Towards Effective ESP Instruction: The Impact of Teacher Cognition on Course Design and Classroom Practice

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1 University of Warsaw Institute of English Studies Bożena Górska-Poręcka Towards Effective ESP Instruction: The Impact of Teacher Cognition on Course Design and Classroom Practice PhD dissertation Written under the supervision of Prof. dr. hab. Romuald Gozdawa-Gołębiowski Warsaw 2014

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION... 1 CHAPTER ONE: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes The origins of ESP External formative factors in the rise of ESP Internal formative factors in the rise of ESP Essential and optional properties of ESP The classic definition of ESP A summative definitions of ESP The diversity of ESP The development of ESP The register-analysis approach The discourse analysis approach The target situation analysis approach The skills and strategies approach The learning-centered approach The deep-end strategy approach (activity-based-approach) The genre-analysis approach The content-based approach Summary of the differences between the ESP approaches Areas of ontological controversy in ESP The product-process dilemma The specificity issue The place of subject content in ESP The place of ESP in English Language Teaching The ESP-CLIL interface The location of various domains within ELT Summary of the chapter CHAPTER TWO: The Practice of ESP Distinctiveness of foreign language teaching The process of ESP Demands of ESP teaching Teacher roles and competences in needs analysis Teacher roles and competences in course design Course planning Developing the course Providing language instruction Assessing learners progress Table of Contents i

3 8. Course evaluation Summary of the chapter CHAPTER THREE: Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching Insights into ESP teaching offered by second language acquisition research The Universal Grammar perspective The cognitive perspective The functional or pragmatic perspective The interactionist perspective The socio-cultural perspective The sociolinguistic perspective Relevance of SLA theories for ESP Insights into ESP teaching from its own research Work on learner needs assessment Work on specialist language description Work on genres Work on teaching practices General comment on ESP research Insights into ESP pedagogy from educational psychology Behaviorism Cognitive psychology Humanistic psychology Social constructivism The changing conceptions of teaching: a summary Insights into ESP pedagogy from teacher cognition research Early research into teacher thinking The study of teacher effectiveness The study of teachers professional knowledge Language teacher cognition research The impact of teacher language awareness on pedagogical practice General comment on language teacher cognition research Summary of the chapter CHAPTER FOUR: The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses Rationale for a new ESP teaching model General conceptual frameworks for the study of language teaching Basturkmen s Framework for Analysis of Ideas and Options in ESP The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses Teacher cognition in ESP The descriptive version of the Comprehensive Model The template version of the Comprehensive Model Practical application and validation of the Comprehensive Model Summary of the chapter CHAPTER FIVE: The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers Table of Contents ii

4 1. Background information on Legal English teaching at Polish universities The rationale for the study The purpose of the study The methodology of the study The research procedure Part I of the survey: Information about the teacher Part II of the survey: Information about teacher roles Part III of the survey: Information about the ELP course taught Part IV of the survey: Information about professional views Summary of the chapter CHAPTER SIX: The Results of The Study Findings of Part I: A portrait of the university ELP teacher Findings of Part II: Conceptions of teacher roles and teacher tasks Findings of Part III of the survey: A description of the university ELP course Question III/15: Examples of texts, tasks and assignments General conclusions about the informants ELP courses Findings of Part IV of the survey: The informants theoretical views Views on language and second language learning Views on ESP teaching and the goal of university ESP Views on the effectiveness of ESP and learner autonomy Views on important ESP teacher competences and personal characteristics Views on benefits and challenges of ELP teaching General conclusions Summary of the chapter SUMMARY OF THE DISSERTATION IN POLISH BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX A: ENGLISH AND POLISH VERSIONS OF THE SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE APPENDIX B: QUESTIONNAIRES COMPLETED BY THE PARTICIPANTS APPENDIX C: List of figures APPENDIX D: List of tables Table of Contents iii

5 INTRODUCTION The present dissertation has been written by a long-time university teacher of business and legal English whose professional experience has led her to believe that despite its declared learner-centeredness ESP is an extremely teacher-dependent type of language education, where the quality of teaching, understood as effectiveness in the achievement of learners target goals, is largely a function of the teacher s professional competence in course planning, design, and evaluation. Of course, the idea that the teacher is a major causative factor in learners cognitive development is as old as education itself, although over the years the teacher s role has seen many different interpretations, ranging from the source of knowledge or knowledge provider on the one end of the spectrum to the learning facilitator, mentor, and mediator on the other. However, nowhere is the teacher s role more precarious and consequential at the same time than in the teaching of a foreign language for specific purposes practiced in a low-immersion context by a teacher who is a non-native speaker of the target language with no formal education in the discipline to which the language course is related. This is due to the fact that in all second and foreign language teaching the medium is the message, but in case of ESP the message is not fully known to the teacher, who nevertheless is often single-handedly responsible for ensuring both its amenability to learning and its relevance to students current and delayed professional needs (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987; Robinson, 1991; Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998; Basturkmen 2006, 2010). As the study undertaken for the purpose of this dissertation has revealed, the teachers of English for specific purposes operating in EFL contexts find their situation both challenging and rewarding, a mixed blessing where the stress of not being fully competent coincides with cognitive and affective benefits to teachers, who not only take satisfaction in developing students linguistic and professional knowledge but increase their own knowledge in the process. Unfortunately, not all ESP teachers seem to realize the importance of their course decisions and particularly the implications of their potentially erroneous design choices for the overall quality of the course, whether in terms of meeting the students objective, target needs or effectuating their successful transformation from interested learners to independent and proficient users of the targeted specialist discourse. Nor are they always fully aware of the various contextual and psychological factors involved in planning and teaching an ESP course, and of the extent to which the effectiveness of their pedagogical practice depends on Introduction 1

6 their professional competences and personal traits, particularly in cases of relatively high teacher autonomy like the context of tertiary education. The present dissertation explores all the issues signaled above on the grounds of a cognitivist view of teaching as a thoughtful behavior performed in a socio-cultural context, advanced mainly by teacher cognition researchers such Shulman (1986, 1987), Grossman (1989, 1990, 1995), Calderhead, (1988, 1989), Van Lier (1995, 1996) Borg (1994, 2003, 2005, 2006), or Andrews (2001, 2003, 2007). Within this perspective, teaching is seen as knowing or knowing what to do in order to achieve the desired outcomes and not as doing (as was the case in behaviorism), and may thus be defined as teacher knowledge-based thinking, comprising mental processes such as information processing, judgment formation, and decision making, which are informed by the teacher s explicit and implicit knowledge about the subject matter taught as well as general and by specific pedagogical knowledge needed to teach it. In case of ESP teachers, this involves theoretical and practical assumptions about language and the special purpose (SP) discipline as the subject matter, general and second language learning, as well as second language and ESP teaching, filtered through the socio-pragmatic and sociocultural factors present in a given micro and macro context of teaching. It stands to reason that just as ESP pedagogy is informed by cognition, so is its scholarly investigation. It should then be clearly stated that the theoretical views about ESP and its practitioners presented here are anchored in the following assumptions, picked and chosen by the author of the present dissertation in course of her formal schooling: (1) The relationship between language and culture is bi-directional since one shapes the other; (2) Language is socially constructed by all its users, including the non-native ones, through interaction between language users and with their material products such as genres; (3) All users of a language, both native and non-native, form its global speech community, which is an amalgam of different pragmatically-based discourses; (4) The various discourses can be taught as language for specific purposes (LSP), which therefore has an inherently utilitarian and pragmatic character and is concerned with communicative performance rather than the mastery of the language system; (5) In its goal-orientation and needs-relevance LSP is ontologically and epistemologically distinct from language for General Purposes (LGP); (6) The pedagogy of LSP requires a different type of professional knowledge and awareness on the part of its practitioner than general-purpose language teaching. Introduction 2

7 As of today, the teacher cognition of the ESP practitioner has not been sufficiently explored by researchers and so makes an excellent area of inquiry for teacher-researchers like the present author, who being familiar with both theory and practice of ESP can perhaps offer insightful contributions to our collective understanding of language teaching for specific purposes. Hence, this dissertation, intended as a teacher s statement on the effectiveness of ESP, which is seen as attributable to the declarative and procedural professional knowledge and meta-cognitive awareness of its practitioners, in the tradition of teacher cognition research. The dissertation is organized into six chapters, of which four are devoted to the discussion of theoretical issues and the remaining two to the presentation of an empirical study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation. Chapter I identifies the theoretical grounds of the teacher-dependence of ESP by describing its origins, nature, and place in the English Language Teaching (ELT) family and arguing that the teacher-dependence of ESP is its inherent attribute, derivable from the pragmatic and utilitarian character of this ultimate goal-oriented and needs-relevant type of language instruction, as defined by the founders of the approach like Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Strevens, 1988, Robinson (1991), or Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998). Chapter II explores the practical dimension of the teacher-dependence of ESP by taking a look at the teacher roles and tasks as well as underlying competences arising from the ESP process, conceptualized (by Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998) as consisting of five stages: needs analysis, course design, teaching, assessment, and evaluation. Also discussed are the contextual factors involved in an ESP project and impacting its effectiveness, considered as variables of the major stakeholders involved, namely the teacher, the student, and the course organizer or commissioner. Chapter III examines the insights into ESP practice offered by applied linguistic and teacher cognition research as two complementary areas of inquiry into the teaching and learning process, finding the latter a much more informative basis for both theoretical deliberations and empirical research of the ESP practitioner as a determinant of the effectiveness of special purpose language education. As teacher cognition research is not widely known, it is discussed in much more detail than the relevant second language acquisition theories (which are only briefly overviewed), including its origins in cognitive psychology of Piaget (1966, Introduction 3

8 1974), Bruner (1960, 1966), and Anderson (1976, 1983), and holistic psychology of Dweck (2006), and Korthagen (2001, 2004). Chapter IV introduces and describes an original theoretical framework for the analysis of ESP teaching developed by the author and called the Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses. The framework is proposed for two reasons. Firstly, it describes ESP pedagogy in teachers terms, i.e. as an outcome of teacher cognitive factors, comprising declarative and procedural professional knowledge learned and acquired in course of formal schooling and teaching practice. This professional knowledge, known in literature as Pedagogical Content Knowledge (originally conceptualized by Shulman, 1986, 1987), shapes teachers perceptions of the teaching situation in terms of learner and other contextual factors and informs their instructional choices pertaining to the product, process, and method of the course, or in broader terms, to language, learning, and teaching, as established by the authors of the existing teaching models, such as Spolsky (1987), Stern (1983), Richards and Rogers (2001), and Basturmen (2006). Secondly, the proposed Comprehensive Model is intended as a practical, awareness-raising tool for ESP teachers, who may find their job of course designing easier if presented with a checklist of questions to ask themselves when engaged in course planning, accompanied by a list of theoretical ideas and options to facilitate the decision making in a way proposed by Basturkmen (2006). Chapter V describes the purpose, research hypotheses, methodology, and procedures of the mixed-method study into professional awareness of ESP practitioners, conducted on a group of Polish university teachers of English for Legal Purposes (ELP). The study was undertaken for the dual purpose of describing the status quo of tertiary ELP teaching by collecting data about relevant teacher factors (i.e. demographics, professional data, instructional practices, and teaching-related conceptions and theoretical views held) in an audit-like manner, and of verifying the theoretical assumptions embodied in the proposed Comprehensive Model. In particular, the researcher was interested in finding out how much information about ESP teacher professional knowledge and awareness can be inferred from teachers self-reported professional cognitions, beliefs, and behaviors and whether these inferences would prove or disprove.the research hypothesis that university ELP were generally well-qualified for their job but represented lower levels of professional awareness and teacher reflectivity than would be optimal in a context characterized by relatively high teacher autonomy. Introduction 4

9 Chapter VI reports the findings of the empirical study, both question by question and in a summative way, as general conclusions. The reported results fall into two categories: objective data (facts) about the tertiary ELP teachers, their pedagogical practice and their expressed views about important aspects of their job, and subjective inferences about the respondents teacher cognition, i.e. their Pedagogical Content Knowledge, as conceptualized by Shulman and his followers, and their General Professional Awareness, as construed by Górska-Poręcka (this dissertation, Chapter IV), which inform and shape their teaching, ultimately determining its effectiveness or quality. The chapter ends with recommendations for awareness raising teacher training and suggestions for further research into teacher cognition of ESP practitioners. To conclude on a personal note and at the same time to offer a caveat for readers, it should be noted that the present dissertation has been written by a practitioner of special purpose language education rather than a scholar, who therefore may not be privy to all accepted practices of academic scholarship and consequently exhibit unorthodox cognitive or behavioral patterns. The project has been undertaken and finalized because the present author agrees with Ellis (1991, 1997a,b) that for applied or educational linguistics to truly contribute to our understanding of second language teaching it must encompass some views from the classroom, or insights offered by practitioners. She has therefore elected to exercise her right to interpret the phenomenon of ESP and the shaping role of the practitioner in its pedagogy in hermeneutical terms, or more specifically, in terms of her own teacher cognition, encompassing, after all, not only formal, theoretical knowledge but also practical, experiential knowledge. Introduction 5

10 CHAPTER ONE: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes Chapter One offers a thorough discussion of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) as an approach to English language teaching (ELT) in its own right, ontologically and epistemologically distinct from general-purpose English teaching, by tracing its historical origins, determining its distinctive variables, identifying areas of internal controversy, chronicling its development, and locating it in the ELT family. The overview is undertaken for the purpose of establishing grounds for the discussion of the significance of teacher cognition for the effective pedagogy of ESP, offered in the subsequent chapters. Specifically, it intends to demonstrate that due to its inherently inter-disciplinary nature (Robinson, 1991, Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998), caused by the presence of another discipline in its subject matter, ESP is more cognitively demanding for its practitioners, on whom it places the need to have some knowledge of the basic concepts or at least the typical practices of the discipline to which it is related, such as law or business, in addition to being versed in the target language and linguistics. Likewise, the inter-disciplinary character of ESP adds to the complexity of the job of its practitioners, who are cast in additional roles of learner needs researchers and needsbased course designers, as will be demonstrated in Chapter Two. At the same time, these additional responsibilities contribute to the centrality of the teacher role in ESP (or the teacher-dependence of ESP), which will be explored throughout this thesis. At this stage, however, it is important to demonstrate that the uniqueness of ESP teaching, whether focused on the product of learning, i.e. the chosen features of the specialist discourse taught, or on the process of learning, i.e. the transformation of learners into communicatively proficient users of situated English, is ontological in that it may be attributed to the theoretical concepts on which the approach is backboned, notably its utilitarianism, goal-orientation, learnercenteredness, and needs-relevance. 1. The origins of ESP English for Specific Purposes (ESP) as a concept covering pragmatically-oriented language instruction came into being in the 1960 s. Its appearance in the field of second and foreign language teaching was caused by a number of factors, which have been traditionally seen (e.g. by Hutchinson and Waters, 1987; Robinson, 1991; Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998) as falling into two principal categories: (1) external factors, comprising political and social The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 6

11 development in the post-war world, and (2) internal factors, covering new and revolutionary developments in the field of linguistics. The two categories of formative factors collaborated in generating the backbone idea behind the concept of ESP, namely that effective language instruction should be geared to learners communicative rather than purely linguistic needs, related to a life situation like employment or education. This entailed an interest in domainspecific language use and learners communicative proficiency in a subset or variety of English related to their employment or education, which have been recognized as distinctive characteristics of specific-purpose teaching. A graphic representation of the formative factors in the rise of ESP as a needs-based and goal-oriented approach is offered in Figure 1.1. External factors: social political and economic imperatives of the postwar world Internal factors: new ideas about the nature of language and its relationship to culture Concept of learner needs as a reason for and the basis of instruction Concept of language as communication occurring in context ESP as a needs-based and goal-oriented approach Figure 1.1: Formative factors in ESP (as identified by Hutchinson and Waters, 1987, and Dudley- Evans and St. John, 1998) 1.1. External formative factors in the rise of ESP ESP was created in answer to the demands of the new world that came into existence as a result of World War II and the political as well as economic changes it produced. In this new world, Western Europe, destroyed in the war, faced the challenge of quickly rebuilding its economies and regaining its political clout to brace itself against the spread of communism. This called for new, international solutions in politics, technology, science, business, and trade, which required not just considerable cooperation but also an international language, a new lingua franca for the new era. Since the United States, as a newly emerged political and economic superpower, led the way in numerous fields of activity, ranging from science and technology to industry and trade, and formed a powerful trans-atlantic alliance with Great The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 7

12 Britain, which continued to politically and linguistically dominate big parts of the world, English was predestined to become an international tool of communication. Hence the common need to learn English as a foreign language among members of various - suddenly internationalized - occupations and professions and to do so in the quickest and most efficient manner possible, preferably by learning only what was required by the target situation in a custom-made practical language course. The English teachers of the post-war era obligingly delivered what was sought: specialized and consequently rather narrow-angled courses of English as a second and foreign language, whose general teaching objective was to speed learners through to a known destination (Basturkmen, 2006: 9). Thus, a new, practically motivated approach to English teaching came into being, though it was not until the mid 1960 s that it became known as English for Specific Purposes, largely thanks to the work of its pioneers like Barber (1962) or Strevens (Halliday, McIntosh & Strevens, 1964) Internal formative factors in the rise of ESP To a large extent, the rise of ESP can be attributed to the onset of constructivism in social sciences, originated by Dewey (1938) in Great Britain and Vygotsky in Russia three decades previously but discovered in the West in the 1960 s, following the translation of Vygotsky s works into English (1962, 1978). The advocates of social constructivism viewed the world in the permanent state of becoming, where people took an active role as constructors of their own knowledge. This construction of knowledge could be accomplished by either discovering (or better, uncovering) the rules governing some part of reality by trial and error, or reconstructing them by observation and direct participation, depending on where these rules were placed: inside oneself, as an innate faculty, or outside oneself, in society or culture. The process of knowledge construction might be mechanical, consisting in habit formation or innate generative processing, or quite conscious and involving either cognitive learning mechanisms or communicative learning mechanisms, or both, but it was generally assumed that no learning would happen unless an individual was actively involved in the process, in one way or another. In linguistics, the new trends that emerged in the late 1950 s and 1960 s and contributed to the ascent of ESP were Chomsky s theory of transformational grammar (1957, 1965) and, a little later, theories of language as communication, especially those advanced by Hymes (1971, 1972), Gumperz (1972), and Widdowson (1972), which changed forever our collective The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 8

13 conception of language, paving the way for the rise of numerous approaches to special purpose language instruction. To begin with Chomsky, he revolutionized linguistics by rejecting the structuralist view of language concerned with the description of its observable structure, proposing instead that language should be seen as a mental system, which could only be described by analyzing sentences produced by speakers and identifying the universal rules by which they were formed and transformed by the innate system. He further proposed that that syntactic structures were not learned by imitation and repetition, as posited by the leading, behaviorist theory of learning, but generated from the speaker s competence, or linguistic faculty, which was contrasted with actual verbal production, or performance. Although his idealist, mentalist, and grammar-based view of language was soon superseded by a social, interactional, and pragmatic view of language as communication, Chomsky s theoretical contribution to the field of ESP was significant on at least three counts: (1) By giving primacy to syntax, he provided sentence as a convenient unit of formal language description to use in pedagogy; (2) By focusing on sentence structures as present and observable in speech rather than written texts, he generated a lasting interest in language as spoken verbal behavior; and (3) By introducing the distinction between competence and performance, he put language use on the map of linguistics, unintentionally provoking a shift in interest from the nature of language to its use, including situated and specialized use that ESP deals with. As a result, about a decade later another revolution in linguistics occurred and produced a number of new approaches to ESP, developed partly as a response to Chomsky s preoccupation with linguistic competence. Specifically, in the 1970 s, various linguists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Hymes (1971, 1972, 1974), Guperz (1972), Labov (1972), and Widdowson (1972, 1978), rebelled against the imperative to focus language instruction on the development of the mental language faculty by studying syntactic structures and uncovering the underlying grammatical rules and proposed instead to focus language teaching on training for interaction i.e. the communicative use of the target language. Thus, the focus of language instruction has been shifted from knowing the language and linguistic competence (Chomsky, 1957, 1965) to using it and performance, or communicative competence, as it was termed by Hymes (1972) in obvious contrast to Chomsky, and conceptualized as a system of use regarding places, purposes, other modes of communication, etc, all the components of communicative events, together with attitudes and beliefs regarding them (1972: 275) or, more colloquially, as the knowledge when to speak, The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 9

14 when not, what to talk about with whom when where and in what manner (1972: 227). The new position, which was clearly utilitarian as opposed to educational or epistemic (see Byram, 2010 or Gozdawa-Gołębiowski, 2013 for the distinction) viewed language as a socially created and acquired system of meaning, used for communication, and advocated that it should be studied in terms of its semantic concepts and communicative functions considered in relation to linguistic form. As a result, a new imperative for language teachers was formed: to teach a foreign language by exposing learners to the target language (or its specific discourse), analyzing the language samples in terms of their functions (in some relation to semantic notions and grammatical form), and training output by direct participation in meaningful interactions. The leading figures behind this movement included the proponents of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), Candlin (1976), Widdowson (1972, 1978), Wilkins (1976, 1979), Canale and Swain (1980); a functional linguist, Halliday (1971, 1985), and sociolinguists: Hymes (1971,1972, 1974), Gumperz (1972) and Labov (1972). All these scholars drew on the work by Searle (1969), who developed a theory of speech acts, partly as a continuation of the work done by Austin (1962), and later Grice (1975, 1980), who proposed a pragmatic theory of conversational principles. Their reflections on, respectively, the nature and functions of acts of communication, and the rules, or maxims, governing their performance and exchange, shed a new light on how language was used in interaction to generate not only linguistic understanding, but also the achievement of communicative and inter-personal goals. The most recent approaches to ESP, developed in the last three decades, such as the genre-based approach continued to propose a functional and/or interactional view of language as social phenomenon existing for the purpose of communication. 2. Essential and optional properties of ESP Defining ESP is an extremely difficult task. The name itself reveals two areas of potential controversy, connected with the words specific and purpose, both of which can have several meanings. To start with the latter, a purpose can be construed as a destination of the language instruction to which learners are to be taken, i.e. its aim or goal, stated in terms of the teaching objectives or learning outcomes of the course. Alternatively, it can be interpreted as related to the reasons that the given learners have for learning English, which may be related to a life situation generating a set of language and communication needs to be The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 10

15 addressed. Likewise, specific can refer to a special, situated, use of English, typical of the targeted context at which learner are to achieve communicative proficiency, or else a distinct variety of English (i.e. a specialist discourse) used by the targeted group of users and possessing some identifiable features that the learners are to master. In fact, throughout its 60-year-long history, ESP has been construed around any and all of these meanings. Thus, it can be introduced as a needs-based and goal-oriented type of ESL/EFL instruction, with objectives and outcomes defined in terms of a linguistic product and/or an increasingly autonomous learning process, required by the learners specialism and their needs associated with that specialism. Though quite accurate, the above definition is insufficiently informative to lend itself to the task of uncovering the nature of ESP and depicting it in enough detail to distinguish it from other forms of English language teaching (ELT). For this we need to go beyond a simple definition and look at the characteristics of ESP which have been identified as distinctive by some of its leading scholars. The choice offered in this chapter is necessarily arbitrary, but an effort has been made to account for all defining variables, as well as to accommodate all leading perspectives of the 1980s and the 1990 s as the formative years of ESP which gave it the status of a distinctive approach to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. The first widely known definition of ESP was offered by Hutchinson and Waters (1987) in their now classic book English for Specific Purposes, which represented an original, learningcentered view of ESP. This perspective was proposed as an alternative to the original product conceptualization (see section 4 for a detailed discussion), still dominant at the time, which saw the aim of ESP in terms of well selected input, illustrating the features typical of the targeted register of English, which was to be delivered and turned to learners intake. The conceptualization by Hutchinson and Waters diverged from this view in that it emphasized students learning processes necessary over the knowledge of syntax, morphology and lexis of the target register, which they perceived as pragmatically and not systemically different from other varieties or registers of English. As a result, the definition offered by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 18-19) depicted ESP as an approach to language learning, which is based on learner need and in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner s reason for learning, and not a product. However, when it came to listing its distinctive properties, the authors preferred instead to state what ESP was not, taking issue with the accepted views of their time: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 11

16 not a matter of teaching specialized varieties of English, or registers; not just a matter of Science, words and grammar for Science, etc but of distinguishing between what people actually do with the language and the range of knowledge and abilities which enables them to do it; not different in kind from any other form of language teaching in the sense of not being a methodology but merely using existing methodologies to its end; not a product as it is neither a particular kind of language or methodology, nor does it consist of a particular type of teaching materials. (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987:18) As these quotations make evident, the view of ESP offered by Hutchinson and Waters is very learner-centered, since it puts learners reason to learn at the heart of the ESP enterprise and conceptualizes ESP teaching as geared to learner needs in both course content and methodology. However, neither the language taught in ESP courses nor the ways by which this is done are seen by these authors as different from any other type of English teaching and the methodology it uses, which marks a considerable withdrawal from the position of content distinctiveness, which was characteristic of the earlier, product approach. This was a rather unusual stance for the 1980 s, with its dominant emphasis on distinctiveness of specialized registers of English, either in terms of forms (grammar, lexis) or functions (discourse). A definition that was more in keeping with the trends of the 1980 s in that it recognized the uniqueness of ESP was offered by Strevens (1988). He distinguished four absolute and two variable characteristics, which collectively painted a very different picture than the one proposed by Hutchinson and Waters: a form of language teaching that was both ontologically and epistemologically distinct from General English (GE) due to being thematically related to the discipline it served. Specifically, the absolute characteristics listed by Strevens (cited after Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998: 2) depicted teaching of English for specific purposes as: designed to meet specific needs of the learner; related in content (themes and topics) to particular disciplines, occupations and activities; centered on language appropriate to those activities in syntax, lexis, discourse, semantics and analysis of the discourse; being in contrast to General English; The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 12

17 possibly but not necessarily restricted in scope to only some selected language skills or in methodology to one selected or pre-ordained method. As this list of properties makes evident, unlike Hutchinson and Waters, Strevens not only affirmed the distinctiveness of ESP, but also noticed its pedagogical consequences for the choice of both the content of teaching (i.e. linguistic input) and the methodology of the course. Another set of characteristics was put forth by Robinson (1991: 5), who offered an original interpretation of the acronym ESP, saying: what we really are involved in as ESP practitioners is not so much teaching English for specific purposes as teaching English to specified people. This conclusion was a corollary of what she perceived as the distinctive characteristics of ESP, or as she termed them, the criterial features. These included: being goal-oriented; being based on needs analysis; being more likely addressed to adults than children; being generally constrained by a limited time period; treating course learners as identical for the purpose of pedagogy, i.e. as members of homogeneous classes. The definition proposed by Robinson is interesting in that it clarifies what learner needs ESP is expected to address: the aggregate professional or educational needs of a particular group of learners as a whole rather than a sum of personal needs experienced by individual learners. Such needs are clearly easier to assess and translate into a syllabus fit for all students desiring to learn, say, Business English, regardless of their actual job or occupation. Obviously, this understanding of learner needs has much welcome consequences for ESP practitioners, who can offer courses of English for General Business Purposes (EGBP) based on a generic Business English course book, instead of having to assess specific needs of each group of learners and preparing a highly specialized course of English for Specific Business Practices (ESBP). This conclusion is legitimized by Robinson s view on the content of ESP courses, which may but do not have to involve specialist language (especially terminology) and content (1991: 4), suggestive of a certain departure from the original, register-centered conceptualization of ESP. In fact, Robinson goes as far as maintaining that ESP does not even have to address a very specific, employment- or education related need, but may be an answer to an institutional requirement to study English, usually because its role as an international The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 13

18 language of communication, trade and research, as long as it is designed with a particular class of students in mind (Robinson, 1991: 4) The classic definition of ESP In contrast to Robinson and following in the footsteps of Strevens, Dudley-Evans and St. John insisted on the distinctiveness of ESP, which they viewed as decidedly different from other forms of English language instruction, if not necessarily in content then obligatorily in methodology. These scholars based their definition of ESP on two important assumptions: that all ESP teaching should reflect the methodology of the disciplines and professions it serves, though not necessarily their content, and that language should be included as a defining feature of ESP (Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998: 4). While the former assumption is self-explanatory and unequivocal, the latter may be interpreted as an opinion in the language-content debate, where the authors clearly posit that ESP is about language teaching and not the teaching of the subject discipline, which should be seen as no more than the carrier of the selected linguistic input. A complete list of three absolute and four variable characteristics of ESP offered by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998: 4-5) looks as follows: Absolute characteristics: ESP is designed to meet specific needs of the learner; ESP makes use of the underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves; ESP is centered on the language (grammar, lexis, register), skills, discourse, and genres appropriate to these activities. Variable characteristics: ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines; ESP may use, in specific situations, a different methodology from that of general English; ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either in a tertiary level institution or in a professional situation. It could, however, be used for learners at secondary school level; ESP is generally designed for intermediate to advanced students. Most ESP courses assume basic knowledge of the language system, but it can be used with beginners. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 14

19 In addition to what has already been said, two more comments are in place here. First, the definition offered by Dudley-Evans and St. John has been extremely influential in the field owing to its conceptual capacity and the broad perspective it offers. As such, it lends itself to multiple interpretations, including the one favored by most ESP practitioners that ESP is distinct from other forms of ELT in that it uses the methodology of the discipline it serves, which may be different from that of General English, and occasionally may even develop a methodology that would be particularly conducive to teaching situated language use, as was the case with the register-analysis method of the 1960 s, and the modern genre-analysis and content-based methods developed in the 1990 s. Consequently, if ESP can have original methodology, then it may be viewed as an approach to language teaching in its own right, which among others things, would require different professional knowledge on the part of the teacher than English for General Purposes (EGP). That Dudley-Evans and St. John s definition has gained the status of the definition of ESP does not mean that other researchers have refrained from defining ESP in their own terms. However, they invariably refer to the definition for its broad, analytic framework provided by the list of essential and variable characteristics. In the past decade, an eloquent and insightful definition was provided by Belcher (2009: 1-2), who construed ESP as a specific-learnercentered language instruction, distinguished from other approaches to ELT by a commitment to the goal of providing language instruction that addresses students own specific purposes, and ultimately aimed at learner autonomy as users of the targeted specialist discourse. What this entails for ESP practitioners is, first of all, identifying learners needs, and then developing and adapting materials and methods to enable needs responsive instruction while concurrently acquiring the expertise to function as needs knowledgeable instructors (Belcher, 2009: 3). All this is done in the attempt to produce a competent learneruser of a given specialist register, who is aware of formal (systemic) and pragmatic (functional and socio-cultural) characteristics of the targeted register, has mastered some of its discourse (grammar, lexis, communicative functions, texts, and genres), and has thus acquired some target skills and competences, but also developed proper learning strategies to keep on learning while functioning in the discourse community. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 15

20 2.2. A summative definitions of ESP If all the above definitions were to be fused into one (as attempted by the present author), such a summative definition, reflecting a multi-approach position and drawing on the various conceptualizations of ESP developed over the years, might perhaps look as follows: ESP is goal-oriented, in that it has a specific purpose which governs and to some extent limits content and methodological choices; ESP is learner-centered, or focused on the learner s reason(s) to learn the language use or the specialist variety related to employment or education; ESP is needs-based, in that a course syllabus is designed on the basis of the results disclosed by student needs analysis (SNA), which ideally comprises the objective target situation analysis (TSA) and more subjective present situation analysis (PSA), conducted by the course teacher; ESP is related to a discipline of study or an occupation/profession, whether broadly or narrowly defined, in content (main topics and concepts), form (typical lexis, texts, and genres), and context (typical situations and tasks). This is manifested in its internal heterogeneity comprising three main categories: English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), English for Professional Purposes (EPP), and English for Academic Purposes (EAP), further subdivided according to their degree of specificity (see section 3 below); ESP is concerned primarily with language use of the target group or discourse community and with communicative (as opposed to purely linguistic) proficiency of increasingly autonomous learners as they gradually change their status of learners to that of conscious and efficient users; ESP is generally taught to adult learner with considerable linguistic knowledge (of grammar, lexis and semantics), at least in its higher, broad-angled variety, where the needs-relevant instruction offered acts as a close-up of the targeted variety of the target language and not as its reduced version. The above characteristics are included in most definitions of ESP, and certainly the ones quoted above. In this sense, they are non-controversial, in contrast to the three additional features that have not gained universal acceptance in the field but are nonetheless argued in this thesis, namely: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 16

21 ESP is an offspring of all purpose English Language Teaching (ELT), as posited by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 17), but one that has developed its own theories and methodologies in addition to using those developed in the field of ELT; ESP is distinct from General English (GE) or English for General Purposes (EGP), where the differences derive mainly from ESP s concern with learners language and communication needs, target language pragmatics, and the presence of two types of content: language as the real content and the non-linguistic, subject discipline as the carrier content of teaching and learning (the division posited by Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998: 11); ESP is different from other types of dual-focus instruction involving a second or foreign language, notably Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and the content-driven variety of Content Based Instruction (CBI), known as sheltered CBI, in that it necessarily and invariably language-driven and primarily concerned with linguistic content and not the subject content of the discipline to which ESP is related, whose main function is to provide the context of use (see section 6 for a discussion of the ESP-CLIL interface). The wording offered above is, admittedly, rather extremist, in keeping with the view of the ontological and epistemological distinctiveness of ESP held by the author (see Górska- Poręcka, 2011b), who is fully aware that not all ESP theorists or practitioners would recognize the above additional properties as even optional characteristics of special purpose instruction. However, as the subsequent sections shall demonstrate, ESP is a rich and pluralistic field, which has been defined and re-defined over the years, proving capable of accommodating various philosophically, conceptually, and methodically diverse views. 3. The diversity of ESP The various conceptualizations of the nature and domain of ESP reflected in the definitions reviewed above attest to the great pluralism of ESP. At the same time, they suggest the existence of several areas of ontological controversy in the field. These areas may be identified as pertaining to: The general view of ESP as concerned with either the linguistic goals of learning or the learning process and so emphasizing different sets of learner needs (the productprocess dilemma); The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 17

22 The type of specificity sought,dependent on its source (features of language, learner, or discourse community); The relationship between language instruction and subject content instruction, or the place of subject content in ESP; The methodological distinctiveness of ESP from EGP (the approach-method dilemma). The fact that there is no universally accepted position on any of these defining issues indicates that although the practical distinctiveness of ESP from EGP is clear to both sides of the teaching and learning process, its theoretical or conceptual distinctiveness is still a controversial issue for scholars. On the other hand, nobody fails to acknowledge the diversity of the field, evidenced by the existence of many types of ESP, such as English for Academic Purposes (EAP) or English for Legal Purposes (ELP), and an even greater variety of ESP courses. A seemingly uncontroversial view of the diversity of ESP attributes it to the presence of some type of learner specialism, which is responsible for the fact that we have ESP courses of Business English for business managers, secretaries and business students, or Legal English for legal practitioners, paralegals, and law students. Yet, while the existence of such narrowlyfocused courses is a fact, their actual place in the matrix of ESP types would depend on the approach to classification that is adopted. One approach to classifying ESP types, represented for instance by Hutchinson and Waters, starts with an assertion that if ESP serves (or is related to) different disciplines then these disciplines, with their specific practices and discourse, should be taken as the basis of any classification. These disciplinary categories are then subdivided according to the life situation of the learners into those related to study or to employment and then the actual degree program or job. The result is a classification of ESP by professional area, which may look as originally proposed by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 16-17): English for Science and Technology (EST) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) English for medical studies, English for engineering, etc English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) English for medical practice, English for nursing, English for technicians, etc. English for Business and Economics (EBE) The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 18

23 English for Academic Purposes (EAP) English for students of management, English for students of economics, etc. English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) English for managers, English for secretaries, etc English for Social Sciences (ESS) English for Academic Purposes (EAP) English for law studies, English for psychology, etc English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) English for legal practitioners, English for psychological counselors, etc. An alternative approach to the task of classifying ESP types starts with the learners general life situation (study vs. employment) and then looks at the disciplinary, professional or occupational specialism as the subdividing variable, with the resulting classification looking like for instance in Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998: 6) or Basturkmen (2010: 6), where the latter typology is presented below. English for Academic Purposes (EAP) English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) English for academic writing, English for academic reading, etc English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) English for law studies, English for business studies, etc English for Professional Purposes (EPP) English for General Professional Purposes (EGPP) English for the health care sector, English for banking, etc English for Specific Professional Purposes (ESPP) English for nursing, English for dentists, English for capital market analysts, etc English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) English for General Occupational Purposes (EGOP) English for the hospitality industry, English for the transportation industry, etc English for Specific Occupational Purposes (ESOP) English for hotel receptionists, English for waiters, English for taxi drivers, etc A quick comparison of the two types of classification shows that although they have different departure points (discipline vs. situation), they lead to the same set of destinations because there is no difference between them at the course level. This observation could lead to an erroneous conclusion that the difference between the two kinds of ESP type classification is The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 19

24 negligible as consisting in the simple switching of category labels with sub-category labels. However, the divide runs deeper than this because in fact the different organizing principles of the two types of classifications are indicative of a considerable division in theoretical views on the nature of ESP specificity. While the discipline-based typologies embody a conceptualization of specificity as a derivative of the non-linguistic cognitive subject matter (discipline), with its practices and discourse, the situation-based classifications clearly view it as a derivative of the learners life target situation in which the target language is or will be used, considered as a part of the socio-cultural context. This suggests that specificity in ESP is not an obvious propensity, but an area of strong ontological controversy, as will be demonstrated in section 5 of this chapter. However, before this issue can be properly discussed, it is necessary to briefly review the various established approaches to ESP, which originated as its developmental stages but nowadays co-exist as methodological options. 4. The development of ESP Since its beginnings in the 1960 s, ESP has undergone several phases of development, informed by new trends in linguistics, psychology, sociology, and ethnography. Each of these developmental phases produced a distinct approach to special language instruction, which proposed its own understanding of the goal of teaching for a specific purpose, the definition of proper linguistic content, the method used for learner needs assessment, and the concept of effective language instruction, identifying the most conducive methodology. In their seminal book on ESP, Hutchinson and Waters (1987) distinguish five developmental stages of the approach, distinguished on the basis of the core concept or basic hypothesis adopted by their proponents: 1) The register analysis stage 2) The discourse analysis stage 3) The target situation analysis stage 4) The skills and strategies stage 5) The learning-centered stage This original list has been supplemented by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998) and later Basturkmen (2006) to include more recent developments. This brings the total to eight distinctive approaches to ESP: the classic five listed above and the three new additions, namely: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 20

25 6) The deep-end strategy approach (also called the activity-based approach) 7) The genre-analysis approach 8) The content-based approach Before briefly characterizing each of the eight approaches, two remarks should be made for clarification purposes. Firstly, while the approaches are listed in more or less their chronological order, according to when they were first proposed, none of them is entirely obsolete and all of them are practiced concurrently albeit on a different scale, and not necessarily in their pure form. Conversely, what can be observed in ESP today is considerable eclecticism or pluralism in research, underlying theory, teaching methodology, and classroom practice, as each of the approaches has contributed a different but complementary rather than contrastive perspective on ESP (Basturkmen, 2006; Belcher 204, 2009). For this reason, the different perspectives on ESP will be referred to as approaches to ESP rather than its developmental stages. Secondly, it should be noted that the eight approaches vary with respect to how theory-driven versus data-driven they are, and, in the latter case, what type of research they rest upon: into the learners reasons for learning (their needs) or into the formal (systemic) and socio-cultural characteristics of the targeted specific variety (register) of English. Thirdly, the eight approaches listed also vary with respect to how strongly ontologically versus epistemologically oriented they are, where ontological orientation means focusing on the nature of knowledge to be taught and learned while epistemological orientation entails a stronger interest in finding the most conducive teaching method (materials, activity, assessment type) to ensure the achievement of the specific goals (teaching objectives and learning outcome). All these issues will be discussed in more detail later, but they are worth keeping in mind while examining and evaluating individual approaches to fully appreciate their diversity The register-analysis approach The central concept of this approach, popular in the 1960 s and early 1970 s, was that each specific group of users had their own special variety of language, called register, which could be analyzed by means of a frequency analysis known as lexicostatistics (Swales, 1988) conducted to uncover its systemic grammatical and lexical - propensities, chiefly those occurring at the sentence level. Underlying this approach was a still predominantly structuralist view of language, describing it in terms of structural units and core vocabulary but introducing the idea of variance in the frequency of their occurrence as a function of The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 21

26 language use. Probably the first researcher to have postulated the existence of a disciplinerelated register was Barber (1962), who argued that the nature of scientific English differed from that of ordinary English in that it made more frequent use of not only certain lexical items related to scientific concepts but also certain grammatical structures, like the passive voice or nominalization. He was soon joined by many followers, including Strevens, (Strevens et al. 1964), and Ewer (Ewer and Lattore, 1969; Ewer and Hughes-Davis, 1971), who tried to identify the grammatical and lexical features of various registers of ESP, especially of what is now known as English for Science and Technology (EST) and, subsequently, translate them into a lexico-grammatical syllabus (as defined by Flowerdew and Peacock, 2001) to ensure maximal exposure to and practice of the identified high frequency items. The goal of specific instruction was to be attained by means of reading and analyzing long, subject-specific texts which necessarily contained the targeted grammatical and lexical points but generally lacked in both authenticity and communicativeness. The register-analysis approach to ESP, especially in its lexico-grammatical version is rarely practiced anymore, mostly because research has largely failed to support its central hypothesis of sentence-level register distinctiveness. This does not mean that the concept of special register has fallen into oblivion. In fact, computational linguistics with its corpus studies (e.g. Gavioli, 2005) has given it a new impetus, although the focus has clearly shifted away from rule-governed sentence-level grammar to lexical phrases (collocations, formulas) used in specific-purpose communications. Yet perhaps the most important legacy of the register approach is the view of ESP as a product to be delivered to the learner in the form of a somewhat artificially distinguished variety of the English language. Alternatively, we can say that register analysts started the tradition within ESP to always include a description of specific language into a definition of ESP as special language instruction, although in the subsequent four decades the emphasis has been shifting between the description of the register itself (the so-called product approaches) and the description of the process by which a given register may be learned (the process approaches). The product view of ESP was upheld by the proponents of the subsequent approach, discourse analysis, who also tried to define specialized areas of language use (registers) by reference to a formal descriptive category, though this time located at a supra-sentence level of the text. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 22

27 4.2. The discourse analysis approach The main assumption of this approach, which effectively dominated ESP on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970 s, was that any special or specific language use can be described in terms of rhetorical or discourse patterns present in its typical texts. Thus, it was imperative that relevant patterns be identified and taught to learners, whose communication problems were attributed to unfamiliarity with the relevant language use, rather than insufficient or defective knowledge of the English system. The groundbreaking work in discourse analysis ESP was carried out by the Washington School linguists, Lackstrom, Selinker, and Trimble (1973), but perhaps the most pronounced theorist of the approach was Widdowson (1972, 1978, 1983, 1989), who argued for the primacy of language use (which he called usage ) over language form and the need to teach language as communication by showing students how sentences are used in the performance of different communicative acts and practicing these rhetorical patterns rather than study sentence patterns and practice composition of sentences. The teaching practice of the discourse analysis approach was seemingly little different from the register-analysis approach as it consisted once again in reading lengthy specialized texts, this time with a view to uncovering supra-sentence functional patterns. However, the focus on communication was entirely novel, even if the perception of the nature of communicative proficiency was still rather formal, as resulting from linguistic rather than socio-pragmatic and cultural competence. This focus on the principles of language use led to the development of two new syllabus types: the functional syllabus, organized around communicative functions, and the notional syllabus, organized around conceptual categories (see e.g. Brown, 1994; Hutchinson and Waters, 1987; Richards, 1990; or Wilkins, 1976), which were often fused into one type known as the functional-notional syllabus for its attempt to organize special-purpose language teaching around the functions (rhetorical patterns) and notions (concepts) present in a specific discourse, instead of formal, grammatical and lexical characteristics (Flowerdew and Peacock, 2001) The target situation analysis approach The third product approach to ESP, originally called the needs analysis approach but now known chiefly as the target needs analysis approach, (term by Hutchinson and Waters, 1987:12) differed from the previous two in that it never attempted to propose a new theoretical framework for the description of language or its specialist variety. Instead, its The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 23

28 novelty consisted in proposing a new method of identifying aspects of the target language to be taught in language instruction for a given specific purpose to ensure the attainment of its goal. This time, the method was neither lexicostatistics nor rhetorical mapping, but a procedure for relating language analysis more closely to learners reasons for learning (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987:12), called needs analysis by its earlier advocates such as Munby (1978) or Mackay and Mountford (1978) and target situation analysis (TSA) by its later re-evaluators like Chambers (1980) and critics like Hutchinson and Waters (1987). The idea behind the procedure was to describe the targeted language use in terms of attributes of the communicative situation, such as communicative purpose, setting, type of interaction, means of communication, and formal linguistic competence required, comprising language skills, functions, structures, etc. The most comprehensive explanation of the nature and application of the target situation analysis was offered by Munby (1978), who developed the Communication Needs Processor (CNP) model, capable of generating a detailed profile of learner needs by analyzing the relevant variables involved in a communicative situation, organized into a set of eleven closely sequenced and dynamically related parameters: participant, purposive domain, setting, interaction, instrumentality, dialect, target level, communicative event, communicative key, language skills selector, and (the properties of) the meaning processor. While the CNP model has proved rather impractical due to its considerable complexity, it has certainly provided a framework for analyzing learner needs, whose simplified version, comprising only a handful of parameters like type of communicative event, its purpose, participants, task or message (text) involved, continues to be used by ESP practitioners. It is the concept of learner needs as variables specifiable in terms of situational use that constitutes the lasting legacy of the target situation analysis approach, although it should be noted that the current meaning of needs analysis comprises both the analysis of the targeted use and the analysis of the learner s actual linguistic and communicative performance in an attempt to match the two and establish the content of the course by specifying the gap between them. The imperative to analyze learner needs in terms of linguistic and communicative lacks, wants, as well as affective (motivational) factors was first advanced by Hutchinson and Waters (1987) in their learningcentered approach. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 24

29 4.4. The skills and strategies approach The approach labeled skills and strategies by Hutchinson and Waters (1987:13) and analysis of the study skills by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998:24) is the least known of the historical perspectives on ESP, chiefly because its development was a natural offspring of the discourse analysis approach and the functional-notional syllabus it promoted. Also, the skills approach produced few ESP courses or projects, of which the best known is probably the University of Malaya ESP Project (UMESPP), an initiative of a rather limited reach. However, the interest in skills which was characteristic of this approach has proven to be a lasting contribution to ESP, though not necessarily in the original, cognitivist rendering, which saw skills as a function of knowledge of the language system and awareness of the thinking processes, assumed to underpin language use and enable language users to extract meaning from discourse. The skills approach ESP practitioners took no notice of the social context and situational setting in which these skills were used, proposing instead to analyze and teach them using general rather than specialist materials, which was a corollary to their belief that the underlying processes were not specific to any special register. This probably explains why the practitioners of the skills approach focused on receptive skills of reading and listening, which are arguably less affected by context variables that their productive counterparts. The approach did not survive the 1980 s, when it found partial continuation in the learning-centered approach proposed by Hutchinson and Waters, also rather short-lived. It seems that the limited popularity of the skills approach (as well as the learning approach which followed) can be attributed to the fact that by advocating a more general approach focused on the learning processes involved in learning English for a specific purpose rather than the nature of the specific variety of English to be learned, its proponents negated the very founding premise of ESP The learning-centered approach As already mentioned, the main characteristic of the approach developed by Hutchinson and Waters in the 1980 s was the concern with language learning, which was given priority over the previously advocated concern with the target language system or its situated use. The fathers of the learning-centered type of ESP argued in their classic book published in 1987 that a truly valid approach to ESP must be based on an understanding of the processes of language learning (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987: 14), which ultimately meant that ESP should be focused on language learning processes rather than the special language or register The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 25

30 to be learned (i.e. the product of learning). Hence, their view of ESP as a needs-based approach to language learning (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987: 19), whose assumption had a number of consequences, from the rejection of the concept of special register with its prevailing grammatical structures, lexical items, or discourse patterns to the rejection of an idea that ESP may be a methodology or even that it may need a special methodology. Conversely, Hutchinson and Waters held that ESP was not different in kind from any other form of language teaching in that it should be based in the first instance on principles of effective and efficient learning (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987: 18), which in fact meant that ESP was not, as Strevens (1988) argued, a type of language instruction formed in contrast to General English, but merely its part or extension. That such thinking found little support in the field is hardly surprising, but this does not mean that the approach made no contribution to the theory and practice of ESP. In fact, by turning other scholars attention to students language learning mechanisms Hutchinson and Waters contributed to a broader understanding of the learner as an active participant of the process and of learner needs, which have since been seen as including also learning needs. The two scholars may be credited with truly putting the learner at the center of the teaching and learning process as more than the empty vessel to absorb the rules, words, patterns and skills comprising the end product but as an active participant with intellectual and affective faculties that can enhance or, conversely, hinder the language learning process, unless properly identified and handled by the course designer and teacher. In a way then, the proponents of the learning approach added the missing part of the concept of learner-centeredness which is one of the founding pillars of ESP as conceptualized today. On the other hand, they planted a controversy among ESP scholars and practitioners as to whether their domain should be concerned with the nature of a specific variety of English as some subset of the language system or a special use of that system, or else the process of learning the target language in such a way that it may be used for any specific purpose The deep-end strategy approach (activity-based-approach) The approach to ESP labeled the deep end approach by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998:190) can be seen as an early version of the current task-based learning approach (TBL) in that it emphasized the importance of learning a language by using it. The basic premise of the original deep-end approach and all other activity approaches is that in order to achieve the goal of learner communicative competence the target performance should be practiced in a The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 26

31 quasi natural way, involving authentic and purposeful interaction among learners, elicited through participation in realistic, carefully contextualized simulations calling for the performance of various meaningful tasks. The leading man behind the movement from the very beginning has been Nunan (1988a, 1988b, 1989, 1991, 2004), who first proposed to center ESP teaching on the learner as the future user of the targeted specific language. Compared to the previously discussed approaches, Nunan s view of ESP is strongly methodological as it gives primacy to how a specific language is to be taught over considerations related to the nature of the specific language, the learner s reasons (needs) to learn it, or the cognitive and affective prerequisites to effective language learning. The position assumes that while learning by authentic interaction (i.e. one that has a pragmatic purpose) learners not only practice their L2 but also gain critical awareness of their current linguistic competence and discover effective communicative strategies that can be resorted to in order to achieve their communicative purposes. Thus, a considerable communicative competence or communicative proficiency is acquired, which can then be transferred to employment or education related contexts and settings. Clearly, the activity based approaches, and especially TBL, are considerably indebted to the target situation analysis approach and the skills approach, but their closest kinship is with the Communicative Language Teaching (CTL) approach to General English instruction, with which activity based approaches share an interactionalist perspective on language and the basic premise that communicative proficiency arises through meaningful use. However, what makes Nunan s position unique is his insistence on authenticity of classroom interaction, which in his interpretation has to be a full communicative act involving a real pragmatic purpose and the transfer of some non-linguistic information, and not merely a linguistic exchange (Nunan, 1989, 2004). While the activity approaches do not advance our understanding of ESP as a form of language instruction defined by its linguistic and sociopragmatic content, they certainly demonstrate that ESP may develop its own methodology, conducive to the achievement of its teaching objectives, such as the use of tasks and simulations. Among ESP approaches there is only one more similarly method-based or method-oriented perspective, namely the content-based approach, which will be discussed in section 4.8 The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 27

32 4.7. The genre-analysis approach In the words of its most pronounced theorist, John Swales (1988, 1990, 2004), the genreanalysis approach, which traces its beginnings to the early 1990 s, develops and makes use of three key concepts: discourse community, genre and language learning task (1990:1). Among the many influences on his and other genre-analysts work (e.g. Bhatia, 1993, 2003, 2008; Jordan, 1997, and Paltridge 2001, 2002), Swales lists a number of approaches to ESP and ELT teaching, including the skills approach, the (target) situational approach, the notional-functional approach, and the discourse analysis approach, each of which is credited for contributing a useful concept or an idea. Certainly, the genre analysis approach is the youngest addition to the ESP tradition of viewing language from a functionalist perspective as a system of communication made up of some units of form and function, here called genres, which are seen as collective and socially derived. Basically, the genre approach holds that communicative proficiency is a matter of mastering the specific genres of a targeted discourse community, defined as classes of communicative events owned by a given discourse community and identifiable by a shared set of communicative purposes arising from an underlying pragmatic rationale. Familiarity with relevant specialist genres is of great importance to ESP learners because of constraints they place on communication between discourse community members. These constraints, which take the form of conventions regulating the content, positioning, and form of genres, can be learned in an ESP classroom, provided relevant genres are presented, analyzed, and practiced by performing carefully designed and validated (authenticated) language learning tasks, which draw on a range of cognitive and communicative procedures relatable to the acquisition of [ ] genre skills (Swales, 1990:77), and make use of relevant authentic materials produced by the members of a targeted discourse community for communicative not educational purposes. The genre-analysis approach to ESP is perhaps the single most popular approach among ESP researchers and practitioners today. Its popularity seems to derive from the capacity of its central concept, genre, which elegantly comprises the linguistic, communicative, and cultural aspects of language use in specific, employment- or education related settings. Also, the approach is not theoretically homogenous and consequently lends itself to different pedagogical applications. In fact, the internal heterogeneity of the genre analysis approach lets us distinguish three distinct sub-approaches, which were first identified by Hyon (1996): the ESP approach of Swales, Bhatia and Paltridge, the Sydney School approach of Hallidayan functionalists like Martin (1992), and the New Age approach, represented by Freedman and The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 28

