language just to groom up their children’s with the international language for future.

Ahsan ( August, 2009) conclude that in present context it Is clear that students need satisfactory English language skills to fulfill their academic needs so, EAP (English for academic Purposes) is aimed to taught the learners’ for their academic studies and those programs which are designed mainly focus on their communicative needs.

EAP (English for academic purposes) as Learners’ Needs

Ferris & Tagg (1996) stated that it is most important to find out the need of learners’ their requirement and exceptions and then suggest variety of methods to the instructors to fulfill that academic literacy duty.

As we have seen from different studies conquer a considerable gap between the background knowledge of learners about English Language and the courses offered in university to fulfill their communication needs. Therefore, this research map out the gap EFLL (English as foreign language learners) and the native speakers of target language.

In present days’ EFL (English as a foreign language) are cognizant of their learners’ professional and academic English needs. The specific needs of English language are described by the learners and professional users of English language. The present study was design to investigate academic English needs of students doing MA ELTL at Punjab University, Lahore.



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