33 Medway (1994). In the account of Hyon (1996), the three sub-approaches differ in their orientation (where the former two are said to be linguistically oriented while the latter is more socially or contextually oriented), and in their applicability to language instruction, which again sets the New Rhetoric School apart from the others for the lack of interest in pedagogy. While any longer discussion of the schools within the genre analysis approach is outside the scope of this chapter, it is nevertheless worth noting that regardless of their special research preferences, (which in some cases include the use of corpus linguistic techniques e.g. by Paltridge, 2001, 2002), the proponents of the genre analysis all seek to describe language use in terms of specific relations between features of the context, communicative function, or purpose, and linguistic form. Clearly, this position in all its varieties is particularly compatible with the general goal of ESP, which is to develop full communicative competence of foreign learners of a specialist variety of English, thus transforming them into proficient users of that register or discourse The content-based approach The content-based approach to ESP differs from the seven approaches described above in that it is a creative extension of the original idea of ESP (or LSP in general) as an efficient, goaloriented, needs-based type of language instruction rather than its redefinition or interpretation. This is due to the fact that content-based instruction, also called content-based learning (respectively, CBI and CBL) has added a new dimension to the teaching and learning of foreign languages for specific purposes by introducing subject content into the picture as not only the other pedagogical focus of ESP but a medium through which and alongside which the language is taught. Originally, in the 1980 s and 1990 s, the importance attached to subject content was secondary in comparison to language, more a question of topical or thematic syllabus organization than a holistic and multi-content learning project that it has evolved into with the onset of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). The relationship between ESP, CBI and CLIL merits a more thorough discussion, which will be offered in section 6. At the moment, it should suffice to say that CBI was developed in the United States largely for remedial purposes, notably to aid foreign college students who were in the process of acquiring subject knowledge taught in English in a high immersion situation but sometimes lacked the necessary linguistic and socio-cultural competences. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 29

34 The leading researchers of the movement include Brinton, Snow, and Wesche, who authored its manifesto, Content-Based Second Language Instruction, in 1989 and have continued contributing since (e.g. Brinton and Master (Eds.) 1997; Snow and Brinton, 1997), as well as Grabe (1993), and Gaffield-Vile (1996). Basing on their teaching practice these scholars have noticed that unlike other ESP learners, those learning English in knowledge contexts are strongly cognitively oriented and see English in purely instrumental terms, as a tool with which they can obtain the education pursued. The needs of these learners can be addressed by integrating language and subject content rather than teaching separate courses of both, especially that such double-focused instruction can benefit students by activating a greater number of cognitive as well as communicative learning mechanisms. There are several varieties of CBI, but the classic ones are the three CBI models developed by Brinton, Snow, and Wesche (1989: 4): theme-based, adjunct, and sheltered, which differ mainly in the degree of integration of the two elements and their relative importance. Of the three models, the theme-based approach is clearly most akin to classic ESP in that it is language-driven and taught by a language teacher but uses topics, concepts, and activities of the discipline to structure and scaffold the instruction to better prepare learners for full fledged studies of their chosen discipline. The adjunct type of CBI, on the other hand, is more content-driven in that it accompanies and closely parallels a subject course, offering students additional linguistic practice on tasks required in the subject course, which obviously requires much collaboration from language and content teachers. Finally, the sheltered variety of CBI is really a content course taught by a content specialist with special attention paid to the language of instruction (invariably, ESL) and some extra linguistic tasks offered as language clinic. There is no doubt that in the last three decades the idea of integrating language and subject content has been very influential on both sides of the Atlantic, whether under the name of sheltered CBI or CLIL. Notwithstanding the differences between the two approaches, it seems that generally the idea of embracing and integrating subject content, rather than diminishing if not altogether ignoring it, does produce positive learning effects, particularly in high immersion educational contexts where English is the language of instruction acting as a knowledge carrier or vehicle. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 30

35 4.9. Summary of the differences between the ESP approaches As the above discussion makes evident, ESP is an amazingly pluralistic area of language instruction, where various ontologically and epistemologically different approaches co-exist. The differences between the eight approaches outlined above become even more evident when we apply some standardized forms of description, like those suggested in Table 1.1. It should be noted that here, as in the discussion above, the various approaches to ESP are described from the point of view of theoretical assumptions about language and language learning that they espouse. Consequently, the methodological implications of these assumptions are stated only in general terms, without examples of specific tasks or texts used. Approach Central concept Basic hypothesis Methodological implications Register analysis Special register as a part of linguistic competence, related to a discipline of study or area of employment Registers differ at the sentence level and each can be characterized by a different set of frequently used grammatical and lexical items Teaching register-specific items through exposure to relevant input, using a lexico-grammatical (structural) syllabus Discourse analysis Rhetorical/discourse pattern as the building block of language use Specific varieties of language are different at the text level as they use different rhetorical patterns Teaching language use through identification and analysis of discourse patterns present in typical texts, using a functionalnotional syllabus Target situation analysis Objective needs analysis (target situation analysis) as a way to determine what input to teach to meet learners objectives ESP should teach the grammar, lexis, and discourse present in situations typical of a given target group, as revealed by a target situation analysis Teaching specific language use by exposure to and practice of texts and functions in heavily contextualized situations, using a functional or situational syllabus Skills and strategies Full analysis of learners objective and subjective needs as a way to determine the linguistic content of an ESP course Learning a language consists in acquiring linguistic skills as well as mastering learning and communication strategies involved in purposeful communication Teaching consists in providing suitable input and practice for the development of the targeted skills together with accompanying strategies, according to a skills-based syllabus Learning- Language learning, as Learning is done by a Teaching should be aimed at The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 31

36 centered entirely determined by the learner, i.e. the knowledge and learning skills he/she brings to the learning situation and uses to learn new knowledge combination of internal (mental) processing and social negotiation. Effective language learning needs to engage different learning mechanisms and involve the learner in its design maximizing the potential of each learning situation by basing it on needs analysis, and engaging both cognitive and communicative learning mechanisms, according to a dynamic learner syllabus, proposed by the teacher and negotiated with learners Deep-end strategy Language as a social system, created to communicate and acquired through interaction A foreign language can only be learned quasinaturally, by participation in authentic interactions, with real pragmatic goals, texts, and tasks Teaching through practicing targeted output in highly contextualized situations and exposure to relevant authentic materials, using an activity-based syllabus (taskor simulation-based) Genre analysis Genre, as a unit of language use, defined in terms of its systemicfunctional or sociocultural characteristics Discourse communities engage in and own different genres, which embody and reveal their culture, understood as shared concepts Teaching through exposure to genre samples, which are analyzed and then practiced according to a genre-based syllabus Content based Integrated learning of a language and subject content as a way to engage more cognitive mechanisms The specialist discourse is learned through subject content, understood as themes, concepts, tasks, situations, and texts of the discipline or profession that ESP serves Teaching by exposure to relevant texts and performance of tasks typical of a discipline or profession to which ESP is related, according to a thematic (topical) syllabus Table 1.1: Perspectives on ESP - a summary The founding concept of ESP as a purposeful, goal-oriented and needs-based type of language instruction has not changed since the 1960 s. However, over the years this basic concept has been subject to various interpretations, usually informed by developments in linguistics or second language acquisition, or other social studies, such as psychology, sociology or ethnography. Each of these interpretations or approaches would form a central hypothesis and develop a set of its own theoretical concepts in order to give meaning to the guiding principle of ESP: Tell me what you need English for and I will tell you the English that you need (Hutchinson and Waters 1987: 8). The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 32

37 5. Areas of ontological controversy in ESP The above discussion of the theoretical approaches to ESP reveals the existence of several areas of controversy, which continue to stir debates in the field. It seems that from the onset of ESP the most livid disputes among ESP scholars and practitioners have been those focused on the following basic questions: Should ESP focus on the language and skills needed for the target situation, or on the methods and strategies used in the process of learning specific-purpose English? What does the defining specificity of ESP consist in? What is the place of subject content in ESP? The questions are ontological in nature as they clearly stem from the concept of ESP as the type of language instruction shaped by learners needs related to their specialism. Specifically, the first one reflects the fundamental choice of special purpose language teaching between teaching linguistic and pragmatic competence enabling the learners to use the targeted domain-specific discourse in the targeted situation versus teaching communicative strategies and pragmatic principles enabling the learners to communicate proficiently and effectively. To some extent, the difference is that of emphasis: Do we emphasize the declarative or the procedural part of knowing the targeted special language, or, in other words, knowledge about language or language proficiency? The second question has multiple answers where the answering scholar or practitioner has to decide what is specific about ESP by selecting one of the classic views of ESP specificity, attributing it to different sources, and then choose a suitable degree of specificity to include in the course by consulting contextual variables Finally, the third question is a scale or cline question referring to the relative amounts of language and subject content needed for special- rather than generalpurpose English instruction. Taken collectively, a scholar s or practitioner s answers to these questions seems to reveal his or her perception of the place of ESP in English Language Teaching (ELT) as significantly or slightly ontologically different and distinct from EGP The product-process dilemma This dilemma was mentioned in section 1.4, which discussed various approaches to ESP describing them as alternatively product- or process-oriented. At the heart of the dichotomy is the question whether an ESP course should focus on learners needs expressed in terms of the linguistic, discoursal and/or socio-cultural features of the targeted domain-specific language The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 33

38 use (i.e.. the product) or, conversely, on the way in which the specialist discourse should be taught so that both the required language skills and the learning strategies conducive to their development can be fostered. This is not to say that some approaches are concerned only with what is to be taught in an ESP course whereas others with how the targeted language use is to be induced and automatized. Clearly, all approaches deal with both questions but differ in their specification of the right mix of the declarative knowledge about versus the procedural knowledge of the targeted special language to be provided to learners in order to meet their linguistic and communicative needs. Thus, the product approaches are more cognitivelyoriented and concerned with the provision of declarative language knowledge than the process approaches, which are purely communicatively-oriented and so concerned with procedural knowledge. As a result of this theoretical orientation, the approaches differ significantly in their prescription for effective learning. Product approaches are input-oriented in that they emphasize exposure to properly contextualized, comprehensive input (see Krashen, 1985) and focused on form as they insist on a guided cognitive analysis of selected syntactic, textual or socio-cultural patterns as a way of arriving at necessary semantic and pragmatic conclusions. By comparison, the process approaches are clearly output-oriented and focused on socially constructed meaning in that they emphasize purposeful interaction with the teacher, peers, and materials as a way in which learners construct their language systems by problem solving and negotiation of meaning in a friendly zone of proximal development (see Vygotsky, 1962; Lantolf, 2000). In should be noted that in many ways the product-process dichotomy echoes the educationalutilitarian (functional) distinction of Byram (2010), or a similar, epistemic-utilitarian distinction proposed by Gozdawa-Gołębiowski (2013). There, the difference is attributed to the definition of the goal of learning and teaching, where as Gozdawa-Gołębiowski (2013: 37) states: The epistemic goal is the accumulation of knowledge, the utilitarian goal is the acquisition of skills. With reference to language teaching/learning this implies the difference between declarative and procedural knowledge, between knowing and doing, between knowing that and knowing how. In ESP, which is primarily concerned with communicative proficiency, or knowing how to use the language in the target situation, and so is utilitarian by definition, this means that the various approaches differ with respect to the relative importance they attach to the epistemic goal, and consequently to the provision of knowledge about the targeted discourse in addition to the knowledge of that discourse. Unsurprisingly, the cognitively-oriented approaches, i.e. register analysis, discourse analysis, The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 34

39 target situation analysis, and genre analysis, which focus on studying linguistic, pragmatic, and socio-cultural features of the targeted special language are considerably more epistemic than the strictly communicatively-oriented and so purely utilitarian - skills and strategies approach, or deep-end strategy approaches like TBL. These, as directly related to the practice of ESP and specifically to setting course parameters while developing a specific-purpose language course will be further discussed in Chapter Two, as well as explored in the empirical study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation and described in Chapters Five and Six The specificity issue In ESP specificity is axiomatically related to learners specialism, whose recognition makes ESP what it is: pragmatic, goal-oriented and learner-centered language education. This part is not controversial, but there is no agreement in the field on how much specificity and of what kind is necessary for ESP to be if not distinct that at least distinguishable from EGP. Over the years, the concept of specificity in ESP has changed in accordance with changes in the areas of inquiry that inform ESP, namely linguistics with its various views on the nature of language and language learning, as well as psychology and sociology (anthropology) with their different concepts of learner needs. Consequently, the issue of specificity in ESP can be approached from two basic perspectives: one related to selected propensities of a special language or specialist discourse targeted in a course, and the other, pertaining to learners purposes for learning ESP understood as objective requirements of the target situations (Gatehouse, 2001). The former conceptualization of specificity, which might be called specificity of medium or specificity of discourse, is older and in a way more characteristic for ESP as it was central to the first two approaches to ESP, the register approach and the discourse analysis approach, which differed in the emphasis they put on grammar and pragmatics in their descriptions of the targeted subset of variety of English, which consequently were linguistically or pragmalinguistically oriented (see Leech, 1983 for the original definition of pragmalinguistics). In later years, the opposing conceptualization of specificity, which might be labeled specificity of purpose and attributed to Mackay and Mountford (1978), took over as course goals and objectives became increasingly described in terms of learners objective needs as in the target situation approach or objective and The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 35

40 subjective needs as in the skills and strategies approach or the learning-centered approach (where the emphasis was obviously on subjective needs). However, in recent years the discourse approach to specificity seems to be coming back in task-based, genre-based and content-based approaches, though in a considerably different guise, which is strongly socio-pragmatic as it emphasizes socio-cultural features of the targeted specialist discourse and can thus be seen as centered on specificity of context, represented for instance by Hyland (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2011). Obviously, underlying this shift of emphasis from linguistic to socio-cultural characteristic of the special language taught in an ESP classroom, is a changed perspective on the relationship of language and culture, from one that may be described as linguistic determinism to the opposite one, which has been labeled cultural determinism and came about with what Belcher (2004, 2006, 2009) calls the socio-cultural shift in ESP, which occurred in the early 1990 s. It should be noted, however, that at a more practical level, the three different conceptions of specificity overviewed above do not have to be seen as mutually exclusive or even conflicting, but simply as three dimensions of the same concept related to three different sets of learner needs, as suggested in Figure 1.2 below, which presents a current conceptualization by the author, based on the insights from many authors, for instance Dudley-Evans (Johns and Dudley-Evans, 1993, Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998) and Hyland.(2002, 2004, 2008, 2011). Specificity of purpose = Learners objectives or reasons to learn a particular type of ESP Specificity of context = Learners sociocultural destination as members of the target culture Specificity of discourse = Learners linguistic destination as pragmatic ESL/EFL users Figure 1.2: Three-faceted specificity in ESP The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 36

41 In terms of needs, specificity of purpose or the learners reason to learn corresponds to the targeted situational specificity of language use, which is associated with the area or domain of learners current or future education or employment in terms of skills or competences required for successful functioning in occupational, professional or academic situations (e.g. English for law). Specificity of discourse, on the other hand, is linguistic and pragmatic in nature and has to do with systemic-functional properties of the specialized variety of English or register (e.g. Legal English). Finally, specificity of context is an umbrella term for all relevant social and cultural factors governing the use of language in the target situation as pertaining to the target group or target discourse community (e.g. English for lawyers). Of course, the decision as to which learner needs to address in an ESP project is consequential in terms of course goals, objectives, content, and methodology. Also, if fully conscious, it should correspond to the learner variable that is dominant in a given teaching context, like that of learner professional experience, where pre-experience, in-experience, and post-experience would differ along the cognitive and communicative dimensions of language and subject-content knowledge. However, it is not necessarily the case, as evidenced by the study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation, which reveled that various informants gave different labels to their basic special purpose course for law students, calling it alternatively, English for Law, Legal English, and English for Lawyers, and then basing it on the same leading course book, and often borrowing its syllabus to serve as the course syllabus. It should be remembered that although the differences between the three dimensions of specificity of ESP seem subtle and largely a matter of emphasis, they nevertheless require a different set of descriptive terms or structural units in which the targeted specialist discourse is analyzed, such as speech acts and utterances for specificity of purpose, sentence structures or discourse patterns for specificity of medium, and genres for specificity of social context. By the same token, each type of specificity is associated with different pedagogical strategies or techniques, even in the current post-method stage of ESP development, as labeled by Kumaravadivelu (2001, 2003). What follows is that although embracing all dimensions of specificity situational, discoursive, and socio-cultural in one ESP course is not altogether impossible, it certainly is difficult as requiring a variety of materials and activities, as well as numerous teaching strategies and techniques. Similarly, we should not forget that specificity is a cline aspect of ESP instruction and therefore asking about the suitable degree of specificity is not only fully legitimate but also necessary. The question is fundamental as it has to do with the view of language as a single The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 37

42 system used in different communicative contexts versus an amalgam of different discourse varieties. For classic ESP, which is backboned on the idea that special languages exist as separate registers or discourses, this is indeed a very basic question, pertaining to the raison d être of the approach. As Basturkmen (2006: 15) eloquently puts it, the issue here is, whether a specific-purpose language is based on and extends from a basic core (the common core plus) or, conversely, all language exists as one variety or another and that there is no basic core ( general-purpose ). From the earliest ESP work of Barber (1962), there was an understanding between ESP theorists and practitioners that their concern is with some specific language, both formally and functionally, rather than all language rules and uses. The controversy surfaced with a remark by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 18) that there was no such thing as a specific language variety that would be different in kind from other forms and thus ESP should concern itself with all language use and not some of its selected, situational instances. Probably few practitioners currently working in the field would agree with Hutchison and Waters in their claim that ESP is only a contextualized version of ELT, related to learners specialism (although some do, as evidenced by the findings of the empirical study described in Chapter Six). Consequently, the dispute over the existence of a common core has turned into a discussion of degree of specialism that ESP should address, generating courses describable as broad- or narrow-angled, depending on the degree of specificity selected by the course teacher, respectively slight and significant This is particularly visible in EAP, where the proponents of the common core plus idea, such as Jordan (1989, 1997) insist on focusing on genres typical of all academic use, regardless of the discipline, whereas advocates of disciplinary specificity argue the contrary, like Hyland (2002, 2004, 2008, 2011), who maintains that genres can only be considered together with the communities that own them, and who keeps on generating convincing research findings evidencing disciplinary differences in the use of academic genres. Summing up, there is no exaggeration in saying that the multitude of ESP approaches that have been developed throughout its history and are practiced concurrently today is largely attributable to the underlying ontological differences in the understanding of the nature of specificity in ESP. Also contributing to the plurality of ESP is the lack of consensus among scholars and researchers regarding the degree of specificity which is the most conducive to the achievement of learner needs in learning a specialist discourse. As a result, the decision about the type and degree of specificity to incorporate in an ESP course is left to the teacher, The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 38

43 who should make it while designing a course having considered learner and contextual variables present in a given teaching situation, as well as the personal theoretical assumptions about language. These and similar ideas are incorporated into the author s Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, which is presented in Chapter Four in both a schematic version, illustrating the cognitive processes and constructs involved in the development of ESP projects, and in a template version, which lists the questions that need to be asked when developing a course and the theoretical and practical choices available to ESP practitioners The place of subject content in ESP In the minds of many scholars and practitioners, such as Robinson, Dudley-Evans, Master, Snow, and Brinton, the presence of subject content in addition to language content is one of the defining characteristics of ESP, distinguishing it from General English. However, the issue is far from being uncontroversial as ESP theorists practitioners do not seem to be able to agree on the relative importance of the subject content and its role in special purpose instruction. The controversy may be seen as concerning the following two questions: (1) Is ESP indeed single-focused on language or is it dual-focused, with a secondary cognitive emphasis on the discipline to which it is related?, and (2) Should ESP concern itself with the discipline it serves as solely the context for the targeted language use, or as something more, for instance as a body of conceptual and practical knowledge or a system of cultural values and routines, i.e. the secondary content and focus of the course? The positions vary from banishing the subject content from the picture altogether, as either communication context and setting or semantic and pragmatic concepts, represented for instance by the learning approach of Hutchinson and Waters, to integrating them in hope of a synergy learning effect as is done in content-based approaches, known as CBI or CBL, represented by Brinton, Snow, Wesche, and others. Most approaches take the middle-of-theroad position, where the related discipline is viewed as providing the cognitive and/or sociocultural context of the targeted language use in terms of situations, tasks, purposes, participants and types of texts or genres, which is seen as constituting part of the procedural knowledge of the targeted specialist discourse as used by the targeted speech community, but not as declarative language knowledge. In fact, it can be generalized that in ESP subject content acts as carrier content through which the real, linguistic content is taught and learned, except in content-based approaches which view it as the other type of pedagogical content, The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 39

44 albeit of secondary importance. The issue of subject content will be further discussed in section 6.1-2, devoted to the comparative analysis of ESP and CLIL. However, we should keep in mind that regardless of the actual place assigned to subject content, the fact that some non-linguistic content is present in the language instruction - whether as its context or as secondary content - is at the heart of the ESP GE distinction (Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998; Robinson, 1991; Strevens, 1988). 6. The place of ESP in English Language Teaching Perhaps the best way to start a discussion about the place of ESP in English Language teaching is by referring to the views of Hutchinson and Waters, who questioned the idea of both content and methodological distinctiveness of ESP, paving the way for the proponents of the common core plus thesis, like Jordan (1997, 1998). Specifically, the famous Tree of ELT proposes by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 17), shows ESP and General English (GE) as just two branches of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL), which combine with English as a Mother language (EML) to form English Language Teaching (ELT)). Underlying this view is an assumption that ESP and EGP are not different in kind and thus are distinguishable only by the presence or absence of learners specialism, understood as domain-specific use of the target language and not a specialist register or discourse. The same idea is present in the views of the common-corers like Jordan, who believe that all specialist domains share a core of linguistic and discoursal features and require the same basic language and communication skills, differing only at level of genres. By contrast, those who believe there is more to the ESP-GE dichotomy than that, try to identify more fundamental, ontological and epistemological differences between the two forms of language pedagogy. In order to facilitate the comparative analysis of the two perspectives on ESP s distinctiveness, the diagram devised by Hutchinson and Waters is reprinted below in a somewhat simplified graphic form. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 40

45 English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) EOP EOP English for Academic Purposes (EAP) EAP EAP English for Science and Technology (EST) English for Business and Economics (EBE) English for Social Sciences (ESS) English for Specific Purposes (ESP) English as a Mother Tongue (EMT) English as a Foreign Language (EFL) English language teaching (ELT) General English (GE), subdivided into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary English as a Second Language (ESL), which can be divided in the same way as EFL Language teaching Learning and Communication Figure 1.3: The Tree of ELT (Adapted from Hutchinson and Waters, 1987: 17) In fact, the top part of the tree with different genres of ESP subdivided into academic and occupational or professional varieties is the least controversial of all. What may be difficult to accept for believers in the distinctiveness of special purpose language teaching is the authors view of ESP as a subtype of either EFL or ESL and not as directly branching out from ELT alongside GE, with EFL and ESL reduced to the status of teaching contexts, differing merely in the degree of language immersion. By such positioning of ESP, Hutchinson and Waters promote their idea that ESP differs from GE only in that it addresses a selected pragmatic learner purpose rather than all potential purposes, both utilitarian and epistemic. In their perspective, which is focused on the learning process, such a thesis is, admittedly, quite logical but it would be unacceptable in any product approach. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 41

46 An alternative perspective on ESP, which is consequently argued in this thesis, sees it as ontologically and epistemologically different from General English or English for General Purposes (EGP). An original attempt at demonstrating this contrast is presented in Figure 1.4 below, which shows the contrast between GE and ESP as going far beyond learners specialism related to their practical reasons to learn English as a second or foreign language and deriving from the type of language taught in general versus special purpose courses, described in terms of both its linguistic content and its non-linguistic (or supra-linguistic) content, related to the subject discipline. Alternatively, it can be said that the two branches of ELT differ with respect to how much attention they pay to language rules versus language uses along the linguistic content dimension, and subject- or discipline-related semantic concepts versus cultural (social) concepts along the supra-linguistic content dimension. This two-fold distinction between EGP and ESP (or in fact, all special purpose approaches, including CLIL), promoted by the present author, is presented on a graph with a horizontal axis for linguistic content, stretching from Grammar (rules) to Communication (uses) and a vertical axis, stretching from Subject Content (related to the declarative knowledge of the subject discipline) to Cultural Content (related to the procedural knowledge of the subject discipline). As Figure 1.4 demonstrates, the domain of GE occupies the lower part of the graph, revealing its lack of content specificity, whereas the territory of ESP is located in the right-hand half of the graph to indicate its primary concern with language use. The two types of language instruction are shown as separate entities rather than points on an ELT continuum (which, admittedly would be a viable possibility), stretching diagonally from the bottom-left quadrant to the top-right quadrant to indicate their distinct and dissimilar natures, which are incompatible on theoretical grounds though may well be complementary in the classroom. Another reason for presenting GE/EGP and ESP as separate objects on the graph is the difficulty with determining where exactly the junction between them might occur, except to conclude that the most specialized variety of General English is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), whereas the most general of the specialized varieties of ESP are those known as English for general-specific purposes like English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP), English for General Business Purposes (EGBP), etc. For the sake of the argument, GE has been divided into input-oriented and output-oriented according to what it seeks as its ultimate teaching goal: developing linguistic (systemic) competence or developing full communicative competence (i.e. linguistic, socio-pragmatic, and cultural) in order to equip the learner with what has been called Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, or BICS The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 42

47 (Cummins, 1983, 1984). Also for the sake of the argument, the domain of ESP is shown as including both CBI and CLIL even though not all their varieties or models are subsumable under ESP as not being primarily concerned with special purpose language education organized around content topics. Specifically, the CBI and CLIL models that do not belong in ESP are those that are driven by the needs of the subject content education, as defined in the curriculum, and thus may be seen as lacking independence as well as ability to tailor language instruction to learners linguistic and communicative needs in addition to the cognitive ones. By contrast, those of CBI and CLIL that keep language as their primary focus are legitimate varieties or subtypes of ESP. Subject Content CLIL CBI Grammar EAP Communication Linguisticallyoriented General English Pragmatically -oriented General English EPP EVP EOP Cultural Content Figure 1.4: Domains of General English and ESP within ELT The location of the two domains with respect to each other and the two axes reveals a number of things about GE and ESP and the relationship between them. Firstly, the positioning of the domain of GE closer to the Grammar end of the linguistic content axis suggests a focus on forms rather than functions and rules rather than uses, which is understandable considering the general purpose (or multiple purposes) of this type of instruction. To achieve its goal of preparing learners for all possible uses of the target language, GE has to base its pedagogy on grammar, with a considerable attention paid to the target language (national) culture, as both a context of everyday communication and an element of supra-linguistic content in its own right. ESP, on the other hand is clearly communication-oriented and pays little attention to The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 43

48 grammar, not only because it caters to learners specific communicative needs, but also because its learners are generally adults with intermediate or advanced command of general target language (TL) and so - decent to very good knowledge of the language system. Interestingly, while both types of instruction contain a cultural element for contextualization purposes, ESP is clearly more concerned with the culture of the targeted discourse community than the national culture(s) of native speakers of English. Again, this is hardly surprising given that its overall goal is to develop learners communicative proficiency in a specific area of TL use (i.e. the target group s discourse), though still worthy of a note. The figure also illustrates the fact that the cultural component complements the subject component. Though one does not exist without the other, certain varieties of ESP, especially those more communicatively oriented like EOP, contain proportionally more TG culture and less subject content than those more cognitively oriented such as CBI or discipline-specific types of EAP, like English for Academic Legal Purposes (EALP) or English for Academic Medical Purposes (EAMP). As Figure 1.4 makes evident, the position of the subject content in ESP depends on the learning situation to the effect that this component is more prominent in EPP than EOP but less so than in EAP, which by definition occurs in a knowledge context. Thus, law students who attend an EALP course at a university appreciate learning new subject knowledge about Anglo-Saxon law (which is not taught in their law courses) and generally like cognitionoriented materials and activities, which they see as contributing to the development of broadly-defined study skills. On the other hand, such an approach would be entirely misguided with reference to working legal professionals, whose goal is strictly pragmatic: fluent and proficient communication in the international legal environment and so The difference in learner purposes between ELP and EALP learners is clearly attributable to their learning situation (professional versus academic), which bears on the expediency of their needs for specific legal English, making them current and immediate for working lawyers and future and remote for law students. In fact, it may seem that the difference here is largely between teaching to communicate in the known legal discourse community (of which working lawyers are members) and teaching to familiarize non-members with the discourse and culture of the target community, where acculturation is considered a prerequisite to effective communication. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 44

49 The amount of subject content and the degree of its integration with the linguistic content is an issue of paramount importance in special purpose language teaching, responsible for the development of CLIL and CBI as alternative proposals to situated, communicative language teaching. While CBI is generally recognized as an approach within the field of ESP (see section 4 above), CLIL is often considered as a parallel type of double-focus education, only sometimes and partly subsumable under ESP. The relationship between classic, languagebased ESP, CBI as content-based ESP, and CLIL as integrated language and content instruction merits a more detailed discussion, which is offered in section The ESP-CLIL interface The relationship between ESP and CLIL is difficult to describe, because the two approaches exhibit both strong similarities and deep differences. In fact, they seem to complement each other, and their relationship could be graphically shown as two intersecting circles with a considerable overlap, occupied by CBI as cognitive, dual-focus subtype of ESP. This type of language instruction, although similar to CLIL in integrating linguistic and non-linguistic (subject) content is nevertheless distinct from it as still a form of language education and not a hybrid of language and content pedagogy, especially in its theme-based and adjunct models. Taking all varieties of CBI into account, the relationship between language-based ESP, CBI, and CLIL may be envisaged as proposed by the present author in Figure 1.5 below. ESP: all approaches, including themebased and adjunct models of CBI Themebased & adjunct CBI, plus adjunct CLIL Content-led CLIL, and sheltered CBI Figure 1.5: The ESP--CLIL interface The above figure represents the author s understanding of the three types of language instruction, which is based on the following set of assumptions: The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 45

50 ESP is fundamentally language-focused and language-driven, using subject content for contextualization and acculturation purposes, i.e. as a carrier of the real, linguistic content (see Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1997: 11 for relevant definitions); CLIL is an extension of ESP with a somewhat more ambitious purpose of teaching both language and content in a holistically integrated way. While the two foci are said to be equal, CLIL is fundamentally content-based and content-driven in that it recognizes subject content as the organizing principle of the teaching syllabus (as well as the curriculum) in all of its models, including adjunct courses which are taught parallel to content courses. This content drive is evidenced by the use of the terms carrier language or vehicular language in reference to the foreign language in which the integrated education is conducted; CBI is for the most part an approach belonging in the field of ESP, whose distinctive characteristic is the recognition of subject content as a secondary focus of specific purpose instruction, important enough to act as the organizing principle of the course syllabus (which is invariably theme-based). At the point when language becomes dominated by subject content and thus is demoted to the role of the secondary focus of instruction as is the case in the sheltered model, CBI leaves the realm of ESP and becomes a form of content-driven CLIL. As the above distinction (cf. Górska-Poręcka, 2011b) makes evident, the real difficulty in delineating the realms of the three forms of instruction lies in determining when subject content becomes more important than language content, or more specifically, at which point language and communication purposes become subservient to knowledge purposes associated with studying an academic discipline. As Postman (1980:29) rightly observed, to study a subject is to enter a particular language environment, which led him to proposing that in every subject [ ] students be taught, explicitly and systematically, the universe of discourse which comprises the subject. The teaching of specialist discourse can be done in at least three ways, which Mohan (1978) identified as: (1) language teaching for content teaching, as practiced within all ESP approaches except CBI, (2) language teaching with content teaching, as done in some versions of CLIL and CBI, and (3) language teaching by content teaching, as proposed by extremely content-oriented forms of CLIL and CBI. Consequently, Figure 1.5 above pictures CBI as sharing the characteristics of both types of instruction but more akin to ESP than CLIL, which is indicated by the fact that out of its three models, only one the sheltered model has been classed as CLIL. The actual overlap area contains also the adjunct The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 46

51 model of CLIL, which is virtually undistinguishable from the adjunct model of CBI. This seems to suggest that the adjunct model of CBI (or of CLIL) is the point where we are no longer dealing with classic ESP but with its extension or offspring, which has its own distinctive features. However, to fully appreciate the similarities and differences between the two types of language instruction, we first need to define CLIL and compare the results with what has been said about ESP The nature of CLIL Unlike ESP, CLIL, which originated in the European context in 1994 (after Marsh, Maljers, and Hartiala, 2001) is largely limited to learning situations occurring at all educational levels. On the other hand, its scope is much broader than just language instruction. In fact, CLIL is best understood as a broad educational approach which seeks to effectively integrate the learning of a foreign (or second) language with the learning of some subject content. Thus, in the words of Mehisto, Marsh, and Frigols (2008:11), CLIL is a tool for the teaching and learning of content and language. The essence of CLIL is integration. This integration has a dual focus: (1) Language learning is included in content classes [ ]. (2) Content from subject is used in language-learning classes [ ]. The approach is rooted in a holistic view of subject and language learning seen as occurring through integration of four contextualized building blocks: content, communication, cognition, and culture, within the so-called 4Cs Framework (Coyle, Hood, and Marsh., 2010: 41). To put it differently, effective CLIL learning can only occur through a symbiosis of four, interrelated elements: studying a non-linguistic discipline, learning and using a foreign language, thinking or cognitive processing, and acquiring intercultural awareness. In the attempt to fuse language learning and subject content learning CLIL draws heavily on earlier similarly motivated educational approaches, especially the Canadian bilingual or immersion programs of the 1950 s and 1960 s. However, what makes CLIL unique is that it goes beyond the idea of simply learning a subject in a foreign language and in so doing - acquiring proficiency in the language of instruction in a quasi-natural way. The innovativeness of CLIL consists precisely in its dual focus, making it an approach which is neither language learning nor subject learning but an amalgam of both and is linked to the processes of convergence involving the fusion of elements which may have been previously fragmented, such as subjects in a curriculum (Coyle, Hood, and Marsh, 2010: 4), in an attempt to create an effect of cognitive synergy. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 47

52 While being invariably double focused, CLIL is generally content-driven but at some point of the curriculum a course may be either language-led or content-led, depending on which set of learner needs is more important at the moment. Consequently, although CLIL is typically assumed to contain equal amounts of language and content, the actual amount of the CLIL language (also called carrier or vehicular language) through and with which the subject content is learned ranges from total immersion, where the vehicular language is used almost exclusively, to partial immersion, involving extensive code-switching between the CLIL language and the learners first language. For instance, in the Profile Report on Bilingual Education in Poland (Marsh, Zając, and Gozdawa-Gołębiowska, 2008: 13-16), the authors identify four curricular models, or approaches to CLIL, currently implemented in Polish secondary schools: (1) Model A: Extensive English Medium Instruction, where English is used almost exclusively for teaching and learning of content (Type A) or both content and language (Type B); (2) Model B: Partial English Language Medium Instruction, with 50%- 50% code-switching between English and Polish) and either a single (content) or dual focus; (3) Model C: Limited English Language Medium Instruction, involving code-switching with 10-50% of the time devoted to the use of English and either the single or dual-focus type, and (4) Model D: Specific English Medium Instruction, with a very limited time devoted to the use of English, and three variant types (A-C) distinguished based on the specific use of English, respectively for partial instruction, in materials, and for periodical project work Although the amount of the foreign language in CLIL varies according to the teaching situation and the level of students proficiency, its application is always the same: as a tool of inquiry or research and a medium of social interaction. Regardless of their proficiency level, students are users of the CLIL language form day one, which means that CLIL is a communicative methodology, or even the ultimate communicative methodology (Graddol, 2006: 86), with a very high level of authenticity of purpose, casting learners in the role of active participants in developing both their subject knowledge and language skills through problem solving and interaction. Underlying this communicative methodology is a social constructivist view of language as a matter of both form and meaning created by discourse, in which the CLIL language is simultaneously the language of learning (or the target language to be acquired), the language for learning of content (a vehicular language), and the language through learning, or the social language of concepts and meanings shared by its native speakers, constructed by learners through negotiation of meaning occurring during social interaction and thinking (Coyle et al, 2010: 36-37). It is therefore imperative that The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 48

53 classroom communication settings be interactive, authentic, and cognitively demanding to encourage learner engagement, without which this dialogic learning cannot occur A comparative analysis of ESP and CLIL The above brief presentation of CLIL has been written with a view to bringing out its distinctive features, but there is no denying that despite being a broader approach, CLIL does share some common ground with ESP, at least with respect to language teaching. Briefly put, the two approaches take a similar view of the purpose of teaching and learning, the roles of the learner and teacher, and the importance of non-linguistic components, namely subject content and target language culture. Firstly, both approaches are learner-centered in their attempt to base curriculum on properly identified learner needs. Though the actual methods of learner needs analysis are more elaborate in ESP than in CLIL, knowing the learners lacks, the desired learning outcomes, and the range of language required for class participation is viewed in both approaches as a necessary condition for effective scaffolding and structuring of the target (or CLIL) language, and ultimately, for the achievement of the course objectives. Secondly, both ESP and CLIL are communicative approaches and as such are concerned with the learner as a current and/or future user of the target language in a specific context. Hence, the shared concern with communicative proficiency required for the performance of specific communicative tasks, as well as the belief that a truly communicative classroom requires learner involvement, which is seen as a prerequisite to the development of linguistic, pragmatic, and socio-cultural competence and eventually the transformation of language learners into proficient language users. In both CLIL and the current version of ESP (i.e. one that has espoused the ideas of Vygotsky, 1962, 1978, as applied to SLL by Lantolf, 2000), learning is seen as arising from exposure to authentic input and meaningful interaction with other language users. Consequently, language instruction offered is focused on meaning rather than form, or on the form-meaning relationship, but never on form alone. Thirdly, the shared focus on language use over language rules is reflected in the choice of teaching methods and classroom activities, where both approaches favor communicative or eclectic methods and make extensive use of interactive classroom activities known as tasks, which require a learner to act primarily as a language user and give focal attention to message conveyance (Ellis, 2003: 4-5) as opposed to linguistic form. Being content-driven, CLIL has been task-based or problem-based from the start whereas the idea that learning is The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 49

54 most effective when done by participation in both authentic and cognitively involving communicative acts is relatively new in ESP. However, thanks to the work of scholars like Nunan (1989, 2004) it has been acknowledged by ESP teachers, who now routinely practice task-assisted if not fully task-based teaching. The pedagogic value of tasks in dual-focus education is indeed hard to overestimate because they simultaneously allow for the acquisition of the target language through authentic communication and for the learning of non-linguistic knowledge through fact finding and problem solving, while at the same time providing a high degree of acculturation. Fourthly, both approaches recognize the need to develop learner cultural awareness as a necessary element of communicative proficiency, which would allow them to communicate appropriately with native speakers of the language, get to understand others and get to understand themselves in the process (Kramsch, 1993: 183). Their view of the target culture as contained in and approachable through language is likewise similar, and applicable to both the culture of the native speakers of the target language and the cultures of specific international communities of users. Consequently, acculturation is always required, whether for the proficient use of the target language or its specialist variety, and can only be achieved by exposure to authentic texts, created by members of a target discourse community and thus containing all the pragmatic, social and cultural markings needed for competent language use. Thus, although the connotation of culture may be different, pertaining to the national culture in CLIL and to an international specialist culture in ESP, both approaches seem to second Schuman, the proponent of the acculturation model of SLL, who said that the degree to which a learner acculturates to the target language group will control the degree to which he acquires the second language (1986: 334). Finally, perhaps the most important area of convergence between CLIL and ESP has to do with acknowledged and unacknowledged presence of non-linguistic or subject content in language instruction. While in CLIL the place of subject content is clearly defined as one of the two integrated elements necessary for the enhanced, symbiotic learning, in ESP the issue of subject content is largely ignored, in keeping with the approach s original founding assumption that ESP should be single-focused on the target language and entirely languagedriven despite its relation to concrete areas of non-linguistic knowledge or practical expertise. The only approach within ESP that recognizes and acknowledges the importance of subject content is CBI, which is why it has been described as a theoretical and methodological overlap of ESP and CLIL (see Figure 1.5), with one or the other element prevailing. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 50

55 Specifically, out of the three models of CBI that have been identified (Brinton, Snow, and Wesche, 1989: 4), theme-based, adjunct, and sheltered approaches, the first one clearly belongs in ESP and the last one is clearly CLIL, whereas the nature of the middle one is open to debate. The above conclusion is based on two premises: (1) a language course is taught by a language specialist (a linguist or a double major language-content specialist) and not a content teacher, who is not privy to relevant linguistic knowledge, and (2) under no circumstances can a language course be referred to as a content course, the way sheltered courses often are, indicating that their teaching objectives are concerned with producing subject not language knowledge (see e.g. Gaffield-Vile, 1996: 108, for her description of a sheltered content course aligned with sociology as a specific academic discipline). By this definition, sheltered CBI courses, which are typically taught in tertiary ESL context to help foreign students learn some subject content by teaching it in a linguistically graded way and with coached assignment performance, are not ESP but CLIL. The decision on how to class adjunct CBI courses is considerably more difficult because on the one hand such courses are still primarily focused on the language and taught by language teachers, but on the other, they form a part of the subject curriculum and are taught according to a syllabus designed to match a content course syllabus in topics, materials, and activities. It is perhaps best to conclude that adjunct language courses can be ESP or CLIL depending on the degree of independence that the language teacher enjoys. Considering that the role of language teacher is significantly greater in ESP, where it includes both student needs analysis and syllabus, materials, and activity design, it seems that the more teacher autonomy at the course design stage the closer the affinity The location of various domains within ELT The conclusions from the discussion given above in a nutshell version can be presented in a table describing ESP, CLIL, and CBI as a border area between them according to ten relevant variables. In order to give a full picture of the nature of ESP and its place in the ELT family, GE (EGP) has also been included in the summary analysis offered in Table 1.2 below. Variable EG (EGP) ESP CBI CLIL General Approach to Approach to Approach to Approach to The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 51

56 definition Learning situation(s) Type of learner Type of teacher Concern with learners needs Concern with learners communicative proficiency Concern with subject content as context of interaction Concern with subject content as knowledge to learn Concern with TL or TG culture as context Concern with TL or TG culture as knowledge language instruction All educational situations in mostly EFL context All age groups and proficiency levels Language specialist Some, but only with needs related to the learners interlanguage as revealed by a placement test Some to high (for CLT) concern with all language uses None, as there is no specific subject content None as there is no specific subject content Some to high but, exclusively with TL culture Some, exclusively with TL culture(s) language instruction Professional, occupational and academic in both EFL and ESL contexts Adult or young adult at B1-C1 level Language teacher, sometimes with a second major in the targeted discipline, usually working alone High, with various kinds of needs, especially those related to education or employment as disclosed by needs analysis High, mostly in the area of the targeted use Some, especially with typical situations, texts, and activities of the target group Instruction is singlefocused on language with subject knowledge used for contextualization Some to high, mostly with TG culture Some, especially with international TG culture language instruction Academic in both EFL and ESL contexts Young adult at B1-C1 level Single- or doublemajor linguist, usually working in collaboration with a content teacher High, especially with educationrelated, cognitive needs, disclosed by needs analysis High, mostly in the areas of targeted use High concern with typical situations, tasks, and texts of the target group Instruction is double-focused on content and language Some, mostly with TG culture Some, particularly with TL culture in ESL settings education, including language instruction All educational levels in both EFL and ESL contexts Children, young adults and adults at all levels Content teacher working in close collaboration with a language teacher, or vice versa Some educational needs are considered but within limits set by the general curriculum High, in many areas of use not only those related to the discipline High concern with typical activities, texts, and problems of the discipline Instruction is double-focused on content and language Some, mostly with TL culture Some, particularly with TL culture in ESL settings Table 1.2: Comparison of GE, ESP, CBI and CLIL The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 52

57 As the analysis presented above attests, ESP is indeed ontologically different from both GE and CLIL. However, while in the former case the differences are of a qualitative nature, lending support to the famous statement by Strevens (1988), that ESP is in contrast to EG, in the latter case the differences appear to be quantitative in nature, which indicates a considerable affinity of ESP and CLIL, illustrated by the existence of CBI as a mixed ESP- CLIL approach. 7. Summary of the chapter Chapter One was devoted to an overview of ESP, undertaken to argue that special purpose language instruction is teacher dependent by its very nature. It described the factors that contributed to the rise of ESP in the 1960 s, discussed its distinctive characteristics as determined by the leading scholars, examined and compared its various conceptualizations offered over the years, and identified the main controversies in the field. Afterwards, an attempt was made at describing the domain of ESP within English language teaching. The task was achieved by means of identifying the dimensions along which ELT can be analyzed and then using those to compare and contrast ESP with English for General Purposes (EGP) and CLIL as two other leading types of second and foreign language education. The analyses thus performed have established that while ESP shares some theoretical assumptions with both EGP and CLIL it nevertheless differs from them in that it seeks to provide a learnercentered, goal-oriented, and needs-based language education in a specialist variety of English, owned by members of a professional or academic discourse community. The distinctive pragmatism and utilitarianism of ESP has serious consequences for the ESP practitioner, who has to design and deliver a course that is tailor-made to learner needs, as identified by means of a needs analysis. Considering that ESP practitioners generally work in isolation, without much collaboration from the teachers or specialists of the special purpose discipline, the requirement to base course design on the assessment of learner needs constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity to use professional cognition in a conscious and relatively autonomous way. Hence the thesis, posited by the author, that ESP is a particularly teacher dependent approach to second and foreign language teaching. The practical implications of the posited teacher dependence of ESP are discussed in much detail in Chapter Two, which is devoted to the description of the practice of special purpose language education, with a particular emphasis on the multiple teacher roles played by the The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 53

58 ESP professional in various stages of the ESP process (i.e. needs analysis, course design, teaching, assessment, and evaluation), as well as the specific tasks and competences these roles entail. The Nature of English for Specific Purposes 54

59 CHAPTER TWO: The Practice of ESP Chapter Two is devoted to the practice of ESP teaching, which has been conceptualized by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998) as a five-stage process, encompassing needs analysis, course and materials development, and course evaluation, in addition to the provision of instruction and learner assessment, which are present in all teaching situations. Thus defined, the practice of ESP is invariably a learner-centered process, whose general goal is the delivery of a tailor-made language education, but at the same time and somewhat paradoxically a largely teacher-controlled process, where teacher dependency arises from the multiple roles the ESP practitioner plays in course planning, design, and implementation, effectively determining the way in which an ESP project is run at all its stages. The complexity of the ESP process poses considerable cognitive, psychological, and socio-cultural demands for the teacher, who has to be able to do a lot more than provide needs-relevant input and facilitate its acquisition through meaningful practice and mediated acculturation. This chapter aims to explore the various requirements that ESP makes on its practitioners, as well as the different roles they have to play in the teaching process and the competences they need to possess in order to do their job effectively. 1. Distinctiveness of foreign language teaching Studies into the characteristics of foreign language teaching (e.g. Hammadou and Bernardt, 1987, Grossman and Shulman, 1994, Borg, 2006) have disclosed its uniqueness in comparison with other fields of teaching, which is generally viewed as attributable to the subject matter of foreign language itself: In foreign language teaching, the content and the process for learning the content are the same. In other words, in foreign language teaching the medium is the message. (Hammadou and Bernardt, 1987: 302) What is more, the medium is not yet fully understood by the students, which has multiple methodological and interpersonal consequences. Also, language itself is not only complex as being composed of several separate subcomponents (systems) but also dynamic, as being constantly and ceaselessly constructed by its users. This places a serious challenge for language teachers to continually increase both their theoretical (declarative) knowledge of language as content and their practical (procedural) knowledge of language used as the medium of instruction. The Practice of ESP 55

60 An interesting view of second language learning is offered by Borg (2006: 24), who observes that Teaching a language extends beyond teaching grammar, vocabulary and the four skills and includes a wide range of other issues such as culture, communication skills, and learning skills. Basing on his own research, he then presents a summary of eight distinctive characteristics of foreign language teaching: 1) Unity of content and medium, where neither is fully known by the learners; 2) Complexity and dynamism of language as a socially constructed phenomenon; 3) Practical and immediate relevance of the subject (language) to real life; 4) Extremely broad scope of the content; 5) Closer interpersonal relationship between the teacher and the students, resulting from their frequent direct interaction, often on themes of personal relevance; 6) Psychological requirements on the teacher, for whom creativity, flexibility and enthusiasm for the language taught are prerequisite; 7) Tolerance for student performance errors as natural in learning a language, coupled with a considerable error correction skill; 8) Susceptibility of language teaching to outside, commercial pressures for desired learning outcomes, which have to be addressed in the instruction. (Borg, 2006: 24) Admittedly, some of these characteristics, especially those numbered 6 and 7, seem applicable to the teaching of all subjects. However, the remaining six suffice to establish the distinctiveness of foreign language teaching in terms of both teacher behavior and teacher cognition that they entail. Of these, the first three and the last one resonate particularly well with ESP scholars and practitioners, who are concerned with situated language learning, whose success has huge practical relevance for learners, motivated by pragmatic needs. It is only natural then, that effective teaching is a fundamental consideration in the field, especially in the modern, learning-induced understanding of teaching, which may be summarized as the provision of primary learning conditions, i.e. relevant input, opportunity for output, and constructive feedback, and the cultivation of the secondary learning conditions, i.e. learners communication-related, cognition-related, and code-related strategies (after Dakowska, 2005: ). However, before we can try to delineate the meaning of quality in specific purpose language instruction by discerning the most conducive instructional practices or teachers cognitive competences that underline them, we first need to look at the ESP process, as it has been conceptualized by its leading theorists. The Practice of ESP 56

61 2. The process of ESP As shown in Chapter One, ESP has been commonly defined as a goal-oriented form of instruction, which is designed to meet learners specific language and communication needs, related to their work or study in the most straightforward way. This means, that the teaching of ESP is expected to be focused on learners purposes in learning the target language (or its discourse), and on the gradual development of learners communicative proficiency and user autonomy in the target situation. Straightforward as it sounds, the process of ESP is by no means simple, at least from the point of view of what needs to be done by the course designer and teacher to deliver the tailor-made instruction. Thus, comprehending the process involved in the practice of ESP is absolutely crucial to understanding the role played by the teacher in special purpose language education, i.e. its teacher-dependency. Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998), describe ESP as a fairly complex process consisting of the following key stages: Needs analysis Course design Teaching and learning Assessment Evaluation Adding to the complexity of the ESP process is the fact that the five stages are not linear but interactive and interdependent. Also, neither needs analysis, understood as the what and how of the course, nor evaluation, seen as judgment on the effectiveness of the course, are one-off activities, performed at the onset and at the end of the course. Instead, they are viewed as on-going and playing a vital role at each stage of the process in an attempt to provide a needs-relevant course. The interdependence of the stages and the on-going (repeated) character of needs analysis and evaluation result in a spiral procedure, where needs are assessed and translated into goals, objectives, method and content of a course, which is then taught, evaluated and re-designed in a quest for higher relevance and effectiveness. The complexity of the ESP process in reality is shown in Figure 2.1. The Practice of ESP 57

62 Evaluation Needs analysis Assessment Course design Teaching and learning Figure 2.1: Stages in the ESP process (Adopted from Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998: 121) It should be noted that the stages comprising the process are not really unique to ESP as some form of learner needs analysis and course evaluation is present in General English or English for General Purpose as well. However, the role they play in EGP is very limited compared to ESP where they serve as the basis for course design, as respectively its pre-planning and postplanning phase. Put in broader terms, what is both distinctive and characteristic of ESP is the interactive relationship of the stages, and the key role played by needs analysis and evaluation, which continually affect each other and impact all other stages, as well as the uniquely broad scope of needs analysis, which goes way beyond simple assessment of the learners interlanguage(s) by means of a placement test, as is the case in EGP. Another distinct propensity of ESP teaching is its context-relatedness, which derives from the fact that in addition to the teacher and the students as the principal participants and direct stakeholders, it involves a number of indirect stakeholders, ranging from course organizers and supervising educational authorities, who represent the immediate micro-context of instruction, to the students employers, co-workers, clients and other members of the target professional or vocational community who represent the macro-context of instruction. The main actors and stakeholders interact, impacting each other s behaviors and cognitive processes, which inevitably bears on how ESP is taught and learned. These interactive relationships are shown in Figure 2.2 below, which depicts the three inter-related participants of the teaching situation, the teacher, the students, and the authorities running the course as The Practice of ESP 58

63 being impacted by the elements of the broader context, represented by the external stakeholders in the ESP teaching and learning, namely current or future employers, coworkers, and clients of the participating students. Figure 2.2: EP teaching and learning in micro- and macro-contexts The last distinctive feature of the ESP process that both merits attention and generates research is its concern with developing learner communicative proficiency in relation to a specific, disciplinary register or variety of English, or alternatively, in a specific domain of English, understood as a situational environment, communication context, or specialized discourse associated with a discipline, profession or occupation. The existing research in this area, which might be labeled specific communicative proficiency, has focused on describing disciplinary specificity, exploring the notion of domain-specific communicative competence, and identifying effective practices for communicative teaching of language for specific purpose (see e.g. work by Hyland, Nunan, or Bahtia) The Practice of ESP 59

64 3. Demands of ESP teaching There are several reasons why teaching language for specific purposes is more demanding than teaching language for general purposes. Simply put, as intended for all purposes the latter cannot and does not make any promises about pragmatic learning outcomes that could be immediately verified in real life. By contrast, ESP promises to address pragmatic learners needs associated with important life situations, such as education or employment and, by developing the communicative proficiency required, help them reach their pragmatic academic or occupational goals. In so doing, it creates higher learner expectations to achieve the learning outcomes and naturally assumes greater responsibility for their attainment. Moreover, ESP is not only about teaching to learners needs as assessed and interpreted by the course designer and teacher. As learner needs are work- or study-related, other stakeholders such as course organizers or commissioners, supervising (e.g. school) authorities, current and future employers, co-workers or clients are involved in the process and have a right to make their own direct and indirect requests regarding the content of special purpose education in a given area. Finally, ESP involves teaching a domain-specific language use related to a discipline or profession that is often less familiar to the teacher than to the learners, and sometimes unfamiliar to both parties, which means that in most cases the ESP practitioner is not in the position of being the primary knower (Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998: 13). All this places high cognitive demands on the teacher and necessitates drawing on considerable subject content and pedagogical knowledge, both within and outside the teacher s mind, including in the minds of collaborating subject teachers and learners themselves. The actual teaching of language for specific purpose is not different in kind from teaching language for general purposes. As Strevens (1988: 39-44) writes: The methodologies of ESP conform to the same model of the language learning/teaching process as does any other form of language learning. Consequently, the basic teacher activities are also identical and include: determining the input, encouraging the learners to learn, managing the learning strategies and promoting language practice and use. However, the complexity of the ESP process requires that the ESP practitioner do a lot more than teach. As Robinson observes (1991: 81): Very often, he or she is involved in designing, setting up and administering the ESP course, not to mention researching learners needs for course design purposes and evaluating the course for needs-relevance. The same point is made by other authors, such as Harding (2007: 7), who sees the function of the ESP teacher as comprising five key roles: (1) Teacher or language consultant, (2) Course designer and materials provider, (3) Researcher The Practice of ESP 60

65 not just gathering material, but also understanding the nature of the material of the ESP specialism, (4) Collaborator working with subject teachers and subject teaching, (4) Evaluator constantly evaluating the materials and the course design, as well as setting assessment test and achievement test. In addition, while the ESP practitioner does not need to be an expert in the area of the students specialism, some understanding of the subject area is nevertheless necessary (Harding, 2007: 8). This understanding refers to very general subject knowledge, which Ferguson (1997) defines as knowledge about the area of learners specialism, i.e. its values and preferred genres, rather than formal knowledge of that area. The need for some form of subject knowledge on the part of the teacher is perfectly understandable considering the overall interest of ESP with situated language teaching, i.e. the teaching of a domain-specific subset of the target language in its proper context, which includes not only knowledge of a specific part of the English language but also competency in the skills required to use this language and a sufficient understanding of the contexts within which it is situated (Orr, 2002: 1). Certainly, if a teacher is to accomplish this goal, he or she will need not only expert knowledge of the targeted specialized discourse but also some knowledge of the shared meanings, values, and practices of the discourse community that owns it, coupled with willingness to learn from and with one s students, which has been identified as the most crucial factor in the success of any ESP practitioner (Dudley-Evans, 1997) as well as one of the most exciting things about the teaching of languages for specific purposes, according to the informants in the study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation (see Chapter VI). Another consequence of the concern with situated language learning is that ESP is always data driven, or based on the assessment of learner needs. This has to do with ESP being a utilitarian form of language teaching (see Byram, 2010, Gozdawa-Gołębiowski, 2013) or, as Cook (2002) puts it, language instruction informed by (learner) external goals - related to the uses of the target language, or its subset, outside the classroom. What this entails for its practitioners is the need to have some research expertise in order to be able to competently conduct a student needs analysis, which is a prerequisite for needs-based course design. As Belcher (2011: 89) states, To be an ESP teacher, and to do it well, is, almost by definition, to be a learner-needs researcher. In order to fully appreciate the teacher s role in ESP we should perhaps look at the functions or activities required of the teacher in each stage of the ESP process, and try to identify the The Practice of ESP 61

66 competences they demand. As already mentioned, the process of ESP involves five key stages: needs analysis, course design, teaching/learning, assessment, and evaluation (Dudley- Evans and St. John, 1998: 121), which will be examined in the subsequent sections from the point of view of the macro and micro roles that they cast the teacher in and the cognitive competences these roles demand. 4. Teacher roles and competences in needs analysis The cornerstone of ESP, needs analysis is a complex process involving several different types of needs assessment to guarantee that the course is well fitted to learners goals and purposes. While the terminology may vary (see e.g. Hutchinson and Waters, 1987; Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998, and Basturkmen, 2010), most ESP scholars and practitioners recognize the following five types of needs analysis used for course design purposes: 1) Target situation analysis, aimed at identifying tasks, activities, texts and skills required for effective functioning in the target professional or educational environment; 2) Discourse analysis, aimed at describing the language (specialist discourse) used in these tasks, activities and texts in terms of form-function patterns and genres; 3) Present situation analysis, intended to assess learners language and communication proficiency; 4) Learner factor analysis, intended to uncover learner cognitive and affective factors relevant for the learning process, such as their motivation, attitude to the target language and culture, foreign language learning experience, or perception of their needs (learners subjective needs) ; 5) Teaching context analysis (also called means analysis), where relevant factors of the micro- and macro- contexts are discovered, such as needs and demands of the other stakeholders. (Based on Basturkmen, 2010: 19) The complexity of the needs analysis process in ESP is additionally increased by the fact that each specific type of needs assessment requires a full procedure, which involves choosing a suitable research method (different for each type of analysis) and a representative sample, collecting data from informants, analyzing the data collected, and interpreting the results in terms of teaching objectives (course needs). This has numerous consequences for ESP practitioners particularly if they decide to perform the entire needs assessment themselves without outsourcing the target needs part (i.e. target situation analysis and discourse analysis) The Practice of ESP 62

67 to expert researchers and analysts. Considering that a full needs analysis is a challenging task, demanding much time, energy, means, and research expertise, such outsourcing is often done and generally does not compromise either the reliability of target needs assessment or its validity as the basis for course design. However, for outsourcing to really work as a basis for course design, the target needs analysis and particularly the TSA done by the expert needs to be conducted in the same macro-context (society) and at least a similar micro-context (teaching environment), especially in its part related to the course organizing institution, which Robinson (1991) labels meso-context. This means that in order to ensure the validity and reliability of the TSA, a Polish teacher of Legal English or English for Legal Purposes (ELP) preparing to teach a group of Polish learners should use the findings of a study into lawyers objective and subjective target needs conducted on a sample of Polish legal practitioners, based locally but working in an international legal environment (e.g. Górska- Poręcka, 2007; Sierocka, 2012), or, if such a study is not available any relevant study done in an EFL context as more similar to the targeted professional situation than a study conducted in an ESL context. Even if partly outsourced, needs analysis performed for ESP can pose a real cognitive challenge for the ESP practitioner, who typically has been educated as an applied linguist or an English philologist and trained as a language teacher, which generally entails rather limited and generally passive (receptive) knowledge of research and data processing methods. Simply put, ESP practitioners may lack the research expertise required for the performance of needs analysis. As Freeman (1998: 6-7) observes, the domains of teaching and researching are very different as the former is about doing and implementing existing knowledge while the latter is about knowing and producing knowledge. Consequently, they require both different practices and different, domain-specific discourses, which are generally unfamiliar to novice ESP teachers as rarely taught in language teacher training, and have to be learned on the job or, circumvent and replaced by either borrowed expertise or much worse - unsubstantiated, personal intuition. The demands that the imperative to perform a needs analysis for the purpose of course design places on the ESP practitioner become clear when the macro role of needs researcher is broken down into micro roles, which might be done as suggested in Table 2.1. The table also includes a list of the cognitive competences that seem necessary for the successful performance of these roles. The Practice of ESP 63

68 Stage Teacher roles Teacher competences required Needs analysis Needs researcher Research designer Research instrument developer Data collector Skilled social observer Socio-cultural data interpreter Language and discourse analyst Ability to choose reliable research methods and representative samples for each type of needs analysis Ability to construct informative and unbiased quantitative research instruments Ability to act as an objective collector of qualitative data (e.g. interviewer) Ability to analyze the data collected in order to choose the course needs Ability to interpret communication target needs in terms of situations, participants, tasks and texts ( task analysis) Ability to interpret linguistic target needs in terms of skills and micro-skills involved Ability to interpret target language (register) in terms of grammar, lexis, and morphology (linguistic analysis) Ability to analyze target discourse in terms of formfunctional patters or genres (discourse or genre analysis) Ability to rightly assess the present linguistic and communicative competence of the learners (present situation analysis) Ability to correctly identify relevant student factors such as experience or motivation Ability to correctly assess factors of the teaching context (means) Table 2.1: ESP teacher roles and competences in needs analysis The proposed tally of roles and relevant competences clearly indicates a necessity for the existence of several knowledge bases which are used in the cognitive processes of information processing, judgment formation, and decision making involved in needs analysis and inform their behavioral manifestations (e.g. actual procedures of data collection). It appears that knowledge bases underlying the teacher needs analysis competences may include those listed below, although the lack of relevant empirical evidence from language teacher cognition research, which has not investigated teacher cognitive constructs and processes involved in needs analysis for course design, makes the account intuitive and experience- rather than evidence-based: The Practice of ESP 64

69 General research expertise, understood as practical knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods used in linguistics and social sciences, needed to handle method and sample selection, as well as data collection and processing; Specific research expertise, understood as practical knowledge of linguistic, discourse and genre analyses from the point of view of their consumer and performer (analyst); Knowledge or experience of the target group culture (cultural awareness), needed to identify and understand the socio-cultural aspect of tasks and activities typical of the target situation; Knowledge of the target language (language proficiency), needed to choose the appropriate language samples (texts, genres) and fully understand their linguistic, and pragmatic features; Knowledge about the target language (language awareness), needed to conduct a competent linguistic, rhetorical or genre analysis of the target group s specialist discourse for the purpose of describing it in terms amenable for teaching, and present situation analysis, aimed at assessing learners current linguistic and communicative competence (their interlanguage) and measuring it against the target language and communication needs to determine the learners lacks. The list makes no claim to being exhaustive, but it nevertheless illustrates the cognitive demands that conducting a reliable needs analysis places on the teacher. It should also be noted that the knowledge informing the process of needs analysis for ESP includes both declarative and procedural knowledge, which is learned as well as acquired and relates to different subject areas. What is more, analyzing learner needs is a thinking process, which should not be seen as an entirely objective procedure. As Hyland (2008: 113) said: Needs analysis is like any other classroom process in that it involves decisions based on teachers interests, values, and beliefs about teaching, learning and language. Even more types of teacher cognitions and cognitive processes are involved in actual course design, which draws on the findings of learner needs analysis and translates them into a syllabus leading to the desired learning outcomes. As ensuring its goal orientation and needs relevance, course development constitutes the single most important pedagogical practice in ESP and the most complex one. The Practice of ESP 65

70 5. Teacher roles and competences in course design It is only apt to begin with a definition of course design for ESP. A relatively simple one is offered by Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 65), who view it as the process by which the raw data about a learning need is interpreted to produce an integrated series of teaching-learning experience, whose ultimate goal is to lead the learners to a particular state of knowledge. Thus, the starting point of the course design process is a diagnosis of learner objective and subjective needs performed with a view to choosing suitable course needs, or the target needs that can actually be addressed in the course offered to a particular group of learners in a given teaching context. In fact, it seems that choosing the actual course needs, which involves the formulation of the teaching objectives, selection of the course content and formulation of the learning outcomes, constitutes a planning stage of course design. It is then followed by course design proper, which consists of writing the course syllabus, developing materials, designing classroom activities, and developing appropriate assessment tools. According to Taba (1962: 12), whose original ideas influenced later writers (e.g. Stenhouse, 1975; Johnson, 1982; Yalden, 1987; Nunan, 1988; Brown, 1995; Graves, 1996, 2000, and Richards, 2001), the entire course design process consists of seven stages, of which the first three (given in italics) belong to the planning phase and the remaining four to the actual design phase: 1) Diagnosis of needs 2) Formulation of objectives 3) Selection of content 4) Organization of content 5) Selection of learning experiences 6) Organization of learning experiences 7) Determination of what to evaluate, and the means to evaluate A particularly insightful account of the course design process is offered by Graves (2000), who provides a framework, which unlike most models is not a linear list of stages but a flow chart which uses verbs to indicate the processes that teachers go through to develop their language courses. The framework, which is an adaptation of the author s earlier work (Graves, 1996) is informed by the idea that there is no hierarchy in the [course design] processes that go into course design and no sequence in their accomplishment, which means that as a course designer you can begin anywhere in the framework, as long as it makes sense to you (Graves 2000: 3). This sense making depends on the teacher s beliefs and The Practice of ESP 66

71 understandings and the reality of the teaching context, particularly on what the teacher knows about his or her students. In this way, teacher beliefs and knowledge of the teaching environment act as the foundation for other processes, as shown in Figure 2.3 Course design Assessing needs Conceptualizing content Formulating goals and objectives Organizing the course Developing materials Designing an assessment plan Defining the context Articulating beliefs Figure 2.3: A model of the course design process (Based on Graves, 2000: 3) Since the above framework does not postulate any order of the processes, subdividing course planning as envisaged here into course planning and course development would be inconsistent with the idea on which it is premised. However, the two foundation processes Articulating beliefs and Defining the content - as well as Assessing needs and Formulating goals and objectives are clearly of more preparatory and less technical nature than the remaining four and therefore can be seen as belonging to course planning rather than actual course development (which is why the italics indicating the planning phase were kept in the figure). Also, the idea that there is no sequence in the course design processes is rather controversial and does not seem to be supported by either existing scholarship or teaching experience. For this reason, the process of course design will continue to be seen by the present author as a series of sequenced components or sub-processes, which starts with needs The Practice of ESP 67

72 analysis, goes through two phases (planning and development), and is informed by the teacher s professional cognitions (beliefs and understanding) as well as knowledge of the teaching context. Using the terms geared to ESP, the process of course design can be described as consisting of the following sub-processes: 1) Determining the needs of the course, i.e. choosing from among the needs determined by needs analysis those target needs that can be addressed given the time frame and conditions of the course, as well as learner affective and cognitive variables; 2) Setting the goals and objectives of the course (course needs) in terms of skills and competences to be targeted, including the formulation of learning outcomes, preferably as can-do statements; 3) Selecting the pedagogical content of the course, i.e. choosing the language content described in systemic (grammatical), pragmatic or socio-cultural terms (depending on the teacher s preferences), and the degree of specificity of the course (its broad or narrow angle) in terms of the amount of subject matter content and the manner in which it will be used (solely as context for language use or also as knowledge to be taught); 4) Deciding on a manner of content organization, i.e. writing an original course syllabus or selecting a syllabus from the pool of existing ones, in keeping with the selected forms of language and discourse description (e.g. a grammatical-structural syllabus for grammar-oriented teaching, or a functional syllabus for discourse-oriented teaching); 5) Selecting or developing (writing) materials containing pedagogical content selected, and especially the language input selected 6) Choosing the actual teaching method and techniques, including designing classroom activities conducive to the practice of the selected pedagogical content, particularly the selected language input; 7) Selecting the scope and form of language assessment and developing appropriate tools like achievement test (although the latter tends to be done in the teaching and learning stage rather than in the course design stage). As the above list of sub-processes makes evident, course design is indeed a cognitively demanding process, where ESP practitioners need to play several micro-roles calling for The Practice of ESP 68

73 diverse cognitive competences. The teacher roles involved in course design and the competences required for their performance may be summarized as suggested in Table 2.2 below. It should be noted that the macro-role of course designer is really a combination of two capacities: course planner and course developer, corresponding to the two stages of the course design process, i.e. course planning when course parameters are set, and course design proper, where detailed course decisions regarding the realization of the selected parameters are made. Each capacity involves micro-roles, collectively comprising the role of course designer. Stage Teacher roles Teacher competences required Course design Course designer Course planner Selector of course needs Determiner of course parameters Course developer Goals and objective setter Syllabus designer Materials developer Assessment method selector Ability to focus the course by choosing a correct degree of specificity (broad or narrow angle) Ability to define course goals and objectives or learning outcomes Ability to solicit help of other stakeholders in designing a course, especially the learners and subject teachers or employers Ability to select the course content matching the learners needs and organize it into teachable units according to specific course objectives Ability to develop (i.e. write or select) materials in keeping with the selected degree of specificity Ability to choose a suitable teaching method that is conducive to the achievements of set learning outcomes Ability to design classroom activities matching the adopted teaching method and learning outcomes, which would be relevant and meaningful to the learners Table 2.2: ESP teacher roles and competences in course design As concerns the knowledge bases underlying the competences required for course design, it appears that the planning phase of the process calls primarily for explicit declarative and procedural knowledge about language, language learning, and language pedagogy, gained in course of the teacher s professional education, whereas course design proper as a purely practical activity utilizes mainly the teacher s implicit and experiential knowledge arising from past course development episodes. The Practice of ESP 69

74 5.1. Course planning The course planning stage overlaps with the needs analysis stage in that course preparation starts with the examination of the findings of the target situation analysis and target discourse analysis, which for practical reasons tend to be expert- rather than teacher-done (i.e. outsourced to competent researchers). The examination is performed with a view to determining course needs, which is done by elimination, where, starting with the full set of target needs, the teacher gradually rejects those that for various reasons can be taught in the course and ends up with those that are amenable to teaching of these particular students by this very teacher in a given teaching context. The narrowing down of learner needs to course needs takes place by means of a series of conscious and semi-conscious analyses, where the teacher assesses learners cognitive, affective, and socio-cultural factors as well as the contextual factors that may affect the teaching/learning process and in addition reflects upon his or her own personal limitations, strengths, and preferences in order to determine which of the target needs can actually be taught and learned in the course. This involves answering the following questions: What are the target needs of this group of learners according to the target situation analysis and target discourse analysis conducted or otherwise available? Which of the target needs are actually learnable by these learners, given their current interlanguage and motivation, and so can be selected as the learning outcomes? Which of the target needs are actually teachable in a given teaching context, considering the requirements and language policy of the course organizer, and so can be selected as the teaching objectives of the course? What content is necessary for the selected course goals and objectives to be achieved? Which of my preferred teaching methods, strategies, and techniques can I use while teaching this course? Answering these questions constitutes the planning phase of course design, during which target needs are translated into course needs in a highly cognitive process involving information processing, judgment formation, and decision making guided by the teacher s professional and pedagogical knowledge. Graphically, course planning in ESP may be envisaged as shown in Figure 2.4 below (a conceptualization by the present author). The Practice of ESP 70

75 Tasks, activities, texts, and skills required Findings of target needs analysis Discourse samples analyzed in terms of syntactic, rhetorical or genre patterns Cognitive teacher factors: Teacher s language, subject content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as beliefs and conceptions of language teaching and learning Learner factors: Learners cognitive and affective variables affecting the learning process Contextual factors: Relevant variables of the micro- and macro-context, especially stakeholders variables Affective teacher factors: Teacher s personal limitations, professional strengths and teaching preferences Course parameters: Goals and objectives Content and methodology Figure 2.4: Course design planning phase Several things need clarification here. Firstly, it should be noted that teacher cognition is at the very heart of the course planning process as being responsible for both the processing of the findings of all types of needs analysis, whether external or internal, and for the actual decisions made regarding the general parameters of the course (which will be further specified in the development phase of course design). The whole process of course planning seems to depend on the teacher s ability to process learner and contextual information, form informed judgments, and make course decisions based on these judgments using various cognitions held by the teacher about language, about learning in general and second language learning, about teaching and ESP teaching, and about own version of special purpose teaching. Secondly, as shown in Figure 2.4.the inter-mental or social factors act as a prism adjusting the teacher s assumptions, beliefs, and preferences to a given teaching situation. However, at The Practice of ESP 71

76 the same time the intra-mental (psychological) factors act as a cognitive and affective filter governing the perception and analysis of the social factors. Thirdly, the process is presented as not leading to a course syllabus but merely to the setting of the four major course parameters, namely its goals and objectives (learning outcomes), pedagogical content and methodology. The rationale behind this solution is that at the end of the course planning phase the teacher needs to have only a general idea of what topics should be covered by what methods and to what general and specific ends because all these will be specified in the subsequent, course development phase of the process, where the detailed course syllabus, materials, activities, and assessment tools will be designed. The last comment that has to be made about the proposed conceptualization of course planning in ESP is that it appears to present course design preparation as a purely teacher dependent process, seemingly ignoring the role played by the learners in the definition of course needs. While certainly the teacher s role in course planning has been emphasized in keeping with the present author s socio-cognitivist views about teaching as knowing (Shulman, 1986, 1987), the proposed scheme does not leave the learners role unaccounted for. In fact, this role is considered twice: under teachers theoretical assumptions, specifically those related to the teacher s views on learning, second language acquisition, and the language learner, and under social factors revealed by learner factor analysis, which focuses on the learners pragmatic needs, cognitive lacks, and affective characteristics. However, even in ESP, which is fundamentally a type of language instruction based on the identification of learner s specific reasons to learn a second or foreign language, any honest needs analysis has to take into account the needs of other stakeholders involved in the process. While the needs of those representing the macro-context, i.e. employers, co-workers, and clients, are partly researched in a target needs analysis, the needs of the stakeholders representing the micro-context, notably the course organizer and possibly also the supervising authority (if these are separate entities), have to be assessed in a separate analysis of contextual factors. This means, that in addition to assessing subjective learner needs by means of a present situation analysis (or learner factor analysis), the ESP practitioner also has to conduct a contextual factor analysis, and last but not least a teacher factor analysis. The relevant variables to be considered as potentially impacting the course design are tallied in Table 2.3 below. For simplicity s sake, the other stakeholders involved in the process at the level of the micro-context (i.e. the institution running the course and the supervising The Practice of ESP 72

77 institution which determines the language policy) have been fused into a single conceptual category labeled Course Organizer, which should be seen as denoting any third party in addition to the learners and the teacher whose needs and requirements have to be considered while designing a course. The stakeholders representing the macro-context, i.e. the learners present and future employers that were external to the organization of the course and other members of the targeted discourse community, have not been taken into account at all because their needs and requirements have been assessed in the target situation analysis. Also, two caveats need to be made regarding the variables included in the tally. First, while most of the variables listed are socio-cultural in nature, some are clearly psychological (cognitive or affective) on the assumption that both inter- and intra-mental factors of the stakeholders impact the teaching/learning process. Second, the selection has been compiled by the author based largely on her own experience as an ESP teacher, and therefore has been informed by a certain set of personal cognitions. Such cognitions guide the work of every ESP practitioners, both in doing the job and thinking about it. As Ellis (1997: 69) rightly observes, teacher knowledge about relevant professional issues such as language, language learning, and language teaching constitutes a source of provisional specifications that practitioners can evaluate in their own contexts of action, i.e. against a combination of contextual social variables occurring in a given instructional setting. Variable Learner (L) Teacher (T) Course organizer (CO) Professional status Targeted occupation, profession or field of study as an actual career or a delayed career objective Professional interest in the occupation, profession or discipline to which ESP practiced is related Direct interest in occupation, profession or discipline to which ESP provided is related TG member (in-service or enrolled) vs. nonmember (pre-service or pre-enrolment) TG member (doublemajor linguist and subject specialist) vs. non-member (linguist); frequency of collaboration for nonmembers TG organizational or institutional member vs. an educational institution outside the TG Employee of CO, secondary or tertiary student of CO, client of CO Employed by CO, selfemployed (freelancer) Employer of L and/or T, educational authority of L External ESP as desired Interest in ESP as area of Importance of TL for CO s The Practice of ESP 73

78 (social) motivation related to professional status employment qualification; TL as medium of communication at school or work expertise; interest in the area to which ESP is related business (e.g. as a medium of communication or instruction) ESP as prerequisite to promotion or graduation; presence of formal verification or assessment of learning outcomes Commercial interest in ESP as employment qualification; personal interest in quality of ESP when subject to course evaluation Commercial interest in TL or ESP as increasing CO s business or market share; policy towards TL imposed by a supervising authority Internal motivation (felt reasons to participate in an ESP project) Immediate reasons to participate in the ESP course, related to current employment or education, or delayed needs related to future employment or education Perception of importance of targeted immediate competences for Ls and CO (particularly when both T and Ls are employed by CO) Own immediate purposes in organizing the course related to Ls target performance (as CO s employees or students) Perceived specific performance competences required by employment or educational situation (skills, knowledge of discourse and genres, cultural awareness) First-hand knowledge of targeted competences (for TG members); familiarity with findings of TSA and SNA Course commissioner with first-hand knowledge of learner needs or course provider without such knowledge; attitude to TSA and SNA EGP and ESP experience B1-C2 ESL or EFL learner NS or NNS of TL Operating in a TL country, foreign country, or globally Prior ESP learning experience Prior ESP teaching experience Experience in organizing ESP courses Perceived utility of TL as an international language; awareness of TL culture(s) Socio-cultural competence in TL as native, second or foreign language Perceived importance of TL as international language; CO s language policy Instruction preferences Student empowerment and autonomy vs. full teacher control in syllabus and activities design Single-handed or participative syllabus design; T as source of knowledge or learning facilitator View of syllabus design as collaborative task with CO s participation; insistence on student empowerment Cognitive learning (concerned with knowledge of TL and subject content) vs. Cognitive teaching (concerned with input analysis) vs. communicative teaching Preference for cognitive or communicative teaching as more conducive to learning outcomes; any type of The Practice of ESP 74

79 communicative learning (concerned with production and authentic interaction ) Interest in learning only TL or both language and subject content (concerned with authentic output); attitude to task-based or task assisted instruction Readiness to teach subject content in addition to TL (as in CBI) performance assessment imposed Attitude to content-based instruction Table 2.3: Stakeholders variables in the process of course design As this list of stakeholders variables makes evident, there is a lot of analyzing to do in preparation for the actual course design. For a truly needs-relevant ESP course, it is imperative that teachers take no shortcuts and research the relevant learner and contextual variables, and have enough awareness of personal professional strengths and weaknesses to be able to choose what is both learnable and teachable in a given teaching situation Determining course goals and objectives A full needs analysis discloses many learner needs of various kinds plus some needs of the other parties involved, including the teacher, which now have to be translated into course needs or parameters: goal, objectives, content, and method. Selecting course needs is not an easy task, especially considering that not all the needs that have been disclosed are objective in nature, and explicitly as well competently stated. Nor are all learnable needs equally teachable in a given teaching context. The task of selecting course needs can be approached from a broad angle, where the course is based on a wide array of learner needs (e.g. all typical legal situations involving both spoken and written English ) or a narrow angle, where the teacher selects a few urgent needs to focus on (e.g. situations involving legal drafting). However, regardless of the angle adopted, the task of selecting course needs invariably starts with the selection of course goals and objectives. To begin with, it is important to distinguish between course goals and course objectives as both are equally instrumental to a needs-relevant course. In ESP literature (e.g. Graves, 1996, 2000) goals are associated with the destination or where the course is expected to take the learners on their way to communicative proficiency in the relevant language use or specialized discourse. In other words, they are verbal formulations of the general course purposes. Objectives, on the other hand, are connected with the journey leading to the set The Practice of ESP 75

80 destination and can be operationalized as statements about how the chosen goals will be reached, usually phrased as can-do statement. The distinction is valid because the destination can only be reached by a way leading to it (though there may be several such ways), or less metaphorically, goals can be reached only by achieving relevant objectives or learning outcomes. For instance, if the goal of an ELP (English for Legal Purposes) course is to teach contract drafting, the objectives should include studying contract clauses for linguistic and discoursal features, paraphrasing contract clauses, discussing their pragmatic relevance, etc before any practice drafting can be attempted. Thus, the relationship between objectives and goals is really that of cause and effect: if these objectives are achieved then this goal is achieved (Graves, 2000: 77). This further means, again after Graves (2000: 77) that: Objectives are in a hierarchical relationship to goals. Goals are more general and objectives more specific. The same point about the difference between goals and objectives being attributable to the level of specificity is made by Brown (1995), who also observes that goals are more long term and objectives are more short term. A universal list of goals (or as some scholars call them general objectives as opposed to specific objectives ) for ESP courses regardless of their specific genre like English for Academic Purposes (EAP) or English for Business Purposes (EBP) was suggested by Basturkmen (2006: 150) as including the following: To reveal subject specific language use; To train performance behaviors; To develop underlying competences; To foster strategic competence; To develop critical awareness. Although the above list is extremely useful to all ESP teachers in their job of positioning the course, it can but serve as a starting point in the determination of the actual course goals, which would have to clearly state which area(s) of the subject specific use, specific behaviors, linguistic and pragmatic competences are targeted, and what type of critical awareness is to be developed. Also, Basturkmen s list is not exhaustive and many scholars such as Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Graves (1996, 2000) or Belcher (2009) would add a point about helping learners learn how to learn by developing effective language learning strategies, leading to learner autonomy, which many see as the ultimate goal of ESP (see e.g. Belcher 2009: 2). The Practice of ESP 76

81 Thus, the original list of ESP goals compiled by Basturkmen could be supplemented with the following additions: To develop learning competences To foster learner autonomy in the targeted language use Having adjusted the universal goals to social factors of the teaching setting (stakeholder s variables) and phrased them as actual course goals, the teacher can proceed to set the specific objectives of the course, usually as skills-oriented can-do (or will be able to) statements e.g. Learners will be able to understand and paraphrase contextual clauses, in the above example of an ELP course. Interestingly, in recent times the necessity to set specific course objectives appears to be considered more obvious as providing structure to the course than stating the goals of the course, which is regarded as an optional philosophical manifesto explaining why the course is designed the way it is. This is partly attributable to the popularity of The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (2001), which emphasizes the need to set clear course objectives for learner-related reasons, like their right to be informed about expected outcomes. Of course, the formulation of specific objectives is just as important for the ESP teacher, who like an engine driver - needs to know where to stop to reach the ultimate destination, even a vaguely specified one, such as communicative proficiency or learner autonomy in the targeted special language. Yet the most important thing is that the selected objective be realistic with respect to not only the time and means available, but also and foremost to the interlanguage of the learners. Specifically, teachers should keep in mind that what they want to achieve has to be not just teachable but also learnable Selecting course content and method Once the objectives of the course are thought through and verbalized, the teacher has to determine the content of the course and the course methodology, which is the key step in course planning. The first thing about determining course content in ESP is the realization of two facts. First, what is taught in ESP is specialized language or discourse, which may be conceptualized as knowledge of and about a special register and/or specific domain of English with some knowledge of the discipline to which ESP is related. Second, the target language taught in ESP courses is a specialist discourse of international rather than national (British, American, etc) English, learned to be used in professional target contexts that involve some native speakers of English, some speakers of English as a second language, and many The Practice of ESP 77

82 speakers of English as a foreign language, or more appropriately, as a lingua franca of their profession or occupation. Thus, the various specialist registers, varieties or discourses of English taught in ESP classes may be presented as slices of the pie of English, construed after Kachru (1982, 1995) as consisting of three concentric circles of users: (1) the inner circle, representing the norm-providing users of English in countries where it is spoken natively, like the UK, the USA or Australia; (2) the outer circle, containing norm-developing users in countries where English is an official second language, such as India or Jamaica, and (3) the expending circle, with norm-depend users of English as a foreign language, such as Poland, Finland or Germany. Graphically, this could be represented as shown in Figure 2.5, which should be read taking into consideration the present author s caveat that it only illustrates the general situation concerning the international nature of English taught for specific purposes and makes no claim regarding the relative importance of its different varieties, such as Legal English or English for Legal Purposes (ELP), Business English or English for Business Purposes (EBP), Medical English or English for Medical Purposes, (EMP), Academic English or English for Academic Purposes (EAP), and Scientific/Technical English or English foe Science and Technology (EST), whether to each other or to General English or English for General Purposes (EGP). Figure 2.5: Specialist discourses as slices of the circles of English (based on Kachru, 1982, 1985) The situation presented above entails a dilemma: What culture to teach in and ESP course, a national culture of English native speakers according to a teacher s preference, or the international culture of the targeted specialist discourse community, made up of all three types The Practice of ESP 78

83 of users? Given that learners reasons to learn generally have to do with establishing or improving a current membership status in a professional community related to the nature of their specialism, the only logical answer seems to be that ESP teachers should engage in teaching of or about the targeted professional culture rather than any national English culture in order to help their learners fit in or function effectively and efficiently in their chosen profession or occupation. This involves what Schumann (1978 a.b, 1986) has termed acculturation and construed as acquisition of the social norms and cultural values underlying specialist language use aimed at a destination where learners-users can comprehend and produce not only grammatically correct but also socially acceptable and culturally appropriate utterances and written texts. However, even though most theorists and practitioners would support this conclusion, they would have a problem reaching a consensus on how this could be accomplished since there are several ways in which the process of learning and teaching the targeted specialist discourse of English as lingua franca (ELF) together with the professional culture to which it is related can be carried out. An excellent framework for the discussion of language-culture relatedness in the teaching/learning process is offered by Gozdawa-Gołębiowski (2009), who presents four scenarios for joint language and culture teaching by referring to the type of user a given course aims at producing. Of these, the first one, called the non-user, is not applicable to ESP whose learners cannot choose to stay monolingual since they invariably have some pragmatic reason to learn a specialist discourse with or alongside the related culture The remaining three scenarios are not only perfectly applicable but also extremely accurate in describing the choice faced by ESP practitioners in this matter. The second scenario, called the balanced user by Gozdawa-Gołębiowski, refers to a situation where the target user needs equal amounts of linguistic and cultural knowledge in order to function effectively in the target situation. In turn, the third scenario, called the target culture explorer, denotes a target user who for some pragmatic reasons is more interested in the professional culture than in the target language, which he/she sees in purely instrumental terms as a key to full membership in the target group. Finally, the fourth scenario, dubbed the culture monster, depicts a target user whose participation in the target group is still a remote prospect and so his/her current interest is vested in the target language at the expense of the target culture. As regards consequences for ESP course design, choosing the second scenario would indicate a course which uses contextualized input and an eclectic, cognitive-communicative methodology, and aims at facilitating both students learning of the targeted special language The Practice of ESP 79

84 (mostly as performance (communicative ability0 but also as competence (linguistic knowledge) and their professional acculturation. The third scenario would be a target for all sociopragmatic approaches to ESP, where language is taught and learned as a tool of either professional communication, like in the genre-based approach or TBL, or subject content cognition, like in CBI or CLIL. It should be noted that most of these approaches could also be described as narrow-angle due to their high concern for learner specialism. On the other hand, the fourth scenario would be a goal for all pragmalinguistic approaches to ESP, which, being strongly linguistically-oriented, are concerned with the target language as a product, whether narrowly construed as a register or discourse of English with some formal or functional features characteristic of the target language) or broadly as a set of skills and/or language learning strategies leading to their acquisition. Needless to say the choice of both the scenario and the approach or method depend on the teacher s analysis of all relevant factors: learners (pre-service or in-service with general or highly specific language needs), contextual (educational or professional), and personal, defined in terms of espoused theoretical assumptions, knowledge of the professional culture involved, and general teaching preferences for certain types of instruction. Generally, aiming a course at the balanced user would be appropriate for educational contexts, where learners are equally interested in acquiring language and subject competences, as well as in most commercial situations, where learners represent various jobs within a profession and various membership statuses in the target group with the result that might be called a general-purpose special purpose instruction, e.g. English for General Legal Purposes (EGLP) or English for General Business Purposes (EGBP). In turn, choosing the target explorer as a course goal would be logical in case of highly specialized, in-house courses, where newly recruited professionals need a focus on professional practices and the linguistic genres they require. Finally, the decision to provide a considerably culture-free instruction (aimed at the culture monster), might be used as an alternative to the balanced-user option in general commercial or educational context by teacher who lacks familiarity with the targeted professional culture or the factual knowledge of the discipline with which it is associated and is thus incapable of delivering culture-laden instruction. Graphically, the three instructional choices used in ESP may be represented on a graph, where the horizontal axis X represents learners linguistic development and the vertical axis Y represent their socio-cultural growth, as shown in Figure 2.6 below. The Practice of ESP 80

85 Y Target culture explorer Balanced user Culture monster X Figure 2.6: Three types of target users in ESP (Based on Gozdawa-Gołębiowski, 2009) As concerns the second (and also secondary) element of the subject matter of ESP (and its course content), the function of non-linguistic content is generally construed as providing the relevant communication context for linguistic and discoursal features to be learned. This contextualizing function of subject content is covered by the concept of carrier content and juxtaposed against real content (see e.g. Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1997, Belcher, 2006, or Basturkmen, 2010), where the former refers to the specialized texts or genres which carry the selected language content, while the latter denotes the features of the targeted special language, its systems and uses, or forms and meanings. For instance, in a course of English for contract drafting the carrier content will comprise different types of legal contracts as samples of the genre, exhibiting its typical linguistic, discoursal, and socio-cultural features, whereas the real content will refer to the grammatical forms, vocabulary, discourse patterns, and cultural markings typical of the legalese as well as skills such as reading, explaining, paraphrasing, redrafting, and drafting. The situation is slightly different when it comes to content-based ESP (CBI or CBL), where to some extent, depending on the model selected, the carrier content becomes the real content of the course (i.e. the object of cognition) while retaining the language contextualizing function. While the choice of course content can be seen as a contextually guided selection of the target needs, the selection of a teaching method is largely a matter of teacher preferences informed by the teacher s professional knowledge and experience. Generally speaking, the The Practice of ESP 81

86 methodological options available in ESP are little different from those present in EGP, except that, as Robinson (1991:47) put it: ESP can base activities on students specialism (but need not do so) and that activities can have a truly authentic purpose related to students target needs. In fact, in special purpose language content concerns have always prevailed over methodological considerations and ESP practitioners simply used the dominant language teaching methodology of their time. The field has produced only two original methods: Content-based method, which was developed within the approach called Content- Based Instruction (CBI) or Content-Based Learning (CBL) in the 1990 s, and which attempts to teach domain-specific discourse by calling on specialist knowledge and recreating professional practices of the targeted discourse community; or in other words - by studying authentic texts produced by members of the targeted discourse community and performing activities that are typical of their language use; Genre-based method, which was developed within the approach known as Genre Analysis (GA) also in the 1990 s, and which seeks to teach language uses through analysis and practice of relevant professional or disciplinary genres with their pragmatic and socio-cultural textual patterns. The fact that these two methods were developed for ESP purposes is hardly surprising because both require the presence of some non-linguistic element for language learning to take place: both declarative and procedural subject knowledge for the former and only procedural subject knowledge (i.e. knowledge of the target group s culture) for the latter. As concerns general ELT methods, the five that are most compatible with the general objective of developing communicative proficiency in specialized language use are listed below. The selection has been done by the author but her choice was confirmed by the informants in the study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation, who mentioned using four out of the five methods listed here, i.e. all except the discourse analysis method which seems to have been entirely superseded by genre analysis. Communicative language teaching (CLT), which seeks to teach language use by using the language, emphasizing spontaneous linguistic performance and realistic classroom interaction; Task-based learning (TBL), which aims to teach specialist discourse by engaging integrated skills like problem solving or decision making in purposeful and pragmatically valid classroom interaction; The Practice of ESP 82

87 Lexical method, which focuses on semantics and exposure to lexical chunks in an attempt to make learners acquire rather than learn vocabulary in a semi-natural way; Discourse-analysis method, which seeks to teach specialist discourse by studying its pragmatic meanings in relation to grammatical forms; Eclectic method, which uses a combination of the communicative and cognitive teaching strategies that have been found conducive to the achievement of the desired learning outcomes by the course teacher. It should also be noted that the methods listed above differ with regard to cognitive processing of relevant input versus production of meaningful output. This point was also made by Basturkmen (2006), who went as far as distinguishing a new set of methodological options available to ESP practitioners. The four possible methodologies she has identified are labeled: (1) input, (2) input to output, (3) output, and (4) output to input to indicate their focus and direction. Each of the methodologies can be associated with an approach or a group of approaches to ESP that have been developed over the years. Thus, the earliest approach, register analysis, represented an input methodology in that it focused on morphosyntactic features of specialized registers of English while more recent analytic approaches, i.e. discourse analysis and genre analysis, use input to output methodologies, as do content-based approaches. In turn, output and output to input methodologies are associated with communicative, skills-based, and activity-based approaches, including TBL. What this means for the ESP practitioner is that while choosing a course methodology he or she has to make three important decisions. The first one has to do with choosing which features of the targeted special language to focus on: linguistic and pragmatic, or pragmatic and socio-cultural, and consequently, what type of input to use, comprehensive or authentic. The second choice involves a decision whether to emphasize exposure (input) or interaction (output) in the design of classroom activities. The final decision is between a single-method option and a multi-method, eclectic option. It should be noted that the first two choices require considerable theoretical knowledge about language and language learning, whereas the last one is clearly guided by the course teacher s past teaching experiences Developing the course Having completed the phase of pre-planning and planning the course, which correspond to conducting learner needs assessment and choosing course needs in the form of goals, teaching The Practice of ESP 83

88 objectives (i.e. learning outcomes), content and methodology, the ESP practitioner now embarks on actual course development. It is the phase of the design process when a detailed teaching/learning syllabus is written, materials are developed, and activities are designed, and therefore constitutes the main cognitive challenge for the course teacher, who needs to decide how best to organize, present, and practice the input selected, and how to elicit the type of output expected. These decisions call for considerable procedural or experiential knowledge of what teaching techniques work with learners of a given type, or how to make a given linguistic or discoursal item learnable in a relatively effortless way. Particularly relevant for efficient decision-making is the ESP practitioner s experience of language classrooms, both professional (as a teacher) and educational (as a learner), which is responsible for a body of beliefs and conceptions about language pedagogy, language learning, and language learners, which impact course design. Not surprisingly, the doing phase of course design is much easier for experienced teachers, who have both language teaching and language learning experiences to fall back on than for novice teachers, who have to base their decisions on language learning experience alone and resort to borrowed experience of teacher trainers and more experienced colleagues for more practical insights Designing a course syllabus A syllabus can be defined as a detailed and operational statement of teaching and learning elements, which translates the philosophy of the curriculum into a series of planned steps leading towards more narrowly defined objectives at each level (Dubin and Olshtain, 1986). This can be re-phrased in the terminology used so far as specification and sequencing of the course content, which was broadly defined in the planning stage and is now presented in terms of language features, or in CBI, language and content elements. Therefore, the basic function of the syllabus is to organize the course content into some teaching and learning units, seen as stages or modules in a linear or spiral process, to be taught and learned by a chosen method and according to the chosen philosophy expressed in course goals and objectives. As a teaching practice, syllabus design may consist in choosing a syllabus type and using it as a template to be filled with the selected language content, or creating an original syllabus type by combining various types of unit organization. Units might be construed as areas of grammar and/or vocabulary, genres, language functions (speech acts), notions, skills or strategies (Basturkmen, 2010), as well as themes, resulting in several syllabus types available The Practice of ESP 84

89 to ESP practitioners. It should be noted that syllabus types used in ESP are somewhat different from those used in GE/EGP, which are listed by Richards (1990) as comprising the following syllabuses, used both alone and in combination: structural, functional, notional, topical, situational, skills-based, and task- or activity-based. In ESP, as Flowerdew and Peacock (2001) insist, a slightly different set of syllabus types is used, which includes: Lexico-grammatical syllabus (organized around structures and vocabulary); Functional-notional syllabus (organized around language functions and notions); Discourse-based syllabus (organized around aspects of text cohesion and coherence); Learning-centered syllabus (organized around what the learners have to do in order to learn language items and forms); Skills-based syllabus (organized around particular skills); Genre-based syllabus (organized around conventions and procedures in genres as units of analysis); Content-based syllabus (organized around themes), and Task-based syllabus (organized around typical tasks and activities of the target group), which was not included in the original list complied by Flowerdew and Peacock, but in the opinion of the present author, certainly merits a place on the list. Several conclusions can be drawn from a comparison of the two lists. First, ESP does not use the structural syllabus, which being organized around grammar and sentence patterns is particularly incompatible with its general goal of teaching language as communication or specialized use. Instead, we have a lexico-grammatical syllabus, which uses two types of units: sentence structures and lexical items, such as collocations and formulae. Second, the functional syllabus and the notional syllabus of EGP are fused into one type called functionalnotional where language content is organized around both communicative functions and The Practice of ESP 85

90 conceptual categories. Third, there is only one syllabus type that is equally popular in EGP and ESP: the skills syllabus, which is also the most natural and intuitive syllabus type of all. Fourth, the syllabus types labeled discourse-based, genre-based, and content-based are used almost exclusively in ESP as they all have to do with domain-specific discourse, specialized language use, and the presence of subject (disciplinary) content, which are absent in EGP. This is hardly surprising in case of the content-based syllabus, organized around themes of the discipline or profession to which the language instruction is related, which for obvious reasons cannot be used in EGP, where its counterpart is the topical syllabus. An explanation for the fact that EGP does not share ESP s interest in textual and systemic-functional or sociocultural language patterns is different but also logical, namely much of language use taught in GE course involves simple, context embedded, basic interpersonal communication skills or BICS as termed by Cummins (1979, 1984, 2008), which do not merit any analysis for internal patterns. Also, the genres that could be taught in an all-purpose course are so diverse in terms of communities that own them and the pragmatic purposes they serve, that their number is kept to a minimum (e.g. essay, transactional letter, informal letter, book or film review, etc). Fifth, another ESP-specific syllabus type is the learning-centered syllabus developed by Hutchinson and Waters (1987), the proponents of the learning centered approach. Whereas the learning-centered syllabus is interesting as yet another type of syllabus developed within the field of ESP, it is used so rarely nowadays that its importance can be deemed purely historical. Finally, it may seem surprising that the list of syllabus types in ESP does not include the situation syllabus, organized around speech settings and the transactions associated with them. However, in each variety of ESP (e.g. EGP, ELP, or EMP) there may be only one target setting with a myriad of speech events or functions. For instance, a law firm may be the site of client interviewing, contract negotiation, and legal drafting, all performed in the same setting and with the same participants Developing course materials To begin with, let us clarify what is meant by teaching/learning materials. As Tomlinson (1998: 2) says, expressing a standard view on the issue: the term [ materials ] is used to refer to anything which is used by teachers or learners to facilitate the learning of a language, including both the obvious things such as course books, workbooks, CDs, videos, grammar books, and dictionaries, and the not so obvious ones like authentic text samples collected by the participants, photographs, task instructions, and even class discussions, i.e. anything The Practice of ESP 86

91 which is deliberately used to increase the learners knowledge and/or experience of the language. Tomlinson s definition of materials development is even broader and includes all learning experiences, or in the author s words: anything which is done by writers, teachers or learners to provide sources of language input and to exploit those sources in ways which maximize the likelihood of intake (Tomlinson, 1998: 2). This covers both narrowly-defined materials intended to present language input, and activities aimed at practicing this input and eliciting relevant output, containing the language presented. This lack of distinction between materials and activities as the two types of learning experiences is not always fully recognized. For instance, Nunan (1985) sees materials as belonging to the realm of content or input, while tasks and activities as associated with methodology, whereas Graves (2000) admits that the relationship is blurry and its existence depends on the organization of the course content or the chosen syllabus type. Specifically, in courses where there is a unity of content organization and teaching method, for instance in discourse-, genre- or task-based approaches, the distinction makes no sense, while in those using a general or an eclectic method the distinction still holds. The best solution then may be to view activities as a special subset of materials with a different learning purpose. However, from the point of view of the teacher competences and cognitions involved, both processes of materials and activities development are homogeneous. Materials (including activities) can be selected from the available pool, developed by adaptation, extension or elaboration, or written from scratch, depending on the degree of creativity invested by teachers and their proficiency in the targeted specialist discourse. While choosing a course book is clearly an act of materials selection, using it in an inventive and creative way, for instance supplementing it with authentic materials, falls under materials development, whose higher form is writing materials from scratch. In ESP, which is premised on catering to learners needs, the development of needs-relevant course materials is a rule of the thumb, and teachers simply have to be material developers to ensure the relevance of input for their learners, though not necessarily independent materials writers. Since course materials are expected to provide and exploit input in such a way as to maximize the learners intake, materials development in ESP is invariably coupled with materials evaluation. The teacher has to decide not only whether a given authentic learning material serves the purpose of exposing learners to the desired language input exhibiting authentic specialist use but also whether it can be taken in by the learners as being suitably comprehensible given their current interlanuage, (see Krashen s Comprehensive Language Hypothesis, 1985) or to use a The Practice of ESP 87

92 Vygotskyan concept, as being located within the learners Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Obviously, if a given learning material is too difficult, it needs to be adapted or even re-written to maximize its chance of being learned. Moreover, as Tomlinson (1998: 7-22) observes, materials are expected to meet a score of additional criteria, for instance: to achieve impact by attracting the learners interest or attention, help learners to develop confidence, draw learners attention to linguistic and discoursal features of the input, provide the learners with opportunities to use the target language to achieve communicative purposes, and provide opportunities for teacher feedback. At the same time, they are expected to take into account various learner cognitive and affective variables, which may hinder or enhance their learning intake, such as different learning styles and pace, attitude to the target language and motivation to learn it, or experience of language classrooms and language learning materials, and to do all this when the learners are ready to acquire the points being taught because their level of language proficiency (interlanguage) allows it. In turn, Graves (2000) groups the 15 materials criteria she has identified under several headings indicating different areas of considerations to be weighted by the materials developer, as shown in the table below: Learners Learning Language Social context Activity types Materials Make materials relevant to learners experience and background Make materials relevant to learners target needs (outside of class) Make materials relevant to learners affective needs Engage learners in discovery, problem solving or analysis Develop specific skills and strategies Target relevant aspects (grammar, functions, vocabulary, etc) Integrate four skills of listening, reading and speaking and writing Make learners understand authentic texts Provide intercultural focus Develop critical social awareness Aim for authentic tasks Vary roles and groupings Vary activities and purposes Use authentic materials (texts, realia) The Practice of ESP 88

93 Use varied materials (print, visual, audio, video, etc) Table 2.4: Considerations for developing materials (Based on Graves, 2000: 156) It seems that the main area of difficulty for ESP practitioners in materials development as well as a big controversy in the field - concerns the notion of the authenticity of materials. The problem begins with various conceptualizations of authenticity, which can be understood as: (a) created by a native speaker user of the specialist discourse and member of the target group (authenticity of source), (b) created for a real communicative and pragmatic purpose and not for language teaching (authenticity of purpose), and (c) exhibiting characteristic discoursal features (authenticity of discourse). The presence of three co-existing conceptualizations of materials authenticity suggests that materials developers can choose the meaning of authenticity that best fits the course goal or the learning environment (especially the micro- context) and at the same time is compatible with the developer s knowledge about language, language learning, and language learners. While this is true in theory, in reality there is a strong pressure in ESP to use materials that are authentic in all the above senses of the word, i.e. are created by native speakers of the target language who are target group members and not ESP teachers for real communicative purposes (i.e. to accomplish real life goals) and demonstrate the discoursal features characteristic of the domain-specific language use. This kind of triple authenticity is difficult to achieve in low-immersion EFL contexts, because authentic native-generated texts are often untrue to the teaching context (e.g. as pertaining to a different legal system and culture) while locally-created texts do not necessarily exhibit the native-perfect authentic use. As a result, most authentic materials used in ESP classes are in fact genuine materials written by native speakers and subject specialists but used out of their intended contexts, in an EFL classroom rather than a law firm or a commercial company. It seems, that the best a materials developer can do in such a situation is to aim for authenticity of purpose and use texts provided by the learners themselves, either those used in their current employment or study situation to which they have direct access or those usable in their future employment or work situation to which they have indirect access through subject specialists or friendly working professionals. As observed by Basturkmen (2010), the procedure of learner materials acquisition coupled with careful teacher evaluation is bound to result in the provision of materials that involve both professional (disciplinary) practices and authentic domain-specific language. For this reason, they should be favored over simplifying The Practice of ESP 89

94 authentic professional texts, even if the language use is not native-speaker perfect. In fact, there are some authors, like Harding (2007), who argue that texts, contexts, and situations from the student s subject area will naturally involve the language that the students need whether they are authentic in any sense of the word or not, especially if used in realistic and meaningful activities. The best overall advice for ESP teachers regarding development of materials is given by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1997:173), who say that a good provider of materials will be able to do the following: 1) Select appropriately from what is available; 2) Be creative with what is available; 3) Modify activities to suit learners needs; 4) Supplement by providing extra activities and extra input. As concerns activities, it seems that their choice is motivated by the teacher s theoretical assumption about how foreign languages are learned, and specifically, what kind of repeated language use is capable of turning declarative linguistic knowledge into procedural linguistic knowledge that can result in general communicative proficiency of the learners. In fact, the process of selecting or developing activities may be seen as consisting in choosing a position on the continuum between interactive and cognitive learning. Specifically, since ESP is all about communicative proficiency, the course teacher has to decide how many cognitivelyoriented activities to use and to what ends: solely to present input or also to practice it. As the above discussion illustrates, it takes much decision making for the course teacher to arrive at a detailed teaching-learning syllabus in the doing phase of course design, starting with only a general definition of course parameters formed in the course planning stage. Basically, these decisions can be divided into those concerning input (its type, level, organization, and presentation) and those concerning output (main activity type, amount of classroom interaction, type of feedback, and type of performance assessment). The result is a detailed syllabus that may - and indeed should - be given to learners in order to seek their opinion and perhaps negotiate certain issues, chiefly those related to learners subjective needs or wants, before it can serve as the basis for lesson planning. The Practice of ESP 90

95 6. Providing language instruction The actual teaching part of the ESP process may be viewed in terms of roles that teachers cast themselves in. These are usually seen as a dichotomy: knowledge provider vs. learning facilitator to account for the difference in the approach to teaching between someone who, traditionally, presents input, manages its practices and then assesses learner performance and someone who exposes learners to input, helps them discover and use its features in authentic communication, while simultaneously helping them develop language learning skills as well as general language awareness, with a view to fostering their autonomy. Needless to say, the learning-facilitator role is generally recognized as appropriate for ESP, with its overall concern with autonomous communicative proficiency. If indeed the teacher role is largely a given, then the teacher s classroom performance can only be seen and evaluated in terms of time-and-content management (lesson planning) and classroom interaction management, where the latter is indicative of the teacher s views on who should control the learning process: only the teacher or both the teacher and the students, and in case of the latter option to what degree. Whether or not the ESP practitioner is an effective lesson planner is largely a matter of professional experience, as is the teacher s readiness to divert from a lesson plan to teach an interesting language element that has come up in classroom interaction, which was shown as significantly greater in experienced than novice teachers, for instance by Borg (2006). The same author also posits that professional and general language classroom experience is responsible for the degree of teacher control applied, which has been shown as considerably higher in inexperienced teachers, who perceive it as a necessary condition of successful implementation of a lesson plan, and ultimately the attainment of set course objectives. While learning management is largely a matter of experience, which helps teachers to determine how finely-planned and controlled the teaching-learning process has to be in a given sociocultural context with its specific needs and requirements, it is also informed by teachers language awareness and theoretical assumptions, beliefs, and conceptions of how people learn foreign languages for specific purposes, and in particular, how much of this learning comes about from structured learning instruction (see Ellis, 2004 with his ten principles of structured language learning ) as opposed to being accidently acquired through authentic interaction and acculturation (see Lantolf, 2000). Choosing a position on the structured-accidental (natural) learning continuum impacts teachers classroom behaviors connected with the handling of The Practice of ESP 91

96 input, creating opportunities for meaningful output, and evaluating this output in terms of grammaticality and pragmatic acceptability. Considering the points made above, the competences of ESP practitioners needed to fulfill their prescribed teacher role of language learning facilitator may be conceptualized as suggested by the present author in the table below. Teaching/learning ESP language (and optionally) subject content teacher Language learning facilitator and mediator Organizer of content to be learned in class (lesson planner) Classroom interaction manager Input presenter and explainer Output elicitor and evaluator Home assignment designer and evaluator Exemplary language user Ability to teach target language as both a language system and language use Ability to plan lessons and knowing when to depart from a lesson plan Ability to recognize and use accidental learning opportunities (arising in course of interaction) Ability to contextualize language input to make it relevant to learners and, if required, provide some subject knowledge Ability to present needs-relevant input in an interesting and demanding way, engaging the learners cognitively and affectively Ability to explain language elements targeted in materials and tasks Ability to create opportunities for meaningful (pragmatically authentic) output Ability to design useful home assignments and explain them properly Ability to give effective feedback on output, and especially to handle error correction well Ability to manage classroom interaction, both with and among students Ability to identify students learning skills and strategies and enhance those conducive to ESP learning Ability to monitor one s linguistic performance and act as an exemplary language user Ability to motivate students to learn and participate in classes by referring to the target situation Ability to empower students to participate in the running of the course and course evaluation Table 2.5: ESP practitioners roles and competences in classroom teaching The Practice of ESP 92

97 The degree to which an ESP teacher possesses the abilities listed (as a result of holding relevant knowledge bases) allows for identification of good teachers, whose teaching practices are particularly effective and so - worth popularizing. The table also hints on an additional factor which may impact effectiveness of an ESP course, namely the readiness and ability to teach specialized subject content if the learners so demand. For instance, in the knowledge context of an institution of higher education located in a country where English is taught and learned as a foreign language, students in an ESP course running parallel to their subject studies tend to be cognitively rather than communicatively oriented and expect some subject content teaching in addition to specialist language teaching, for instance facts about the Anglo-Saxon law taught alongside Legal English in an ELP course for law students, as established by the author (Górska-Poręcka, 2011a). It should also be mentioned that instructional practices can be discussed in more practical terms than proposed here, namely as abilities needed to teach certain areas of language such as grammar or lexis or certain skills like reading or writing. However, the abilities required for the teaching of specific skills or language elements are similar and can well be generalized in the above fashion. 7. Assessing learners progress When making decisions about the scope and methods of learner assessment, ESP teachers should start with a very basic question: What does special purpose teaching (and learning) consist in? The answers seem to be simple enough: in ESP we teach specialized (or situated) language use by means of communicative methodology in the purpose of developing learner communicative proficiency. But what does this really mean in terms of assessable or testable performance? Some help in answering this question is offered by Douglas (2000: 35), who posits that ESP students should be tested on what he calls specific purpose language ability, which he construes as comprising the following components: Language knowledge Grammatical knowledge Knowledge of vocabulary Knowledge of morphology and syntax Knowledge of phonology Textual knowledge The Practice of ESP 93

98 Knowledge of cohesion Knowledge of rhetorical or conversational organization Functional knowledge Knowledge of ideational forms Knowledge of manipulative functions Knowledge of heuristic functions Knowledge of imaginative functions Sociolinguistic knowledge Knowledge of dialects/varieties Knowledge of registers Knowledge of idiomatic expressions Knowledge of cultural references Strategic competence Assessment Evaluating communicative situation or task and engaging an appropriate discourse domain Evaluating the correctness or appropriateness of the response Goal setting Deciding how (and whether) to respond to the communicative situation Planning Deciding what elements from language knowledge and background knowledge are required to reach the established goal Control of execution Retrieving and organizing the appropriate elements of language knowledge to carry out the plan Background knowledge Discourse domains Frames of reference based on past experience which we use to make sense of current input and make predictions about input which is to come Douglas s conceptualization of communicative ability was developed specifically for ESP as a form of language teaching concerned with special language use and aiming at communicative proficiency in the target situation. As Douglas says, its development was The Practice of ESP 94

99 motivated by his desire to understand how background knowledge interacts with language knowledge to produce a communicative performance in specific contexts (Douglas, 2000: 33). The concept obviously owes a lot to Hymes s view that linguistic communication is a function of the speaker s knowledge of language, and the ability to use it, which being necessary components of communicative competence are prerequisite to communication (Hymes, 1971, 1972, 1974). Other influences on Douglas s construct were Canale and Swain s model of communicative competence as encompassing linguistic, sociolinguistic, discoursal, and strategic competences (Canale and Swain, 1980), and Bachman and Palmer s framework for the description of communicative language ability, which hypothesizes the existence of two interacting components: language knowledge and strategic competence (Bachman and Palmer, 1996). While evaluating the construct of special purpose language ability is well beyond the scope of this section, Douglas s long list of the competences involved illustrates how much there is to be assessed. Also, given the sheer number of competences and the different categories they represent, it is clear that classic language tests cannot handle the task effectively. An alternative advocated by Douglas (2000: 90) are specific purpose language tests, which are defined as follows: A specific purpose language test in one in which test content and methods are derived from an analysis of a specific purpose target language use situation, so that test tasks allow for an interaction between the test taker s language ability and specific purpose knowledge, on the one hand, and the test tasks on the other. What this means is that ESP learners should be tested on contextualized language use, whose necessary parameters comprise forms, functions, and contexts typical of the way in which the target group or discourse community uses English for their occupational, professional or academic purposes, and which consists in performing typical tasks in typical situations using typical texts. Alternatively, ESP practitioners can decide to forgo testing and instead assess their learners progress by grading their performance in classroom communicative tasks. This form of assessment is suitable for in-house courses of ESP for professionals but much less so in educational settings where some achievement testing is usually required. It can, however, be used alongside achievement testing as samples of learners authentic and spontaneous language use. Although construed with ESP in mind, Douglas s specific purpose language ability is not the only conceptualization of communicative competence that might be considered as a basis for assessment decisions in ESP. Alternatively, one may wish to consider Byram s concept of The Practice of ESP 95

100 Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC), formulated as both the ultimate goal of foreign language teaching and the non-native-speaker model for the assessment of learners performance. As conceptualized by Byram (1997), ICC encompasses four components: linguistic competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence, and intercultural competence, of which the first three competences share their characteristics with the concepts of communicative competence (Hymes, 1971, Canale and Swaine, 1980) or communicative ability (van Ek, 1983) and the last one is his original addition. Byram construed Intercultural Competence (IC) as encompassing a set of interdependent attitudes (savoir-être), knowledge (savoir), skills (savoir fair/apprendre), and critical cultural awareness (savoir s engager), whose development was deemed necessary for L2 learners to be able to communicate both effectively and appropriately in the target language. Unfortunately, unlike linguistic, sociolinguistic, and discourse competences which may be assessed by means of a traditional test, provided the texts used in tasks are sufficiently contextualized, IC is impossible to assess except by performance testing, where learners authentic communicative acts performed in relevant real-life situations are evaluated by a competent rater (the teacher), or by guided selfassessment, like in the European language portfolio project. Another problem facing ESP teachers when determining the type of learner assessment to use in a course is the need to select a suitable model of performance. While traditionally, for instance in Hymes, Canale and Swain, and van Ek, such a model was the native speaker of the target language, Byram (1997) proposed that to avoid what he called cultural schizophrenia in learners, L2 pedagogy should aim at developing their intercultural identity rather than replacing their natural, L1 native identity with an assumed L2 native identity. Thus, he rejected the native-speaker model and replaced it with the intercultural speaker model, a change which resonates with ESP, which prepares learners for international professional and educational environments and increasingly teaches English (or a specialist discourse thereof) as an international rather than national language. Obviously, the change of the performance model entails replacing the standard of grammatical correctness with pragmatic effectiveness, social appropriateness, and cultural acceptability. As requiring non-standard forms, assessment in ESP places additional cognitive demands on teachers, who not only have to develop their own contextualized language use tests and performance tests but also need to devise an adequate way of evaluating learners communicative output. According to Douglas, the best solution is to use tasks that are similar to those that have previously been done in class for both oral and written practice, whereas The Practice of ESP 96

101 Byram suggests modeling test tasks on target situations. In each case, carrying out learner assessment in ESP requires that teachers be able to develop properly contextualized test tasks, in addition to exhibiting the typical assessment skills like objective test grading and constructive feedback provision. It should be noted that while the latter abilities are clearly pedagogical in nature, the former is impacted by teacher language knowledge, and specifically, teachers (intercultural) communicative competence as procedural knowledge of the target language and their declarative, linguistic knowledge about it. Thus, again, the decision on what type of testing to apply in an ESP course and the preparation of tests are two teacher tasks that demand considerable cognitive processing, as well as the possession of suitable cognitive constructs. However, regardless of the form of testing, ESP teachers tasks in learner assessment consist in choosing what to test the students on, by what method, and against what performance standard. Thus, the specific teacher roles and competences in the fourth stage of the ESP process may be discerned as proposed by the author in Table 2.6. Stage Teacher roles Teacher competences Assessment Test designer Test developer Standard selector Test grader Ability to design written and oral tests to measure learner achievement, i.e. choose the elements of content to be tested and the testing method(s) Ability to develop contextualized test tasks by writing them or compiling them from external sources Ability to select the appropriate test performance standard (e.g. grammatical correctness, appropriateness, acceptability) Ability to grade tests in a fair and objective way, i.e. devise a grading scheme and scale Table 2.6: Teacher roles and competences in learner assessment 8. Course evaluation Course evaluation is a twin process to course design in that it involves the same set of considerations about the course goals, objectives, content, methodology, syllabus, materials and assessment. However, the question now is not how to design a course that would address learners needs but if the course has been properly designed and whether it has to be redesigned. Answering these questions requires several competences which impact the performance of the course evaluator role, or in fact the micro-roles it comprises. The The Practice of ESP 97

102 subordinate roles and competences required in the evaluation stage of the ESP process as conceptualized by the author are presented in the table below. Stage Teacher roles Teacher competences Evaluation Evaluator of overall course effectiveness (i.e. appropriateness of the parameters selection) Evaluator of selected teaching practices (syllabus, materials activities and assessment) Evaluator of own teaching practices Ability to evaluate the choice of goals and objectives against learners needs as disclosed in the course Ability to evaluate the appropriateness of selection and organization of content against learners needs Ability to evaluate the effectiveness of selected methodology against set goals and objectives Ability to evaluate one s own work as needs researcher, language analyst, course designer, language instructor and progress assessor Ability to assess one s own classroom behaviors, including the use of language Table 2.7: ESP teacher s roles and competences in course evaluation From the point of view of relevant teacher cognition, it seems that effective course evaluation, i.e. one that results in changes in the course design when appropriate, is largely a matter of pedagogical knowledge and not of subject-matter (linguistic and non-linguistic) knowledge. The subject matter knowledge comes to play when the changes deemed necessary are actually executed. As the discussion offered in sections 4-8 attests, in order to offer quality courses ESP practitioners need an extensive array of cognitive competences, or in other words, a considerable professional knowledge base. The structure of language teacher knowledge will be discussed in section 4 of Chapter Three, when the findings of teacher cognition research are reviewed, and in Chapter Four, when the author s socio-cognitivist Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses is introduced. At this point, it should suffice to say that according to scholarship, teacher professional cognition consists of 6-7 different knowledge types (see e.g., Roberts 1998; Shulman 1886, 1987; Turner-Bisset, 2001; Woods, 1996), whose most straightforward listing was perhaps offered by Grossman (1995), as including: The Practice of ESP 98

103 knowledge of content; knowledge of learners and learning; knowledge of general pedagogy; knowledge of the curriculum; knowledge of the context, and knowledge of the self Alternatively, the professional competences necessary for effective language teaching have been viewed in terms of skills, e.g. by Richards (1998) or James (2000). The latter identified four areas of teacher skills: (1) subject matter skills; (2) methodological skills; (3) decisionmaking skills, (4) social and interactive skills, and (5) enabling skills (after Komorowska, 2011: 18). In either case, whether construed as cognitions or practical abilities, the knowledge base for ESP teaching has to be broad in order to inform teacher decision making in all five stages of the ESP process, as described above. 9. Summary of the chapter The present chapter was devoted to a detailed description of the pedagogical practice of ESP, undertaken with the purpose to demonstrate that the teacher s role in ESP is greater than in English for General Purposes (EGP). In EGP teaching, the teacher s job consists mainly in providing language instruction, which generally means selecting a ready-made course syllabus by choosing a course book and interpreting it more or less creatively, exposing the learners to the language features chosen by the syllabus designer and facilitating their learning according to the method proposed, and assessing learners classroom performance and overall learning progress. In ESP, teachers also provide language instruction and primarily so - but they are additionally charged with researching learner needs to ensure proper goal-orientation, designing a needs-relevant course, syllabus and materials, evaluating the course to check its effectiveness, and usually re-designing it to make it even more goal-focused. All this requires a considerable amount of cognitive processing on the part of ESP practitioners, which cannot be done without reference to teachers knowledge and beliefs about their job and its subject matter, i.e. language, language use in context, and language learning, which inform and guide teacher actions in all pre- and post-teaching activities. Given the amount of information processing, planning, and decision making that is involved in ESP, it seems that teaching language for specific purposes epitomizes the notion of The Practice of ESP 99

104 teaching as knowing, formulated by Shulman (1986), since nowhere in language pedagogy is the impact of teacher cognition greater than here. This lends support to the thesis posited in the Introduction to this dissertation that the most learner-centered type of language teaching can in fact be the most teacher-dependent, or more specifically, teacher-cognition dependent. The type of teacher dependency postulated here has nothing to do with the traditional view of the teacher as provider or transmitter of knowledge but proposes to view the ESP practitioner as an aware, thinking and reflective course decision maker, whose internal cognitive processes are central to all five stages of the teaching process. This notion will be further explored in Chapter Four, but before this is done, it is necessary to briefly review the scholarship that has shaped our understanding of ESP teaching. The Practice of ESP 100

105 CHAPTER THREE: Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching The present chapter looks at various theoretical assumptions and empirical findings that have been underpinning second and foreign language pedagogy over the years and tries to evaluate their contributions to our collective understanding of ESP teaching and teachers.the extensive overview has been undertaken for two reasons. Firstly, it completes the portrait of ESP, its theory and practice, offered in Chapters One and Two by showing its roots in various areas of what Spolsky (1978) termed educational linguistics and defined as applied linguistics plus educational psychology and teacher research. Consequently, the scholarship reviewed in this chapter comprises second language acquisition research, including ESP research (i.e. the practical, problem-led inquiry carried out in the field), general psychological theories of learning, and teacher research, covering teacher effectiveness research and teacher cognition research, with a particular emphasis on the study of language teacher cognition. The discussion is focused on the changing conceptions of education in general and language education in particular, as well as the views of the teacher they have assumed and their implications for pedagogical practice in the area of ESP. The teacher-centered orientation of the review is related to the second reason for its inclusion in this dissertation, namely to identify the most powerful conceptual framework for the discussion of the author s central hypothesis that ESP is inherently teacher dependent as a result of its founding premise, and therefore its effectiveness can only be improved by accurately discerning relevant teacher cognitions (knowledge bases) and competences (abilities) and then gearing professional schooling and teacher training of the ESP practitioners to their development. The selected conceptual framework will then serve as a theoretical basis for the author s Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, presented in Chapter Four. 1. Insights into ESP teaching offered by second language acquisition research The practice of ESP has been informed by findings about language acquisition and learning offered by second language acquisition (SLA) research since the very beginning. The field has also generated its own research, which explored the areas of vital interest to ESP Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 101

106 practitioners and much less interest to SLA scholars, such as the nature of learner specialism and disciplinary specificity or the use of student needs analysis in course design. In their descriptive capacity, the two bodies of research present a complementary picture of specificpurpose language education as a learning-induced and learner-centered process aimed at developing communicative proficiency in domain-specific language use and gradually transforming learners into autonomous and efficient users of the targeted specialized discourse (see Harvey and Knight, 1996, for the notion of quality as transformation). Defined as a needs-based and goal-oriented approach, ESP is clearly a pragmatic type of language instruction. On the positive side, this implies highly focused language courses, designed for specific learners in specific social and cultural teaching contexts, which are more likely to deliver desired learning outcomes. On the negative side, ESP s pragmatic approach to language pedagogy may result in providing a narrowly defined (and thus reduced) language training instead of broader language education (Widdowson, 1983), usually for reasons of cost-effectiveness. Clearly, Widdowson has a point in his criticism of highly specialized language instruction and indeed ESP practitioners need to tread carefully to avoid the pitfall of overly focused instruction by relying on their knowledge of applied linguistics and language pedagogy, regularly updated to keep abreast with relevant research. Like all language instruction, ESP has been shaped by theories of language, general theories of learning, and specific theories of learning applied to foreign language, known as second language acquisition (SLA) theories. While theories of language have been responsible for various conceptualizations of ESP posited over the years (as demonstrated in Chapter One), theories of learning and particularly of SLA have had considerable influence on how ESP is taught. In his important review of SLA as a field of study, R. Ellis (1994) defined the scope of its academic inquiry as double-focused and consisting of four areas of theory and research, where the two foci were identified as focus on learning as a process and focus on the learner as the actor in the learning process, while the areas were said to comprise: (1) characteristics of learner language, comprising error analysis, acquisition order and developmental sequences, performance variability, and pragmatic features; (2) learner external (situational) factors such as social context and interaction; (3) learner internal mechanisms including L1 transfer, learning processes, communication strategies, and knowledge of linguistic universals, and (4) characteristics of the language learner comprising general factors such as motivation, and learning strategies. These issues, constituting both the scope of SLA research Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 102

107 and the objects of its theorizing, are clearly too diverse to by covered by a single theory and too controversial to be given one credible explanation. During the life span of ESP, researchers of SLA have produced many insightful views on how learners actually learn a second language. It stands to reason than not all these theoretical positions have been equally influential, given that many of them lack in educational perspective and are not easily applicable to language teaching, whether for general or specific purposes. Using the framework devised by Ellis, it may be concluded that as a pragmatically oriented type of language teaching ESP is particularly indebted to those theories and empirical studies that have been concerned with learners external and internal factors, corresponding to the notions of target situation and present situation needs. To fully appreciate the influence of SLA research on ESP pedagogy, it is necessary to briefly discuss the most important theories of language acquisition that have been developed in the last sixty years, as discerned and described by Ellis (1994), Mitchell and Myles (2004), and Gass and Mackey (2012). Among these perspectives are: the innatists Universal Grammar perspective, the cognitive perspective, the functional or pragmatic perspective, the interactionist perspective, the socio-cultural perspective, and the sociolinguistic perspective. These approaches differ with respect to their external affinity with various general learning theories, such as behaviorism, cognitivism, or social constructivism. They also differ internally along two dimensions, which have been identified by Mitchell and Myles (2004) as the modular-unitary dimension, which has to do with the assumed view of the human mind as having a modular or unitary structure and so capable or incapable of special processing of linguistic information, and the innate-environmental dimension, which is concerned with the mental versus social (inter-mental) nature of the language learning process, where the latter option is decidedly more relevant for specific purpose language teaching as pragmatically motivated. Each of the perspectives enumerated above has impacted the practice of ESP, albeit at different times and to different extent. The impact has concerned the way ESP theorists and practitioners conceptualize the two processes of education and their actors, i.e. learning and the learner on the one hand and teaching and the teacher on the other hand. While SLA theories are focused on explaining how languages are learned rather than how they are or should be taught, each of them implies a view of language teaching and the language teacher. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 103

108 1.1. The Universal Grammar perspective The inclusion into the present discussion of the Universal Grammar (UG) theory, developed by Chomsky (1957, 1965, 1995, 2000) and his many followers, including Hawkins (2001) and White (2003), should not be seen as an attempt to change its provenance from a general linguistic theory concerned with natural (native) languages and first language acquisition to a theory of second language learning. However, the UG theory lends itself to second language applications because it offers a powerful descriptive framework enabling scholars to research hypotheses about many issues relevant to our understanding of second language acquisition, such as the nature of the learner s interlanguage or the transfer between first language and second language. On the other hand, the theory s application to ESP as a utilitarian or pragmatically-oriented form of language pedagogy is limited by its exclusive concern with competence, or the formal mental system underlying language use, at the expense of performance, or language use itself, as well as the focal interest it has initially placed on syntax and more recently on morphosyntax, neglecting pragmatic and socio-cultural issues. Still, it has generated and empirically confirmed enough hypotheses about language learning to affect our concept of language pedagogy, including the teaching of foreign languages for specific purposes. As regards its views of language and language acquisition, the UG theory represents the extreme nature position on the innate-environmental continuum and a similarly extreme modular position on the modular-unitary continuum (see Ellis, 1994; Mitchell and Mylers, 2004). Chomsky and his followers maintain that language is too complex to be learned from interactional exposure (or outside-in, in the terminology proposed by Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, 1996) and by means of standard learning mechanisms. Instead, language is learned inside-out, in the process of subconsciously uncovering the universally applicable rules and parameters restricting language use (i.e. Universal Grammar) by hypothesis testing and rule adjustments (parameters re-setting), and gradually gaining sufficient knowledge about the language, or competence to be capable of its proficient real life use, or performance. While the Universal Grammar approach has evolved considerably since its early days, as evidenced, for instance, by considerable shifts in its founder s views (Chomsky 1957, 1965 vs. Chomsky 1995, 2000), its central premise that language is structure-dependent still holds, lending itself to many interesting implications, including those concerning second language acquisition. On the grounds of the UG theory, learning a second language can be Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 104

109 conceptualized as largely a matter of resetting learners inner language parameters from L1 to L2 through hypothesis testing performed by L2 learners in their capacity as mental processors with full or partial access to Universal Grammar through their first language. This implies that in the situation of structured classroom learning, the teacher should focus on providing declarative knowledge of the target language (i.e. formal knowledge about its system) and emphasize the provision of input exhibiting the characteristic morphosyntactic features of L2 as well as activities aimed at its linguistic analysis in order to aid the students in their task of gaining L2 competence as well as performance capacity by gradually completing the required parameter resetting (Hawkins, 2001; White, 2003). It then casts the teacher in the role of input provider, which involves the role of input selector and input analyst because teaching materials have to be properly chosen to illustrate the characteristic morphosyntactic features of the targeted language. These linguistic features have to be explained and analyzed with learners to facilitate their cognitive processing and gradual parameter resetting form L1 to L2, which obviously requires considerable knowledge about the target language as a system and a high level of language awareness on the part of the teacher needed to notice, demonstrate, and practice the targeted features. Another aspect of the Universal Grammar theory which appears to be directly applicable to ESP is the natural order and developmental stages hypothesis, and especially its second language version, which may form the framework for organizing linguistic content when designing a course syllabus. In ESP, this has been interpreted as a suggestion to use the lexico-grammatical syllabus as most conducive to the purpose of structured morphosyntactic analysis, for instance by early register-analysts. However, it has to be emphasized that the impact of Universal Grammar approaches on ESP is considerably limited by the fact that even today it is overly concerned with formal language systems and neglects both language pragmatics and the social context of communication, which by definition are of vital importance to ESP as concerned with learners communicative proficiency, i.e. their (intercultural) communicative competence or performance ability, demanded by the target situation. Regardless of the actual conceptualization, the goal communicative ability of ESP learners comprises other cognitive components in addition to the linguistic competence emphasized by UG scholars, which Canale and Swain, (1980) identify as sociolinguistic, strategic, and discourse competences, whereas Byram (1997, 2008, 2010) as sociolinguistic, discourse, and intercultural competences. Unfortunately, these competences can be neither Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 105

110 accounted for nor developed on the grounds of the Universal Grammar theory, which is interested only in the acquisition of linguistic competence The cognitive perspective Unlike Universal Grammar theorists, who are primarily concerned with language as a system and acquisition as a process of uncovering its rules, scholars working in the cognitive tradition put more emphasis on the process of language learning, which they see as acquisition of a complex cognitive skill through repeated practice. In the words of one of the leading cognitivists, McLaughlin (1987: 133): To learn a second language is to learn a skill, because various aspects of the task must be practiced and integrated into fluent performance [which] requires automation of component sub-skills. The process is assumed to be cognitive as it involves mental representations of linguistic structures, or categories, governing performance, as well as an information processing device, which may be the same for all cognition or specific for language learning depending on the approach adopted. This subsumes a view of language as a mental phenomenon, which thanks to its informational structures mediates our interactions with the world (Evans and Green, 2006). The cognitive perspective is represented by many outstanding linguists, including Lakoff (1981, 1987), Langacker (1987, 1991), McLaughlin (1987), Pienemann (1989, 1998) in the 1980s and 1990s, and N.C. Ellis (2002, 2003, 2005), O Grady (2001, 2005), McWhinney (2001), and Tomasello (2003) in the 2000s. These scholars differ with respect to the emphasis they place on the process of language processing by the brain versus the structure of the brain that makes the processing possible while mediating our experience of the world. Likewise, although all cognitive approaches are rooted in cognitive psychology of Piaget (1966, 1974), Bruner (1960, 1966,) and Anderson (1976, 1983) concerned with language learning as a cognitive mental process, they differ in their accounts of how exactly linguistic knowledge is created: by controlled-to-automatic input processing and gradual automatization or by a more conscious analysis of regularities in the language input from which the complexity of language, seen as a matrix of linguistic patterns, emerges by means of associative learning processes. The concept of language learning as input processing is central to a group of cognitive approaches known as processing approaches (Mitchell & Myles, 2004) and represented by McLaughlin s information processing model (1987), Anderson s Active Control of Thought Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 106

111 (ACT) model (1976), and Pienemann s Processability Theory and Teachability Hypothesis (1989, 1998). All these approaches are primarily concerned with computational language learning mechanisms used by the brain to turn declarative knowledge of a language into procedural knowledge of how to use it effectively, but while McLaughlin and Anderson see no need for any innate grammar, Pienemann postulates the existence of a Lexical Functional Grammar as another element active in the language acquisition process in addition to the processing component. The two elements are responsible for the fact that language learning proceeds in stages according to a processing hierarchy of grammatical structures, where the stages cannot be skipped even through formal instruction and should therefore be acknowledged by language teachers (Teachability Hypothesis).. The second group of approaches, which includes both connectivist theories, represented by N.C. Ellis (2002, 2003, 2005) as well as MacWhinney (2001), and emergentist or constructivist theories, exemplified by O Grady (2001, 2005), is concerned with analysis of input for regularities as a way through which language is constructed by the learner. In these traditions, the process of second language acquisition is seen as involving more than simple information processing because learners (i.e. their minds) are considered capable of making associations and generalizations about chunks or formulae occurring in the available input. Specifically, both first and second language learners are said to begin by learning language chunks (words or formulae), which are then compared, and analyzed until abstract generalizations are made and can be applied to other instances of linguistic production. Thus, language learning is viewed as a process of moving from unanalyzed chunks to abstract structural patterns by means of the learner s associative thinking involving general (i.e. not specifically linguistic) learning mechanisms. What drives the process is not a processing hierarchy or a natural acquisition order but communicative needs of learners, who are finally given some active role in their own learning, consisting in the gradual restructuring of their L2 linguistic system towards a native speaker s model. Another driving force of language learning seen from a connectivist or constructivist perspective is the quality of input, and more specifically, the frequency with which specific linguistic features occur and co-occur in teaching materials, as well as the presence of opportunity to use the language in interaction and thus check the validity of generalizations formed in the process of hypotheses testing. Regardless of the approach, the relevance of the cognitivist perspective for ELT in general and ESP in particular is twofold. Firstly, it has established a clear link between learning a language and using a language, which has now become a way by which learners formal Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 107

112 linguistic knowledge is advanced as they analyze input and test their language hypotheses in actual use and then try to fit the newly confirmed knowledge into their internal language system, reconstructing it in the process. The idea of learning a language by using it is particularly important for ESP, which is primarily concerned with preparing learners for the requirements of their target situation. Not surprisingly, many ESP practitioners have embraced the notion that repeated use of language, involving both input and output, results in the development of language knowledge by means of its constant deconstruction and reconstruction. Also, the cognitivist tradition was the first one to recognize the active role of the language learner in structured second language acquisition, as both the source of communicative needs driving the learning process and at least a partial agent in the input processing process. This had important implications for language teaching, which for the first time was seen as a learning-induced process in that it was expected to cater to learners cognitive needs arising in the process of language construction. Consequently, the teacher s job became threefold: to provide massive and graded input with many examples of specific language features in isolation and in combinations, to provide learners with abundant opportunity to produce output (and have it evaluated), and in addition, to teach learning strategies in an attempt to help learners construct their L2 system, which was first suggested as a teacher s task by O Malley and Chamot (1990). These requirements imply a view of the teacher as a learning facilitator, who provides relevant input and uses output-generating activities, as well as acts as a learning consultant, helping the learner to notice and accommodate new structural patterns The functional or pragmatic perspective Unlike the previous approaches, the functional perspective on language learning, originally associated with Givón (1979) and his colleagues, is primarily concerned with semantics and pragmatics of language communication, and specifically, with the way in which L2 learners make meaning and achieve their communicative goals. The process of meaning making is seen as unconstrained by any grammar, whether universal or specific, because language is viewed as a communication tool, whose forms are adapted to their functions and not vice versa. Consequently, linguistic forms are not important per se; they are important only in relation to pragmatic functions they serve and have created in the process of routinization or syntacticization (Sato, 1990). In arguing this, functional approaches to language acquisition owe a lot to the systemic functional views of language held by M.A.K. Halliday (1971, 1985), Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 108

113 who saw language as social semiotics, i.e. a resource for construing meaning. In this tradition, the process of making meaning, in the sense of both understanding others and achieving one s own communicative goals, is viewed as involving two types of analysis: the analysis of a speech act as a formal-functional component of language and the analysis of its social and discourse context. The same task faces a second language learner, whose interlanguage is said to advance only when put to its primary use of a communication tool. Here also, language is produced and understood lexically and through contextual inferences, with semantics and pragmatics playing a considerable role in the development of formal target language systems by constraining learners utterances (Sato, 1990). This means, that the development of learners interlanguage like that of natural languages - is driven by immediate communicative needs, to which socially oriented functionalists such as Bardovi-Harling (2000) also add a general desire for social integration with the target language community. Such a view of language learning entails a view of the language learner as an active actor in the process of linguistic communication, seeking to achieve some pragmatic needs and choosing formal (semantic and syntactic) resources to do so. A matching view of the teacher is that of output generator, i.e. a provider of plentiful opportunity for learners to use the target language (or its interlanguage versions) in meaningful communication aimed at the attainment of some linguistic and pragmatic goals. However, within the functional tradition the teacher is also expected to be able to draw learners attention to the relevant form-functional patterns, explain them in linguistic and pragmatic terms, which calls for considerable discourse analysis competence. Thus, in the functional tradition the teacher is cast in the double role of learning facilitator and provider of formal linguistic knowledge. Needless to say the central idea of the functionalist position arguing for communicative needs as driving second language acquisition is extremely compatible with the backbone premise of ESP as a goal-oriented, needs-based language instruction. Particularly fitting is the functionalist imperative to focus language learning on contextualized language use, or more specifically on presenting and practicing linguistic forms in relation to social meaning s and contexts that are relevant to learners immediate as well as long-term needs. However, functionalist approaches still fall short of accounting for the role that other participants of a communication event play in the process of language acquisition, probably because their interest in the communicative use of language is linguistically rather than socially motivated and concerns language universals rather than specific, local conditions. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 109

114 1.4. The interactionist perspective Since its emergence in the 1980 s, the interactionist perspective has produced several very influential theories of SLA, particularly Krashen s Input Hypothesis (1985), Long s Interaction Hypothesis (1981, 1983), and Swain s Output Hypothesis (1985). The names of these three representative theories suggest considerable internal diversity in this theoretical position, called interactionist to emphasize its concern with social (environmental) factors in the development of L2 learners interlanguage, in addition to those of mental or cognitive provenance. However, it should be noted that Krashen s ideas about second language acquisition are still very much cognitivist in nature, particularly with respect to the Input Hypothesis and the Monitor Model, which place more emphasis on mental input processing by the learner than on interactional factors. In fact, it has also been argued (e.g. by Lightbow and Spada, 1999) that the Monitor Model was influenced by Chomsky s theory of first language acquisition, which is purely innatist. Still, any responsible account of the interactionist perspective on SLA has to begin with the work of Krashen, whose theory of language acquisition consists of several hypotheses: the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis, the Monitor hypothesis, the Natural Order hypothesis, the (Comprehensible) Input hypothesis, and the Affective Filter hypothesis. Taken collectively, Krashen s views on SLL can be summarized as follows: language acquisition, which refers to the subconscious process proceeding in a natural order, is different form language learning, understood as the conscious cognitive process resulting in knowing about language, made possible by use of an editor of output, or Monitor. Second language learners acquire language by understanding messages received as comprehensible input (defined as input just beyond the learners current L2 competence), which results in the development of their interlanguage, as the necessary grammar is automatically provided (Krashen, 1985). Thus, the availability of comprehensible input is the necessary condition of second language learning, which ultimately leads to language acquisition as input becomes intake. However, the learning process may be more or less effective depending on the learners receptivity to input, determined by their Affective Filter (which explains variance in SLL). While Krashen s theory has been criticized for lack of empirical support, his Input hypothesis has given rise to other views on what constitutes the necessary condition of SL learning. Among those is Long s Interactional hypothesis (1983, revised in 1996), as a most complete expression of the central premise of interactionism, advanced also by Hatch (1978), Pica Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 110

115 (1994), and Gass (1997), that conversational interaction is an essential, if not sufficient, condition for second language acquisition (Lightbow and Spada, 1999: 43). Although Long agrees with Krashen that comprehensive (i+1) input is necessary for language acquisition, he argues that what makes language input comprehensible is modified interaction, during which learners can develop their conversational tactics, such as comprehension checks, clarification requests, and paraphrasing. The use of these tactics is what distinguishes the output produced by native speakers from that of second language learners, and this gap cannot be made up by mere linguistic simplification of input. What is needed is the participation of other speakers, both native and more advanced L2 users, working together with the learner to achieve mutual comprehension through conversational adjustments and corrective feedback. Thus, language development happens through negotiation for meaning involving other interlocutors. The idea of interaction as a necessary condition of second language acquisition is further advanced by Swain (1985, 1995) in her Comprehensive Output hypothesis, which posits that output has more than the simple practice function of increasing the learners fluency by means of induced linguistic production, seen as hypothesis testing. In addition, it plays an important consciousness-raising role and a metalinguistic or reflective role as learners who are forced to produce language by their communication needs notice the limitations of their interlanguage and reflect on them. Thus, they are pushed in their language development. Taken collectively, the interactionalist approaches to SLA resulted in putting the three basic social components of communication on the road map leading to the linguistic proficiency in a second on foreign language: input (which is provided by the teacher or other interlocutors), output (which is provided by the learner) and interaction, as the site where negotiation of meaning and so language development takes place. The interactionist perspective on SLA is extremely relevant for ESP due to the emphasis it places on meaningful interaction as a means of second language acquisition, in which both the learner and his or her interlocutor have a role to play. For the teacher, the emphasis on interaction entails the need to use communicative teaching methods and to design meaningful classroom activities with a real communicative purpose (i.e. tasks) in order to give learners the opportunity to test their language hypotheses and negotiate meaning with other interlocutors, in addition to providing exposure to relevant input. Thus, the view of the teacher assumed in the interactionist approaches is clearly that of learning facilitator. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 111

116 1.5. The socio-cultural perspective The sociocultural position on second language acquisition is premised on the idea that all cognitive development, including language development, arises as a result of social interaction. The leading figure in this approach is Lantolf (1994, 2000a, 2000b; Lantolf and Appel, 1994), who can be credited with applying the social theory of learning developed by Vygotsky to second language learning. Vygotsky (1962, 1978) argued that the child lacks important social skills and therefore is not capable of self-regulation, or autonomous functioning in society, so until that state is reached (i.e. sufficient new knowledge is acquired), the child needs to be guided by more skilled members of the same culture, such as parents or teachers, in a language-mediated process called others-regulation. This process, consisting of supportive talk, conceptual simplification of the knowledge to be acquired, and performance assistance, collectively known as scaffolding, is a necessary condition to learning, which is said to occur when the child interacts with a skilled individual in his or her zone of proximal development (ZPD), or a communicative situation where thanks to the scaffolding provided the child can perform at a higher level than alone. Applied to second language learning by Lantolf and others, this means that with appropriate scaffolding learners are able to perform above their current interlanguage level, and that this aided performance is a path to language development, seen as a gradual shift from assisted to independent performance. As all learning, second language learning is first collaborative (social) and then individual (cognitive), and its success largely depends on learners ability to construct their own learning environment, including an opportunity to repeat and rehearse linguistic items during interactions as well as the so-called private speech. The appeal of Vygotskyan theory to second language scholars is hardly surprising, given that scaffolding can be seen as an excellent metaphor for carefully structured and graded language instruction, ultimately aimed at learners independence as L2 users. Also attractive is the concept of the ZPD, which is somewhat reminiscent of Krashen s idea of the comprehensive input being at the i+1 level, although the similarity is only apparent because i+1 comes from the outside (i.e. from comprehensive input) and requires only internal processing, whereas the existence of ZPD is conditional on constructive collaboration of the learner and the interlocutor, engaged in meaningful interaction. It should be noted that in social constructivism, unlike in interactionist approaches, the co-construction of knowledge by Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 112

117 collaboration is not restricted to linguistic knowledge alone because language and culture are interwoven and so the acquisition of one is enabled and mediated by the other. From the point of view of ESP, the most important contribution of Lantolf and other Neo- Vygotskyan SLA scholars is that their work has added a new - social and collaborative - dimension to language learning, without denying its cognitive nature. In so doing, the proponents of the sociocultural approach have changed our view of the role of culture in language learning, which before was either ignored (by nativists (innatists) and cognitivists) or seen as determined by language (by functionalists), in the tradition started by the Sapir- Wolf hypothesis. In the sociocultural perspective the two are finally equal and remain in a bidirectional, interactive relationship, because they share two important properties: they are both parts of shared human knowledge and they are both stored in memory. This is why second language learning is essentially a process of socialization, and the teacher s role in it is that of mediator, who being more versed in both the target language and culture, helps the learners make the most of their learning experiences by ensuring that they notice and understand the rhetorical patterns of the target language or discourse and the social conventions that underlie them. All this resonates very well with ESP practitioners, whose general goal is to prepare their learners for effective functioning in the target situation as both communicatively proficient language users and knowledgeable members of the target culture, construed as a specialist discourse community. Hence, the popularity of the culturally based concept of genre (or text type with a conventional structure used by members of a discourse community to accomplish communicative purposes), which, thanks to the socio-cultural theories of Vygotsky and Lantolf, has largely replaced the linguistically motivated concept of text in the discussion about language content that should be taught in ESP courses to ensure goal achievement. The advantage of focusing on professional or specialist genres in ESP courses lies in the capacity of the concept to link textual regularities to practices of the targeted discourse community, which makes genre analysis a perfect way to advance learners language (linguistic and discoursal) and socio-cultural competences The sociolinguistic perspective Pioneered by Labov (1965, 1972) and later developed by such scholars as Hymes (1972) and Gumperz (1972), sociolinguistics is the study of language in its social context. Its concern is Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 113

118 not with some abstract mental representation of language in human mind, but with language as used by a community and shaped by its culture. This means that sociolinguists take a functional or pragmatic (or rather sociopragmatic) view on language, trying to explain variability in language use by referring to social context as perceived by the user, who makes linguistic choices to match theses social perceptions in order to achieve personal communicative needs. Although sociolinguists are concerned with describing language in use rather than constructing theories of SLA, their ideas of how languages are learned are nevertheless insightful. The basic hypothesis is that culture, understood as socially acquired knowledge which is shared by members of a given society and contains all that has to be known to function in that society, is reflected in language, viewed as a set of remembered concepts of three basics kinds: linguistic items, their meanings, and norms defining their social distribution. To use language in a given social context then is to adjust it to the social situation, which involves choosing linguistic forms according to the judgments made by the language user about other participants of the interaction in terms of the demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural variables they represent (e.g. in the SPEAKING model developed by Hymes). This implies that language proficiency involves the mastery of cultural values reflected in linguistic forms, and consequently, that the process of language acquisition must involve simultaneous acquisition of cultural knowledge in the process of acculturation or socialization. A classic example of this position is Schumann s theory of acculturation (or pidginization), developed in the 1970 s (Schumann, 1978), which argues that second language acquisition is linked to the degree of acculturation of the learner. Thus, the success of second language learning depends on how far the learner acculturates to the target community, which in turn is a function of the perceived distance between the learner and the community. Simply put, the interlanguage of a learner who feels close to the target community is more likely to develop (or keep on developing) than the interlanguage of a learner who feels remote or alienated from that community. In Schumann s view, this perceived remoteness will result in pidginization of the learner s interlanguage, which can be seen as a case of fossilization. Involved here is a question of self-constructed learner s identity because it is assumed that the degree of acculturation and ultimately the proficiency level in the second language depend on how the learner defines himself or herself with respect to the community of native speakers of the targeted language. Thus defined, learner s identity is an affective factor in second Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 114

119 language learning, which, together with cognitive factors and availability of input, helps explain variance in SLL. Another important concept in sociolinguistics is socialization, understood as a process through which a language learner acquires both linguistic and socio-cultural knowledge. Researchers in this tradition view language and culture as inseparable domains because the former is embedded in the latter, while the latter is acquired through participation in language activities (Ochs, 1988). Thus, language learning is both a cognitive and a social process, which is said to involve increasing participation in a linguistic or speech community (Gumperz, 1982), also called a community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991), where not only the learner s interlanguage develops through interaction with experienced community members but his or her identity becomes reconstructed along the way from inexperienced to experienced member. While a broader discussion of sociolinguistics is beyond the scope of this section, it should be noted that the lasting legacy of the sociolinguist perspective on SLA and SLL is the concept of language as contained in culture and reflecting culture, as well as the pedagogical imperative it has led to, namely that language should be taught in its socio-cultural context. As regards pedagogical guidelines for ESP practitioners that can be derived from the sociolinguistic view of the intertwined relationship of language and culture, it may be said that for the first time the targeted specialist culture related to learner specialism was put on the teaching map as not only an element contextualizing linguistic input and output but also as an object of cognitive study, and so possibly a part of an ESP course content. This has burdened the ESP teacher with the need to both facilitate language learning and mediate culture learning in order to forge language as well as cultural awareness of the learners, because only in tandem do they guarantee effective functioning in the targeted discourse or speech community Relevance of SLA theories for ESP Assuming that second and foreign language pedagogy draws on SLA research it comes as no surprise that ESP is such a pan-theoretical area of language practice. As the above brief review makes evident, there is an abundance of SLA research on which a language teaching theory and practice can be built. These theories draw on many disciplines in addition to linguistics, mainly psychology and neurobiology on the one hand and sociology with Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 115

120 anthropology and ethnography on the other. Accordingly, the various perspectives on second language learning fall into two broad categories: those concerned with the way in which the learner processes input by comparing it to some kind of inborn grammar and gradually acquires the rules of the target language, and those which take a primary interest in the way the learner uses his/her interlanguage in interaction and gradually builds up communicative proficiency through hypothesis testing and aided performance. These two traditions in SLA are obviously in contrast to each other, but at the same time they are complementary in that they emphasize two different aspects of language learning: the psychological side of the process with its biological, cognitive, and affective factors, and the social side of the process with its situational and cultural factors. As a result, collectively they collate a comprehensive account of the various factors responsible for second language acquisition. Obviously, there are some epistemological controversies in the field of SLA, but when its concepts and research findings are used merely to inform teaching practice they can be downplayed. For instance, if an ESP teacher chooses to believe that learners play an active role in constructing their linguistic knowledge, it does not really matter what cognitive mechanisms they use, but what input they need and how collaborative (interactional) the process of language construction should be in order to be effective. On the other hand, it stands to reason that some epistemological controversies cannot be reconciled and then the teacher has to choose, making sure that the options selected are compatible with each other and make a logical, internally coherent epistemological basis for his or her teaching practice. Sadly, internal congruence of teachers theoretical views and instructional choices is not always the case, as evidenced by the findings of the author s study into professional awareness of the university teachers of Legal English, described in Chapter Six. It stands to reason that in the past ESP was not nearly as epistemologically diverse or pantheoretical as it is now. In fact, since its rise in the 1960 s the theory of ESP has reflected the changing perspectives on second language acquisition in much the same way as it reflected the changing views on language. It can be concluded from the overviews of perspectives and their methodologies presented in Chapters One and Two that approaches to ESP have progressed from formal (grammar-based) to functional and then to interactional and sociallyoriented, in concert with a similar change in the way language philosophers and linguists construed language and second language acquisition. The current status quo appears to be that ESP draws most heavily on functional, interactional and socio-cultural theories of SLA, just as ontologically it is most indebted to the functionalist view of language as communication. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 116

121 This is hardly surprising given that its raison d être is catering to learners communicative needs by offering them a pragmatically oriented course. However, while being pragmatic, the four most popular current approaches to ESP, namely skills-based, genre-based, task-based and content based, differ with respect to the type of pragmatism they represent. Specifically, while the first two approaches appear to be pragmalinguistic, the remaining ones seem to be sociopragmatic (Basturmen, 2006). Applied to language teaching the two terms, originally proposed by Leech (1983) to describe pragmatics as a field of study, are construed as proposed by Kasper and Rose (2001: 2), where pragmalinguistics refers to linguistic resources (lexis, syntax, prosody) needed by a speaker to express communicative purposes whereas sociopragmatics refers to the social perceptions underlying participants interpretation and performance of communicative action.. The importance attached to the social factors in second language acquisition is clearly related to the view on the relationship between language and culture. Some linguists, like Chomsky, prefer to consider language in total abstraction from culture as a purely mental phenomenon. Others try to take a stand on how language and culture relate. Surprisingly few view the two as interrelated and interdependent, as do scholars in the socio-cultural tradition. Instead, the dominant tendency has been to see the relationship between language and culture as dominated by the former or the latter. Language is either said to determine culture as is the case in the functionalist and interactionist perspective, or contrary, to be determined by it, as sociocultural scholars and sociolinguists hold, where the actual choice of one or the other view depends largely on what definition of language and culture are adopted. Another dimension along which SLA theories have progressed in the last fifty years is in their view of the learner: from a passive recipient who was to be trained in target linguistic behavior by positive reinforcement leading to habit formation, to a language information processor, to a needs-motivated language system constructor, and finally, to a social being guided by personal social perceptions and constructing his/her identity in the process of language acquisition and acculturation. This progression seems to involve two change dimensions: from passive to active and from intra-mental to inter-mental. These directions have been noticed by ESP, whose current view of the learner is that of an autonomous individual actively constructing his/her interlanguage by engaging in meaningful interaction, which means that the behaviorist, innatist and purely cognitivist (non-constructivist) positions have been rejected (Belcher, 2004, 2009). Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 117

122 Graphically, modern ESP may be presented as a continuum stretching from strongly universal, pragmalinguistic positions to strongly environmental, sociopragmatic positions. The former is characterized by considerable concern with formal grammar as related to semantics, and with psychology of the learner as a constructor of his/her interlanguage, whereas the latter shows less interest in the formal form-meaning relationship emphasizing instead environmental factors affecting the pragmatics of communication, such as the role of social context in the process of language development. The approaches representing the two positions are informed by different theories of second language acquisition, which contributes to epistemological differences between them. As theories of SLA are invariably rooted in general theories of language, modern approaches to ESP also differ with respect to ontology, as shown in Figure 3.1 below, which presents the author s summary of the discussion offered in the previous sections. Functionalist view of language Interactionist view of language Skillsbased ESP Discoursebased ESP Genrebased ESP Task-based ESP Contentbased ESP (problembased) Cognitivist and functional views of second language acquisition Interactionist, sociocultural and sociolinguistic views of second language acquisition Figure 3.1: Theoretical underpinnings of modern ESP the author s summary As the above figure makes evident, most modern approaches to ESP have been classified as functional and cognitivist due to their concern with psychological rather than social needs of the learner, which presupposes a focus on language universals such as genres and speech acts (functions) in the area of language use but also systemic units like syntactic structures and textual patterns. The two exceptions to the rule are task- and problem-based approaches, which stress the importance of acculturation, contextualized interaction, and negotiation of meaning for the performance of activities seen as locutionary (linguistic), illocutionary Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 118

123 (communicative), and perlocutionary (social) acts (Searle, 1969), and consequently, as a way through which the learner accomplishes a dual goal of acquiring the target language and establishing his/her position in the target group. It should be noted that the middle position on the continuum is occupied by the genre-based approach, which pays considerable attention to environmental (social) factors of both historical (cultural) language development and individual language acquisition while continuing to view specialized linguistic communication in formal-functional terms of speakers communicative goals expressed by means of conventionalized genres (Swales, 1990). Although earlier notional-functional approaches (e.g. Candlin et al. 1976) and discourse analysis approaches (e.g. Hoey, 1983) appear to be the primary influence on their work, Swales and his followers like Bhatia and Paltridge admit to have profited from the work of Hymes and Gumperz, the major sociolinguists of the 1970 s and This secondary influence is indicated by an additional arrow in Figure 3.1. Generally, as the diagram makes evident, the epistemological diversity of ESP may be attributed to its equally diverse foundation in SLA theory and research. There is as of today no single theory of language that would be universally accepted, as was demonstrated in Chapter One. Similarly, there is no single SLA theory that would tell the teachers how a second or foreign language is learned in instructional contexts so they could base their language pedagogy on it. Conversely, there are many theories about L2 learning that have been developed with language pedagogy in mind, such as Krashen s Monitor Model (1981) and Long s Interactive Hypothesis (1996) discussed above, or unmentioned but equally interesting for L2 teachers DeKeyser s skill-learning theory (1998), which posits that L2 skills can only be developed by systematic practice, VanPatten s (1996) input processing theory, which argues the opposite, that language acquisition arises as a by-product of comprehension in course of meaning-focused input processing, or perhaps the most comprehensive - Ellis s instructed language learning theory (1994, 2009), which proposes that L2 instruction be based on ten comprehensive principles. These, according to their author, draw on a variety of theoretical perspectives but generally promote learning-centered language pedagogy, aimed at maximizing learners cognitive development by means of language instruction which ensures the following: (1) development of a rich repertoire of formulaic expressions and a rule-based competence; (2) primary focus on pragmatic (i.e. contextualized) meaning; (3) attendance to form; (4) development of implicit (procedural) knowledge of the L2 without neglecting explicit (declarative) knowledge about it; (5) natural acquisition order in the structuring of Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 119

124 linguistic content; (6) extensive L2 input; (7) opportunities for meaningful output; (8) plentiful opportunity for oral interaction, which is central to developing L2 proficiency; (9) correspondence with learners aptitude for learning and motivation; and (10) assessment of both controlled and free learner production (Ellis, 2004). Despite offering a fairly comprehensive theory of L2 learning, Ellis (1994, 1997) expresses considerable doubt as to whether any SLA theory may be directly applicable to language teaching, sharing the sentiment expressed by Hatch (1965) many years before, that SLA should be applied with caution.. One reason is that many SLA theorists and researchers have little interest in language pedagogy, and consequently, their work (with notable exceptions) does not have the required educational orientation. Secondly and more interestingly, though direct connection between SLA research and language pedagogy is generally assumed by both language teachers and teacher trainers, there is much and growing evidence to the indirect nature of this relationship through the teacher s professional knowledge base informing his or her instructional choices, as posited by the language teacher cognition research, reviewed in section 4.4 of this chapter. That SLA research is not directly applicable to language pedagogy is by now a widely accepted fact. As Ellis observes, the relationship between SLA and language pedagogy cannot be reasonably accounted for in simple behaviorist terms of research attested teacher behaviors. In fact, he argues (1997: 69) that unlike in real life where many teachers still construe their job in terms of in-class and out-of-class behaviors, in the scholarship a behavioral model, according to which teachers implement those behaviors that research has shown to be effective, is rejected on the ground that it does not account for teacher cognitive and social (experiential) factor. Teaching is no longer seen as behavior any more than language learning is seen as habit formation. Instead, teaching is increasingly seen as cognition or as know-how, or in other words as knowing or as knowing what to do (Shulman, 1986, 1987; Freeman and Richards, 1993; Freeman, 2002). The view of teaching as related to teacher knowledge and conscious decision making constitutes a significant contribution to language pedagogy, as will be demonstrated in section 4 below. At this point, an issue worthy of consideration is why SLA research is less directly relevant to language pedagogy than it could or even should be, given that many SLA researchers have been language teachers as some point of their career. The primary reason, suggested by Ellis (1997) seem to be that in their opinion as well as the opinion of many language teachers Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 120

125 applied linguistics and language pedagogy represent two very different cultures and types of discourse, which results in a considerable lack of understanding between their members and users. This dysfunction may be attributed to the fact that language teachers are generally not familiar with SLA research methodology and often lack the knowledge of the theoretical concepts underlying studies into language acquisition. Another reason is that SLA research has been mostly done in either natural or experimental settings and therefore may not be applicable to instructed learning which involves different situational and social parameters, such as the psychological and social motivation of the learners, and the role of the teacher as selector and scaffolder of the language content to be learned. Also, adult language learners who constitute most ESP students are not tabula rasa. Conversely, they have had much learning experience, including some L2 learning experience, which they bring to class and which shapes their conscious and subconscious responses to the instruction proposed by the ESP teacher, who likewise brings all his/her linguistic and pedagogical knowledge to the enterprise. These factors of cognitive and affective nature certainly impact the language teaching and learning process, as do the contextual, socio-cultural variables, collectively informing teachers cognitive instructional choices and shaping learners response to the proposed instruction. This does not mean that SLA research is bound to have only limited relevance for language pedagogy. In fact, there are some SLA researchers, such as Long (1990), who feel that it is possible to compose a list of well-attested facts about SLA that should be of great help to language teachers, as, in fact, has been attempted in the present chapter. Others, however, including R. Ellis, are not sure that this can be done, stating that apply with caution or not at all should still be the order of the day (Ellis, 1997: 70) with respect to any attempt to directly apply any findings of the SLA research. Researchers such as Nunan (1991) see little application of SLA research to language pedagogy on the grounds that it is not classroomoriented. Others, such as McDonough and McDonough (1990) conclude that the difference in discourse is so big that it has resulted in a great divide between researchers, who talk about concepts and studies, and language teachers, who talk about methods and techniques. However, there are also researchers, such as Lighthouse (1985), who argue that SLA research may still be of considerable use to teachers, although not at the practice stage or even the teacher training stage. In her view, SLA research has an important place in teacher professional education, as part of the cognitive make-up that will inform one s work as a Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 121

126 teacher. After all, knowing how learners learn a second or foreign language cannot be entirely irrelevant to someone who causes (facilitates, mediates) learning. Hence, some SLA researchers like Long or R. Ellis have undertaken to identify the factors or conditions that could make SLA research more relevant to language pedagogy despite the cultural and discursive differences between them. A list offered by Ellis (1997) includes the following conditions: SLA researchers should acknowledge the applied character of their work and adopt an educational perspective to ensure easier application of their findings to LP {language pedagogy); Teachers should engage in SLA research more eagerly than is the case now, or at least make researchers recognize their perspective; Likewise, teachers need to learn to appraise SLA research results by testing them against their practical knowledge of LP (i.e. their classroom experience) and generally interpreting it for their own teaching purpose; Attempts should be made by teacher professional educators and trainers as well as language teachers themselves to foster teacher research literacy, which would allow language teacher to distinguish between SLA studies that are useful to LP and those that are not as being purely exploratory in nature Likewise, teacher educators should see to it that teacher language awareness be improved to allow a transmission (not a direct transfer) of linguistic and SLA knowledge to teachers so their often accidental (experiential) and ungrounded beliefs about language teaching and learning can be countered with attested research facts; SLA research should be supplemented with some ethnographic research of learners progress in the conditions of instructed L2 learning to clarify and interpret its findings; The sheer number of these conditions justifies the conclusion made by Ellis (1997:81) that SLA cannot be applied directly to LP, and its findings cannot be used to prescribe teachers behavior. This does not mean that SLA research is of little value for language teachers, but rather that they have to make an effort to use it competently - as one of the knowledge bases needed for teaching and not a set of simple prescriptions. It would also be helpful if in addition to SLA research teachers kept abreast of educational research on language learning and teaching, such as teacher language cognition research, which is easier to comprehend and interpret as using a familiar discourse. But first and foremost, the traditional view of teaching Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 122

127 as doing has to be replaced with a new notion of teaching as knowing what to do in the minds of all the interested parties, namely: SLA researchers, language teachers, and teacher educators. 2. Insights into ESP teaching from its own research It is often said, for instance by Belcher (2009) that ESP is data-driven rather than theorydriven, which indicates that it has roots in practical, pedagogical research and may at times lack theoretical underpinnings. Sadly, ESP research has never been concerned with establishing how ESP students learn specialized varieties of English, despite the existence of many SLA theories that would be applicable to the task, to mention only Vygotsky s Zone of Proximal Development theory, Krashen s Comprehensive Input Hypothesis and Monitor Model, Long s Interactional Hypothesis, Schuman s acculturation theory, or Ellis s theory of instructed language learning discussed above. Nor has it shown much concern with special teacher competences or knowledge bases needed for ESP teaching, except stating that they include being a needs researcher, and depending on the approach an input provider, a learning facilitator, a learning mentor, or a learning mediator. Instead, most ESP research has been concerned with three issues: (1) determining the language content to be taught in an ESP course of a certain type (e.g. English for Academic Purposes or English for Legal Purposes) by means of some form of needs analysis, and (2) establishing the ideal procedure for course, syllabus, and material design to ensure needs-relevant instruction. Thus, most ESP research is in fact the study of learner needs, in all senses of the word, and the procedures for discovering them and translating them into course parameters, i.e. goal, objectives, content, and method Work on learner needs assessment The first thorough and highly influential work on learner needs came form Munby (1978), who proposed a complex system of procedures for identifying needs relevant for designing ESP courses with a communicative syllabus, which he called the Communicative Needs Processor (CNP). The CNP takes account of the variables that affect communication needs by organizing them as parameters in a dynamic relationship to each other (Munby, 1978: 32). These parameters are said to be of two kinds: those that provide input data and are therefore formed as questions about non-linguistic key communication variables (i.e. participants, setting, domain, interaction, instrumentality, dialect, target level, communicative event and communicative key) and those that process these data and act as a collective language skills Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 123

128 selector. Although the CNP is rather difficult to operate due to its complexity, it marks the beginning of the now standard ESP practice of describing target needs in socio-pragmatic terms, as variables affecting language use in the target situation or context, rather than in purely linguistic terms, as grammatical or lexical features of a disciplinary or professional register identified in course of linguistic analysis of relevant language samples. The idea that needs are of many types and can be approached from different perspectives of the learner, the teacher, the target user and other stakeholders is central to the well-known classification of needs offered by Hutchinson and Waters (1987). True to their backbone assumption that ESP should be approached from the learning (process) angle, the scholars posit that target needs, subdivided into necessities, lacks and wants, are not the only ones relevant and add learning needs, comprising knowledge, learning skills, and learning strategies to the scheme. As concerns target needs, which are crucial to course design, the two authors recognize the fact that they differ in objectivity, depending on the perspective on the targeted professional or educational context involved. Thus, while necessities are objective as determined by the target situation assessed by stakeholders in the ESP process (course commissioners, employers, co-workers, society) and lacks or gaps in the learners current language skills are measurable by objective instruments, wants are purely subjective as representing learners perception of their linguistic deficiencies. The objective-subjective dichotomy as resulting from the application of different perspectives (respectively, outside and inside) was also recognized by Berwick (1989), who talked about perceived and felt target needs, and by Brindley (1989), who used the term objective for needs based on facts and subjective for those based on individual (learner) feelings. The final voice on different perspectives in needs assessment came from Robinson (1991), who described target needs in ESP as representing three different levels: the micro level of individual learners with their subjective needs or wants, the meso level of the workplace or educational institution with needs deemed desirable by the relevant stakeholders, and the macro level of society with needs considered important by the authorities. A synthesis of the above views on learner needs is offered by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998: 125), who view needs analysis as a complex procedure providing eight different kinds of data: (1) professional information about the learners related to the tasks and activities required in the target situation; (2) personal information about learners pertaining to the cognitive and affective factors that may affect learning; (3) language information about the learners current language proficiency level or interlanguage; (4) information about learners Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 124

129 linguistic deficiencies or lacks in comparison with the target situation; (5) language learning information related to the effective ways of remedying learners lacks; (6) professional communication information about the specific subset of English used in the target situation (discourse and genres); (7) information about what is wanted from the course, i.e. course needs; (8) information about the course environment, or the teaching means available. The extensive list compiled by Dudley-Evans and St. John includes needs defined from different perspectives and by different stakeholders. It is then hardly surprising that the scholars see the necessity to apply not one but five different needs analysis procedures to assess them: target situation analysis (TSA), present situation analysis (PSA), learning situation analysis (LSA), target discourse analysis, and contextual needs, or means, analysis. A summary of the views on needs analysis in ESP is given in Figure 3.2, which shows needs as classified by Hutchinson and Waters and tries to plot onto the diagram the information added by Berwick, Bradley, Robinson, and Dudley-Evans and St. John. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 125

130 Learner needs Target needs Learning needs Necessities (objective or perceived) Wants (subjective, felt) Lacks (objective) Practices (situations, activities, skills) Discourse (forms, functions, genres) Relevant knowledge Learning skills and strategies Stakeholders perspective (meso and macro levels) Learner s perspective (micro level) Teacher s perspective (micro level) Learner s perspective (micro level) Teacher s perspective (micro level) Target situation analysis, including linguistic, discourse or genre analysis Present situation analysis Learning situation analysis Figure 3.2: Needs and perspectives in ESP - a synthesis of views Though the figure above presents a classic view of learner needs that have to be assessed for ESP course design, not much has changed in their perception in the new millennium. A recent description of needs analysis for course design by Basturkmen (2010) echoes the views presented above, even if the terminology is slightly different. According to Basturkmen (2010: 19), the needs analysis process involves the following: Target situation analysis: Identification of tasks, activities and skills learners are/will be using English for, what the learners should ideally know and be able to do. Discourse analysis: Description of the language used in the above. Present situation analysis: Identification of what the learners do and do not know and can or cannot do in relation to the demands of the target situation. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 126

131 Learner factor analysis: Identification of learner factors such as their motivation, how they learn and their perceptions of their needs. Teaching context analysis: Identification of factors related to the environment in which the course will run. Considering of what realistically the ESP course and teacher can offer. One thing that has changed in the ESP scholars conceptualization of needs analysis for course design is the view of the objectivity of needs assessment. While earlier scholars believed that an evidence-based needs analysis using a correct procedure would bring both reliable and objective results, most researchers today realize that needs analysis is not an entirely objective procedure and should not be seen as such (Basturkmen, 2010:19). A similar caveat has been made by Hyland (2008: 113), who recognizes the role of teacher cognition in the needs assessment process stating: Needs analysis is like any other classroom practice in that it involves decisions based on teachers interests, values, and beliefs about teaching, learning and language. As concerns the methodology of needs analysis in ESP, the multitude of methods used by researchers matches the complexity of the task. In an overview of research methods in needs analysis, Long (2005: 23-45) lists the following nine methods, of which some are qualitative and others quantitative: (1) non-expert intuitions, (2) expert intuitions, (3) unstructured interviews, (5) structured interviews, (6) surveys and questionnaires, (7) language audits, (8) observation, (8) text-based analysis, and (9) diaries, journals and logs. With the exception of the two intuitive methods, which are not evidence-based, all the remaining methods are considered fairly reliable and have their advantages and disadvantages, even if they represent different degrees of objectivity. However, to increase the reliability and objectivity of needs analysis, especially its part aimed at establishing target language and communication needs, it is recommended that at least two and ideally three different methods be used. The recommended triangulation of data can be achieved by using three different methods (usually a combination of qualitative and quantitative ones), three different sources (e.g. learners, target group members, other stakeholders) or three different researchers (see e.g. Long, 2005, Huhta et al, 2013). This clearly means a lot of research work to be done. However, as learner needs analysis is a cornerstone of ESP, some needs assessment has to be conducted either by the course teacher (and designer) alone or in collaboration with other interested parties or stakeholders, such as Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 127

132 the course organizer, content teachers, target group members, and first of all, the learners. The magnitude of the task is illustrated in Table 3.1 below, which shows types of needs analysis (as identified by Basturkmen), the type of data (needs) researched, and the research methods suggested for their assessment. TYPE OF NEEDS ANALYSIS NEEDS RESEARCHED RESEARCH METHOD Target situation analysis Discourse analysis Present situation analysis Learner factor analysis (learning situation analysis) Teaching context analysis (means analysis) Communicative events typical of the target use in terms of situation, task, participants, texts and skills involved Domain-specific language use in pragmatic (systemicfunctional) or sociolinguistic (genre) terms Learners present linguistic knowledge (interlanguage) and use, and the gap between it and the target situation requirements learners lacks Learners language learning experience and affective factors such as motivation, attitude to TL and cultural identification Social context analysis in terms of stakeholders variables and physical learning conditions variables (location, time, frequency, means) A language audit questionnaire filled out by target group members, ideally coupled with observation or interviewing Linguistic (grammatical), discourse or genre analysis, usually with elements of frequency analysis (corpus analysis) for identification of relevant lexical clusters (collocations, formulas) A placement test and/or a language audit questionnaire, coupled with participatory observation and class discussion A motivation-tl attitude survey and/or class discussion of learners reasons to learn and TL cultural perceptions Participatory observation, study of relevant documents (e.g. study curriculum, language policy statement, list of course needs by the course organizer or commissioner Table 3.1.Types of analysis, needs and methods in needs assessment As Table 3.1 clearly shows, needs analysis in the ESP course development process is a difficult call for a teacher with a limited research expertise, which poses serious questions about the reliability of the findings, and consequently - their validity for course design. Firstly, the informants may lack the ability to accurately describe their needs, especially those pertaining to language skills, whose identification requires a considerable dose of meta- Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 128

133 linguistic knowledge. Secondly and more importantly, the ESP practitioner who often singlehandedly conducts the needs analysis needed for focusing the course may simply lack the skill to design sound analytic tools and the competences needed to interpret the results, both pertaining to the communicative situation and to the language used. An obvious implication of this fact is that ESP teachers should be trained to conduct linguistic and discoursal as well as contextual analyses as part of their teacher training to ensure the development of appropriate knowledge needed for the task. Also necessary is the raising of their awareness about the consequences of a poorly done needs assessment for course design, and ultimately, for the quality of the specific-purpose language instruction Work on specialist language description As for course design, which necessitates needs analysis in the first place, the central question of target needs analysis is clearly: What language in terms of both linguistic features and language use is characteristic of the targeted group of users forming a discipline- or profession-specific community of practice, and consequently, discourse community? As suggested by Hutchinson and Waters (1987) and Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998), the term target needs is an umbrella term covering linguistic as well as pragmatic and cultural issues. As such, it lends itself to various analyses: linguistic, discourse, genre or task, each of which results in a different description or specification of the language to be taught in an ESP course. Specifically, a linguistic analysis as proposed by early register analysts like Barber (1962), Ewer and Lattore (1969) or Strevens (Strevens et al., 1964) and some contemporary corpus analysts (e.g. Flowerdew, 1993) is essentially concerned with identifying the most frequently occurring grammatical and lexical elements of the language system, which are then taught according to a structural or lexical syllabus. On the other hand, both discourse analysts (e.g. McCarthy, 1991) and genre analysts (e.g. Swales 1990, 2004; Jordan, 1990, 1997; Hyland, (2002b, 2003, 2008) are interested in identifying and subsequently teaching the form-function patterns occurring at the text level, which are units of language use, not of language system, because they view linguistic forms as reflecting speakers rhetorical (pragmatic) purposes. Finally, a relatively young group, which calls themselves task analysts (e.g. Long, 2005, Huhta et al., 2013) tries to describe the language to be taught in ESP courses in terms of tasks and situations, or more specifically, typical tasks in the situations typical of a given communication domain (professional, educational, etc). This group, whose approach is Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 129

134 premised on the idea posited by Long (2005) that target needs should be studied from the communicative perspective, as tasks accomplishing a pragmatic functions, stresses the situational aspects of communication over both functional (discourse analysis) and sociocultural (genre analysis) ones. The work of task analysts is still scarce, but an interesting example of this approach to needs analysis and/or specification of language and communication to be taught in ESP courses was the needs assessment conducted by a group of teacher-researcher from six European countries for the CEF Professional Profiles Project ( ), which aimed to describe domain-specific language use of certain discourse communities, like business assistants, mechanical engineers, or lawyers (for details see Huhta et. al., 2013, and Górska-Poręcka, 2007). As already mentioned, although specificity in ESP has always been interpreted in terms of target language and communication needs of the learners, both the specific conceptualizations of those needs and the methods used to gain insights into them have varied considerably. As Huhta et al (2013) observe, over the lifespan of ESP, researchers seem to have differed with respect to what should be specified by means of target needs analysis: (a) the language system of the target group, (b) the skills needed to communicate in the target situations and context, or (c) the language use typical of the target group as a discourse (speech) community, and consequently, what methods should be used to research and assess those needs to yield reliable results, i.e. applicable to course design. Thus, if the purpose of needs assessment is to describe the targeted special language answer, as was the case in the so-called Register Stage, then the ideal tool has to be grammatical and/or lexical frequency analysis performed on a body of authentic samples with a view to identifying those most frequently occurring and so typical of the targeted language register. If, in turn, the purpose of needs analysis is to identify target skills, then the methodology of needs analysis involves either observation of some members of the target group in action or some attempt to elicit that information directly from the subjects themselves by means of a questionnaire or an interview. Finally, if needs analysis is intended to uncover the typical, then the researcher has to come up with a method of studying texts in context to identify the form-function relationships, and the pragmatic and socio-cultural factors motivating grammatical and lexical choices. It should be kept in mind that regardless of the actual conceptualization, the learner needs relevant for the course content are always identified with reference to the target situation and the language it necessitates. Indeed, equating learner needs analysis with target situation analysis (TSA) had been a common practice in ESP long before Chambers (1980) coined the Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 130

135 term. Predictably, favoring TSA has entailed some neglect of the learners present situation needs (identified by PSA) and learning needs (discovered by LSA), especially visible in the product approaches, which are focused on the destination or goal of the instruction (the language and communication competence required), rather than on the way in which this goal is to be reached (the learning process). As concerns the three conceptualizations of needs relevant for ESP course design given above, they have been listed in a roughly chronological order, which means that the trend to define target needs in terms of domain-specific language use is currently the most common, although the skills approach lingers on. The status quo of needs analysis for course design in ESP is very aptly described by Basturkmen (2009). As she rightly observes, much of learner needs analysis performed in ESP still focuses on the target skills that particular learners need to have in order to function effectively in their target environment. However, she questions the very thesis that skills are specific purposes on the grounds that at least arguably reading a research article is not different in kind from reading a magazine article as both involve similar micro-skills like distinguishing facts from opinions, or more important information from less important information, both of which have been identified as academic reading skills (Flowerdew and Peacock, 2001). Instead, Basturkmen (2010: 26-28) posits that skills, as well as the language system itself are only specifiable elements in ESP, while the two truly specific are: language use typical of a given target group, and the conceptual and cultural content underlying and shaping that specific use. Assuming the truth of this claim, and allowing that the general objective of ESP is to develop learners communicative proficiency in a domain-specific language, it would be logical for ESP research to first of all try to reveal the target group use of English and the concepts its members share as belonging to a given discourse community, firstly, because they can be relatively easily and objectively analyzed from a sufficiently rich body of typical texts, and secondly, because collectively they make up what has been deemed communicative competence by Hymes (1972) and Canale and Swain (1980) and intercultural communicative competence by Byram (1997). Indeed, current ESP research has been largely devoted to studying specific uses of English by various discourse communities (academic, professional) in terms of form-function units such as genres, as evidenced below Work on genres The argument that to best understand how language is used, we must examine it within its context was first put forth by Swales (1988) almost 30 years ago. What is new is that Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 131

136 contemporary ESP research is less concerned with structural language elements of texts and more with texts in contexts, as researchers have grown to acknowledge the influence of both rhetorical (pragmatic) considerations and socio-cultural factors on linguistic choices of language users. There is no doubt that current research into genres, originated by Swales (1990), who first saw the need to study community and genre together in order to see how meanings are socially constructed, is the most developed area of inquiry in ESP. Genre research is characterized by theoretical and methodological richness, which has yielded many important studies, for instance by Bhatia (1993, 2004) into discourse and cultural characteristics of business and legal genres, Flowerdew (1993) into the teaching of professional genres, Jordan (1989, 1997) into discourse characteristics of academic genres, Hyland ( a, 2002b, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011) into disciplinary variance in academic genres, and Swales himself (1990, 2004) also into characteristics of research genres. Their work advocates higher specificity at the time when most ESP researchers opt for the commoncore-plus approach, which allows them to concentrate on grammar and lexis and does not force them to focus on communicating and learning to communicate as a [target group] insider (Hyland, 2011: 8). Not only are ESP genre studies numerous but also theoretically and methodically diverse. As conceptual underpinnings they use three theoretical perspectives known as the Sydney School, the New Rhetoric, and the ESP genre school, which while always emphasizing the importance of the form-function relationship as governing language use, represent different views on the relationship between language and culture, with the Sydney School being the least concerned with socio-cultural issues and the New Rhetoric the most. Research methodologies also vary because in addition to the classic genre analysis method, used by Swales or Bhatia and consisting in comparative studies of texts produced by members of a targeted discourse community for surface discourse patterns and underlying cultural patters, the current genre research for ESP purposes often resorts itself to frequency analysis (e.g. Hyland), and especially to corpus analysis (e.g. Flowerdew or Gavioli, 2005). Moreover, this focus on form-function correlations governing language use is paralleled by a considerable interest in socio-cultural contexts of language use, comprising not only rhetorical but also social purposes of communicative events and actions resulting from these purposes, their relationship with social status or power, and their impact on the identity of the user and learner (see e.g. Benesh, 1999 or Belcher and Lukkarila, 2011). Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 132

137 Unfortunately, the study of genres is typically done in ESL contexts, where English is a native language of the society in which the teaching and learning of a given ESP course is conducted. This facilitates the task of data collection and analysis for the native-speaker ESP teachers on account of a greater availability of authentic data (texts in contexts), easier access to knowledgeable informants (members of the targeted discourse community), and the teachers higher natural awareness of the target language (as opposed to language awareness developed in course of professional schooling), which makes it easier for them to authenticate the samples collected. At the same time, this situation makes an additional demand on nonnative ESP practitioners teaching in EFL context to exercise caution in teaching the sociocultural values underlying the textual patterns as not necessarily applicable to their learners target situation Work on teaching practices Teaching practices fall into two categories, those connected with course design and those connected with its implementation, or actual teacher classroom behaviors. The former category comprises needs and means analysis (i.e. assessment of the teaching conditions like teaching time, facility and equipment available), syllabus design (i.e. selection and organization of the language content), materials design or selection, selection of the teaching method as well as teacher and learner roles, and design of classroom activities. In the latter category are practices connected with classroom time management (i.e. how much time should be spent on presentation, practice, performance and assessment), classroom interaction (both teacher-students and student-student), and classroom performance assessment or error correction. Considering the distinctive needs-based goal-orientedness of ESP, it is small wonder that the issues of course design are of vital importance to both its practitioners and researchers, while classroom practices are viewed as behavioral consequences of the cognitive decisions made while designing a course, and especially the course syllabus. Most acknowledged ESP scholars have written about course design and conducted practical studies aimed at determining best course design practices. Generally, these accounts start with defining the course design process and its stages, followed by identifying the factors that affect it. Thus, course design in ESP is usually understood as a process by which the raw data about learning need is interpreted to produce an integrated series of teaching-learning experiences, whose ultimate aim is to lead the learners to a particular state of knowledge (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987: 65). The process consists of several stages, which include Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 133

138 focusing the course (i.e. choosing the actual course needs), determining course content and methodology (i.e. writing a course syllabus), developing materials, designing activities, and establishing assessment procedure (see e.g. Basturkmen 2009, 2010; Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1998; Harding, 2007, or Hutchinson and Waters, 1987). These stages are complex and involve multiple decision-making about every aspect of the course from its content and method to classroom interaction and assessment. In fact, some important decisions regarding course parameters have to be made in the planning stage, i.e. between an exhaustive needs analysis and writing a perfect syllabus. For Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998: ), these decisions have to do with setting the parameters of the course by choosing a position on nine continua, which may be phrased as 1-9 below: 1) Should the course be intensive or extensive? 2) Should the learners performance be assessed or not assessed? 3) Should the course deal with immediate needs or with delayed needs? 4) Should the role of the teacher be that of the provider of knowledge and activities, or should it be as a facilitator of activities arising from the learners expressed wants? 5) Should the course have a broad or narrow focus? 6) Should the course be pre-study or pre-experience or run parallel with the study or experience? 7) Should the materials be common core or specific to learners study or work? 8) Should the group taking the course be homogeneous or should it be heterogeneous? 9) Should the course design be worked out by the language teacher after consultation with the learners and the institution, or should it be subject to the process of negotiation with the learners? Some of the positions are clearly pre-determined by circumstances but choices in questions 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 are generally made by ESP teachers alone, and they are truly value laden in terms of the theoretical views called upon and consequential for the content and methodology of the course. Specifically, parameters 3 and 5 are absolutely crucial to language input selection, whereas parameters 4 and 7 are central to methodological consideration. Finally, the last parameter is relevant for the mode of both the course design process and the teaching process since it pertains to the degree of learner empowerment and/or autonomy allowed by the teacher. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 134

139 Decision making involved in the ESP teaching process will be discussed in detail in section 4 of this chapter. At this point it should be noted that in their course design work teachers are affected not only by contextual factors, such as demands of course stakeholders or language policy of the institution organizing the course, but also and perhaps more importantly by cognitive factors, like teachers theoretical assumptions language and learning. For instance, Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 22), name three such cognitive factors: (1) language description, which affects syllabus design, (2) learning theories, which impact methodological decisions, and (3) needs analysis, which provides information about the nature of particular target and learning situation. A similar view is expressed by other scholars, for instance Basturkmen, who observes that the selection of course content (i.e. syllabus design) reflects teachers ideas of language of language learning, which in turn are informed by their view of language and view of learning (Basturkmen, 2010: 23). Thus, while course design in ESP is always seen as based on needs analysis, the role of teachers theoretical assumptions about language and learning is also recognized, although, as Hutchinson and Waters claim, the relative importance of teachers views depends on their approach to course design. Specifically, for teachers who adopt a language-centered view, the only two factors of relevance for course design are the results of the conducted target situation analysis (in terms of situations and activities) and the view of language held. By contrast, teachers with a skillscentered approach are also affected by their views on learning as the third factor, while followers of the learning-centered approach (developed by Hutchinson and Waters themselves) in addition to the above three factors have to consider the results of the learning situation analysis (learner factor analysis). As signaled before, the impact of teacher cognition on ESP teaching will be considered at length in the next chapter in relation to both course design and classroom practices, with considerable emphasis on the former General comment on ESP research To sum up, it can be said that being true to the core concept of ESP as a pragmatically motivated and goal oriented language instruction intended to teach English to perceived needs and imagined futures in words of work, study, and everyday life (Belcher, 2006), ESP research has been focused on specific uses of language governed by socio-cultural contexts.. Unlike SLA research, ESP research has consequently exhibited an educational perspective, informed by a desire to define the relevant contexts, with their situations, participants and texts in an attempt to re-create them in class, according to an underlying idea that the use of Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 135

140 language being geared to situations and participants, is learned in appropriate contexts (Bloor and Bloor, 1986:28) both in real life and in the language classroom. Although ESP research has been informed by different theories of SLA and theories of language as such, its overall nature is less concerned with concepts and more with behaviors, and specifically effective teacher behaviors, such as appropriate scaffolding, contextualization and material authentication. To quote Belcher again, typical ESP research generally has pedagogical purposes and our [ESP] pedagogical practices are directed by research completed within a specified context (2011: 2). Overall, while ESP s own research is quite rich it is also strangely mono-focused on learner target language and communication needs expressed in linguistic, pragmatic or socio-cultural terms. As stated at the beginning of this review, ESP research still has to fully embrace nonbehavioral aspect of the learning and teaching process, including, respectively, the learner s and the teacher s personal cognitive and affective factors, whose study is necessary to identify the abilities or competences to be sought for and developed in both parties. Since in this dissertation teacher factors, especially those of a cognitive nature, are posited to have paramount importance for the shape and effectiveness of ESP teaching, it is necessary to look into educational and psychological research for a more appropriate theoretical framework for their analysis. 3. Insights into ESP pedagogy from educational psychology Although our conception of education has gone a long way from the traditional notion of a one-directional process of knowledge transmission, the importance, though not necessarily centrality of the teacher in the process of education is hard to question. There is then no wonder that variously conceptualized teacher effectiveness continues to be a major focus of educational research. Williams and Burden (1997:1) use these words to define an effective teacher, expressing a conceptually neutral view of teacher professional competence: The successful educator must be one who understands the complexities of the teaching-learning process and can draw on this knowledge to act in ways which empower learners both within and beyond the classroom situation. The way in which the study of the teacher has been approached over the years has varied in accordance with the adopted view of teaching formed on the basis of a general theory of learning popular at a given time. It cannot go unnoticed that the last 50 or 60 years mark a Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 136

141 period in our collective thinking about education where the role of the teacher has been considerably downplayed as the scholarly interest in the teaching and learning process shifted first to the learner, who was no longer viewed as a passive receptacle for knowledge, and then to the teaching context, whose impact on the two sides of the pedagogical process was finally noticed and appreciated. It seems that this shift of scholarly interest away from the teacher started with the arrival of behaviorism in educational psychology, which, by proposing a view of education as a form of conditioning, reduced teaching to methodical habit formation, and consequently, downgraded the status of the teacher from the source of knowledge to the conditioner applying the externally prescribed procedures. This narrow view of the teacher was rejected by subsequent theories of learning, but none of them has fully restored the notion of the centrality of the teacher to the process of education Behaviorism The view of education as S-R (Stimulus-Response) conditioning, advanced by such psychologists as Skinner (1957, 1987), had an effect of limiting the study of the teacher to the level of observable classroom behaviors, where the teacher s effectiveness was seen as arising from the application of the following four, simple procedures: (1) explicit information about what is to be taught and learned, provided by the teacher, (2) the breaking of each content unit into small, sequential steps, (3) the application of individual learning programs to promote learners own-paced learning, and (4) the programming of learning by incorporating the above procedures and providing immediate, mostly positive, reinforcement (after William and Burden, 1991: 9-10). It has to be admitted that despite reducing the role of the teacher to trainer, the behaviorist view of learning and teaching was eagerly embraced by teachers, whose job suddenly became simple: follow the correct procedure and the desired learning outcomes will be achieved. In language teaching, behaviorism was a major factor in the development of the audiovisual method, promoted in the 1960 s and 1970 s by many course book writers, including L.G. Alexander, whose drill-based course books the New Concept English series were widely used around the world, including Poland. However, the simplicity of behaviorism, premised on the assumption that education is a form of conditioning effectuated by the application of appropriate stimuli, soon fell under criticism as a theory reducing both parties in the educational process to thoughtless performers of procedures. Consequently, the late 1970 s and 1980 s saw the development of three competing theories of learning that viewed education as a cognitive process and its actors Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 137

142 teachers and learners - as active, thinking beings: cognitivism, social constructivism, and humanism Cognitive psychology The primary focus of cognitive psychology is on the human mind and its processes involved in learning, including processing, adjustment, and memorization of new information. This interest in the working of the human mind marks a direct contrast with the behaviorist approach, which ignored mental life of both the learner and the teacher. The human mind has been studied in many ways: as an independent information processor, a memory store, and the locus of attention, perception or intelligence. Consequently, multiple models have been created in an attempt to account for the way in which the human brain works, for instance by Anderson (1976, 1983), who studied the architecture of cognition, and particularly the relationship between memory, thought, and language. Yet perhaps the most interesting work in cognitive psychology came from constructivists like Kelly (1955), Bruner (1960, 1966), and especially Piaget (e.g. 1968, 1972, 1974), who noticed that human learning was constructive in nature and studied the way in which people built their cognitive systems and competences. Of the three leading writers, Kelly is a neglected pioneer, whose central concept of man as scientist constantly testing hypotheses and conducting experiments to fit new knowledge into a personal knowledge system is clearly applicable to education, even if not intended for it by the author. As Williams and Burden (1991: 28) notice, thanks to Kelly we understand that: Worthwhile learning does not entail the reception of ready made facts, but must involve the building of new personal meanings and understanding. Similar ideas were promoted by Piaget (e.g. 1966, 1972, 1974), whose main research interest lied in the development of the human cognitive system from infancy to maturity, which he saw in terms of genetics interacting with experience, as the mind constantly tried to integrate new knowledge with old knowledge through the processes of assimilation and accommodation (i.e. modification of the former or the latter). Piaget emphasized the active involvement of every human being in their cognitive development, and particularly in the construction of meaning. This carried a clear message to teachers about their role in the process of education, where their task now was to encourage constructive learning and facilitate it by choosing input that matched the learners cognitive development and so could Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 138

143 be taken in, and by proposing classroom activities that allowed for learner discovery and the building of learners personal knowledge systems. This meant a radical change in the perception of the role of the teacher, which was now seen as that of learning facilitator, i.e. someone who encouraged and aided learners in the process of constructing knowledge by providing proper learning conditions in terms of suitable materials (comprehensive input, like in Krashen, 1985), meaningful activities, and the right amount of guidance (feedback). However, this change of perception might not have come about if it hadn t been for Bruner (1960, 1966), who was the most education-oriented of all cognitive psychologists. Bruner s contribution to educational psychology consists in the creative application of Piaget s views on cognitive development to what happens in the classroom, which he viewed as a place where learners not only absorb facts but develop learning strategies in a comfortable learning zone. Bruner can be credited with advancing the view of education as a process of cognitive development rather than a product or the desired cognitive outcome, which has since become widely accepted. In ESP, the process view of language instruction was strongly advanced by Hutchinson and Waters (1987), the co-authors of the learning-centered approach, which was discussed in Chapter One Humanistic psychology Another big change in our perception of education came with the realization in the 1960 s and 1970 s that both learning and teaching involved more that the mind, but in fact engaged the whole person on each side of the educational process as both thoughts and feelings were seen as informing human activity. The importance of personal, affective characteristics was first noticed by Freud, but being a clinical psychiatrist he had little interest in education. The first humanistic psychologist to have influenced our thinking about education was Erikson (1963), who proposed a view of learning as a lifelong process made up of developmental stages, where individuals, assisted by more competent significant others (including teachers), sought to attain different personal aims by resorting to various psychological resources. Thus, if teachers were to truly assist learners in their development they needed to employ and exploit all their mental resources, cognitive as well as affective. A lasting contribution of humanism to teaching was the concept of motivation as an important factor in learning, which was seen as a drive to meet some needs that an individual has at a given time. The best known exponent of this idea was Maslow (1968, 1970), who divided Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 139

144 needs into deficiency (maintenance) needs and being (growth) needs, and developed a wellknown hierarchy of needs which places the latter above the former. The cognitive and selfactualization needs that are related to education occupy the top levels of the hierarchy, indicating their dependence on deficiency needs like safety, security, and self-esteem. This means, for instance, that in order to motivate students to learn, teachers have to start with creating a safe and friendly learning environment, where students feel secure and respected. A similar point about the importance of learning conditions was made by another leading humanist, Carl Roger (1969), who asserted actual learning is conditional on two factors: the provision of a safe learning environment and the making of the subject matter interesting for learners in order to engage them cognitively and emotionally in the development of knowledge. Thus, in a humanistic classroom learners should be encouraged to make their own decisions about the content and method of learning by an emphatic teacher who knows them well enough to help them build their personal identity while developing their knowledge. As Hamachek (1977: 149) observes: Humanistic education starts with the idea that students are different, and it strives to help students become more like themselves and less like each other. As concerns its application to language teaching, although humanism generated three teaching methods, the silent way, suggestopedia, and community language learning (CLL), all of them proved short lived. However, it made a substantial contribution to our understanding of effective teaching by emphasizing relevance of the whole-person involvement, learner autonomy, and reflective teaching, where the latter notion as construed by Schön, (1983, 1990), Richards (1990, 1998), and Farrell (2007) proved particularly important for the present author s conception of ESP teaching presented in the next chapter Social constructivism The last but not least anti-behaviorist approach to psychology, social constructivism, draws on both cognitivism and humanism in that it proposes a fairly holistic view of learning that emphasizes learner cognitive and affective involvement in the development of knowledge but insists on the social nature of the learning process, which requires interaction with other individuals, acting as learning mediators. In the classroom, the role of the mediator is primarily played by the teacher but also by co-learners, whose interactive contributions are used by the learner in the process of negotiating meaning of the new input. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 140

145 The concept of mediation as indicating the role played by other people in an individual s learning is central to social constructivism. As an original psychological theory, it was developed by Vygotsky in Russia in the 1930 s but remained virtually unknown in the West until his works were translated into English three decades later (Vygotsky, 1962, 1978). For Vygotsky, effective learning can only occur in an environment that allows for meaningful interaction between the learner and at least one person with superior knowledge of the subject matter, who would mediate the learner s passage to the next level of knowledge by skillful use of language. In a way then, learning as a mental process occurs in a relatively narrow Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP), which is located directly above the learner s level of knowledge at the onset of the learning situation. A similar view of learning as conditional on mediation by more competent individuals and occurring through interaction was promoted by Feuerstein (1980), who like Vygotsky, believed that everybody had a potential to learn, provided more competent individuals such as teachers were present to facilitate the development of knowledge by providing mediation (i.e. making the content easier to absorb) and by offering instrumental enrichment, or learning consulting The changing conceptions of teaching: a summary As has been demonstrated, each of the four general educational theories discussed above depicts learning in different terms and insists on a different set of learning prerequisites. Likewise, they present various conceptions of teaching as each defines teachers tasks in terms of different learning outcomes, assigns teacher roles accordingly and assumes a different theoretical view of the teacher, as summarized by the author in Table 3.2 below, based on the discussion in Williams and Burden (1997). Theory Conception of teaching Main teachers tasks Teacher role / View of the teacher Behaviorism Teaching as doing, i.e. performing the prescribed conditioning procedure to form behavioral and cognitive habits Application of the Stimulus- Response procedure Provision of (mostly positive) reinforcement Teacher as a conditioner Teacher as a passive method administrator Cognitivism Teaching as knowing what to do in order to engage learners cognitive processes Adaptation of the content to make it comprehensible and easier to learn Development of cognitively Teacher as a learning facilitator Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 141

146 challenging activities to encourage development of knowledge Teacher as a rational decision maker Consulting learners about learning strategies Teacher as a learning consultant Humanism Teaching as knowing what to do to engage all learners psychological resources (the wholeperson involvement) Enhancement of learning by encouraging cognitive and affective involvement Creating a sense of belonging, learner personal identity, and self-esteem Teacher as a learning and overall growth facilitator Teacher as a reflective self Developing learner knowledge of the process of learning Social constructivism Teaching as mediation, i.e. knowing how to bring meaning to learning activities and help learners obtain meaning from these activities through interaction Mediation of learning experiences in the Zone of Proximal Development (scaffolding) Development of interactive activities to encourage development of knowledge by negotiation of meaning Teacher as a learning mediator Teacher as a constructivist, reflective sensemaker Coaching learners in cognitive techniques, such as mapping Table 3.2: Views of teaching and teacher in four great theories of learning As the table makes evident, the four major theories of learning cast teachers in different roles, defined largely by what learner resources are seen as responsible for learning and how they can be activated to bring about the development of knowledge. Consequently, they emphasize different aspects of teaching, according to what they view as the necessary condition(s) of learning. A logical corollary to this is a statement that the locus of teaching is the same as the locus of learning, engaging the same set of personal resources: behavioral (actions), cognitive (cognitions and competences), or total, related to both personal and socio-cultural identity. These different perspectives on teaching can be visualized as a set of concentrated circles, reminiscent of an onion, where each layer represents some aspect of teachers professional functioning, as shown in Figure 3.3. The particular onion model presented here has been adopted from Korthagen model of levels of change (Korthagen, 2003: 80) and retains his terminology. Only two minor modifications have been made, namely the long, double-headed Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 142

147 arrow has been added to indicate interaction between the layers, and the core of the onion, which was left unnamed in Korthagen s model, has been labeled Nature to reflect the depth of the concept of teaching as a multi-level process. Environment Nature Mission Identity Beliefs Competences Behavior Figure 3.3: Levels of teacher functioning (Adopted from Korthagen, 2003) Like Korthagen s model, which was originally developed for teacher education purposes, the model presented in Figure 3.3 is intended to accomplish two things: to show the totality of teacher personal resources that are involved in teaching (i.e. the various levels at which teachers function professionally), and to illustrate the existing five perspectives on teacher behavior, which may be summarized as follows: 1) Teacher actions occur in response to some contextual factors; 2) Teacher actions are influenced by teacher competencies, understood as an integrated body of knowledge, skills and attitudes [representing] a potential for behavior (Korthagen, 2003: 80); Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 143

148 3) Teacher actions are directed by relevant teacher beliefs, including also images and metaphors of teaching and learning formed in course of personal educational and professional experience of which the teacher should be aware; 4) Teacher actions are shaped by the teacher s personal identity, which includes selfimage or self-concept as a teacher and an individual as constituting personal practical knowledge (Clandinin, 1986); 5) Teacher actions result from the teacher s perception of his or her life mission, or personal calling in the world, which involves socio-cultural awareness of one s own existence within a larger whole, and the role we see for ourselves in relation to our fellow man (Korthagen, 2003: 83). The provenance of the five perspectives is not hard to identify. The first perspective is clearly behaviorist because it views teacher actions as externally rather than internally directed (by a prescribed procedure). The next two perspectives are cognitivist in nature because they see teacher behavior as resulting from thinking and thus informed by teacher overall cognition, comprising both explicit knowledge and implicit beliefs. The remaining two perspectives look to the teacher s self for explanation of instructional behavior, which indicates their affinity with the humanist approach. Added together, the five perspectives represent a modern holistic approach to teaching and teachers, which conceives teaching as comprising several levels of teacher functioning, where observable instructional practices (behavior) are informed by cognitive processes and constructs (teacher competences and beliefs), as well as the teacher s sense of self and purpose in life (identity and mission), in addition to being impacted by contextual factors. It seems that this holistic perspective is most akin to the views posited by social-constructivists like Vygotsky and Feuerstein, with a reservation that they paid less attention to internal personal features and considerably more to social and cultural factors, comprising the micro and macro contexts affecting all levels of teacher functioning. What the model also shows, albeit not in an overt manner, is the chronology of changes in our collective understanding of the teaching profession, where the conception of teaching gradually moved away from action-based to competence-based, and finally, to the view of teaching as a holistic activity involving the use of all personal teacher resources. psychological, and social growth. These changes in theoretical assumptions about teaching were reflected in teacher research, which ever since the so-called cognitive shift of interest from teacher behavior to teacher thinking in the 1970 s has been carried out under the name of teacher cognition research. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 144

149 4. Insights into ESP pedagogy from teacher cognition research Since its onset in the mid 1970s teacher cognition research has been characterized by a number of perspectives from which teachers mental lives can be studied (Borg, 2006:5). Underlying these different perspectives are rather diverse conceptual frameworks adopted by particular researchers over the years, in keeping with developments in the area of educational psychology described above. The beginnings were strictly cognitivist and go back to 1975, when members of the American National Institute of Education for the first time publicly expressed the idea that there was more to teaching than classroom behavior and that to understand it we had to go beyond observable instructional practices and study teacher thinking because what teachers do is directed in no small part by what they think (Donmall, 1975). These words expressed at a conference gave a powerful developmental impulse to teacher cognition research, which exhibits the following characteristics: It is strictly educational in nature because it undertakes the study of the teacher in order to improve the quality of education by increasing the effectiveness of teaching; It seeks to understand effective teaching by studying teachers mental lives (i.e. their mental processes and constructs) in order to discover what teachers think, know, and believe, and how their cognition impacts the teaching decisions they make and the instructional practices they engage in; It is informed mainly by cognitive psychology, but also by humanism and social contructivism; It sees teachers as knowledgeable, active, and thinking decision makers, capable of both making conscious, reasoned choices and reflecting upon them afterwards. As the above characteristics make evident, teacher cognition research tries to put the teacher back into the picture of education, which has long been dominated by the learner as both the reason for and recipient of educational services. However, even if teaching is all about providing the conditions in which learning can occur, teachers job is still necessary and indispensible. Thanks to teacher cognition research and the concepts it has developed since the mid 1970 s we are now beginning to understand how teaching is done and what role it plays in students learning. The central ideas and models proposed by teacher cognition researchers for the analytic exploration of teaching as a profession are presented in the subsequent sub-sections, and embodied in the author s own teaching model presented in Chapter Four. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 145

150 4.1. Early research into teacher thinking As has already been mentioned, the rise of teacher cognition research was brought about by the arrival of cognitive psychology. Nevertheless, the earliest model for the study of teaching which accounted for teacher thinking processes as influencing classroom practices was proposed by Dunkin and Biddle (1974), who still held a behaviorist view of teaching as a sum of teacher actions. Nonetheless, they were able to recognize the influence of teachers practical, experiential knowledge and beliefs about education on their instructional choices and ultimately, on the achievement of learning outcomes. The development of Dunkin and Biddle s teaching model marked the beginning of theorizing about teacher cognition by positing a relationship between product variables such as learning outcomes, process variables like classroom interaction, context variables such as learners personal characteristics, and teacher cognition, which was labeled presage variables and seen as encompassing teacher practical knowledge, gained through teacher training and professional experience (Dunkin and Biddle, 1974: 38). What is more, since the model was linear, these presage variables where viewed as the starting point of the teaching process and thus a mediator of teacher classroom behavior, affecting both the product and process variables. Although Dunkin and Biddle never carried further studies into the structure or nature of the presage variables, they certainly pioneered the scholarly interest in teacher cognition as informing teacher behavior. This idea has taken various conceptual shapes over the years. In fact, the early view of the teacher advanced by cognitivist researchers was that of information processor of learner and contextual data and a rational decision maker, whose role in education was frequently compared to that of a physician as also involving planning, anticipating, judging, diagnosing, prescribing, and problem solving (see e.g. Shulman and Elstein, 1975: 35). Consequently, the foci of the early research into teacher thinking, as identified by Clark and Yinger (1977), included teacher decision making, teacher information processing, teacher planning, teacher judgment, and teachers implicit theories and conceptions. The latter type of studies, exemplified by Shulman and Elstein (1975), produced a very important conclusion, which has since been adopted by all teacher cognition scholars, namely that teachers thinking and behaviors are guided by a set of organized beliefs and that these often operate unconsciously (Borg 2006: 9). However, before that idea took root the mid 1980 s the dominant view of the teacher was that of rational decision maker and information processor. In fact, before a serious inquiry into the nature and structure of teacher cognition took shape, the interest of educators was captivated by the desire to discern effective teacher characteristics, i.e. those Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 146

151 teachers personal qualities and professional skills that significantly correlate with positive learner outcomes The study of teacher effectiveness Originated in the mid 1970 s, effective teaching research had their high in the 1980 s and 1990 s but witnessed a certain revival in the last decade. The empirical studies undertaken in this area of inquiry were practically motivated and sought to link teacher personal skills to professional behavior efficiency. Over the years, a number of scholars produced their lists of desirable teacher skills for instance Brophy (1981) or Borich (1986). These lists routinely included such characteristics as: good subject knowledge; clarity and good communication of the teaching objectives; high expectations towards students, good lesson planning and classroom organization; good time and resources management; emphasis on learner involvement and classroom interaction; active teaching, using various methods and strategies to make content amenable to learning; ample and challenging work, prompt and frequent feedback, respect for and encouragement of students efforts, and a positive classroom atmosphere (after Muijs and Reynolds, 2010). The way these characteristics were phrased by the authors of the period as overt behaviors rather than mental abilities highlights the normative rather than exploratory nature of the study into effective teaching, which was primarily concerned with identifying good teaching practices. A fairly recent example of this normative approach to the study of effective teaching is a study commissioned by the U.K. Department for Education and Employment and conducted by Hay McBer s team of researchers in Their report confirmed what had already been known about the attributes of effective teaching. Using statistical tools to analyze a broad sample of primary and secondary teachers, the authors established that the main three teacher factors that influenced learner progress were: teaching skills, professional characteristics, and the classroom climate created. According to this model, learner progress results from successful application of subject matter knowledge and subject matter teaching methods, using a combination of appropriate teaching skills and personal characteristics (Hay McBer, 2000: 7). The teaching skills identified as correlating with positive learning outcomes include: Setting high yet clear and consistent expectations of learners while using a variety of motivational strategies to foster these standards ; Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 147

152 Systematic lesson planning, done in the context of broader curriculum (course) goals and clearly communicated to learners; Using a variety of teaching strategies, based on the needs of the class and the nature of learning objectives, to engage learners and keep them on the task; Managing learners in a way that maximizes the learning opportunity but makes them feel safe and secure; Managing time and resources by proper structuring of the lesson; Using a variety of assessment methods and techniques while encouraging learners to judge their performance and set their own targets; Setting appropriate home assignments, which are integrated with class work, tailored to learner needs, and constructively graded (Hay McBer, 2000: 10-18) As concerns professional characteristics, the research conducted by the Hay group identified the total of 16 behavioral patterns, which fall into five clusters: (1) professionalism (challenge and support, confidence, creating trust, respect for others; (2) thinking (analytic and conceptual); (3) planning and setting expectations (drive for improvement, information seeking, initiative); (4) leading (flexibility, holding people accountable, managing people, passion for learning, and (5) relating to others (impact and influence, teamwork, understanding others). The authors contented that effective teaching required strength in all five areas, but there was no single best combination of characteristics that would yield effective teaching regardless of the situation. Indeed, the study revealed that effective teachers exhibited various combinations of professional characteristics depending on the teaching task at hand and the context. The final teacher-controlled factor affecting learner performance was classroom climate, defined as learners collective perception of what it felt like to be in a class taught by a particular teacher. The authors concluded that good teachers were those who used their knowledge and skills to create a learning environment that maximized opportunities to learn and kept learners motivated to attain the learning outcomes of the course. Such positive classroom climate was shown as characterized by high levels of clarity of purpose, order within the classroom, clear standards of learner performance, fairness in performance assessment, active learner participation, emotional support, safety from emotional distress, learning interest or excitement, and environmental attractiveness. Very similar research results regarding the dimensions of effective teaching were produced in the USA (e.g. by Stronge et al, 2008, 2011), who collectively identified 15 teacher qualities as facilitating learner achievement. In its latest version offered by Stronge et al (2011), the list Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 148

153 included the familiar effectiveness dimensions grouped in clusters related to four areas of practice, namely: classroom management (organization of work, clear responsibility, time management); personal qualities (enthusiasm for work, concern with relationships, caring attitude); instruction, (focus, clarity, clear expectations, task complexity, strategic differentiation, verbal feedback, technology); assessment (fairness, use of various techniques). The studies discussed above did not focus specifically on effective language teaching, whether native or foreign. However, similar sources of teacher effectiveness and their behavioral manifestations have been identified by language specialists, including those writing in the last decade. For instance, Harmer (2007: 24-28) sees effective language teaching as arising form the following five teacher factors: the teacher s personality, which is a blend between who we are, and who we are as teachers ; adaptability, which consists mainly in the ability to adapt a number of different roles in the class, depending on what the students are doing ; rapport with learners, which is a function of recognizing (individual) students, listening to students, respecting students, especially while correcting them, as well as being even-handed or fair in the treatment of students; preparation, which partly resides in knowledge they [teachers] have of their subject and the skill of teaching but also in having thought in advance of what they are going to do in each lesson, and organizational skills and techniques needed to create conditions in which learning can take place, such as managing classes, matching tasks and groups, varying activities and topics, making learning outcomes apparent to students, etc Similar conclusions regarding characteristics of effective teaching have been reached by Scrivener (2005), despite the fact that he denies the central role of the teacher in the learning process, which he sees as done by learners themselves with merely a little help from the teacher consisting in providing information (input), feedback, guidance, and support (Scrivener, 2005: 20-21). In order to successfully fulfill their role of learning facilitators, which involves explaining the material, involving learners in activities, and enabling them to absorb and accommodate new knowledge, teachers need to establish good rapport with Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 149

154 students, and create a positive learning atmosphere. This can only be achieved by resorting to the core teacher characteristics, which Scrivener (2205: 24) defines after Carl Rogers as consisting of: respect ( a positive and non-judgmental regard for another person ), empathy ( being able to see things from the other person s perspective, as if looking through their eyes ), and authenticity { being oneself without hiding behind job titles, roles or masks ). Like Harmer and others, Scrivener also recognizes the need for certain organizational skills and techniques of classroom management, related to grouping students; handling activities; using authority; dealing with unexpected problems; using various teaching tools; and working with people. Summing up, it can be said that effective teaching research can be credited with identifying the reasons for variance between effective and ineffective teachers by attributing them to various teacher personal and professional characteristics. However, due to its normative character, it has failed to advance our understanding of how teacher mental resources are used in course design and implementation. This task has been handled successfully by a full fledged inquiry into teacher cognition, which originated in the 1980 s and since the beginning has had a decidedly exploratory character The study of teachers professional knowledge In the 1980 s, the study into teacher thinking processes evolved into the study of the cognitive basis of teaching, as exemplified by the work of Shavelson and Stern (1981), Elbaz (1981, 1983), Clandinin and Connely (1986), Calderhead (1988, 1989), and primarily, Shulman (1986, 1987). Among the many research foci of the period was still teachers thought process and its behavioral manifestations but there was a considerable shift in the perception of teacher decision making, which was now construed as a product of the constructivist, reflective sense-making rather than rationalist information processing (e.g. in Calderhead, 1989). Simultaneously, a score of other research interests emerged, including the structure, propensities, and behavioral manifestations of teachers practical and theoretical subject matter knowledge. It should be noted that the studies of the decade were still partly normative in nature as the researchers sought to establish a logical link between teacher thoughts and teacher behaviors to construct a new model of teaching, capable of replacing the inadequate behavioral one. This goal was achieved and the teacher cognition researchers of the 1980 s can be credited with developing the conceptual framework needed to foster our understanding of teachers mental processes and constructs, and how they impact their instructional practice. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 150

155 Among the concepts of the decade that merit attention is certainly the concept of a teachers professional knowledge base, or a knowledge base for teaching, indicating a broad knowledge system that helps teachers choose the professional behaviors which are both conducive to learning and suitable for particular learners in a particular context. This concept was a logical corollary of the new view of teaching as an interactive process where different cognitive, affective and social variables continually influenced each other and thus effectuated an increase of effectiveness by adapting teachers practice selection to a given teaching context. The variables of particular interest to researchers of the decade, as identified by Shavelson and Stern (1981: 46), were: (1) teacher personal characteristics (beliefs, conceptions of subject matter and overall cognitive complexity); (2) teacher cognitive processes and inferences (i.e. judgments, expectations, and hypotheses), together with decisions that they generate; (3) effects of these cognitive processes on planning instruction, interaction with students, and ultimately on student learning; and (4) relevant antecedent conditions, such as information about students, or course and classroom types. The interplay of these variables shaped teacher decision making, which was now viewed as thoroughly interactive, i.e. informed not only by learners and teaching contexts, but also by teachers knowledge about their subject matter and about the teaching/learning process. This new thinking about teaching is perhaps best illustrated by Clark and Peterson s model of teacher thinking and behavior (Clark and Peterson, 1986: 257), which presents the two domains as two separate but interacting sets of interrelated elements, of which teacher thoughts are seen as constraints to change whereas teacher actions are regarded as opportunities for change and innovation. An interesting feature of this model is the very structure of the thought component, made up of three elements: (1) Teacher planning, which is conceptualized as both pro-active and post-active teacher thoughts involved, respectively, in course design or lesson planning, and in course or lesson evaluation; (2) Teachers interactive thoughts and decisions, where thoughts include both reasoning leading to a decision, and reflecting on a decision that has been taken, and (3) Teachers theories and beliefs, comprising two types of teachers mental structures used in instructional decisionmaking: the formal knowledge system (learned facts) and the system of personal conceptions gained from experience. A reprint of Clark and Peterson s model is presented below. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 151

156 Constraints & Opportunities Teachers interactive thoughts and decisions Teachers classroom behavior Teachers planning (pre-active and post-active thought) Teachers theories and beliefs Students achievements Students classroom behavior Teachers thought processes Teachers actions and their observable effects Figure 3.4: A model of teacher thought and action (Adopted from Clark and Peterson, 1986: 257) Clark and Peterson s concept of teacher theories and beliefs as impacting teacher planning and decision making was not the first conceptualization of professional teacher cognition. Several years earlier Elbaz (1981), who felt that teachers role in education was largely underestimated, developed the concept of teacher practical knowledge to denote a cognitive basis for teachers central role in shaping curricula. Unlike Clark and Peterson, who saw the importance of teacher theoretical assumptions, Elbaz limited her investigation solely to teachers personal professional expertise, i.e. their practical and experiential knowledge. Nevertheless, Elbaz s work on teacher practical knowledge was truly seminal at her time and also marked the beginning of a new research methodology consisting in interviewing teachers. The concept of teacher knowledge was furthered developed by Shulman and his associates from Stanford University in the second half of the 1980 s. Shulman (1986, 1987) believed that the role of teacher subject matter knowledge constituted the missing paradigm necessary to understand teaching in order to promote its effectiveness. Consequently, he argued that teachers had not only practical but also theoretical knowledge of the subject matter, which both informed and was informed by their teaching. This conceptualization of teacher cognition was consistent with Shulman s conception of teaching as a cognitively demanding, Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 152

157 learned profession, requiring a solid professional knowledge base. He described teaching as pedagogical reasoning, involving seven sub-processes (Shulman, 1987: 15): Comprehension of teaching purposes and the subject matter; Transformation of the content into teachable and learnable units; Instruction, including presentation, explanation, interaction, class management, and classroom practices; Evaluation, or assessment of student learning and one s own teaching; Reflection, consisting in reviewing and critically analyzing one s own performance as impacting on learner performance; and New comprehension or consolidation of new understanding from experience. Informing the process of pedagogical reasoning was a broad, spectrum of cognitions, including learned facts as well as beliefs, which collectively formed a single, fourdimensional system of formal and practical knowledge of both the subject matter and pedagogy. This knowledge system or knowledge base was said to develop in course of professional schooling, teacher training, and teaching. The structure of teacher knowledge base was fairly complex since according to Shulman (1987: 8) it included at least the following seven categories of knowledge: Content knowledge; General pedagogical knowledge, with special reference to those broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organization that appear to transcend subject matter; Curriculum knowledge, with a particular grasp of the materials and programs that serve as tools of the trade for teachers; Pedagogical content knowledge, that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding; Knowledge of learners and their characteristics; Knowledge of educational contexts, ranging from the working of the group or classroom, the governance and financing of school districts, to the character of communities and cultures, and Knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values, and their philosophical and historical ground. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 153

158 Of these categories, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) merits a special attention as an original and very influential concept developed by Shulman. As construed by its author, PCK denotes a special knowledge base for teaching distinguishing a teacher from a content specialist in the same field. Originally, it was conceptualized as a subcomponent of teacher subject content knowledge, which was associated with the most regularly taught topics in one s subject area (Shulman 1986: 9), and included two subcategories: (1) knowledge of representations of knowledge such as examples, analogies, illustrations, explanations and demonstrations, and (2) knowledge of student difficulties with the subject matter and strategies to deal with them. However, later Shulman changed his view of PCK from a subset of teacher content knowledge to the bridge between teacher content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, which in his own words: represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction (Shulman, 1987: 8). Thus defined, PCK has two important qualities: it is subjectspecific as rooted in the teacher s professional content knowledge and practical teaching expertise, and it is premised on the idea that effective teaching is a matter of the relationship between content and pedagogy, or more specifically, interaction between different categories of teacher knowledge and beliefs that PCK generates. To quote Shulman (1987: 15) again: the key to distinguishing the knowledge base of teaching lies at the intersection of content and pedagogy, in the capacity of a teacher to transform the content knowledge he or she possesses into forms that are pedagogically powerful and yet adaptive to the variations in ability and background presented by the students. The concept of PCK as a special, teachers form of understanding is intuitively appealing as it grasps the idea of a special competence for teaching that effective teachers have but makes it a matter of teachers cognitive development through schooling and instructional practice. Having moved to the public domain, Shulman s concept have seen numerous reconceptualizations and re-interpretations, most of which aimed at explaining its dual, pedagogical and content nature, and at showing how it impacts teachers instructional decision making. Some writers focused on the structure of PCK. For instance, Grossman (1990, 1995) posited that the pedagogical component of PCK included knowledge and beliefs about teaching purposes as well as knowledge of the curriculum and materials, which in Shulman s conceptualization had been seen as two separate categories of teachers overall knowledge for teaching. She also reduced the original number of knowledge bases comprising Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 154

159 teachers knowledge system to four: general pedagogical knowledge, subject matter knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and knowledge of contexts, of which PCK was viewed as having the greatest impact on teachers classroom behavior. An interesting re-conceptualization of PCK was developed by Cochran, King, and DeRuiter (1999), who restated its function as teachers special way of knowing what to do in order to make subject matter knowledge amenable to learning, but offered a radically different perspective on its structure. In the model they proposed, PCK was shown as an overlap of four, not two, cognitive systems or bodies of knowledge: (1) knowledge of subject matter, (2) knowledge of pedagogy, (3) knowledge of students, and (4) knowledge of environmental contexts. Thus construed, PCK both increased with professional experience, as a teacher learns how to transform content knowledge into teachable and learnable content knowledge, but also gradually became less abstract and less dependent on the theories learned in course of professional schooling and more practical and concrete. Yet another insightful re-conceptualization of Shulman s PCK was offered by Turner-Bisset (1999, 2001) over a decade later, who constued it as an amalgam of various knowledge bases needed for effective teaching, and not as a blending of knowledge of content and pedagogy subdivided into categories. In her view, the arrangement of subordinate knowledge bases within PCK is generated in the process of situated transformation, which is based on extensive processing of learner and contextual information. Turner-Bisset identifies several knowledge bases that collectively comprise teacher PCK and interact in the act of teaching, namely: subject knowledge, beliefs about the subject, curriculum knowledge, knowledge of one s self, and contextual knowledge. The author has not explored the process of that interaction but has nonetheless made a substantial contribution to our understanding of PCK by insisting on its unique structure as a set of subordinate units of cognition, rather than as a blend of two big bodies of knowledge: the discipline taught and pedagogy. The study of teacher content knowledge, practical knowledge, and teacher thinking as instrumental to effective teaching continued in the 1990 s and 2000s, both as generic and subject specific work. A new research trend that emerged early in the 1990 s was an interest in teacher beliefs about teaching and learning, images that teachers have of their job, and metaphors they use to describe it (e.g. Pajares, M., 1992), which as verbalizable by respondents were easier to uncover through qualitative research than declarative or procedural content knowledge. However, the latter continued to be studied and much work was done on Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 155

160 describing the desirable subject-matter knowledge base of teachers in each field of teaching, including foreign languages Language teacher cognition research Since its onset in the 1990 s, language teacher cognition research has been extremely prolific in terms of themes, perspectives and concepts. This is attested by an excellent review written by Borg (2006), where much space is devoted to listing relevant studies in each of three, broad thematic categories distinguished by the author, namely: cognitions (i.e. knowledge and beliefs) of pre-service language teachers, cognitions and practices of in-service teachers, and specific curricular cognitions and practices related to the teaching of grammar, reading and writing. This diversity of research foci was coupled with conceptual multiplicity a mere list of terms used in the field and their brief definitions given in the same volume is two and half pages long. For this reason, the account of language teacher cognition research offered here will be rather selective. To begin with, it is hardly surprising that language teacher cognition research is concerned with the study of teacher cognitions (knowledge and beliefs) that are endemic to foreign language teaching. Using the conceptual framework developed by Shulman, it can be said that language teacher cognition researchers focus on the content (or subject matter) component of teacher PCK, which includes language teachers implicit and explicit professional knowledge, and teachers specific pedagogical knowledge, comprising theoretical and practical knowledge of language teachers tools of the trade, i.e. teaching methods, techniques, and strategies. Of these areas of study, the former is of particular interest to teacher cognition researchers as informing the cognitive processes underlying teachers instructional decisions involving the latter, and manifested as concrete classroom practices and behaviors, including the use of language by the teacher acting as an exemplary L2 user. The study of L2 teacher cognition was established as an important area of study in the mid 1990 s, about a decade after it had emerged in general education. The year 1996 saw the publication of two important early books, Teacher Learning in Language Teaching by Freeman and Richards (Eds.), and Teacher Cognition in Language Teaching by Woods. The volume edited by Freeman and Richards highlighted the value of studying language teachers mental lives for our understanding of L2 teaching and as a way to improve teaching effectiveness by showing teachers the way to professional development through learning and Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 156

161 reflecting about psychological factors and processes involved in instructional practice. In turn the work by Woods was the first book-length attempt at describing language teacher cognition. Although the work was not particularly influential, it did offer an ethno-cognitive account of language teaching as thoughtful behavior occurring in context, followed by a detailed discussion of the dynamic, interactive, negotiated processes of decision making in teaching (Woods, 1996: 22). It also presented a conceptualization of the background knowledge system or knowledge base for language teaching, which the author labeled BAK for beliefs, assumptions and knowledge about language, language learning, and language teaching. Woods emphasized the complexity of teachers background knowledge as holding a variety of intertwined and interactive cognitions: formal and experiential, declarative and procedural, hierarchically organized and free-structured, but always affecting teachers planning and classroom practice. Since these pioneering works, the study of language teacher cognition has established itself as an important field of inquiry. Borg, who is the field s self-appointed chronicler, produced two detailed reviews of research examining L2 teachers mental structures and their impact on instructional practices (Borg, 2003, 2006). While the 2003 review discussed 64 studies conducted from the mid 1990 s, by 2006 their number more than doubled. Easily the most researched area has been the teaching of grammar (e.g. Andrews 2003; Berry, 1997, Borg 1998, 1999a, 199b, 2001, 2003), or more specifically, teachers knowledge and beliefs involved in L2 grammar teaching. Two other well-researched areas are the teaching of reading and writing, while the poorly researched areas, as identified by Borg (2009: 4), include the teaching of vocabulary, listening, and speaking. As concerns the teaching contexts, most studies where conducted in second rather than foreign language contexts, usually involving adult learners, native-speaker teachers of English, and general purpose language instruction. In Borg s opinion, despite the distinctiveness of language teaching from the teaching of other subjects, language teacher cognition research has confirmed many of the finding of the general teacher cognition research, which can be summarized as follows (based on Borg, 2006): Teacher cognitions, comprising both knowledge and beliefs, can be strongly influenced by teachers learning experiences; Teacher cognitions influence what and how teachers learn during professional education and teacher training, acting as a filter through which new information and new experiences are processed; Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 157

162 Teacher cognitions can strongly impact teachers instructional practices, but it is also possible that they are not directly reflected in classroom behavior Teacher cognitions interact bi-directionally with professional experience, i.e. knowledge and beliefs inform teaching practices but new experiences can also produce changes in the knowledge and beliefs systems that teachers hold; Teacher cognitions may be deeply rooted in the teachers psyche, which makes them resistant to change, especially one coming from the outside. Therefore, any attempt to shape them must include teacher consciousness-raising, or increasing teachers reflectivity on the cognitive choices involved in their instructional practice. Considering that the study of language teacher cognition is aimed at uncovering the factors pertinent to language teaching as a distinctive kind of teaching characterized by a unique unity of content and medium, it is hardly surprising that most studies that have been carried out focused on language teachers subject matter knowledge in an attempt to determine what type of language knowledge is necessary for effective L2 teaching. Any teacher of EFL obviously has to know English, just like a physics teacher has to know physics, but in order to teach English successfully, he or she also needs to have sufficient language awareness to notice and understand important grammatical and lexical forms, analyze them from a linguistic, pragmatic and socio-cultural point of view, and explain them to students so they can understand them and use them in communication in a meaningful way Focus on language teachers subject matter knowledge Most work on L2 teacher cognition has been conducted as the study into teacher language awareness (TLA), where the object of study is conceptualized as a substructure of L2 teachers subject matter knowledge. Historically speaking, before the term language awareness was used in relation to language teachers in the 1990 s, it had been used with reference to language learners, whose communicative proficiency in using a native or foreign language was said to improve with an increase in linguistic knowledge. The term teacher language awareness (TLA) was introduced to second and foreign language teacher education by Edge, who argued that knowledge about language and language learning still has a central role to play in English language teacher training for speakers of other languages (Edge, 1988: 9) and postulated the existence of TLA as a practically-oriented part or aspect of teachers linguistic knowledge. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 158

163 The idea that language teacher awareness may be a prerequisite to effective communicative teaching of second and foreign language was echoed by Brumfit (1991), and over the 1990 s it was gradually incorporated into teacher training, thanks to Borg (1994, 19991), Freeman and Richards (1993) and others who argued for the inclusion of language teacher cognition into the discussion of effective second language teaching as a tool of teacher education and self-development. The arguments for the move presented by its proponents rested on the general assumption that L2 teacher effectiveness was directly linked to teachers subject matter knowledge and beliefs, and particularly to their linguistic knowledge, which was relatively easy to assess and improve in course of professional schooling and postqualification teacher training. Naturally, many language awareness raising activities were developed and offered to teachers (e.g. by Thornbury, 1997), but a seemingly simple idea for improving the quality of second language education turned out to be quite complicated in practice, when it came to defining language awareness that was to be fostered in teachers so it could be passed on to L2 learners in the classroom. The problem with delineating TLA was a consequence of the controversy among scholars over the meaning of general language awareness as a mental faculty of both native and non-native language speakers. An interesting overview of the problem with defining language awareness and the resulting terminological confusion has been offered by Komorowska (2014). She observes that the definitional problem with the concept of language awareness has two dimensions. The first one could be called semantic since it involves the actual meaning of the word awareness, and specifically the relation between awareness and sensitivity on the one hand, and consciousness on the other. The issue is not merely academic, because while sensitivity appears to be a natural and intuitive phenomenon, consciousness is clearly a cognitive and even metacognitive competency as being informed by a person s background knowledge structures, and involving reflection upon the object of awareness. Thus, if we assume that awareness falls on the continuum between these two, the actual location of its domain will be indicative of the degree of cognitiveness involved, which is of relevance to the issue of its amenability to formal teaching and learning. The second dimension is philosophical in nature because it involves the ontological status of the object of awareness, i.e. language. If by language we mean a set of systems and rules that govern them (i.e. grammar), then language awareness is both grammar-based and grammaroriented as being directly linked to linguistic knowledge and consisting in the ability to notice, reflect on, and understand language rules or grammatical structures (i.e. to focus on forms). Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 159

164 However, if we expand the meaning of language to include language use together with its pragmatic and socio-cultural patterns and principles, then it becomes related to a person s communicative competence instead of just linguistic competence, and focused on form i.e. the form-functional patterns. The actual conceptualization depends on the general perspective adopted by a particular scholar, and specifically, the theory of language he or she holds. As Komorowska (2014: 8) observes: The concept of language awareness [ ] is sometimes used to describe both focus on form and focus on forms, both the teacher s and the learner s perspectives, both explicit and implicit learning, sometimes even both intuition and knowledge thus nowadays it refers to literally anything from the early start through power and gender to intercultural competence. However, as she also notes, the vagueness of the concept may actually constitute its strength, not its weakness, since it lends itself easily to various interpretations and operationalizations. The only terminological issue that needs to be settled at this point is the relationship between language (LA), as defined by the Language Awareness Association in 1992, and KAL (knowledge about language), a slightly earlier term coined in 1984 by Hawkins and used by a group of academics and educators behind the development of the National Curriculum for English (NCEL) in the UK. It seems that in the literature the two terms are usually seen as compatible all the way along the dimension from the most utopian to the most utilitarian position (van Lier, 1996: 80) and so tend to be used interchangeably, even by people associated with the NCEL project like Hawkins (1984, 1999), and Carter (1990). Both concepts are certainly included in a person s overall language cognition, comprising explicit and declarative knowledge about language (KAL) and language proficiency, or procedural and largely implicit knowledge of language (KOL). Whether language awareness is the same as KAL, a blending of KAL and KOL, or a third element of human language cognition being a practical extension of KAL and KOL is a matter of opinion. For instance, van Lier clearly opts for the first solution, Borg (1994, 2003, and 2006a, 2006b) seems to favor the second, while the third one appears to be selected by Andrews (1999, 2001, and 2007). Of course, both KAL and LA are theoretical concepts, and so their mutual relation or specific locations within general language cognition are of academic rather than factual relevance. The only occasion where these issues are important is in the case of foreign language teachers who are not native speakers of the L2 they teach. If Ellis is right in claiming that only explicit knowledge of language is verbalizable, teachable and learnable (Ellis, 1994) then, depending on the adopted interpretation, either all or only a Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 160

165 part of L2 teachers language awareness may be amenable to improvement via professional schooling, teacher training, and teacher self-development The concepts of language awareness and teacher language awareness The earliest definition of language awareness, proposed by British Association for Language Awareness (ALA) upon its formation in 1992, was rather vague due in part to its circular wording. Adopted from Donmall (1985: 7), it stated: Language awareness is a person s sensitivity to and conscious awareness of the nature of language and its role in the human life, construing LA as including both unconscious sensitivity and conscious, knowledgebased understanding of the various forms of language. It should be noted, though, that by referring to the role of language in the human life, Donmall and the founding fathers of the ALA clearly suggested that rules of social use of language, or its pragmatics, should also be considered as an aspect of language awareness, in addition to the knowledge of grammar. Four years later, van Lier, the first editor in chief of Language Awareness Journal, provided a slightly less ambiguous and considerably broader definition of language awareness, which read: Language awareness can be defined as an understanding of the human faculty of language and its role in thinking, learning and social life. It includes awareness of power and control through language, and the intricate relationships between language and culture" (van Lier, 1995: 2). This definition depicts language awareness as a cognitive ability, which impacts human mental and social life, and should therefore be construed broadly, as related to both linguistic forms and socio-cultural meanings of language seen as an inter-mental phenomenon. The latter point was also made by Hales, who de-emphasized the cognitiveness of LA, but highlighted the importance of the form-meaning relationship: Language awareness could be glossed as a sensitivity to grammatical, lexical or phonological features, and the effect on meaning brought by the use of different forms (1997: 217). It should be noted that all the above definitions show language awareness as related primarily to explicit (declarative) linguistic knowledge and only secondarily to a person s implicit (procedural) knowledge of language, thus emphasizing the importance of learned and verbalizable linguistic knowledge over intuitive and experiential cognitions, such as personal conceptions or beliefs about language. This is stated clearly by Svalberg (2007: 288), who Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 161

166 defines language awareness as explicit knowledge about language, sensitivity to and conscious perception in language learning, language teaching and language use. The explicit character of language awareness is less apparent in a list of sub-categories or subcompetences included in general language awareness compiled by Carter for both L1 and L2 contexts. The list, as quoted in Andrews (2007: 12), includes the following: a) Awareness of some of the properties of language; creativity and playfulness, its double meaning b) Awareness of the embedding of language within culture c) A greater self-consciousness about the forms of the language we use d) Awareness of the close relation between language and ideology. Clearly, of these the two easier to foster in non-native speakers, including L2 teachers, are (c) and (b), which are related to explicit and declarative knowledge about linguistic, pragmatic, and socio-cultural features of a particular language, whereas the remaining two appear to be related to native speakers implicit and procedural knowledge of language, which is extremely difficult to develop in non-native speakers in course of teacher education. It is hardly surprising that in the third decade of its existence few language awareness scholars believe that knowledge about language (KAL) is a sufficient prerequisite for language awareness. Indeed, there is a considerable amount of scholarship indicating that there may be two more formative factors involved. Firstly, several authors, including Andrews (1996, 1999) and Richards (1996, 1999), suggest that for language awareness to arise, some personal reflection upon language and its use is needed no less than declarative knowledge about it, which makes language awareness not just a cognitive but also metacognitive competence. Secondly, it has been proposed (e.g. by Andrews, 1999, 2001, 2007 and Arndt et al, 2000) that language awareness derives from both knowledge about language and knowledge of language (language proficiency), i.e. a person s overall language cognition containing all knowledge structures related to language. This conceptualization seems to be particularly well suited to the discussion of teacher language awareness of L2 instructors, which has to be focused on the entirety of their subject matter knowledge, not just their linguistic knowledge. Like general language awareness, teacher language awareness (TLA) has been defined more or less broadly and explicitly by various scholars. For instance, Thornbury (1997: x) simply describes TLA as the knowledge that teachers have of the underlying systems of the language that enables them to teach effectively. In case of L2 teachers this means that their Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 162

167 effectiveness is related to having sufficient subject matter knowledge to allow them to function as language analysts and explainers, or in Edge s words: to be able to talk about the language itself, to analyze it, to understand how it works and to make judgments about acceptability in doubtful cases (Edge, 1988: 10). It is clear that without such special language competency an L2 teacher would not be able to choose appropriate input, evaluate materials, notice relevant language features, explain these features to students, and judge learners output. Given the impact on instructional practice, TLA has to be broadly construed as related to both pedagogy and a specific mental faculty of teachers. Therefore, as Andrews (2007: 28-29) observes basing on research findings, any model of TLA would need to take account of the following facts: TLA embraces both knowledge of subject matter and language proficiency, since it involves reflection on both and entails the mediation of the former through the latter ; As involving teacher reflection, i.e. cognition about cognition, TLA is metacognitive ; TLA of a language teacher is qualitatively different from that of the educated user of that language because in addition to having sufficiently high levels of explicit and implicit knowledge of grammar and the ability to draw upon it for communicative purposes the L2 teacher also needs to reflect upon that knowledge and ability [ ] in order to ensure that her students receive maximally useful input for learning, and to serve as an adequate language model for them; To ensure the provision of appropriate (i.e. comprehensive) input, TLA of the L2 teacher has to encompass an awareness of language from the learner s perspective, incorporating awareness of the learner s developing interlanguage, which among other things includes an awareness of the extent to which the language content of the materials/lessons poses difficulties for learners. As this makes evident, in Andrews s view the language awareness of L2 teachers differs from the language awareness of ordinary language users in that it involves two additional dimensions: (1) an extra cognitive dimension of reflection upon both knowledge of subject matter and language proficiency, which provides a basis for the tasks of planning and teaching (Andrews, 2007: 28), and (2) a pedagogical dimension of learners perspective, which is needed to match the course content (i.e. materials and activities) to learners current proficiency level. It should also be noted that Andrews s perspective on TLA is strongly linguistic. The fact that he talks about the L2 teacher s knowledge of grammar rather than Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 163

168 general knowledge about language (KAL) indicates a very clear focus on forms, apparently rooted in the author s belief that not only are they central in the construction of meaning but also lie at the very heart of the language learning process, especially in the case of a foreign language, which is often learned by adolescents or adults and so requires a more cognitive approach to input and a more conscious understanding of language systems for effective communication Andrews s conceptualization of teacher language awareness In addition to presenting a research-based conceptualization of TLA, Andrews also took interest in establishing its place within overall language teacher cognition and proposed a model explaining its structure. He developed his views on language teacher cognition and particularly its subject matter part or TLA in a series of articles published in Language Awareness journal (Andrews, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2006) and a volume Teacher Language Awareness published in The first version of his model of language teacher cognition was presented in 1999, and then amended twice, in 2001 and Like his conceptualization of TLA outlined above, the model offered by Andrews is based on his empirical studies conducted in the second language context of Hong Kong, and involving Chinese students and both native and non-native speakers of English as instructors. The model shows TLA as part of L2 teachers subject matter knowledge subsumed under pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is seen as an amalgam of various categories of teacher knowledge rather than its core element, as originally proposed by Shulman (1986, 1987). As Andrews says, in his conceptual framework, PCK is seen as the overreaching knowledge base and TLA is seen as one subset of the teacher s knowledge bases (a knowledge base subset that is unique to the L2 teacher), which interacts with others and blends with them in acts of expert L2 teaching (Andrews, 2007: 30) Graphically, TLA is represented as a bridge between language proficiency and knowledge of subject matter which enables it to be viewed as a pedagogically related reflective dimension of language proficiency, and also a sub-component of the L2 teacher s PCK (Andrews, 2007: 30). The most recent version of the model, which is presented in Figure 3.5, differs from its earlier versions in that it incorporates knowledge of learners as part of TLA, and talks about subject matter cognitions instead of knowledge to include also teacher beliefs about language, researched by such scholars as Woods (1996) or Pajares (1992). Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 164

169 Language proficiency Teacher Language Awareness Pedagogical content knowledge Strategic competence Language competence Subject matter cognitions Knowledge of learners Knowledge of contexts Knowledge of pedagogy Psychomotor skills Knowledge of curricula Figure 3.5: Teacher language awareness, language proficiency and pedagogical content knowledge (Adopted from Andrews 2007: 31) As this representation indicates, in Andrews s view TLA is a system of explicit (declarative) language knowledge, comprising all language-related facts and beliefs, which differs from KAL in that it additionally includes knowledge of language learners in general (i.e. how they learn an L2) and in particular (i.e. what proficiency level given L2 learners represent). Interestingly, until the 2007 modification, knowledge of learners was seen as a part of L2 teachers pedagogical knowledge, and not as the present mixed pedagogical-subject matter category. This shift may be indicative of a growing conviction on the part of the author that language learning is fundamentally different from other types of learning due to the unity of medium and message that characterizes it, but it may also be a decision aimed at emphasizing the subject-specific as opposed to generally psychological aspect of teachers knowledge of learners. Andrews himself admits that there may be alternative conceptualizations of the structure of TLA, but argues, after Tsui (2003: 137), that the categories into which teacher cognitions are divided are purely analytic because their function is merely to focus attention on selected aspects of teachers professional knowledge. In his case, these include those aspects of the L2 teacher s professional knowledge base which seem to intermesh particularly closely whenever pedagogical practice is specifically engaged with the content of teaching, i.e. the language itself (Andrews, 2007: 31). Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 165

170 Underlying the choice of cognitive categories proposed by Andrews is his theoretical assumption that the form-meaning relationship is central to any use of language and so language teaching should be focused on exploring forms in relation to meanings they create, rather than on either grammar or semantics alone, as proposed in the alternative approaches to teaching known as pure focus on forms (termed so by Long and Robinson, 1988) and focus on meaning (all of which are eloquently discussed by Ellis, 1994, 2004). Secondly, the conceptualization of TLA proposed by Andrews is built around the distinction between knowledge and awareness, of which the former refers to the L2 teacher s explicit knowledge of the language systems while the latter denotes the teacher s implicit knowledge in action, informed by the former (Andrews, 2007: 31). Obviously Andrews is not the only researcher to focus on L2 teachers language awareness in his academic work. Interesting insights were also offered by Basturkmen, Loewan, and Ellis (2004), Borg (1998, 1999a,b, 2003a,b, 2005, 2006a), Berry (1997), Carter (1994), Ellis (2004), Fairclough (1992), Freeman (2002), Golombek (1998, 2009), Gess-Newsome (1999), Hales (1997), James and Garrett (1991), Richards (1996), Turner-Bisset (1999, 2001), or van Lier (1995, 1996). Not all these scholars have used the terms language awareness (LA) and teacher language awareness (TLA), opting instead, like for instance Borg, for the term knowledge about language (KAL) and teacher subject matter knowledge. The same is true about the terms language proficiency and knowledge of language (KOL), which are both used to indicate the implicit and procedural knowledge of language. Since this type of knowledge is relevant for the communicative use of language it can equally well be termed, after Bachman (1994), communicative language awareness (CLA). The acronym version of the term is slightly misleading, because the same three letters stand for critical language awareness (Fairclough, 1992), attesting again to the terminological confusion present in the field of language teacher cognition, but also to its richness. As said at the beginning, the choice of authors and works discussed here is to some extent arbitrary and a matter of their impact on the author s thinking about ESP teacher cognition, which will be presented in Chapter Four. What should be emphasized is that through their empirical exploration language teacher cognition researchers have managed to confirm the explicit and implicit character of language teacher knowledge and the pivotal role it plays in language teaching. An excellent representation of the elements and processes in teacher language cognition is offered by Borg (2006: 283). It is a modified version of his earlier Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 166

171 conceptualization (Borg, 2003: 82), which was revised to accommodate research findings by other scholars in the field. The actual diagram is given in Figure 3.6. Personal history and specific classroom experience defining preconceptions about education Potential impact on existing cognitions, though limited if conditions unacknowledged Schooling Professional Coursework Language teacher cognitions Beliefs, knowledge, theories, attitudes, assumptions, conceptions, principles, thinking, decision making about teaching, teachers, learners, learning, subject matter, curricula, materials, activities, self, colleagues, assessment, context Contextual Mediating cognitions and practice factors Classroom practice Defined by interaction of cognitions and contextual factors Figure 3.6: Elements and processes in language teacher cognition (Based on Borg, 2006: 283) As can be seen in the diagram, Borg adopts a very broad interpretation of language teacher cognition, which encompasses all personal mental constructs related to language, language teaching, and language learning, regardless of their character (i.e. both formal and practical, explicit and implicit, declarative and procedural), as well as cognitive processes such as thinking and decision making underlying instructional practices like curriculum or syllabus design, materials and activities development, and assessment. Moreover, language teacher cognition is placed in the middle of the diagram to indicate its centrality in language teaching and language teachers mental lives, as well as its location at the intersection of teachers learning experiences (i.e. professional schooling and teacher training) that have shaped it and teaching experiences, or classroom practice which is interactively informed by it. Borg s framework adopts an interesting view of the context, which appears twice in the diagram: as a Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 167

172 category of teacher knowledge (i.e. knowledge of teaching contexts) and as a mediator through which teacher cognition becomes applicable to concrete teaching situations. In this way, classroom practice is defined by interaction of cognitions and contextual factors, as stated in the model The impact of teacher language awareness on pedagogical practice As has already been said, the perspective adopted by teacher cognition scholars is backboned on the idea that the process of teaching and its effectiveness depend largely on what teachers know and how they apply their professional and pedagogical knowledge to various teaching tasks, including syllabus, materials and activities design, selection and presentation of content (or input), classroom interaction management, student output elicitation and correction, and student performance and progress assessment. Consequently, teacher cognition research has had two purposes: (1) to describe the knowledge bases and thinking processes of expert language teachers as reflected in their teaching in order to identify good teaching practices that could be taught to novice teachers in teacher training, and (2) to explore the structure and content of teacher cognition used in teaching, particularly teachers subject matter knowledge and beliefs (assumptions, conceptions, images, metaphors, etc). Perhaps a good way to begin a review of the most important studies is by mentioning Andrews s early study on TLA, conducted in 1994 and aimed at describing the linguistic (grammatical) knowledge and awareness required of language teachers, as manifested in teacher behavior. The study, which asked a group of English native-speaker trainees to offer their insights about expert grammar teaching, identified twelve different behavioral (observable) manifestations of TLA, ranging from purely linguistic, like awareness of meaning/language in communication, sensitivity to language/awareness of how language works, or ability to reflect on language and analyze language forms, to metalinguistic, like knowledge of grammatical terminology or understanding of the concepts associated with the terms, to strictly pedagogical, like ability to select/grade language, ability to anticipate learners grammatical difficulties, or ability to explain grammar to students without complex metalanguage (Andrews, 1994: 75, as cited in Andrews 2007: 35). At roughly the same time, Wright and Bolitho (1993) identified a number of pedagogical tasks where TLA may have a positive impact on the achievement of desired learning outcomes, including interpreting and developing syllabuses, adapting and writing materials, preparing lessons, and assessing learners performance. Other researchers, like Thornbury (1997: ix) have identified potential Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 168

173 negative consequences of the absence of an adequate level of TLA, such as, a failure to anticipate and properly address learners learning problems and a general failure to gain learners confidence due to a perceived lack of ability to present and explain new language as well as assess and comprehensively correct learners performance. There were also a number of studies that tried to compare classroom behavior of novice and experienced teachers and attribute the identified differences to the level of the teachers knowledge of and about language, gained in professional (linguistic) and teacher training, and to their beliefs or assumptions about language and language teaching, based primarily on their educational experience. For instance Tsui (2003) has established that novice and experienced teachers differ with respect to a number of factors including: (1) the extent to which various aspects of teaching and the relevant knowledge are integrated to form a congruent whole; (2) the extent to which teachers notice and use possibilities for learning presented by the context; (3) the extent to which they believe their formal knowledge can be transformed into practical knowledge, and (4) the extent to which practical knowledge gained through experience can be made explicit for instructional purposes. Other differences were identified by Nunan (1992), who found that experienced teachers usually based their decisions on the perceived importance of language issues, while inexperienced teachers were more concerned with the issues of classroom management. In turn Richards (1992, 1998) noticed that experienced teachers were a lot more likely to engage in improvisational teaching, based on interactive decision making, relying instead on a prepared lesson plan. The same researcher also observed that certain competences valued in good teacher, like the ability to think about the subject matter from the learners perspective, the ability to thoroughly understand the subject matter and present it in a comprehensive way, and the ability to integrate language learning with broader curricular goals, were a matter of teaching expertise. On the other hand, it was also discovered (e.g. by Borg, 2001) that the development of teaching expertise was mediated by the teacher s personality, like fitness for the assumed teacher role or the teaching methodology selected, as well as a score of affective factors related to the socio-cultural context of teaching and represented by the learners and other stakeholders. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 169

174 4.6. General comment on language teacher cognition research While the dependence of effective teaching on teacher competence is well-established, the novelty of teacher cognition research lies in the attribution of teaching effectiveness to cognitive knowledge bases that the teacher holds and brings to the task. These cognitions are both learned in course of the teacher s educational and acquired by professional experience, and so have both explicit or declarative and implicit or procedural dimensions. Likewise, language teacher cognition has been shown as having two content dimensions: one related to the language as the subject matter taught and the other related to language pedagogy and comprising methods and techniques needed to teach it successfully, collectively forming the teacher s pedagogical content knowledge, which may be described as a personal variety of a subject-specific cognitive system which is characteristic for each teacher of a given discipline. Moreover, the system is dynamic in that it is individually as well as socially constructed in course of teachers reflection on their performance and their interaction with learners and other stakeholders in the educational process, which makes it amenable to improvement through various consciousness-raising tools, and primarily through teacher education. In the specific case of second language teaching, the central role of teacher cognition and its impact on the achievement of desired learning outcomes is particularly strong owing to the distinctiveness of language teaching, which is characterized by the unity of the content and medium of instruction. Consequently, the L2 teacher s language awareness, also called knowledge about language, coupled with the teacher s language proficiency, or knowledge of language, is instrumental for quality teaching as it informs the mental processes of information processing, judgment formation and decision making, in which the language teacher engages while designing and teaching a course. This means that L2 teacher cognition informs every aspect of the teaching practice, including course planning, syllabus design or interpretation, materials writing and selection, activities design and implementation, error correction and general assessment of student performance, as well as general class management. Alternatively, it can be said that some category of elements collectively comprising language teacher cognition (or knowledge base) is responsible for every key teaching competence and therefore pivotal to each role a language teacher has to play. The issues of teacher cognition are of particular relevance to the effective teaching of a second or foreign language for specific purposes, where the language teacher has more roles to play than in any other type of language instruction, which necessitates the possession of numerous teaching competences and consequently the knowledge bases in which these are rooted. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 170

175 5. Summary of the chapter The present chapter gave an overview of five areas of inquiry that have informed foreign language pedagogy, including the theory and practice of specific-purpose teaching, over the last fifty years: SLA research, ESP research, educational psychology, teacher effectiveness research, teacher cognition research, and language teacher cognition research. None of these bodies of research alone is capable of adequately explaining how effective language teaching arises: SLA is conceptually and empirically rich but lacks a clear educational perspective and is too preoccupied with language learning to pay equal attention to teaching, ESP research is very much concerned with teaching but approaches it from a strictly practical or even technical angle and so lacks theoretical underpinnings, while the great learning theories of educational psychology present an overly general level of description to be truly informative on the matter. Of the three areas of teacher study, teacher effectiveness research is overly normative and behavior-oriented and general teacher cognition is not always applicable to language teaching due to its distinctiveness. Only language teacher cognition research takes satisfactory account of teacher cognitive and affective factors involved in language pedagogy and can serve as a conceptual framework for even more specific theorizing about and empirical study of the professional knowledge base for ESP teaching and the way it acts to inform the teaching practice. However, neither general nor specific teacher cognition research has developed in a void and both are indebted to cognitive and humanistic psychology and the latter also to cognitism and social constructivism in SLA It is from these collated theoretical positions that an attempt to build an ESP teaching model has be undertaken by the present author, as will be demonstrated in Chapter Four. Research Perspectives on ESP Teaching 171

176 CHAPTER FOUR: The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses Chapter Four presents the Comprehensive Model for the Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, which has been developed by the author of the present dissertation in an attempt to describe the central role of the ESP practitioner s professional knowledge and awareness in specific-purpose language teaching, and particularly in course design, understood as a decision making process where the teacher chooses appropriate instructional practices by reflecting on contextual factors and personal cognitions. The presentation starts with a discussion of the professional knowledge base of the ESP practitioner, which is viewed as distinct from the professional knowledge of the EGP teacher in that it involves several additional areas of knowledge needed for effective fulfillment of the teacher roles that are unique to ESP teaching. It is further argued that the mere possession of an appropriate knowledge base for ESP teaching does not guarantee teaching effectiveness. What is also needed is teacher professional awareness, construed as the ability to notice, understand, and use teacher knowledge in action, which is intrinsically linked to teacher cognitive and metacognitive reflection from which it originates and on which it feeds. All these ideas are incorporated in the proposed Comprehensive Model for the Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, which is shown as a creative extension of previous work on language teaching models done by Stern, Spolsky, and Basturkmen, to mention just the most important influences. The model is presented in both a schematic form of a diagram and a template form of a checklist to account for its dual purpose: (1) to provide an analytic framework for the description and evaluation of ESP courses for quality-minded teachers and course organizers interested in identifying not just good instructional practices but also the cognitive constructs and thought processes behind them, and (2) to provide an awareness-raising course design aid for reflective teachers who wish to improve their course development practices by reflecting on theoretical ideas and their practical applications and choosing the ones that are best suited to the teaching situation and its main participants. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 172

177 1. Rationale for a new ESP teaching model As has been demonstrated, in ESP the practitioner plays a central role at each of the five key stages of the process, from its pre-planning stage of needs analysis to its post-planning stage of course evaluation. That role is seen as central not because the author espouses the traditional view of teaching as doing what the teacher deems appropriate to achieve his/her teaching aims, which takes no account of either the learner or contextual factors. Instead, underlying the thesis of the teacher-dependence of ESP is a modern view of teaching, developed by Shulman (1986, 1987) and other teacher cognition researchers, which defines it in cognitive and social constructivism terms as knowing what to do to bring about the achievement of the learning outcomes in a particular learning context. In ESP, being pragmatic, goal-oriented, and needs-based type of language instruction where both the goals and the needs are defined in terms of learners objective and subjective reasons for learning, this statement has an important corollary, namely that the teacher s knowing what to do derives from a conscientious assessment of learner target and present needs as well as contextual factors, and a tailor-made course design that incorporates these findings and is a product of teacher cognitive processes of reasoning and decision making informed by various psychological constructs held by the teacher, particularly his or her explicit and implicit professional knowledge. Of course, it has long been acknowledged that ESP course design is essentially a process of instructional decision making, where the teacher first chooses the course needs out of the identified target learner needs (i.e. sets its general and specific objectives) and then selects the content (input), and methodology that will be the most conducive to their achievement as being suited to a given group of learners in a particular teaching situation (immediate context). Moreover, it has been established, for instance by Basturkmen (2006, 2010), that developing ESP courses is essentially a process of applying language teacher professional knowledge to a given teaching context and selecting from the body of ideas and options available to ESP practitioners (as internalized by the teacher) those that best match a given teaching situation. What appears to be missing is a conceptualization of the various elements and sub-processes of thus defined ESP course design, especially the structure and content of the professional knowledge base engaged in the process (i.e. teacher knowledge held) and the type of teacher reflection that goes in the process of selecting the ideas and options applicable to a particular teaching situation. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 173

178 It seems that a conceptual framework or model that could explain how quality ESP teaching arises by reflection on teacher explicit and implicit knowledge and its applicability to a concrete teaching situation would have to meet the following criteria: Be specific for ESP as a distinct variety of foreign language teaching characterized by the presence of a non-linguistic component in its subject matter and, consequently, in the professional knowledge base of its practitioners; Be congruent with what has been established in the field about the domain of ESP, as well as its process and participants, particularly learners to whose needs each ESP course is taught; Be of help to ESP practitioners as both guidelines for overall professional selfdevelopment through increased reflection in action, on action and for action (Farrell, 2007) and a practical course design aid capable of raising their professional awareness by making them consider practical instructional options with the theoretical ideas that underpin them; Be of help to teacher trainers as a set of guidelines for ESP-geared teacher education, aimed at improving not only pre-service teachers professional knowledge base but also their awareness of the importance of various resources that they have for the quality of teaching they will do; Be capable of facilitating the task of the analysis and evaluation of ESP courses for the purpose of assessing their quality; and consequently identifying good teaching practices as well as the cognitive patterns that underlie them; Be capable of bringing about an improvement of the effectiveness of ESP, by increasing the quality of individual courses as ESP practitioners become more aware of what knowledge base they need to teach effectively and how to use this knowledge in action; Be evidence-based, or at least capable of empirical validation. An attempt to develop such a theoretical teaching model for ESP has been undertaken by the author and then partly validated in the empirical study conducted for the purpose of this thesis and described in Chapters Five and Six. The task obviously could not be carried out without reference to previous attempts at explaining general- and specific-purpose language teaching made in the last forty years by scholars such as Spolsky (1978), Stern (1983), and Basturmen (2006), who can all be credited with providing valuable insights into the language teaching process and exerting substantial conceptual influence. At the same time, they provided an The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 174

179 impulse to try and improve on their work by incorporating some aspects of ESP teaching that they have left out either because they were not interested in ESP at all like the first four scholars, or because they looked at it from a much more broad-angle or common-core perspective than has been adopted here. Thus, before the author s own attempt called the Comprehensive Model for the Analysis and Design of ESP Courses can be presented, it is both proper and necessary to look at the existing language teaching models. 2. General conceptual frameworks for the study of language teaching In a seminal work on language teaching, Stern (1983) describes several models proposed by contemporary scholars for the analysis of second language teaching. He starts with a discussion of the relatively straightforward conceptualization of second language teaching developed by Campbell (1980, as described in Stern, 1983: 36), which views second language pedagogy as based on linguistics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and mediated by their applied branches, i.e. applied linguistics, educational psychology, applied sociology, and applied anthropology. Although the choice of the disciplines informing second language teaching practice may be a matter of opinion, Campbell was probably the first to notice that general and applied linguistics alone cannot fully account for second language pedagogy. A more adequate and considerably more detailed conceptual framework was offered by Spolsky (1978), who argued for the existence of a practice-related discipline which he called educational linguistics and construed as a pedagogically oriented, unified field within the wider discipline of applied linguistics (Spolsky, 1978: vii), which acted as a disciplinecarrefour, or a crossroads discipline for others, especially linguistics, psychology and sociology. He claimed that despite its overall pragmatic orientation, much of applied linguistics was too scholarly in its interest in language learning, or too focused on natural acquisition as opposed to classroom learning, to be directly applicable to language teaching (a point noticed also by Ellis, 1997). However, Spolsky s main objection to applied linguistics had to do with the fact that being an offspring of linguistics it looked for theoretical explanations into general linguistics alone, ignoring the direct or indirect contributions to our understanding of (second) language teaching made by other disciplines, especially psychology and sociology. The conceptual model that he proposed for the study of teaching is shown in Figure 4.1 below. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 175

180 Theory of language Theory of learning Psychology General linguistics Theory of language learning Psycholinguistics Language description Theory of language use Sociolinguistics Second language pedagogy Educational linguistics Figure 4.1: Spolsky s language teaching model informed by educational linguistics (1978:72) Within this model, second language pedagogy is seen as having three sources: (1) language description, (2) a theory of language learning, and (3) a theory of language use. Of these, language description is directly founded in the theory of language; theory of language learning has roots in both theory of language and theory of learning, and theory of language use derives directly form theory of language learning and indirectly (through theory of language learning) from theory of language and theory of learning. Consequently, the disciplines that provide theoretical foundations of language teaching include: general linguistics (for theory of language and language description), psychology (for theory of learning), psycholinguistics (for theory of language learning), and sociolinguistics (for theory of language use). These four disciplines collaborate in dealing with the problem of language pedagogy, constituting educational linguistics as a specialized sub-field within applied linguistics, which provides theoretical underpinning for the practice of foreign language teaching and a conceptual framework for its study. Though the existence of, or indeed the need for, educational linguistics as a sub-discipline of applied linguistics is debatable, Spolsky does an excellent job explaining the four-component structure of a language learning theory, and the role each foundation discipline plays in relation to these components. The model s The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 176

181 main weakness is that by the author s own choice (see Stern, 1983: 39) it leaves the issues of the teaching context and the actual teaching practice out of the picture. A model that accounts for teaching practice as the ultimate verifier for second language teaching theories with their conceptual framework and methodology, was developed by Ingram (1980), who followed Campbell s lead in assigning the roles of theoretician, mediator and practitioner to, respectively, the fundamental disciplines of linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, psychology, and additionally sociology; applied linguistics; and practical language pedagogy. An interesting change from Spolsky s model is that the insights offered by the fundamental disciplines do not have to be mediated by applied linguistics, but can also reach the practitioner (i.e. the second language teacher) directly. Ingram s model is also more interactive, showing the basic disciplines as not only influencing applied linguistics and second language teaching, but also being influenced by them. Another advantage is a more detailed description of the mediating role of applied linguistics as informing classroom practice. The model as represented in Stern (1988: 38) is reprinted below as Figure 4.2. Fundamental Sciences Linguistics Psycholinguistics Sociolinguistics Psychology Sociology Principles of second language learning Methodology Methods Syllabus Objectives Reassessed in practice Established classroom teaching practice Techniques Principal domain of the theoretical scientist Principal domain of the applied linguist Principal domain of the class teacher Figure 4.2: Ingram s model for development of language teaching practice (Adapted from Stern, 1983: 38) According to Ingram s model, within their indirect influence on second language teaching, fundamental sciences offer insights into second language learning, which are then translated by applied linguists into principles of L2 learning and incorporated into methods, syllabuses, and objectives. These are re-assessed in practice by L2 teachers as forming the basis of established classroom practices and techniques. As said before, the fundamental sciences also impact second language teaching directly in those aspects that are of no interest to applied The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 177

182 linguistics but may be of relevance to pedagogical practice. Both the direct and mediated relationship between fundamental sciences and second language pedagogy are shown as interactive in order to indicate that the feedback coming from L2 classrooms does have some albeit limited role in the development of scientific theories, although the relationship between fundamental sciences, applied linguistics, and second language teaching is virtually unilateral and consists in the language sciences impacting language pedagogy rather than vice versa. Altogether, by incorporating the domain of teaching practice Ingram s model is a step in the right direction despite the fact that it still does not account for any contextual factors. This was done by Stern himself, who presented the most comprehensive model for second language teaching developed in the 20th century, if not until today. Stern s model, intended to be a T1, a meta-theory or general conceptual framework for language teaching (Stern, 1983: 45) comprises three conceptual levels: the foundations level, the inter-level, and the practice level. It places second language education at the inter-level and shows it as encompassing three elements: learning, language, and teaching. In Stern s view, language teaching is always situated (i.e. set in a teaching context), and directly informed by the theory and research of educational linguistics, as conceptualized by Spolsky. Educational linguistics, in turn, is viewed as founded in the history of language teaching; linguistics; sociology, sociolinguistics, and anthropology; psychology and psycholinguistics, as well as educational theory, and interacting with the practice level, comprising methodology (objectives, content, procedures, materials, and evaluation of outcomes), and organization (planning and administration, the level and type of education, and teacher training). The interactions between educational linguistics and its foundations are two-directional, as are the interactions between educational linguistics and the two components of practice, which in addition interact with each other in both ways. In a graphic form, Stern s model is reproduced as Figure 4.3. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 178

183 Methodology Objectives-Content-Procedures- Materials-Evaluation of outcomes Organization Planning and administration-level and type of education-teacher training Educational linguistics: theory and practice Context Learning Language Teaching History of language teaching Linguistics Sociology, sociolinguistics & anthropology Psychology & psycholinguistic s Educational theory Figure 4.3: Stern s general model for second language teaching (Adapted from Stern, 1983: 44) Sterns model represents a comprehensive view of language pedagogy as an operationalization of four key concepts: learning, language, teaching, and context. Seen from such a complex perspective, language teaching is invariably characterized by the following features: It requires a concept of the nature of language; It demands a view of the learner and the nature of language teaching; It implies a view of the language teacher and language teaching; It occurs in a given context. (Stern, 1983: 48). As rightly claimed by its author, the model works as a general conceptual framework for language teaching, or its meta-theory (T1), allowing scholars to identify, develop, or evaluate more specific theories in the second sense (i.e. T2s, or different schools of thought and approaches) as well as theories in the third sense, theories of science on particular aspects of language and language learning (Stern, 1983: 45). As such, it forms an excellent The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 179

184 basis for the study of language teacher cognition, which rests on the T3-type theory of the central role of the teacher and specifically teacher cognition in language pedagogy, whose backbone assumption may be stated as follows: Language teachers instructional practices largely depend on what they think, know, and believe about learning, language, and teaching in a particular context. For one thing, teachers language cognitions make them choose from the ideas and options available to ESP those that seem the most appropriate for the teaching project at hand. 3. Basturkmen s Framework for Analysis of Ideas and Options in ESP Helen Basturkmen, the author of the only teaching model for the description and design of ESP courses, admits that her work was heavily influenced by Spolsky (1978) and Stern (1983), whose ideas about the sources of language teaching were presented above, as well as Richards and Rogers (1986: 20-22), who did not develop an actual teaching model but identified two distinctive components of language teaching that serve as the source of practices and principles of language teaching : (1) a theory of the nature of language (i.e. the views of language and the nature of language proficiency), and (2) a theory of the nature of language learning (i.e. psycholinguistic and cognitive processes involved in language learning and the conditions that allow for the successful use of these processes ). Based on these insights, Basturkmen (2006) proposed a very interesting model, called Framework for Analysis of Ideas and Options in ESP, which provides for the description of specific purpose language instruction in terms of: (1) language (systems and uses), (2) learning (conditions and processes), and (3) teaching (methodologies and objectives). At the same time, by providing practical options to theoretical questions her model can also be used as a teacher awareness raising tool helping teachers realize both what decisions have to be made when embarking on a teaching project and what choices are available to them in the field. Being the only model designed specifically with specific-purpose language teaching in mind, Basturkmen s model merits an in-depth discussion. In its template version, i.e. one that actually lists current theoretical options available to ESP practitioners, Basturkmen s framework looks as follows: The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 180

185 LANGAGE LEARNING TEACHING Systems Uses Conditions Processes Methodologies Sentence grammar Text patterns Speech acts Genres Social interaction Lexico-semantic mappings Acculturation Input and interaction Intra-mental (psychological) Social (inter-mental) Input Input-output Output Output-input Objectives To reveal subject specific language use To train performance behaviors To develop underlying competencies To foster strategic competence To develop critical awareness Figure 4.4: Basturkmen s framework for analysis of ESP (Basturkmen, 2006:150) The reading of the framework as well as its use - should begin with the description of the language systems, which is taken as a necessary point of departure for all language teaching, including ESP. Basturkmen adopts Hopper s definition of language systems as a set of abstract structures present for all speakers and hearers that is prerequisite for the use of language (Hopper, 1987, as quoted in Basturkmen, 2006: 35). Thus, the first consideration in developing an ESP course is inevitably focused on grammatical structures, core vocabulary and textual patters that should be taught to enable learners to engage in the target use of the language, necessitated by their education or employment. That some grammar has to be The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 181

186 taught in an ESP course is obvious, but the choice of how it should be done, at the sentence level or at the text level, and with how much emphasis is up to the teacher. Traditionally, paying supreme attention to sentence-level grammar has been associated with structural syllabuses, while making grammatical analysis subordinate to the study of lexis is the basic idea behind lexico-structural syllabuses. An alternative to sentence-level grammatical analysis has been the study of multi-sentence structural units construed, like sentences in the traditional approach, as structures containing the core features of the language. Such analysis, aimed at discovering patterns of text organization has been associated with discourse-based syllabuses, which arrived later but never fully replaced their grammar-based predecessors. The other type of language description which has to be considered and logically combined with the systemic analysis while developing an ESP course is what Basturkmen calls language uses. This type of language description is linked with a functional view of language, which is concerned with the communicative purposes people wish to achieve and how people use language to achieve them (Basturkmen, 2006:47) and utilizes such units of analysis as speech acts, genres, or social interaction formulas, such as hedging, used by a given discourse community. In ESP, emphasizing uses over rules and focusing on pragmatic rather than grammatical analysis has been associated with functional-notional syllabuses, task-based syllabuses, as well as genre-based syllabuses, all of which continue to be used by ESP practitioners. As concerns learning, it is only logical that a learner-centered approach such as ESP has to be rooted in some general learning theory and especially, in a second language acquisition theory, which would define the conditions necessary for instructed language learning and identify the processes by which it is accomplished. With behaviorism viewing language learning as habit formation long out of the picture, the choice of conceptual options available to ESP practitioners, as presented by Basturkmen, is between acculturation and what she calls input and interaction and defines as based on linguistic considerations and resting on the argument that provision of sufficient linguistic output and opportunities for interaction are prerequisite for language learning (Basturkmen, 2006:85). Of these, the former, which was first proposed by Schumann (1978b), is based on social considerations and premised on the idea that language learning has to involve cultural integration with the targeted discourse community, whereas the latter, which was first offered by Long (1996) in support of his Interaction Hypothesis, which emphasizes the importance of exposure to suitable input and meaningful social interaction. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 182

187 Choosing between these two options is clearly informed by what an ESP practitioner sees as a sine qua non condition of SLL: the proximity and assistance of more experienced members of the target community, or the presence of appropriate scaffolding and opportunity for hypothesis testing, which correspond to the social-constructivist and cognitivist view of language learning, respectively. Similar connections to views of SLA can be inferred from teachers decisions regarding which language learning processes to emphasize in their classroom. Thus, concern with learner intra-mental (cognitive) processes, such as information processing leading to automation (MacLaughlin, 1987) or development of declarative and procedural knowledge (Anderson, 1976, 1983), is central to some skills-based syllabuses and particularly to content-based syllabuses, whereas socio-cultural processes occurring in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP), originally described by Vygotsky (1978) and applied to second language learning by his successors including Leontiev (1981) and Lantolf (2000, 2006) are of much interest to proponents of genre-based syllabuses. Finally, for the analysis of ESP teaching Basturkmen proposes two types of descriptions: methodologies and objectives. The former does not refer to standard teaching methods but instead comprises four alternative macro-strategies (a term coined by Stern, 1992), which refer to general methodological principles adopted at the planning level of teaching and covering classroom techniques and procedures, including activities. In the understanding proposed by Basturkmen, these macro-strategies have to do with the concepts of input and output, their relative importance and the direction of their relationship. Thus, input-based strategies are characterized by strong concern with exposure to the targeted language use and language awareness raising activities whereas output-based strategies are premised on the idea that learners develop a second language when pushed to do so by a genuine need to communicate present in task-based activities. The remaining two macro-strategies have to do with the issues of pre-selection of lexical items and feedback, where the former is seen as characteristic of input-to-output approaches, which see prior exposure to linguistic items as a prerequisite to their learning and use, while the positioning of the latter as following learners production attempts is seen as characteristic of output to input approaches, comprising communicative language teaching. The framework proposed by Basturkmen is a useful analytic tool. Its strength derives from the fact that it is based on established theories and supported by ESP research but also - or perhaps primarily from its intuitiveness: it really does address issues that are bound to occur while planning an ESP course, and effectively reveals logical connections between theoretical The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 183

188 concepts and teaching practices. However, certain important considerations involved in ESP teaching seem to be unaccounted for or perhaps even unaccountable for within Basturkmen s framework. These include the role of non-linguistic teacher cognitions, i.e. those that are related to general educational psychology with its broader views on learning and the learner than the views offered by applied linguistics on the one hand and the discipline related to learners specialism on the other, which at minimum provides the communication context for the use of the target language and at maximum - constitutes a minor but legitimate part of the course content to be learned by the students alongside the target language or its specialized discourse. Another matter left out by Basturkmen is the role of the teaching environment (context) as yet another formative factor in ESP teaching in addition to the teacher s language and non-language cognitions, which by acting as a filter for the knowledge held determines which cognitions are picked as a basis for the design of a given course. The model proposed by the author and presented in the next section incorporates all of these additional issues in an attempt to provide both a more complete descriptive framework for the analysis of ESP courses and a more effective awareness raising tool for the ESP practitioners, who have a chance to fully understand and appreciate their role in the course design process by realizing what teacher psychological constructs and processes are engaged in it, in addition to being given even more ideas and options to choose from while developing a course. 4. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses As has already been said, one of the main functions of the proposed model is to account for the course design as a complex intra- and inter-mental process, where teachers course decisions arise in an interaction between relevant teacher cognitions (i.e. teacher professional knowledge) and contextual factors such as learner factors. This means that the theoretical position that has been adopted for the task is that of socio-cognitivism but the perspective is always educational and teacher-centered, like in teacher cognition research rather than scholarly and learner-centered like in SLA research. Consequently, the author s thinking about ESP teaching owes a lot not just to the authors of the language teaching models discussed above, but teacher cognition researchers like Shulman and Andrews (to name only the two most important influences), whose work was discussed in Chapter Three. The review of language teacher cognition offered then did not go into details of the mental and social process of ESP teaching as conscious decision making informed by relevant teacher The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 184

189 cognitions collectively forming an ESP knowledge base, which is similar but not identical to the knowledge base used in general-purpose English teaching as a result of containing an additional area of knowledge related to the SP discipline. Since the uniqueness of ESP teacher cognition is strongly insisted upon and constitutes the foundation of the proposed model, its conceptualization developed by the author needs to be discussed first Teacher cognition in ESP To claim that when sitting down to design a course all ESP teachers should review their theoretical and experiential language cognitions one knowledge base after another, like before an exam in applied (or educational) linguistics, would be absurd. What is suggested here instead is that ESP practitioners should realize that underlying their teaching practice are their personal implicit beliefs and explicit knowledge about the nature of language, language learning, and language teaching, which subconsciously shape their decisions about important teaching issues unless they decide to acknowledge and examine them in order to make fully conscious and informed instructional choices.. As was demonstrated in Chapter Two, when approaching the task of designing a needs-relevant course, an ESP teacher is faced with a great number of questions regarding its objectives, content, and methodology that cannot be answered in any other way than by applying the professional and pedagogical knowledge held to a given teaching context. This means, that course design requires a lot of information processing, judgment formation, and decision making which can only be done with reference to the teacher s psychological constructs, especially though not exclusively to those of cognitive nature. Indeed, the way in which a teacher answers the basic questions about what language content to teach, to what ends (learner needs), and by what method depends largely on what the teacher knows and believes about the subject matter, which is precisely why the process of choosing should be done in at least partial if not full awareness. A list of questions that a task-conscious teacher needs to ask himself/herself prior to embarking on the task of syllabus design includes dilemmas such as: What language system to focus on: syntax, morphology, semantics? What unit of language to focus on: sentence, lexical cluster, text? What units of language use to focus on: speech acts (function) or genres? How much subject content to include in ESP instruction to address the learners need for linguistic and/or cultural specialism? The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 185

190 How to use subject content, solely as communication context or also as course content? How to use culture, as context or also as content to be taught? Should a specialist language be taught as part of native speakers English (e.g. British or American) or as international English (EIL, ELF), owned by all members of a given discourse community? Which culture is more important as communication context in ESP: the target language culture or the target group (discourse community) culture and to which of them should learners be acculturated? How important is linguistic input as a component of instruction, compared with output and interaction? What type of input to provide: comprehensible (i.e. one step above the learner s current interlanguage) or authentic, i.e. produced and used by members of the target discourse community? What type of contextualization of input and output to use, relevant to students current situation or the target situation/ Which direction of instruction to choose: input to output (more cognitive) or output to input (more communicative)? How much negative feedback (error correction) to offer? How much L1 to allow: none to prevent negative L1 to L2 transfer; some to enable positive L1 to L2 transfer; or considerable to teach mediation skills (translation)? How to identify learner needs, by means of own research or by referring to expert opinion of course book writers? Which learner needs to focus on: current or future; pragmalinguistic or sociopragmatic; related only to the target situation or also to learners individual wants and desires? The list makes no claim to being exhaustive, but clearly the issues enumerated above are of vital importance for course design. In some cases, the theoretical underpinnings of the options listed are patently obvious, like in the question about the type of input to use where the term comprehensible input is easily associated with Krashen (1985), but in other cases finding the theoretical roots requires considerable thinking. However, the actual theory within which a given concept first appeared or the name of the scholar who coined it are largely irrelevant considering that we are talking about basic concepts that all members of the ESP teaching The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 186

191 culture (or ESP teachers discourse community) should know if they have been properly educated and trained. The latter is a big if because many ESP practitioners hold a degree in general English studies, not in linguistics or applied linguistics, and their move from General English to ESP has been a matter of market demand or an employer s decision accompanied by little, if any, relevant teacher training. This means that lacking appropriate professional knowledge such teachers may be poorly prepared to answer these basic language questions with any degree of expertise or even enlightened awareness, being bound instead to rely on their beliefs, intuitions, and teaching routines as course design aids. What is more, these beliefs are invariably and inextricably intertwined with knowledge (Pajeres, 1992, as quoted in Borg, 2006: 26), whose acquisition they mitigate, often limiting the teacher s ability to accommodate new formal professional knowledge. Specifically, beliefs are formed early in life and because of their affective and evaluative nature they act as a filter through which new knowledge is construed. Generally speaking, teacher intra-mental or cognitive variables that are relevant for course design and its practical, classroom implementation seem to fall into five broad categories, of which the last two are specific for LSP: Theoretical and practical views of language and its relationship with culture, as well as declarative and procedural knowledge about language use, including views on discourse specificity; Theoretical and practical views of learning including both generally knowledge of theories of learning and specific knowledge of second language learning and learners; Theoretical and practical views of language pedagogy in general and LSP teaching in particular, including theories of teaching and teacher roles as well as knowledge and experience of language teaching practices; Practical, and to a lesser extent, theoretical knowledge of subject content related to the learners specialism (i.e. their discipline of study or area of work), and especially experiential knowledge of disciplinary or professional culture with its values and practices. Socio-cultural awareness or more specifically, sensitivity to the social variables of the stakeholders in the ESP project, which affect course design by restricting the teacher s choice of course goals and objectives. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 187

192 As said before, in the course design process, and particularly in its planning phase, these cognitive assumptions and beliefs are considered against the relevant contextual, sociocultural variables of the learners and other stakeholders, and, in interaction with them, inform the process of setting course parameters and developing an actual teaching-learning syllabus for the course, acting as the foundation the course design process (Graves, 1996, 2000). Thus, teacher cognitions (knowledge, beliefs, and personal understandings or conceptions) serve a double function: not only do they enable information processing and illuminate course decision making, but also if sufficiently rich - increase the chance of making correct decisions about the objectives, content, and methodology of the course, improving its validity and accountability, or its fitness for learner purpose, which is a conceptualization of quality of education that seems particularly appropriate for ESP (see Harvey and Knight, 1996). At the same time, teacher cognition makes the course design process and its implementation more subjective because as teachers use their personal knowledge systems they invariably make course design to their own liking, i.e. matching their personality, preferred teaching style and routine instructional practices to the perceived needs of particular students and other stakeholders in a given teaching situation. As has already been said, the cognitive factors which make ESP a teacher-dependent process comprise teachers theoretical views on language (both language system and language use) and language learning informed by knowledge of general and applied linguistics, and their teaching (methodological) preferences, mediated by personality traits, formal training, and practical experience, as well as in younger teachers - by opinions of some authority figures. This, admittedly, rather obvious statement of facts represents a relatively broad-angle view of the teacher intra-mental, cognitive and affective factors involved in the practice of ESP, construing it as no different from the point of view of teacher cognition from general purpose language pedagogy. The cognitive distinctiveness of special purpose language teaching becomes evident if we acknowledge the fact, observed by Robinson (1991:18), that any ESP enterprise involves three realms of knowledge: language, pedagogy and content (i.e. the content of the students specialist disciplines). Recognizing this fact equals admitting that unlike EGP, ESP requires yet another, carrier-discipline-related body of teacher knowledge in addition to teacher language awareness (TLA) or knowledge of and about language (KOL and KAL) to inform the teaching of its subject matter. An original conceptualization of overall teacher cognition involved in the teaching of ESP is presented in Figure 4.4 below, which shows it as comprising three interactive and The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 188

193 interdependent knowledge bases involved in the enterprise, namely language, pedagogy, and subject content. The figure also accounts for context-sensitivity of ESP, showing the three components as interacting with the teacher s ability to read contextual features belonging to each layer of the teaching context, micro, meso, and macro (as conceptualized by Robinson, 1991). LANGUAGE: Knowledge of the target language, including the specialist discourse as one of its domain-specific varieties Knowledge about the target language (theories of language and language learning) Language awareness (sensitivity to form-meaning patterns in spoken and written discourse) Critical awareness of the target language (national) culture Expertise in ESP research, especially needs analysis and language analysis PEDAGOGY: Knowledge of learning theories View of language learner View of language teacher View of language classroom Knowledge of teaching approaches, methods & techniques Teachers professional awareness SUBJECT CONTENT: Knowledge of the discipline s basic facts Knowledge of the discipline culture - Basic concepts - Values - Typical practices - Typical tasks CONTEXT: Learners personal (cognitive, affective) and social factors Instructional conditions and other stakeholders variables Teachers personal (cognitive and affective) and social factors Teachers socio-cultural awareness Figure 4.5: Teacher cognitive factors involved in ESP Another way in which the task of describing ESP teachers cognition can be handled is using the conceptual framework developed by language teacher cognition researchers especially Shulman (1986, 1987), who proposed the concept and model of the general cognitive knowledge base for teaching termed pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and Andrews (1999, 2001, 2007), who applied Shulman s ideas to language teaching and offered a conceptualization of language teacher cognition as containing a third element in addition to language knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, namely teacher language awareness (TLA). The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 189

194 Unfortunately, the model of language teacher cognition developed by Andrews is applicable to general-purpose but not specific-purpose language pedagogy since it does not account for the presence of the additional cognitive element in its subject matter, namely the knowledge of the discipline to which a given variety of ESP is related. An attempt to incorporate this additional knowledge base into Andrews s model of language teacher cognition is presented in Figure 4.6, which bears a considerable and entirely intended - resemblance to Andrews s original representation (see Figure 3.5 in the previous chapter) as not just a way of giving due credits but also a way of drawing attention to the perceived differences between ESP teaching and EGP teaching. Consequently, the terms which have been added to Andrews s original model are bolded and italicized. Knowledge of language Teacher Language Awareness Pedagogical Content Knowledge Strategic competence Psychomotor skills Language and specialist discourse competence Knowledge about language Subject matter cognitions Critical cultural awareness Knowledge of learners and classrooms Knowledge about subject content Knowledge of teaching contexts Knowledge of teacher roles and teaching methodologies Knowledge of pedagogy Knowledge of research methodology Figure 4.6: Structure of ESP teacher cognition (Based on Andrews 2007: 31) As Figure 4.6 shows, the new version of Andrew s model, modified to incorporate the specificity of ESP, keeps the relationships between the main three types of knowledge, PCK, TLA and KOL, but adds several subordinate knowledge bases to each of them. To begin with the least changed, the KOL of the ESP teacher contains not one but two types of language competence, of which one is related to the target language (as in the original) and the other to the targeted specialist discourse, whose expert knowledge is absolutely necessary for effective ESP teaching. The reason these two are presented as separate mental constructs The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 190

195 rather than one construct called simply the target language has to do with the fact that while English is bi-directionally related to the national culture(s) of its native speakers, a specialist discourse of English is additionally interrelated to the international culture of the discourse community formed by all its users, both native and non-native.. In turn, the TLA of the ESP practitioner is still subdivided into four knowledge bases like in Andrews, but the category Subject matter cognitions is further subdivided into knowledge about language and knowledge about the subject content (i.e. the SP discipline) to account for the duality of content in ESP. In addition, a new category of Critical cultural awareness is added to account for the role of socio-cultural knowledge in the teaching of pragmatically oriented ESP. The last change in this category has to do with adding knowledge of language classroom to knowledge of learner, to acknowledge the importance of teacher beliefs about classroom interaction and learners autonomy and empowerment for their classroom behavior. Finally, the PCK of the ESP practitioner is shown as containing Knowledge of teacher roles and teaching methodologies instead of the original Knowledge of curriculum to account for the fact that ESP teaching is generally needs-driven. As a result, in most ESP projects there is no broader curriculum, just a course syllabus (usually designed by the instructor), while the knowledge and experience of the various teacher roles played by the ESP practitioner contributes greatly to teaching effectiveness, as does the knowledge of teaching methodologies and techniques. Also, a new subordinate category Knowledge of research methodology is added to indicate the importance of research skills for learner needs analysis conducted for the purpose of course design in ESP. Underlying all these changes is the author s contention that the teaching of ESP is different from the teaching of EGP and therefore requires certain additional cognitions, which are indispensible for an ESP practitioner but would be entirely useless to an EGP teacher. The conceptualization of ESP teacher cognition offered above shows the extent to which teacher subject matter and pedagogical knowledge is relevant to the teaching of English for specific purposes. Simply put, an ESP practitioner s teaching is only as good as his/her explicit (formal) and implicit (experiential) pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) which is brought to the tasks of course designing and instruction provision and impacts course decisions by guiding the teacher s application of the cognitions held to a given teaching situation with its contextual factors. This impact of relevant teacher cognitions is both subconscious, as automatically arising from the way in which the human brain processes new information against the knowledge bases held, and conscious, as arising from a conscious The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 191

196 reflection of the teacher on the instructional choices to be made and the practical and theoretical options available. It is generally agreed that higher teacher awareness entails better quality of the education they provide, because, as Richards (1990) observes, an overly automatic or routinized responses to the teaching situation may result in poor instructional choices. To avoid such situations, which are particularly unwelcome in ESP which is supposed to be tailor-made to learners needs, it is necessary to raise the overall reflectivity of the teacher, defined as the willingness and ability to go beyond asking how to questions to asking what and why questions (Richards, 1998), which can be done either by means of teacher training or through self-development aimed at increasing teacher reflectivity This means that the mere holding of a proper professional knowledge base containing all necessary subject-matter (linguistic and non-linguistic) and pedagogical cognitions is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of effective teaching. What is also needed is the knowledge-based and reflection-driven understanding of how the knowledge held may best be used in a given teaching situation, or in other words, teacher professional awareness. This special teacher competence is clearly meta-cognitive in nature, as arising from the teacher s reflection on how his or her professional knowledge may benefit particular students is a particular micro and macro context. An obvious part of thus conceptualized general professional awareness is Teacher Language Awareness discussed in Chapter Three, but other types of awareness have to be included as well, especially teachers (inter)cultural awareness, which in ESP pertains both to the target language national cultures and the target group culture, and teachers social awareness needed to properly assess the potential impact of learners and other stakeholders variables on the teaching and learning process. It is thus a sum of all types of awareness, which arises from the teacher s entire PCK through conscious reflection and could therefore be termed General Professional Awareness (GPA). A graphic representation of the general professional awareness of the ESP practitioner, as construed by the present author, is given in Figure 4.6 below. The diagram shows GPA as a meta-cognitive dimension of teachers PCK, based on the three broad categories of knowledge it comprises, i.e. language knowledge, subject knowledge, and pedagogical knowledge, and encompassing the subordinate types of awareness arising from these knowledge bases, namely: teacher language awareness (TLA) and teacher cultural awareness (TCA) which are needed to make content choices, as well as teacher social awareness (TSA) and teacher pedagogical awareness (TPA) needed to make methodical and strategic choices based on assessment of relevant contextual variables, especially the needs of the learners and The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 192

197 other stakeholders involved. The interactions between the elements are shown by the system of arrows, where the singleheaded arrows indicate one-directional interactions, like when an element arises from or is subsumed under another one. In turn, the double-headed arrows are used to show bi-directional interactions, where the elements mutually affect each other. Teacher cognition Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) Language knowledge: KOL, KAL, SLA/SLL knowledge, and knowledge of target language culture Subject knowledge: knowledge of basic disciplinary facts, and knowledge of target group culture Pedagogical knowledge: knowledge about and experience of learning, teaching, and contexts, including stakeholders Teacher Language Awareness (TLA) Teacher Cultural Awareness (CA) Teacher Social Awareness (SA) Teacher Pedagogical Awareness (TPA) General Professional Awareness (GPA) Teacher meta-cognition Figure 4.7: General Professional Awareness of the ESP practitioner as a function of PCK Postulating a new theoretical concept is reasonable only if it contributes to our understanding of a phenomenon by providing a useful analytic category for the description of that phenomenon. In the case of General Professional Awareness, the analytic usefulness of the concept lies in its ability to act as a conceptual intermediary between ESP practitioners PCK and their teaching practice, understood as thoughtful behavior. Specifically, being the reflective dimension of the teacher s PCK, GPA may be seen as directly responsible for the application of teacher cognition to a given ESP project at all its five stages (as described by Dudley-Evans and St. John, 1997: 121). It would then be acting as a bridge between teacher The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 193

198 professional knowledge base and the behavioral application of that knowledge base, i.e. instructional practice. The function of thus construed GPA is to make possible the informed (knowledge-based) and conscious choices involved in course design and classroom practice by adding a dimension of reflection on one s professional knowledge as the basis for classroom behavior. Alternatively, it could be said that insistence on some faculty mediating between cognition and behavior is an attempt to incorporate socio-cultural considerations into teaching seen as an outcome of the purely cognitive process of information processing, judgment formation, and decision making. From this viewpoint, GPA can be seen as a teacher s reflection on the applicability of his or her knowledge to a particular teaching context, and vice versa, on the ability to perceive features of the immediate context as the opportunity to use some elements of professional knowledge for educational purposes. Like teacher language awareness (TLA), which is universally construed as the ability to recognize, understand, and teach important language features (and which is now subsumed under overall professional awareness), GPA involves noticing relevant factors in the immediate teaching context, analyzing them in the light of overall teacher cognition, understanding their potential impact on the teachinglearning process (either at the level of course development or classroom practice), and using them in such a way as to increase benefits to learners as users of the specialist variety taught in the course, and specifically, to positively affect their qualitative transformation along the dimension of communicative proficiency. The mediating function of GPA as responsible for making ESP practitioners professional knowledge applicable to a teaching task at hand, is shown in Figure 4.7 below. The diagram emphasizes the assumption that while teaching effectiveness is linked to teachers overall professional knowledge (or PCK), this knowledge can only be accessed and applied to a given teaching situation through informed reflection (Schön, 1983, 1987), which is a prerequisite to making good course decisions in all five stages of the ESP process. Likewise, to have a positive effect on the quality of ESP instruction, an increase in professional cognition has to be coupled with a raise in general professional awareness, involving all of its subordinate categories. Only high levels of GPA can ensure a good fit between learner and contextual factors on the one hand and course parameters and resulting classroom practices on the other. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 194

199 Language knowledge base Subject knowledge base PCK Informed reflection Pedagogical knowledge base Immediate context TLA TCA TSA TPA GPA Decision making Needs Analysis Planning Evaluation Course design Assessment Teaching Learning Practice ESP process Figure 4.8: Mediating role of teacher General Professional Awareness It should be emphasized that underlying the conceptualization of teachers General Professional Awareness presented in Figures 4.6 and 4.7 is a distinction between cognitions and competencies drawn by the author, where the former are cognitive constructs collectively forming more or less organized systems of teacher professional knowledge comprising all relevant facts, beliefs and personal conceptions, and the latter are practical abilities directly linked to overt instructional behaviors, which result from teacher reflection on the actual contextual variables of a given teaching situation and enable the practitioner to undertake and effectively execute context-relevant teaching actions. This means that the author has taken The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 195

200 issue with a widely accepted statement by van Lier that knowledge and awareness can be seen as compatible all the way by insisting on their heterogeneity. The differentiation between cognitions and competences (abilities) is seen as necessary to account for the cases of ineffective teaching by experienced ESP practitioners, who have both the professional knowledge and the personality required for the job, follow the prescribed design procedure correctly yet end up offering courses that are poorly evaluated by learners and fail to bring about the expected learning outcomes. Within the framework proposed here, such cases can be interpreted as resulting from either an insufficient level of general professional awareness, or a lack of some kind of specific subordinate awareness, for instance TLA, on the part of the ineffective practitioner. It is the author s contention that such deficiencies could be remedied by encouraging teachers to reflect on the centrality of their role in the ESP process, and particularly, on the choices available to them while making instructional decisions as well as on the consequences of these choices for the teaching and learning process. Enhancing teachers general professional awareness can be achieved by means of various existing awareness-raising and reflectivity-increasing tools, such as teacher diaries, interviews, and classroom observation, as well as by encouraging ESP practitioners to familiarize themselves with various language teaching models to understand the practical options available, their theoretical underpinnings, and their behavioral manifestations The descriptive version of the Comprehensive Model The teaching model developed by the author is called The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Course because it seeks to accomplish two purposes: provide a theoretical framework for the description of ESP teaching as a cognitively and socially motivated activity and offer a practical template for the development of ESP courses. The model tries to achieve these objectives by using two types of descriptors: those pertaining to teachers professional cognitions and those concerning practical pedagogical issues. The result is a product-process view of special purpose teaching, where an ESP course is seen as a product of the teacher s cognitive and meta-cognitive (reflective) decision making process, informed by teacher professional knowledge and affected by contextual factors. This indicates a conceptual kinship with teacher cognition researchers, with whom the author shares the central premise that all human behavior, including ESP teaching, is cognitively motivated, but since it invariably occurs in a socio-cultural context, it cannot be examined in isolation from environmental factors. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 196

201 As concerns its foundation on earlier linguistic work, the Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses has been heavily influenced by Basturkmen s Framework for the Analysis of Ideas and Options in ESP discussed above, especially in the choice of descriptors used to depict various ESP teachers theoretical positions. Other influences shared with Basturkmen include the general language teaching models developed in the 1980 s and 1990 s outlined above, especially the conceptual frameworks developed by Spolsky (1978) and Stern (1983), from which the present author adopted the basic idea that language teaching has four knowledge components: language, learning, teaching, and context, but modified it to account for the dual subject matter of ESP consisting of the target language and to a lesser extent the discipline to which a given variety of ESP is related. As a result of the various conceptual influences on the author s thinking about specificpurpose teaching, the Comprehensive Model presents ESP teaching as knowing what to do to achieve the desired learning outcomes matching learners target needs, which has a corollary in a view of an ESP project as a sum of cognitively and socially motivated instructional decisions made by the course teacher at the course development stage of the teaching process. In a more specific phrasing, the model proposed by the author describes teachers instructional practices, such as the performance and interpretation of needs analysis; the setting of course goals and objectives; the development of syllabus and materials; the selection of methodology and the main activity type; the selection of performance standards and the types of teacher feedback and learner assessment, and the division of roles in the classroom in terms of agency and control, as resulting from teacher cognitive processes related to and directed by teachers knowledge and beliefs about the following: Language as both a system of structures and rules and a social phenomenon with pragmatic and cultural functions; Learning in general and second language learning in particular; Teaching as both an embodiment of a teaching conception (theory) and the application of a selected language-teaching methodology; Subject discipline related to learners education or employment and its place and function in ESP; Context, made up of relevant variables of at least three principal stakeholders in the teaching and learning process: the learner and the teacher as its direct participants, and the course organizer (or commissioner) as the immediate verifier of the learning outcomes. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 197

202 This means that within the framework proposed here every ESP project is viewed as a reflection of teacher professional explicit and implicit (or formal and practical) knowledge, filtered through the lens of the actual teaching context (contextual variables) and adjusted to the present and target needs of the learners, or in other words, as a context-specific application of the ESP teacher s professional knowledge and awareness. The way in which the four components of ESP or knowledge bases needed for ESP teaching, namely: language knowledge, subject or disciplinary knowledge, knowledge of learning and the learner, and knowledge of teaching and the teacher interact with each other and with the teaching context to produce a course is shown in Figure 4.8 below. CONTEXT LANGUAGE LEARNING Content Pedagogy SUBJECT CONTENT TEACHING CONTEXT Figure 4.8: The components of ESP/knowledge bases for ESP teaching and their interaction As the above diagram shows, the components of ESP are all interrelated as the four knowledge bases impact each other, which is indicated by the system of bi-directional arrows. The diagram also shows two basic cognitive dimensions of ESP: the subject-matter or content dimension (on the left), which encompasses the target language as the primary content to be taught and learned, and the learners specialist discipline as the secondary course content, and The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 198

203 the pedagogical dimension (on the right), which comprises learning and teaching as two sides of the educational process. The component of context is shown as an external or inter-mental dimension of ESP teaching, whose elements (i.e. learner and other stakeholder factors) affect the process, turning total teacher professional knowledge into applied professional knowledge, understood as the actual choice of cognitive and behavioral patterns used in a course. In addition, the Comprehensive Model attempts to show course design as a reasoned and reflective decision making process consisting in choosing a context-fit solution from the available options regarding the four course parameters: goals, objectives (learning outcomes), content, and methodology. In the author s view, the ideal course design process is both cognitive, as involving the mental processes of information processing, judgment formation, and decision making, and meta-cognitive, as involving reflection on the professional cognitions held by the course teacher and their applicability to a given teaching situation. A schematic representation of the ideal course development process is given in Figure 4.9 below, which incorporates the conceptualizations offered in Figures 4.4 to 4.8. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 199

204 Meta-cognitive reflection PCK GPA ESP teacher cognitions and competences Conscious analysis T Micro-Context L Macro-Context L S S Conscious decision making Needs Analysis Course Design Teaching/Learning & Assessment Selection of classroom behaviors Language content Subject content Learning approach Teaching approach Evaluation ESP process ESP product (observable practices) Figure 4.9: The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses The schematic representation of the Comprehensive Model presented in Figure 4.9 is intended primarily for the analysis of ESP courses, whether for purely descriptive or evaluative reasons, and only secondarily as an aid to ESP practitioners to make them appreciate the central role of their knowledge, awareness, and reflection in course design. The diagram shows the relationships and interactions between the various cognitive elements and processes involved in the teaching of ESP, namely the ESP practitioner s professional cognition and awareness, the immediate and broader teaching environment, the course planning and implementation process, and the course as the observable or behavioral outcome of all of the The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 200

205 above. The proposed framework shows the elements as activated in a certain procedural sequence, leading from the teacher s PCK to the actual course by way of conscious (critical) reflection upon professional knowledge held and its applicability to a given ESP project, conscious (critical) analysis of relevant contextual factors, and conscious (i.e. reasoned and cognitively informed) decision making involved in course planning (design) and postplanning (evaluation). The actual ESP course, construed as a product of these cognition-informed mental processes performed in a particular teaching environment, is the only observable part of the ESP process, comprising its third and fourth stage i.e. teaching/learning and assessment (which are bolded to suggest this relationship). Finally, the teaching context is presented as impacting all other elements. Specifically, since all learning is viewed from a socio-cultural perspective as a social process requiring the presence of others, it stands to reason that the teaching environment is made up of the primary (teacher, learners) and secondary (course organizer and overseeing authority) stakeholders in the ESP process and their social, cognitive, and affective characteristics, which are collectively responsible for the parameters of the teaching/learning situation. Considered from the point of view of course development (and the resulting classroom practice), the contextual factors act as a filter or a lens allowing the teacher to find a practical way of matching the subject matter and pedagogical options to learners and other stakeholders needs that the course is supposed to address. The above schematic version of the Comprehensive Model would be of little practical use to ESP practitioners wishing to become more effective in their pedagogical practice, except to help them recognize and appreciate the importance of informed reflection in course development. For professional awareness-raising, however, an extension of the model is needed, which would show effectiveness-minded ESP teachers what is involved in the cognitive processes labeled meta-cognitive reflection, conscious analysis, conscious decision making and selection of classroom behaviors. This extension should have the form of a template of the planning process, consisting of a list of theoretical issues or ideas related to the content and pedagogy of the course that should be considered while planning a course, together with a set of practical options that are available to ESP practitioners within their field. Such a template add-on to the Comprehensive Model is presented and discussed in the next section. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 201

206 4.3. The template version of the Comprehensive Model As already said, the Comprehensive Model can work as an awareness-raising tool only if it is capable of increasing both the breadth and the depth of teacher reflection involved in course planning and teaching. As Basturkmen (2006, 2010) has demonstrated, citing examples of her own ESP projects, having a list of theoretical issues to reflect upon in relation to each component of ESP that she has distinguished (i.e. language, learning, and teaching) with research-based answer options to choose from can greatly facilitate not only the evaluative analysis of an ESP project (by either the teacher or his/her supervisor) but also its planning. The template version of the Comprehensive Model attempts to provide a similar coursedevelopment aid for ESP practitioners while simultaneously seeking to raise their awareness about the interrelatedness of theoretical ideas forming each component, and the logical patterning of options, where one choice often presupposes or entails another, reflecting the structured nature of human knowledge bases. Unfortunately, it is difficult, if not entirely impossible, to present all this information in a single graphic form, which is why a series of tables will be used instead, one for each of the five ESP components identified by the present author: language, subject content, learning, teaching, and context. To begin with, teacher reflection involved in planning an ESP course cannot but start with examining the teacher s theoretical assumptions about the nature of language as the primary content or subject matter of instruction. Here, the most important consideration for a teacher is which features of language to focus on in the course: linguistic, pragmatic, or sociocultural. The first of these choices means that the teacher sees language as a mental cognitive system of structures and rules, and therefore is likely to focus language instruction on grammatical forms (usually syntactic structures), and deal with language use in pragmalinguistic terms of rule-based functions of particular sentence types (e.g. polite requests) and how to manipulate them in interaction by adding linguistic elements such as qualifiers, intensifiers, etc. The middle choice is indicative of a communicative view of language as a tool and medium of social interaction, which can only be described in sociopragmatic terms matching grammatical forms and social (pragmatic) meanings. Teachers holding this view tend to favor communicative teaching, concerned with social perceptions involved in the interpretation and performance of speech acts or communicative functions, and the way of strengthening these functions by means of communication strategies such as hedging. Likewise, they are more inclined to insist on analyzing language in longer chunks than a sentence, replacing linguistic analysis with discourse analysis. The third choice is The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 202

207 indicative of an overall view of language as a system of culture specific meanings and conventions which is best approached from a semantic and socio-semiotic rather than grammatical angle, concerned with lexico-semantic chunks of language, such as collocations or formulae. Consequently, a teacher holding such views is likely to teach language use in terms of genres. It should be noticed that embedded in the choice of analytic focus are two even more fundamental considerations related to language: about its relationship with culture, and about its locus. As regards the former, language can be seen as determining culture, interdependent with culture, and determined by culture, where these options seem to correspond to the linguistic, pragmatic, and socio-cultural perspectives on language. Specifically, an ESP teacher who favors focus on grammatical forms probably believes that language is an intramental (psychological) phenomenon, which is either independent from the specific culture of its users as being governed by universal grammar, or determines the culture of its speakers by imposing linguistic constraints on the way in which they see the world. In turn, a practitioner who believes in the interdependence of language and culture typically views language use as resulting form pragmatic intentions of its speakers, mediated by social conventions of interpersonal communication present in a given discourse community (and thus - both an intra- and inter-mental phenomenon). Finally, a holder of a culturally-determinist view of language sees it as entirely culture-specific medium of communication, or a system of shared values and meanings, residing in the collective mind of the members of a discourse community. The final theoretical issue related to language that every ESP teacher needs to reflect on is the status of language for specific purposes, and specifically how it should be construed in relation to the target language. The options available include three conceptualizations of SP English: as a register of English with some linguistic and especially lexical idiosyncrasies, as a specialist use of General English required for the performance of typical tasks in certain employment or educational situations, or as a specialist discourse owned by members of a speech community and reflecting their culture. The choices correspond to the overall perspectives on language, forming three logical trains of thoughts and course decisions. The conceptualization of the language component of ESP as a sum of the practitioner s conscious and informed reflections on the nature of language can be operationalized as a series of choices made on six fundamental issues, as shown in Table 4.1. If congruent and logically The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 203

208 related in the practitioner s mind, these choices make up one of three theoretical positions: linguistic, pragmatic or socio-cultural. Theoretical issue Linguistic option Pragmatic option Socio-cultural option Relationship of language and culture Language as independent from culture or as determining culture Language as interdependent with culture Language as determined by culture Locus of language Intra-mental (individual mind) Intra- and inter-mental Inter-mental (collective mind) Structural unit Sentence Text patterns Words and lexical bundles Communication unit Functions as arising from syntactic structures and rules of universal grammar Speech act as arising from speakers intentions mediated by rules of social interaction Genres and formulae as embodiments of shared values and meanings Focus of language instruction Focus on forms (grammatical structures) Focus on form (formfunctional, or discourse patterns) Focus on meaning (lexico-semantic patterns) Status of the special purpose variety in the target language A register of the target language that has some idiosyncratic linguistic and lexical features A type of language use practiced by the target group in typical communication situations A type of discourse reflecting the professional culture of a specialist speech community Table 4.1: ESP teachers reflection on language in course development (Part I of the template version of the Comprehensive Model) The second content component of ESP the subject discipline to which language instruction is related involves considerably less knowledge and reflection on the part of the practitioner. Basically, the teacher s reflections about the subject discipline are limited to three issues: its function in ESP, the type of knowledge to be taught, and the degree of specificity of this knowledge in relation to its specificity. With respect to the first two issues, the subject discipline can be viewed as a legitimate area of content, in which case some declarative knowledge would have to be explicitly taught to learners, and alternatively, as a communication context, requiring a specialist language use, where the necessary procedural knowledge of the subject discipline, related to disciplinary values and practices, will be taught implicitly, i.e. while presenting and practicing the specialist discourse targeted. The actual The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 204

209 choice is between cognitive versus communicative teaching of both the target language and the subject discipline, which is as much a matter of learner needs as the teacher s personal preferences and cognitions. The teacher s choice of the degree of specificity of the subject knowledge to be incorporated in a course is usually viewed as dependent on learners specific needs and thus context-driven, but teacher s personal conceptions of ESP and the type of subject discipline it requires also play a part, especially in teaching environments with considerable teacher autonomy, like the tertiary educational context.. The degree of specificity has two dimensions, namely the breadth and the depth of subject discipline knowledge, where the teacher has to decide between covering many topics, professional situations or skills in a fairly general way, or fewer topics, situations or skills in a more in-depth manner (e.g. English for General Legal Purposes v. English for Specific Legal Purposes, like legal drafting). As most ESP practitioners are language rather than subject content specialists or double-major professionals (see the results of the study conducted by the author for the purpose of this dissertation in Chapter Six) and may simply lack the disciplinary knowledge and cultural awareness needed for highly specialized teaching of the subject discipline alongside the target language, it seems that lower degrees of specificity should be preferred, unless otherwise requested by the course organizer. In addition to being less difficult for the teacher, a broader but less detailed approach to the subject discipline and its culture is more compatible with diverse needs of heterogeneous learner groups. The ideas and options related to subject discipline as falling into two logical patterns, cognitive and communicative, are presented in Table 4.2 below. Theoretical issue Cognitive option Communicative option Role of subject discipline Content (subject knowledge) Context (specific language use) Type of subject knowledge Declarative (facts, concepts) Procedural (practices, skills) Specificity of subject knowledge Usually low-level and broadrange, but generally a matter of the teacher s cognition Low-level and broad-range in courses targeting all four skills, but generally dependent on learners communicative needs Table 4.2: ESP teachers reflection on subject discipline in course development (Part II of the template version of the Comprehensive Model) As regards learning, the question of primary importance to all ESP teachers is what conditions are required for the learning of English for a specific purpose to take place. Obviously, an The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 205

210 answer to this question depends on what an ESP teacher knows, thinks, and believes about the nature of learning in general and the nature of second language learning in particular, as well as on the view of learner that he or she holds. Thus, an ESP practitioner who views language learning as behavioral or cognitive conditioning and the learner as a passive receptacle would believe in the need for a clear procedure or method to ensure the effectiveness of teaching. Those conceptualizing language earning as a construction of a personal knowledge system by the active, thinking learner who processes information and test hypotheses regard exposure to suitable (comprehensive) input and the opportunity to practice it as two pre-requisite conditions. Finally, ESP practitioners who construe language learning as a process of acculturation into the targeted discourse community by means of gradual authentication of its shared values and meanings emphasize the need for meaningful interaction as an opportunity to negotiate social meanings and the presence of more competent others to mediate complex learning experiences. A summary of teachers choices on the matter of learning conditions is offered in Table 4.3 below. Theoretical issue Behaviorist option Cognitivist option Social-constructivist option Conception of learning Learning as habit formation Learning as a psychological process Learning as a social process View of the learner Passive a receptacle for transmitted knowledge Active a constructor of a personal knowledge system Active a reconstructor of a social knowledge system Prerequisite learning condition A procedure involving a sequence of stimuli Comprehensive input and interaction Interaction and presence of others Primary learning process Guided acquisition of behavioral patterns Information processing and hypothesis testing Acculturation by negotiation of meaning through interaction Type of learning aid needed Positive and negative reinforcement Scaffolding by the teacher Mediation by more competent others Table 4.3: ESP teachers reflection on learning in course development (Part III of the template version of the Comprehensive Model) The ESP practitioner s reflections on teaching fall into the same logical patterns as those on learning, which is hardly surprising considering that they stem from the same general theoretical perspectives on education. Given that teaching is typically construed as the The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 206

211 provision of the learning conditions considered necessary within a certain perspective, the options chosen by the teachers on fundamental issued related to learning presuppose theoretical answers to questions about teaching. Thus, the conception of teaching is a corollary of the adopted conception of learning, whereas the view of teacher role and functions can be derived from the view of learner and the conditions and processes of learning. The ideas and options related to teaching to be considered in course design are listed in Table 4.4 below. Theoretical issue Behaviorist option Cognitivist option Social-constructivist option Conception of teaching Teaching as doing (behavior) Teaching as knowing (thoughtful behavior) Teaching as a social process (social, thoughtful behavior) View of teacher Source of knowledge and Conditioner Learning facilitator (Scaffolder) Learning mediator Language teacher s main task Provision of graded input and corrective feedback (offered by the primary knower) Provision of comprehensive input and learning consulting (offered by a more experienced L2 learner and speaker) Mediation of students learning experiences and learning consulting (offered by a more competent member of the targeted discourse community Main teaching procedure Input to output (focused on material presentation and cued performance) Input-oriented or Input to output (focused on exposure as leading to authentic learner performance) Output-oriented or Output to input (focused on authentic performance and learner discovery of important language features) Teaching method Audiovisual Analytic (Discourse Analysis) or Eclectic (PPP with elements of CLT) Communicative (Taskbased) or eclectic (CLT with elements of genre-analysis) Main activity Structured and cognitively undemanding (drill) Cognitively demanding (e.g. involving problem solving like case study) Interactive and authentic (task) Type of feedback Overt correction (recast) Explicit (explanation of the error) Implicit (opportunity to understand the error) Type of classroom Wholly teacher- Mostly teacher- Collaboratively- The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 207

212 controlled controlled but with some student autonomy controlled (with a high level of student autonomy) Table 4.4: ESP teachers reflection on teaching in course development (Part IV of the template version of the Comprehensive Model) The final component of ESP, the teaching context, is different from the four discussed above in that it involves the cognition and awareness of other stakeholders in the process in addition to the teacher s. For this reason, it has to be analyzed in terms of interacting cognitive, social, and affective variables of the main participants, namely the teacher, the learners, and the course running authority (course organizer) as an informant on learners target needs. While all these factors can be identified by means of a full needs analysis, involving target situation analysis, present situation analysis, learner factor analysis, and teaching context analysis, such complex needs assessment is not always feasible or even possible. However, it takes considerable professional awareness on the part of the ESP teacher to decide which needs have to be closely analyzed and which may be reasonably assessed on the basis of overt contextual factors such as the type of teaching situation, the type of learner, and the type of course organizer. Obviously, much depends on the overall professional experience of a teacher and his or her familiarity with a given teaching environment. The contextual factors to consider prior to embarking on learner needs assessment for course development are listed in Table 4.5, together with relevant stakeholder variables The factors and variables are listed separately for the two typical contexts of ESP: the knowledge or educational context, and the work context, even though they are often (though not always) identical. This type of presentation has been selected to illustrate the analytic potential of the proposed reflection template by using it to describe the role of context analysis in two considerably different teaching environments, where the former is characterized by predominantly epistemic orientation as focused on cognitive employment preparation, and the latter is purely utilitarian in character as related to the learners immediate and pragmatic employment-related purposes. Contextual factor Knowledge context Work context Type of teaching environment Secondary Tertiary ESL EFL Professional Occupational ESL EFL The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 208

213 Type of ESP teacher Type of learner Native ESL speaker EFL speaker Novice Fairly Experienced - Expert Single major Double major Full member of the target group Peripheral member Outsider High professional status Low professional status Pre-experience In-education early years In-education final years B1 B2 C1 C2 Intrinsically motivated Extrinsically motivated Aspiring member of the target group Inexperienced member of the target group Native ESL speaker EFL speaker Novice Fairly experienced -Expert Single major Double major Full member of the target group Peripheral member Outsider High professional status Low professional status Pre-service In-service inexperienced - In-service experienced B1 B2 C1 C2 Intrinsically motivated Extrinsically motivated Inexperienced member of the target group Experienced member of the target group Type of course organizer Educational institution Commercial language school Much interest Some interest No interest in ESP project Organizer s course syllabus (imposed) Collaborative teachers syllabus Individual teacher s syllabus Learners employer Professional association Much interest Some interest No interest in ESP project Organizer s course syllabus (imposed) Teacher s syllabus Negotiated teacher-learner syllabus Table 4.5: ESP teachers reflection on context in course development (Part V of the template version of the Comprehensive Model) As has already been said, the suggested analysis of contextual factors should be performed before a learner needs analysis because it may indicate the appropriate extent and method of needs assessment. For instance, in a situation when and ESP course of, say, Legal English, is taught by a non-native speaker of English to a group of freshmen and sophomores at an institution of higher education in an EFL context, the assessment of student target needs should include both current academic needs, which may be gauged by interviewing or surveying the students, and future (delayed) professional needs, whose analysis cannot be carried in the classroom as pertaining to the knowledge that the students do not have. However, the range and scope of such external target situation analysis would depend on the teacher factors involved. Certainly, an experienced teacher of Legal English who has a degree The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 209

214 in law in addition to a degree in English or linguistics and has worked in the legal profession for several years before entering education would need very little information about learners target needs compared with an experienced single-major ELP teacher who occasionally does legal translation and can thus be said to hold some peripheral membership in the target group of working legal professionals but generally has a rather limited knowledge of their employment practices. The important thing here is not to overestimate one s experience of the target situation or one s degree of acculturation into the target group and to rely on evidencebased factual knowledge rather than potentially misguided personal intuition Practical application and validation of the Comprehensive Model The proposed Comprehensive Model is rather complex, which is attributable to the double purpose it has been developed to serve, namely: (1) to describe, evaluate, compare, and contrast particular ESP courses taught by the same or different practitioners, and (2) to help ESP practitioners develop needs-relevant ESP courses by providing a course design template in the form of a checklist of theoretical issues and practical options to reflect upon while designing a course and thus effect a raise in teacher awareness of the cognitive, affective, and socio-cultural factors impacting course decisions. In turn, the double purpose has been motivated by a desire to reach three different groups of addressees: 1) Effectiveness-minded in-service ESP teachers, who wish to improve the quality of their work by engaging in an in-depth evaluation of the courses they have taught to improve their future editions (reflection on action), and by putting more of a conscious effort into development of new courses to ensure both their needs-relevance and theoretical soundness (reflection for action). In the former case, they would be using the model s descriptive potential for post-planning while in the latter the model would be used as an awareness raising course planning tool. However, either way, the interested ESP practitioners would be reflecting on their work in a manner that involves checking and perhaps changing some of their beliefs, personal conceptions, and routines as unsubstantiated, outdated, or simply incongruent with fundamental theoretical assumptions they espouse. This should considerably benefit their professional development by raising their general reflectivity level and overall professional awareness, and allowing them to re-construct and perhaps modernize the pedagogical knowledge they hold and use in their work. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 210

215 2) Course organizers responsible for running ESP courses and direct supervisors of ESP teachers, who could resort to the Comprehensive Model to identify good teaching practices in terms of not merely classroom behaviors but clusters of teacher thoughts or ideas that inform them and so contribute to the achievement of learner needs (i.e. learning outcomes). This could be particularly helpful in teaching situations where different practitioners teach courses according to an externally or jointly developed master syllabus. Even though teachers levels of professional knowledge and/or awareness are not the only factors contributing to differences in teaching effectiveness, they are much easier to manipulate and improve by means of teacher training than personality (i.e. identity) factors, which are rooted in the deepest layer of teacher psyche (see Korthagen s onion model discussed in Chapter Three). 3) Teacher trainers of pre-service ESP teachers, who could use the Comprehensive Model as a set of guidelines for the teaching of course design in ESP as a highly reflective decision making process informed by teacher knowledge and awareness, which, in practical terms, consists in choosing instructional practices in accordance with one s theoretical language, subject content, and pedagogical cognitions. It seems that in order to be truly effective, pre-service ESP practitioners should be encouraged to strive for the internal congruence of their professional cognitions, and to be trained to notice and knowledgeably interpret contextual factors that may alter the application of their professional cognition to a teaching project at hand. An important caveat that should be borne in mind when considering the utility of the proposed conceptual framework is that at the moment the Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP courses is still theory-driven rather than evidence-based in that is has not been sufficiently tested in empirical studies into teacher cognition. What particularly needs to be validated is the model s two backbone assumptions pertinent, respectively, to its descriptive and awareness raising potential: (1) that ESP courses whose design is informed by the teachers subject matter (content) and pedagogical cognitions may be effectively analyzed by discerning the theoretical assumptions underlying observable course practices, and vice verse, that by looking at teachers course design and classroom practices it is possible to make inferences about their professional knowledge, awareness and reflectivity; and (2) that increased cognitive and meta-cognitive reflection on the part of the ESP practitioner results in more effective teaching, which is both better fit for the learner purposes and more likely to effect the desired learning outcomes. A partial validation of the model with regard to its The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 211

216 descriptive potential was undertaken in a study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation (and described in Chapters Five and Six), which consisted in collecting data concerning professional competences, pedagogical practices, and theoretical assumptions of a group of ELP teachers and to see to what extent instructional practices of the respondents logically derived from the theoretical positions they espoused, and vice versa, whether personal professional cognitions and beliefs they held as well as the awareness level they represented could be reasonably inferred from observable behaviors and stated views when analyzed for internal congruence. 5. Summary of the chapter The present chapter introduced the Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, which tried to connect teacher professional knowledge, awareness and reflectivity as the sources of the teaching process, to an ESP course as its outcome, described in terms of instructional choices resulting from context-adjusted application of teacher knowledge. The model was presented in two different forms: the schematic form of a conceptual framework for the analysis of ESP courses, and the template form of a checklist of ideas and options intended as a tool for increasing the level of teacher awareness in course design and evaluation. The theoretical underpinnings of the model were presented and credits were given to the authors of the existing language teaching models for their insights. Particular attention was given to the content and structure of ESP teacher cognition, which was viewed as qualitatively different from EGP teacher cognition on account of the presence of the additional dimension of subject content in ESP teaching, and to the notion of professional ESP teacher awareness as directly responsible for the application of teacher professional knowledge to a concrete teaching situation. In the last part of the chapter, three potential applications of the Comprehensive Model were presented aimed at different parties responsible for the quality of ESP teaching: in-service teachers, course organizers, and teacher trainers of pre-service teachers. The Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses 212

217 CHAPTER FIVE: The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers The present chapter describes the study into teacher professional awareness of Polish academic teachers of Legal English, conducted for the purpose of this dissertation. Specifically, it presents the theoretical assumptions of the study, its objectives, and methodology, leaving the discussion of the results for Chapter Six. By way of introduction to the study, the chapter provides a general description of the teaching context in which the polled university teachers of English for Legal Purposes (ELP) operate, in terms of the guidelines for language policy adopted by higher education authorities in the outcome of the Bologna process, as well as the expectations and employment prospects of law students in Poland, as described by the available statistics and the author s research into student expectations. 1. Background information on Legal English teaching at Polish universities Legal education in Poland is provided by 16 public universities based in major Polish cities and 6 private universities, located mostly in Warsaw, Cracow, Gdynia, and Legnica. Each of these institutions has its own foreign language policy, but all of them have adopted the guidelines provided by the Conference of University Rectors insofar as offering between 120 and 240 hours of foreign language instruction to full time and part time students, and requiring that all students have a B2-level proficiency in at least one foreign language upon graduation. Obviously, not all foreign language instruction offered to law students is special purpose, sometimes Legal English is merely a component of all-purpose instruction. Likewise, in many institutions, including Poland s largest university, the University of Warsaw, law students can choose between courses of General English and Legal English, or elect to take a short, additional, and usually paid course of English for Legal Purposes after completing a mandatory course of General English. However, the number of universities where completion of a Legal English course is required as part of the law degree program is growing as more and more school authorities recognize its relevance for general employability of law graduates, for instance the University of Gdańsk, the University of The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 213

218 Poznań, Catholic University of Lublin, the Łazarski University, and the Koźmiński University. Generally, in order to obtain credit for an ELP course the participants have to pass a final test designed by the course teacher or a group of Legal English teachers, although some schools, for instance the Koźmiński University, insist that before graduating law students take a British professional Legal English exam, usually TOLES, or Test of Legal English Skills, whose administration has been outsourced to various institutions by its British author, Global Ltd, making it more accessible than ILEC, or International Legal English Certificate, whose administration has been monopolized by the British Council. Many other schools (e.g. the University in Białystok, the Catholic University of Lublin, or the Łazarski University) recommend that the TOLES exam be taken by law students for career reasons and offer commercial exam preparation courses as well as the convenience of taking the exam at the university TOLES examination center to interested students, but refrain from making it a degree requirement. Legal studies in Poland generally last five years and lead to a Magister (Master s) degree in law. There are as of today no Bachelor-degree studies in law available to Polish students, for the reason that while most legal jobs in Poland are licensed and as such require a practical, post-graduation qualification in the form of the so called aplikacja, or a job-geared legal training course, there are some where no additional qualification is required (e.g. in-company lawyer) and it is generally felt that due to the complexity of law, bachelor-degree programs do not constitute sufficient preparation for even unlicensed practice of law. Employment opportunities for law graduates who wish to practice law include the following licensed legal jobs: judge, public prosecutor (public attorney), attorney (advocate), legal advisor (legal counsel), notary, and court enforcement officer (bailiff), which do not as a rule require much use of English, except when practiced in international environments, such as a global law firm or an international commercial company. In such contexts, English is used daily with clients and co-workers alike to handle both legal casework and office matters. While the latter area of language use can be handled by legal professionals with only a rudimentary knowledge of legal English, a much higher competence in the specialist discourse is needed to deal with foreign corporate clients in person and via mail, conduct trade negotiation, draft contracts, or perform contract litigation, mediation, and arbitration (see Górska-Poręcka, 2007 for a detailed analysis of Polish lawyers language and communication needs). The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 214

219 Admittedly, lawyers who need English on a daily basis constitute a small percentage of all working legal professionals, mostly those employed by international law firms, but given the current corporate trend to outsource legal services to law firms at the expense of employing in-house lawyers, their share of the legal job market is increasing, providing a powerful argument for incorporating Legal English as part of legal education. Another argument for this is the growing market for legal services provided by Polish attorneys to people who have come in conflict with the law of the host country while working in another EU member-state, particularly the United Kingdom, or simply need competent legal advice from an expert on public international law or international commercial law in their business activity. Also, unlicensed lawyers working for the state administration increasingly need Legal English to handle legislative issues arising upon the incorporation of EU directives into the Polish law, or while conducting political, economic, and cultural relations at the state level. Thus, the need for equipping law graduates with communicative proficiency in English, including Legal English as their professional discourse, is growing, and so is the number of university English teachers specializing in the teaching of English for Legal Purposes. Adding to the importance of proficiency in English and especially legal English as a professional qualification for legal practitioners is its relevance for actual academic studies. Until recently, Polish was the only language of instruction at law departments, but at present the number of classes offered in English to both foreign (Erasmus) and Polish students is increasing sharply in an attempt to attract higher enrollments of tuition paying students. Among law courses frequently offered in English are courses of EU law, international public law, and international commercial law, as well as extra qualification courses of American or British law which are offered to interested students on a commercial basis. Finally, a growing number of Polish law students choose to spend a semester or two studying law abroad, whether on the Erasmus scholarship or on a bilateral exchange program. This means that English is now more attractive to law students as not only a professional asset but also as an academic advantage. The above factors bear on the way in which Legal English is taught at Polish universities, as well as on its perception by the two sides of the teaching and learning process. Concerning learners perception of academic ELP, a study into law student expectations and motivation conducted by Górska-Poręcka (2011) disclosed that a sizable majority of those taking Legal English consider it an important part of their legal education. Moreover, they appear to have high expectations of the course, hoping to be provided some factual knowledge of the Anglo- The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 215

220 Saxon law in addition to the context-relevant linguistic and cultural knowledge of English (i.e. knowledge of the professional legal discourse). This may be interpreted as indicating a considerable demand for CLIL or CBI language education, integrating communicative language teaching with some teaching of subject matter knowledge, mostly about Anglo- Saxon law and its institutions. Such expectations are hardly surprising in the knowledge context of a university, where the main purpose of students is the acquisition of formal, explicit knowledge, which needs to be both theoretical and practical given the broader context of a globalized world in which the modern university operates. The law student comes to the university to learn and become a new person a legal professional who practices some area of law. Part of that legal education is learning the discourse of the chosen profession and becoming acculturated to its national (Polish-speaking) and international (English-speaking) cultures, which are both speech and practice communities identifiable also by the way in which they use the target language, or, as Postman (1990) says, by their languaging. Thus, learning the legal discourse of both Polish and English is indeed an inherent part of legal education, aimed at becoming a legal practitioner in the globalized world. To quote Postman (1990: 27) again: Languaging, knowing, and living are intertwined, and it is never easy to known in what ways, if any, they may be distinguished from one another. 2. The rationale for the study The same link between languaging, knowing, and living (or more specifically, working) applies to teachers of Legal English. It is obvious that they have to know both English in general and Legal English in particular to teach ELP courses to law students, but this condition, although necessary, is not sufficient. As has been demonstrated in Chapter Three with reference to all-purpose language teachers and in Chapter Four with regard to ESP teachers, a lot more cognitive resources are needed in order to teach effectively. Specifically, every teacher of Legal English working in a tertiary educational context needs a fairly broad professional knowledge base, which besides implicit (procedural) and explicit (declarative) knowledge of English and Legal English contains also knowledge of general pedagogy and language teaching methodology, as well as at least basic knowledge of law as the area of learners specialism to which ELP is related. These broad knowledge categories comprise many different types of cognition, including formal facts, theoretical assumptions, experiential beliefs, and personal conceptions, all of which are brought to the practice of teaching to guide and inform instructional decisions related to course planning, course design, The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 216

221 and classroom behavior, as shown in the schematic version of the Comprehensive Model (Figure 4.9). Moreover, as ESP teaching consists in knowing what to do to reach an identified destination (i.e. the learner target needs selected as course needs), its effectiveness depends not only on the scope of teacher background (tacit) knowledge, which is largely implicit and subconsciously used, but on a teacher s ability to objectively assess what he or she knows as a professional and to understand how this knowledge can best be put to use in a given teaching context. Being capable of such reflection on one s teaching and the personal knowledge base available for it clearly implies some degree of general professional awareness, which in this thesis has been conceptualized as the ability to notice and evaluate each opportunity to use the professional knowledge and make it amenable to teaching, either directly, as learnable content, or indirectly, as a method applied to make some selected content teachable and learnable. In the theoretical framework adopted in this thesis, which might be described as sociocognistivist due to its focus on teacher mental constructs and processes as well as contextual factors involved in language pedagogy,.teaching is not about instructional practices or classroom behaviors but about teacher professional knowledge in context, of which teacher actions are mere manifestations. What is of paramount interest in this perspective is how the professional knowledge held by the ESP practitioner is applied to a given set of contextual factors and translated into actions and thus put to work for the benefit of the learners, i.e. to achieve the needs-relevant learning outcomes of the course. As stated before, the process is simultaneously intra-mental, as occurring in the ESP practitioner s mind, and inter-mental, as involving various insights from learners and other stakeholders, especially information about learner linguistic, pragmatic, and learning needs. The latter aspect is easier to assess, for instance by comparing the results of student needs analysis and course evaluation with the course syllabus and observable classroom interaction. On the other hand, the intra-mental thought process by which teaching arises, which consists of noticing relevant contextual factors, interpreting them in the light of one s pedagogical and linguistic knowledge, and choosing the appropriate content and methodological elements from one s repertoire of cognitive and behavioral patterns through which teaching arises, does not lend itself easily to scholarly investigation. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 217

222 The way teacher thought process is usually studied by teacher cognition researchers is by observing teachers classroom behavior related to methodological or management issues, and then, in an interview, asking them to reflect on these issues retrospectively (reflection on action) in order to uncover the motives for a selected course of action and the thoughts that have brought it about (reflection in action), as well as to engage in interpretative and proactive reflection about the meaning and consequences of that behavior for the future teaching and learning process (reflection for action). Thus, the researcher gains insights into three levels of teacher reflection (as identified by Schön, 1983, and Farrell, 2007), of which reflection in action is the lowest type as being virtually a routine action, which is only slightly adjusted to a concrete situation in an ad hoc manner and based exclusively on past teaching experiences. Reflection on action is considerably higher on the scale as based on experience, tacit knowledge, and structured analysis and consisting in metacognitive awareness of classroom events, and reflection for action is the highest form of teacher reflectivity for comprising both lower types and being future-oriented and thus unbound by the present context (Gabryś- Barker, 2012: 78, based on Farrell, 2007: 4-6). Research of this type is both insightful and reliable due to using the triangulated method of data collection (observation, teacher journal or diary, and interview). However, its contribution to our understanding of teaching as a cognition-based process of problem solving and decision making consists mostly in illustrating how language teachers use their practical, experiential knowledge of language learning and language teaching in very specific teaching situations, like planning and teaching a lesson, managing classroom interaction, and handling classroom problems. Much less emphasis is placed on the investigation of how formal or explicit subject matter knowledge is brought to inform standard instructional practices such as course design, where its use is more general and pervading but also more subtle and harder to link directly to observable classroom behavior. This makes the existing model of investigation into language teacher cognition inadequate for the task of explaining the cognitive basis of the posited teacher-dependence of ESP. It seems that in order to investigate teacher subject matter cognition and its application to major instructional practices such as course development, it may be necessary to modify the approach somewhat and both broaden the inquiry to include explicit, formally learned linguistic knowledge and deepen it to include deep-layer psychological constructs such as professional self-concept or personal conception of teacher role in ESP. These structures, labeled identity and mission and classified by Korthagen (2003) as belonging to the core layers of teacher personality, may be seen as a potentially relevant The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 218

223 source of information about the explicit part of teacher professional knowledge because they tend to be formed in course of formal schooling when the large body of new professional knowledge both necessitates a major reconstruction of the professional knowledge system(s) of the future teachers and simultaneously affects the way they see the world, the others and, finally, themselves as professionals and human beings (see Chapter Three, section 3.3 for a more detailed account of Korthagen s views). Hence the idea of exploring ESP practitioners explicit professional knowledge and their professional awareness, understood as the ability to apply this knowledge to teaching by comparing their acquired knowledge (i.e. the formal and practical knowledge they have as a result of their education and experience, which constitutes their background knowledge or pedagogical content knowledge), their applied knowledge, or the part of background knowledge that is manifested in action and so inferable from instructional choices made in course of a teaching project, and their conscious knowledge, i.e. the theoretical and practical assumptions of which they are aware and which would thus show in free statements of their personal views on important professional issues, such as the nature of language, language learning, and ESP teaching,. The three bodies of information could then be analyzed to identify which relevant cognitions are present and which seem to be missing in the informants professional knowledge. Additionally, they may be checked for internal congruence, where the level of cognitive dissonance could be interpreted as related to the informants capacity for meta-cognitive reflection (or the ability to think about what they know and how they can use their knowledge in practice) and consequently - to their level of general professional awareness, which requires both partly automatic cognitive reflection, which can be partly automatic, and fully conscious meta-cognitive reflection.. An attempt at such an empirical study, undertaken within the conceptual framework of the author s Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, was conducted for the purpose of this dissertation, and is described below. 3. The purpose of the study As the theoretical part of this dissertation makes evident, the author s main academic interest is in ESP teaching as an internal (psychological) and external (social) process of creating conditions for learners to learn English for their specific, occupational or educational, purposes. While in principle, the author agrees with the modern view of language teaching The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 219

224 expressed by many applied linguists that teaching does not cause learning, it merely creates suitable learning conditions and facilitates learning (Dakowska, 2005: 151), she insists that even the mere provision of the primary conditions for specific-purpose foreign language learning, i.e. relevant and learnable input, contextual interaction opportunities, and helpful but not overly corrective feedback, is a job demanding the engagement of multiple teacher resources of both cognitive and non-cognitive character. These demands are considerably higher in ESP than in EGP because here designing a goaloriented course involves at least three additional teacher tasks: thorough assessment of learner present and target needs, needs-based course design where learner needs are translated into course goals, objectives, content, and methodology, and careful course evaluation regarding its fitness to purpose. The fulfillment of these additional tasks places increased cognitive demands on ESP practitioners, making special purpose teaching a teacher-dependent type of language pedagogy in which the achievement of the target destination is linked to teacher cognitions and competences used in all five stages of the ESP process: needs analysis, course design, contact teaching, assessment, and evaluation. The professional cognition of ESP practitioners, encompassing formal knowledge as well as experience-based beliefs and personal concepts, certainly merits a closer examination of both theoretical and empirical nature. An attempt at such a scholarly examination has been undertaken for the purpose of this PhD project and has led to the development of the Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses, presented in Chapter Four, and to the undertaking of an empirical study into ESP teachers professional knowledge and awareness, which was intended as partial validation of the proposed model. Being a university teacher of Legal English, the researcher has decided to explore teacher cognition and professional awareness of Polish ELP practitioners working in the context of tertiary education, i.e. teaching law students. As of today, little is known about this group of specific-purpose English teachers even in terms of simple demographic variables such as age, education, and experience, not to mention their preferred instructional practices, views on language and language learning, attitudes towards their job and the learners, conceptions of ELP teaching, self-concept as ELP practitioners, and other cognitive constructs that could be indicative of the professional knowledge and awareness they hold and bring to teaching. The study conducted for the purpose of this dissertation, entitled Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey, tries to fill in this void by offering some insights into who the Polish academic teachers of Legal English are in terms of their education and experience, and The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 220

225 what they think about their work and about themselves. It also attempts to make some databased inferences regarding the level of professional cognition and awareness of university ELP teachers by applying the procedure of comparing and cross-analyzing what has been termed acquired knowledge, applied knowledge, and conscious knowledge. Thus, the purpose in undertaking the present study was twofold. On the one hand, it was intended as an audit of university ELP teaching, aimed at describing the current practice in terms of teacher factors of all types: demographic, cognitive, psychological, and pedagogical (instructional choices). On the other hand, it was meant to be an exploratory study into ELP teachers professional cognition, which informs and largely determines their pedagogical decisions, especially in the area of course design. The design of the study was guided by the author s desire to test the two basic assumptions of her Comprehensive Model. Within the proposed framework, the instructional practice in ESP is viewed as resulting from practitioners professional background knowledge, comprising cognitions related to the target language, the subject discipline, and general and specific pedagogy. As a corollary, it is believed that the effectiveness of ESP, understood as both fitness for purpose defined in terms of learner needs and transformation of learners into proficient users of the target language, depends not only on the size and content of teacher professional knowledge base but also on teachers capability for cognitive and meta-cognitive reflection captured in the proposed concept of General Professional Awareness. Thus, in designing her study, the author assumed that by gathering qualitatively diverse information about the informants professional qualifications, instructional practices, views and perceptions, it would be possible to make reliable inferences about the cognitions comprising their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and the level of their general professional awareness (GPA), which could be used as guidelines for their professional self-development and perhaps for ELP teacher training. In summary, the list of research questions that were posed in this project looked as follows: What can be learned about Polish university teachers directly from them in terms of: - demographic variables (age, gender); - professional teacher factors (education, teacher training, teaching experience); - perception of the role of ESP practitioner and performance of the standard ESP teacher tasks (i.e. needs analysis, course design, teaching, assessment, and evaluation); The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 221

226 - instructional practices used in university ELP courses and the decision making process behind them, especially the setting of course parameters (i.e. goal, objectives, content, and methodology); - stated theoretical assumptions about language, SL learning, and ESP teaching, as well as professional self-conceptions that guide the teaching practice. What can be inferred about the pedagogical content knowledge of ELP teachers by analyzing the information collected by the survey for: - indications of knowledge held, applied, and known by the respondents; - internal congruence of the respondents views indicating a level of their general professional awareness (GPA), as construed by the researcher; What can be concluded about the quality of university ELP teaching on the basis of the above facts and inferences, and what recommendations can be proposed to improve the effectiveness of ELP teaching at Polish universities? As the above list demonstrates, the study was largely theory-led in that it sought to validate the author s conceptual model of ESP teaching. At the same time, it was intended as more than a purely academic endeavor since it sought to evaluate the quality of university ESP teaching by gauging the level of professional knowledge and reflectivity of its practitioners, with a view to establish some guidelines for more effective ELP pedagogy. As designed by the researcher, the study was intended to collect information from ELP teachers representing all 22 state and private universities with law departments. However, it turned out that not all of these institution provided courses of Legal English to law students, which reduced the original number by four. Also, the response rate was lower than expected despite contacting directors of the language teaching units rather than individual teachers. As a result, data was collected from 22 teachers of Legal English representing ten institutions of higher education: eight state universities and two private ones. The small size of the sample is partly countered by its geographical representativeness as the informants came from institutions located in eight different Polish cities: Warsaw, Lublin, Katowice, Białystok, Łódź, Poznań, Wrocław and Gdańsk, as well as the fact that almost 50% of the informants were employed as heads of university language centers, head teachers of English, or Legal English coordinators, and thus had some influence on the way ELP was taught by subordinate teachers at their institutions. Also, to the best of the researcher s knowledge, it was the first study of the population of Polish university teachers of Legal English ever conducted, which certainly adds to its exploratory value. Nevertheless, the low number of respondents may raise The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 222

227 reasonable doubts about the reliability of the findings, which should therefore be regarded as merely suggestive of certain tendencies or regularities and would have to be both replicated and quantified to be deemed fully reliable. 4. The methodology of the study As stated above, the study was constructed with a view to gathering plentiful and diverse information about the informants pedagogical choices and the thinking behind these choices to allow the researcher to make plausible inferences about their professional knowledge and awareness. This necessitated the use of a fairly complex instrument, capable of collecting different types of data: facts, perceptions, and opinions. Information from the participants was collected by means of a survey questionnaire entitled: The Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey 2013 (given in Appendix A). It consisted of four parts, where each sought to collect different type of information: about the surveyed teachers as professionals,.about their perceptions of ESP teacher roles and tasks, about their instructional practices, and about their consciously held professional views. The first three parts of the questionnaire consisted of multiple choice questions, rating questions, and simple open-ended questions aimed at establishing relevant facts about the teachers and their work, whereas the last part of the survey consisted of ten broad open-ended questions, probing the respondents theoretical assumptions and personal perceptions of their profession. A more detailed description of each part of the survey is given in subsections The study did not use any of the classic ways of ensuring triangulation of data: there was only one researcher, one questionnaire, and one group of respondents. However, the design of the questionnaire came from three sources: (1) the theories of teaching that were behind the existing teaching models of Spolsky (1980), Stern (1983), and Basturkmen (2006), described in Chapter Four of this dissertation; (2) the views and findings of teacher cognition and language teacher researchers about language teachers background knowledge and language awareness, especially Shulman (1986, 1987) and Andrews (2001, 2003, 2007), and (3) the researcher s own professional experience as a long time ESP practitioner working in the tertiary educational context as a teacher of Business English since 1993 and Legal English since Also, the questionnaire employed three levels of researcher intervention, using a combination of unstructured questions, semi-structured questions, and heavily structured questions, and asked about three types of data: objective facts about the informants and their The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 223

228 ELP courses; the informants subjective perceptions of their teacher tasks and choices, and the informants explicit views on relevant theoretical and practical issues. Finally, as stated in the previous section, the questionnaire was designed to collect information about three types of teacher background knowledge: (1) knowledge potentially held as a result of professional schooling and experience (assumed by the researcher on the basis of formal qualifications); (2) knowledge apparently applied to making course decisions (inferred by the researcher from teaching practices), and (3) knowledge of which the holder was aware and capable of verbalizing (expressed directly by the informants). Its dual purpose, which asked not only how Legal English is taught to law students in Poland but also why the teaching of university ELP is done the way it is, legitimizes calling the present research project an exploratory mixed method study despite the use of a single survey to gather information. The claim is based on the use of two types of questions, one characteristic for quantitative research and the other typical of qualitative research, to collect information: the closed-ended questions of the yes/no and multiple choice types intended to gather factual information (Part I, Part II, and Part III/1-14), and open-ended questions aimed at eliciting examples of classroom tasks (Part III/15) and, first of all, the reasons behind teacher instructional choices in terms of the theoretical assumptions that underpin them (Part IV). Since both types of questions were used in a single survey, the researcher adopted the concurrent strategy of collecting and analyzing data, where all data is collected simultaneously and analyzed jointly (Creswell, 2003). This strategy was selected for also two other reasons: (1) it allowed for the cross-analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative data collected at an early stage of findings assessment, which considerably facilitated overall interpretation, and (2) it was more logical considering that there was no need to conduct the quantitative part of the study first because the variables worth examining had already been identified by the author s research of language teaching models, which culminated in her Comprehensive Model for Analysis and Design of ESP Courses. The conceptual framework for data collection is presented in Figure 5.1. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 224

229 Part I - PERSON Demographics Language education Legal education EFL experience ELP experience TOTAL PCK Acquired knowledge Part II - ROLES Professional selfconcept General teacher role Performance of specific teacher tasks Part III - COURSE Course name, type Course book used Students taught Teaching method Type of syllabus Real content General objectives Activities and assignments PART OF PCK - Applied knowledge GPA Well developed components Poorly developed components Reflectivity level Overall awareness level Part IV - VIEWS Language Language learning ESP teaching ESP Effectiveness Learner autonomy Key teacher competence Key teacher characteristic PART OF PCK - Conscious knowledge Figure 5.1.: Conceptual framework for data collection The figure above shows the intended function of each of the four parts of the questionnaire by listing the most important teacher variables it was intended to explore and indicating the purpose of each phase of data collection in terms of the type of teacher knowledge to be assessed: acquired, applied, and conscious. The terms depicting the three types of knowledge have been coined by the author for the purpose of this study, but they have been described in teacher cognition literature as, respectively, the whole and parts of teacher tacit, background The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 225

230 or Pedagogical Content Knowledge (e.g. Shulman, 1986, 1987; Woods, 1996; Van Lier, 1995, 1996; Turner-Bisset 1999, 2001; Andrews, , 2007; and Borg, 2003, 2005). As the diagram shows, the survey used in the study has been designed to yield information regarding the three types of knowledge held by the respondents (acquired, applied, and conscious), which correspond to their total Pedagogical Content Knowledge (i.e. all subject matter and pedagogical cognitions applicable to ESP teaching, as shown in Fig. 4.5.), the part of PCK that is actually used in currently done teaching, and the part of PCK of whose existence the respondents are sufficiently aware to articulate it as coherent views. Specifically, Part I of the survey was intended to gather enough information about the informants professional schooling and work experience to allow inferences about the extent of their acquired knowledge, both explicit and implicit. In the perspective adopted by the author after Turner-Bisset (2001), language teachers PCK is seen an amalgam of various relevant cognitions (though falling under three basic categories of language, subject discipline, and pedagogy), which are held and ready for action (i.e. potentially applicable) but are not all used in every act of teaching. Rather, they are used according to the teacher s assessment of what is necessary in a given teaching situation, which is carried out by means of a learner factor analysis and a contextual factor analysis performed at the onset of the course. The cognitions that have been activated following the assessment of situational factors at both the conscious and subconscious level are then put to use as applied knowledge in course design and actual teaching, informing the teacher s cognitive process of decision making involved in the former, and classroom behavior comprising the latter. This dynamic category of teacher cognition, which is subsumed in the acquired knowledge but changes in accordance with current teaching needs, was targeted in Parts II and III of the survey, which gathered information about the informers personal teaching conceptions and instructional practices seen as reflecting the cognitions actually used in decision-making. Finally, Part IV of the questionnaire asked the informants to express their views about major theoretical issues in language teaching, such as language, language learning, learner autonomy, ESP teaching, and ESP teacher competences, in order to elicit information about their consciously held background knowledge or, in other words, that part of their overall PCK or acquired knowledge which is accessible by meta-reflection, i.e. reflection on the knowledge held. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 226

231 The information gathered about the above three categories of the informants teacher cognition was assumed to be indicative of their general professional awareness (GTA) on the basis of the link between knowledge and awareness established by many teacher cognition researchers, for instance Andrews, Borg, Clark, or van Lier. These authors construed language awareness as a more or less independent part of teachers language cognition (depending on the individual approach), related to their declarative knowledge about language rather than to their procedural knowledge of language (language proficiency) but triggered by and applicable to actual teaching situations involving either decision making or problem solving. The view of language teacher awareness as a derivative of teachers explicit or declarative linguistic knowledge has been adopted by the author of this thesis and extended to apply to all categories of cognitions forming the posited General Professional Awareness (GPA), construed as an amalgam of various types of sensitivity that are relevant to ESP teaching (see Figure 4.6). It has been likewise assumed that the level of teacher GPA is revealed not only in observable classroom behavior but also in teachers thinking about themselves as ESP practitioners and their teaching practice as a rational, decision making process in which the actual choices are cognitively motivated. Consequently, the informants answers to the questions related to their acquired, applied, and conscious knowledge should offer some insight not only into their professional cognition but also their professional awareness, provided a satisfactory diagnostic tool and procedure are found The research procedure The survey was sent to the heads of foreign language centers of 16 public and 6 private universities which have legal departments and could reasonably be expected to offer obligatory and/or elective courses of Legal English. However, the response rate was low, resulting in a small though fairly representative sample of 22 teachers, representing 10 universities. Of these, eight were public (state), namely the University of Warsaw, the University of Łódź, the Silesian University, the University of Białystok, the University of Wrocław, the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University of Lublin, and the University of Gdańsk, and two were private or non-public: the Catholic University of Lublin, and the Łazarski University. Given the small size of the sample, it did not seem reasonable to divide the informants into any subgroups, for instance, according to the status of the university they represented (public vs. private), or its location in the nation s capital (as a base of most global law firms representing students future The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 227

232 employers) versus other major cities. The respondents were assigned code numbers consisting of the letter R for respondent and a number 1-22 depending on the time when the survey was completed. The data were then tallied and put into five excel sheets for analysis. In the process, several surveys had to be turned from paper to computer files, and all had to be translated into English for the purpose of this dissertation. The computer versions of all 22 surveys translated in a standardized graphic form are enclosed with this dissertation as Appendix B. The double purpose of the study necessitated two types of data analysis and interpretation. For the purposes of the ELP teacher audit, it was enough to analyze the data collected variable by variable to establish the behavioral patters exhibited by the sample population and identify their probable cognitive causes. On the other hand, for the researcher to make any inferences about the level of the participants professional awareness it was necessary to cross-analyze some of the data collected from each respondent and then apply the test of internal congruence. Thus, the informants cognitions uncovered by different questions were checked for logic and consistency, where any incongruence in respondents cognitive or behavioral patterns was interpreted as indicating a lower GPA level, whether resulting from a conflict between different types of cognitions (e.g. formal vs. experiential) or insufficient cognitive or meta-cognitive reflection.. Given the number of variables researched in each part, only the most revealing answers were selected for the congruence test, notably those pertaining to the surveyed teachers professional self-concepts and preferred roles, the parameters of their university ELP course (i.e. its goal, objectives, content, and method), and their espoused views about language, language learning, and ESP teaching. The specific conclusions representing the researcher s estimates of the participants individual GPA levels were then aggregated to draw general conclusions about the professional awareness of the sample population Part I of the survey: Information about the teacher The first part of the survey intended to describe the sample population of ELP teachers in terms of relevant demographic and professional variables: gender, age, English speaker type, professional degree held, additional teacher and pedagogical training, experience in ELT and ESP teaching, varieties of ESP practiced (just ELP or also others), experience of ELP teaching contexts, non-teaching professional experience with Legal English, and formal education in law. As the list of the selected variables makes evident, the initial part of the The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 228

233 study sought to establish the extent of the pedagogical content knowledge of the polled teachers, in accordance with the view of teacher cognition as a product of professional education (formal, explicit knowledge) and experience (practical, implicit knowledge). Specifically, it was assumed that more advanced professional schooling in English Studies or Applied Linguistics and more extensive pre-service and in-service teacher training indicated a broader and richer formal, explicit knowledge of and about the target language, L2 teaching and learning, while the respondents implicit, practical knowledge was directly proportional to the amount of their professional experience in General and Legal English. By the same token, any formal, degree and non-degree legal education as well as both full and peripheral membership in the target group were seen as directly indicative of declarative and procedural knowledge of the subject discipline to which ESP is related (i.e. law) in terms of disciplinary concepts, practices and shared cultural values. The last assumption concerned the respondents professional awareness which was viewed as a function of professional knowledge and teacher overall reflectivity. Of the twelve questions in Part I of the survey, two pertained to language knowledge and awareness (Qs3-4), two to pedagogical knowledge and awareness (Q5-6), four to professional experience (Qs7-9), one to the knowledge and awareness of professional legal culture (Qs10-11), and one to the factual knowledge of law as the special purpose discipline. The questions featured in Part I of the survey are given in Figure 5.2 below, together with the answer options provided. LEGAL ENGLISH TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL AWARENESS SURVEY 2013 PART I INFORMATION ABOUT THE TEACHER 1. Sex: Female/Male 2. Age group: 21-29, 30-39, 40-49, Type of English speaker: Native, ESL, EFL 4. Professional (language) degree held (open-ended) 5. Additional teacher training: No/Yes, Specify 6. Additional pedagogical training: No/Yes, Specify 7. Years in ESL/EFL teaching (open-ended) 8. Years in ESP teaching (open-ended) 9. Other types of ESP taught (open-ended) 10. Institutions where Legal English is taught: universities, language schools, law firms 11. Other professional experience with Legal English: translation, research, book authorship 12. Formal education and experience in the area of law: law degree, non-degree course, interest Figure 5.2: The Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey - Part I The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 229

234 By way of post-application evaluation it could be said that asking two questions about the respondents additional professional training (Q 5 and 6) was a poor idea. Many respondents had a problem with distinguishing additional teacher training form additional pedagogical training in the way intended by the researcher, where the former was seen as more practical or even technical and aimed at increasing the ELP practitioners specific pedagogical knowledge, whereas the latter was viewed as more theoretical and concerned with increasing the teachers declarative knowledge of psychology and general pedagogy Part II of the survey: Information about teacher roles The second part of the survey was focused on the respondents perception of their general and specific roles as ESP teachers, and the actual performance of these roles. It consisted of 16 questions, which concerned the following issues: the respondents perception of their overall teacher role (Q1 and Q16); their approach to and practice of needs analysis (Qs2-3); their practices regarding course and syllabus design (Qs 4-7); their practices in respect to materials development (Qs8-9); their approach to activities design (Qs10-11); their approach to learning assessment (Q12), and their attitude and practices concerning course evaluation (Qs13-15). The actual questions and answer options from Part II of the survey are given in Figure 5.3. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 230

235 LEGAL ENGLISH TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL AWARENESS SURVEY 2013 PART II INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLES PLAYED BY THE TEACHER 1. How do you see yourself professionally? EFL teacher, ELP teacher, CLIL instructor, all 2. Do you conduct your own needs analysis before beginning a Legal English course? Always- Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 3. What kinds of student needs do you assess? Current linguistic, current professional, current academic, current wants, future professional according to students, lawyers, employers 4. Do you design your own Legal English courses? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 5. If you don t generally design your Legal English courses, how are they designed? By course organizer-by supervisor-jointly by all teachers of ELP 6. Do you write your own course syllabus? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 7. If you don t write your own course syllabus, how is it designed? By supervisor-jointly by ELP teachers-by author of selected course book 8. Do you write your own teaching materials? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 9. Do you develop teaching materials by compiling them from different sources? Always- Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 10. Do you design your own classroom activities? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 11. What percentage of these activities can be called tasks (activities with a real communicative purpose)? 0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, % 12. Do you design your own assessment tests? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 13. Do you conduct course evaluation? Always-Usually-Sometimes-Rarely-Never 14. When is the course evaluation conducted? At course end-after course end-during course and at its end 15. At whose initiative is the course evaluation conducted? Mine -My supervisor s-course organizer s 16. How do you see your role as an ESP teacher? On the scale of 1-5 where 1= irrelevant and 5= very relevant, determine the relevance of these for your self-perception. I m a source of linguistic and cultural knowledge I m a language learning facilitator - I m a more competent EFL user - I m a more experienced member of the target group - I m a teacher of subject (legal) content through English Figure 5.3: The Legal English Teachers Awareness Survey Part II The choice of questions in Part II was motivated by an attempt to identify the language and pedagogical cognitions that may have underlined the personal conceptions of general and ESP-specific teacher roles and their performance by the respondents, i.e. belonged to the applied part of their PCK. Of particular interest to the researcher were theoretical assumptions of the polled teachers about language teaching for both general and specific purposes arising from theories of learning and theories of second language acquisition which they had presumably learned in course of their professional education. With hind sight, leaving some of the above questions, like 1 and 16, in the open-ended form could have been more conducive to uncovering the respondents personal conceptions of the teaching roles they have to perform while teaching ELP. However, the decision to use multiple choice questions The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 231

236 whenever possible was motivated by the desire to make the 4-page-long survey respondentfriendly as well as to make sure that certain important theoretical distinctions appear in the answers Part III of the survey: Information about the ELP course taught The third part of the survey was aimed at gaining some insights into the practice of ELP teaching at Polish universities by asking the respondents to describe the courses they taught to law students in terms of the name, length, type of course, and type of final credit (Qs1-3 and Q5); the enrolled students knowledge of law and experience of the legal culture (Qs7-8); the course book, materials, and assignments used in the course (Q4 and Q15); the teaching method and syllabus used (Qs 9-10); the overall subject matter and linguistic content of the course (Qs11-12); the general and specific objectives of the course (Qs13-14); and the interest of the Law Department in the course (Q6). The information collected by this group of questions was regarded as indicative of the professional knowledge actually used by the respondents to design and teach their ELP courses, which is why it was analyzed for any discernable language, law, and pedagogical cognitions that could be classed as belonging to the applied part of the respondents PCK. Of special interest to the researcher were the cognitions that guided the informants course decisions, particularly those informing the setting the course parameters of goals, specific objectives (learning outcomes), content, and methodology, contributing to their internal logic or its absence. The questions included in Part III of the survey are provided in Figure 5.4 below, with slightly shortened answer options. It should be noted that question 15 was unusual since it asked the respondents to provide examples of tasks, assignments and materials rather than answer general questions concerning the use of authentic materials or certain activity or assessment types. The form of the question was geared not only to identifying popular types of materials or activities but also to checking whether these choices tend to be original or adopted from course book writers. For instance, while making presentations is an assignment included in every Legal English course book, having making a court speech certainly is not and as such reveals the course teacher s interest in the courtroom context of the legal practice. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 232

237 LEGAL ENGLISH TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL AWARENESS SURVEY 2013 PART III INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACADEMIC COURSE OF LE TAUGHT 1. What is the name of the course? (open-ended) 2. How long is the course? Hours/semesters 3. What type of course is it? Traditional-Blended-Distant 4. What leading course book do you use in your course? (open-ended) 5. Is there an exam at the end of the course? Internal mine-internal joint-external-no exam 6. Does the Law Department take interest in the ELP course you teach? Yes/No 7. In which year are your students? I-II-III-IV-V 8. What professional experience do your students have? None-Some-Considerable-Vast 9. What teaching method do you use? (open-ended) 10. What type of syllabus do you use? Structural-Functional-Notional-Thematic-Situational- Skills-based-Task-based-Genre-based (defined in the questionnaire) 11. What do you perceive as the real content of the course? English-Legal English-Anglo-Saxon Law-Target group culture) 12. What variety of Legal English do you teach in your course? British-American-International 13. What is the main general objective of your course? Linguistic competence-overall communicative competence-strategic competence-socio-cultural competence-subject competence (knowledge of Anglo-Saxon law) 14. On the scale of 1-5, where 1 = unimportant and 5 = very important, how important are these specific teaching objectives? Teaching of grammar-teaching of discourse-teaching of vocabulary-teaching of functions-teaching of legal concepts-teaching about legal culture- Teaching of lawyer s skills-teaching of legal genres 15. Please characterize your course by providing examples of the following: Reading text- Graded written assignment-oral assignment-practiced speaking skill-practiced reading skill- Practiced writing skill-practiced listening skill-grammatical topic covered Figure 5.4: The Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey Part III Looking at the information yielded by Part III of the survey, it seems that most of the questions fulfilled their expectations and offered interesting insights into the instructional practices of university ELP practitioners as well as the theoretical assumptions and experiential beliefs that inform them. However, several important questions that probably should have been included were unintentionally left out, such as a question regarding the type of input used, the type and amount of corrective feedback given, the performance standard insisted on, or the types of tasks used in achievement tests. These matters have unfortunately been overlooked as were issues of classroom interaction management, which may be partly blamed on the lack of research expertise on the part of the author but also on her special interest in intra-mental processes and cognitive constructs at the expense on the inter-mental processes and behavioral patterns. This has entailed a special interest in course design, which is only marginally interactive, at least in the university teaching context, as opposed to teacher classroom behavior, which is clearly a product of interaction and negotiation with learners. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 233

238 Another reason for the special interest in course design is that it is the single most important process in the teaching of ESP (and/or the most important stage in the ESP process) because of the significance of the teacher s course development decisions for the quality of teaching provided, in terms of both its fitness to learners linguistic and pragmatic purposes and its ability to effectuate the learner-to-user transformation Part IV of the survey: Information about professional views The final part of the survey asked the respondents to briefly answer ten questions probing their consciously held professional knowledge. The first six questions pertained to the basic theoretical assumptions about the subject matter and its pedagogy: the adopted view of language and second language learning (Qs1-2), the personal conception of ESP teaching in general and in the knowledge context (Qs3-4), effectiveness of ESP teaching (Q5), and learner autonomy in ESP (Q6). Though the above questions may be easily seen as an attempt to judge the respondents professional knowledge, there was no intention on the part of the researcher to evaluate their knowledge of linguistics and SLA but merely to gain some insight into their professional thinking patters and especially to see how each of them construed the product and process of the specific purpose teaching they practice. Consequently, any assessment that was done was undertaken for the purpose of checking the internal congruence of these stated views, alone and in combination with the instructional choices made by their holders. The remaining four questions regarding professional competences and personality traits conducive to ESP teaching (Qs7-8), and benefits and difficulties of ELP teaching (Qs9-10) were different in that they relied on experience-generated beliefs rather than formally learned concepts. However, beliefs as well as personal assumptions or conceptions have long been recognized as legitimate elements of teacher cognition, which is typically construed as containing all types of relevant and applicable knowledge: explicit and implicit, formal and experiential, and declarative as well as procedural. The actual questions used to elicit the respondents theoretical views and shed some light on their conscious knowledge are given in Figure 5.5 below. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 234

239 LEGAL ENGLISH TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL AWARENESS SURVEY 2013 PART IV - GENERAL OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS Figure 5.5: The Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey Part I Please answer these questions briefly: 1. What is language? 2. What does learning a foreign language consist in? 3. What does teaching a foreign language for specific purposes consist in? 4. What is the main purpose of ESP teaching at institutions of higher education? 5. What determines the effectiveness of ESP teaching? 6. What does learner autonomy in ESP consist in? 7. What professional competence is the most important in the ESP teacher? 8. What personal characteristic is particularly important in the ESP teacher? 9. What do you see as the most interesting thing in the teaching of Legal English? 10. What do you see as the most difficult thing in the teaching of Legal English? Figure 5.5: Legal English Teachers Professional Awareness Survey- Part IV Summing up this introductory discussion, as the above makes evident the present study was designed broadly enough to offer all sorts of analyzable data, capable of shedding some light onto the teaching practice of university ELP and the teacher thinking, knowledge, and awareness behind it. As will be demonstrated in the next chapter, this premise was partly fulfilled since the study did turn out a lot of interesting findings which, however, proved extremely difficult to analyze and interpret in a conclusive way. 5. Summary of the chapter Chapter Five introduced the empirical study conducted for the present PhD project as an attempt to research the status quo of ELP teaching at Polish universities in terms of teachers, their conceptions of teaching, their instructional practices, and their professional views. At the same time, it was intended to verify the central assumptions of the Comprehensive Model developed by the author that teacher professional knowledge and awareness, teacher thoughts, and teacher actions were interactively linked and so one could be inferred from another, provided the teacher-researcher had sufficient background knowledge to identify hidden theoretical assumptions and was capable of meta-cognitive reflection. The chapter also discussed the methodology of the study, presenting the conceptual framework for data collection and describing the procedures used to process the information obtained. Finally, each part of the survey questionnaire given to the informants was presented The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 235

240 and thoroughly discussed in terms of the rationale for the choice of questions used and the proposed interpretation of the information yielded. The Purpose and Methodology of the Empirical Study into Professional Awareness of ELP Teachers 236

241 CHAPTER SIX: The Results of The Study The present chapter is devoted to the discussion of the findings of the study. The data gathered by means of the survey questionnaire described in Chapter Five are presented and analyzed for insights into the participants teaching practice and patterns in teacher thinking. In the second part of the chapter, the results are summarily interpreted and critically evaluated, following which some suggestions are made regarding practical solutions that would improve teacher professional awareness and competences, as well as overall teacher effectiveness in providing needs-based and goal-oriented ESP instruction. 1. Findings of Part I: A portrait of the university ELP teacher As has already been said, the sample used in the study consisted of 22 teachers of Legal English working at 10 different universities based in 8 cities. When the personal details gathered by Part I of the survey were tallied, it turned out that the ELP teachers surveyed, were a surprisingly homogeneous group in terms of basic demographic variables of gender and age: 9.9% were women and a decisive majority of 77.3% were middle-aged, including 40.9% aged 40-49, 31.9% aged 50-59, and 4.5% over 60, which means that only 22.7% were under 40. Also, none of those surveyed was a native speaker of English, although three respondents (R6, R15, and R20), constituting 13.6% of the sample, called themselves speakers of English as a second rather than foreign language, probably referring to their longterm educational or professional experience in an English speaking country. No details of that experience were revealed, but it is known to the researcher that R6 lived and worked in Japan for about ten years whereas R20 studied in the United States and worked as a graduate assistant at a university there for three years. The personal data collected by the first three questions in this part of the questionnaire (I/1-3) are presented in Figure 6.1 below. The Results of The Study 237

242 Figure 6.1: Personal details of the respondents (I/1-3) As a group, the respondents had sound professional education: they were all holders of an M.A. (magister) degree in English Studies (86.4%) or Applied Linguistics (13.6%) from a Polish university, and one (R20) additionally had an American Master s degree in an area related to linguistics, namely speech communication. Among them were two doctors of humanities (R16 and R21), one of whom (R16) had written her dissertation on Legal English, and five current doctoral candidates researching questions pertaining to ELP (R2, R3, R4, R19, R20). Thus, 31% of the informants had completed or were pursuing a doctoral degree in applied linguistics. In addition, most respondents (86.4%) had done some additional teacher training in the form of various workshops, seminars, conferences, and teacher courses offered by educational institutions at home and abroad. On the other hand, only 22.7% had completed extra pedagogical training, though several indicated that their teacher training courses had contained a pedagogical component, for instance on NLP. The results for questions 4-6, evidencing the respondents excellent professional qualifications, are shown in a series of graphs given in Figure 6.2. The data leave no doubt that all the teachers surveyed had suitable declarative and procedural knowledge for teaching English as a foreign language for general purposes and at least six (R16, R2, R3, R4, R19, and R20) had excellent formal background knowledge for the teaching of English for legal purposes. However, a doctoral dissertation on issues of Legal English is obviously not the only qualification needed for ELP teaching, and others were also considered in the survey, as will be demonstrated later. The Results of The Study 238

243 Figure 6.2: Professional education of the respondents (I/4-6) As disclosed by the subsequent four questions, the respondents professional experience as teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) and English for Legal Purposes (ELP) was likewise very impressive. According to the data retrieved by question I/5, 63.6% of the respondents were expert EFL teachers with 20 or more but no less than 13 years of professional experience, which put the group average at 22 years of EFL teaching practice. The average for ELP teaching was considerably lower and stood at 12 years, but roughly 59.1% of the respondents had 10 or more years of experience, making them expert ELP practitioners. Clearly, the most experienced teacher of both general and legal English was the oldest respondent, R1, with 40 years experience in each type of teaching, but even the youngest respondent (R11) had taught EFL for 13 years and ELP for 8 years. Moreover, in most cases the informants experience of teaching English for specific purposes was considerably diversified as it involved different contexts of ELP teaching, both The Results of The Study 239

244 educational and professional, and different varieties of ESP taught. Specifically, 45.5% of the respondents taught Legal English also outside the university, at commercial language schools and client organizations like law firms and lawyers associations, working with entirely different learners (i.e. practicing lawyers) and dealing with considerably more interested and demanding course organizers, especially in case of in-house courses commissioned by law firms. The most frequently practiced second variety of ESP among those surveyed was English for Business Purposes (EBP), which was taught by 59.1% respondents, including those for whom it chronologically preceded ELP like R20, who said she had taught EBP for 22 years and ELP for 12. Other varieties mentioned included English for Medical Purposes (EMP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP), English for Social Sciences (ESS), English for Language Students (ELS), and English for tourism, which has been classed as English for Vocational Purposes (EVP) as related to an area of employment rather than any academic discipline. The actual teaching experience data collected by questions I/7-10 are presented in Figure 6.3. Fig 6.3: Respondents ELT and ELP experience, ESP varieties taught, and ELP contexts (I/7-10) The Results of The Study 240

245 As has been said repeatedly in the theoretical part of the dissertation, the knowledge base for special purpose teaching has to include some knowledge of the special purpose (SP) discipline, i.e. the discipline to which a given variety of ESP is related. In case of ELP teachers, this discipline is law in general and Anglo-Saxon law in particular, which can also be regarded as an element of the target language culture, contextualizing the use of English by the target group. The extent to which SP subject knowledge constitutes the necessary nonlinguistic knowledge base for ELP teaching is subject to debate, but it is generally agreed that some knowledge of legal concepts and practices is necessary for the effective teaching of English legal discourse, even if the ELP course is not expected to make any contribution to the development of students professional knowledge. However, while it would probably be ideal if all ELP practitioners were lawyer-linguists, those holding a degree in law in addition to one in English or applied linguistics are a rarity at Polish universities, as confirmed by the present study where only 2 respondents (R14 and R16) had formal legal education, i.e. held a Master s (magister) degree in law. Three other teachers (R1, R20, and R21) had completed non-degree law courses in an attempt to improve their declarative knowledge of law. While R21 volunteered no information about the course she had taken, R20 had finished a semesterlong graduate course of American Legal System, and R1 had completed a highly demanding 3-semester course of British and EU Law, offered by the Law Department of the University of Warsaw as extra qualification course addressed to law students of the two final years and law graduates. Apart from formal schooling, the basic knowledge of law and especially of the legal culture can also be acquired by socialization and/or acculturation resulting from long-term exposure to the targeted professional culture resulting from repeated contact with members of the target group (TG), i.e. Polish lawyers working in an international environment. In case of ELP practitioners, this type of practical and cognitive experience (dubbed peripheral membership in the Comprehensive Model) is usually associated with the provision of regular linguistic services to TG members, such as teaching in-house courses of Legal English, and translating professional documents or academic articles about legal issues. Another professional opportunity for linguists to obtain some insights into the international legal culture (though not necessarily much factual knowledge of law) is by doing teacher research, especially performing a target situation analysis of their students needs by examining the use of English by law professionals, as well as by gathering relevant authentic materials for a course book or an internet course of Legal English. According to the data obtained on questions I/10 and I/11 The Results of The Study 241

246 (see Figures 6.3 and 6.4, respectively), most respondents had some contact with the target group and thus a chance to gain some first hand-insights into their culture, if not to undergo partial acculturation as its peripheral members. Specifically, 50% of respondents did legal translation, 36.4% taught at law firms, another 36.4% had conducted research into the use of English in legal contexts for a doctoral dissertation or a project, and 22.7% had collaborated with lawyers when writing a course book of Legal English. Of course, some informants conducted several or even all of these non-teaching activities, maximizing their chance of becoming thoroughly acculturated into the targeted professional discourse community. At the same time, 27.3% of the informants had only teaching experience with Legal English since they have not marked options pertaining to other activities. This means that they were target group outsiders, whose level of acculturation could at times be too low to help their students authenticate legal texts generated by native and non-native users of Legal English. The actual figures pertaining to non-linguistic subject matter knowledge and exposure to the professional legal culture are given in Figure 6.4 below. Figure 6.4: Respondents full and peripheral membership in the target group (I/11-12) In general, the data gathered by of Part I of the survey questionnaire support the conclusion that the ELP teachers surveyed had the proper professional qualifications and experience required for the job. Not only did they hold advanced professional degrees but they apparently believed in lifelong learning, as attested by their participation in various teacher training The Results of The Study 242

247 courses, pursuance of doctoral studies, and involvement in research projects into Legal English. Their experience of ELT was both long and broad, covering the teaching of general as well as special purpose English of more than the legal variety. All this is indicative of a well developed knowledge base for teaching, or in other words, extensive acquired Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), especially with regard to the language component and to a lesser degree the pedagogical component, where some knowledge of recent psychological theories may be scant due to the lack of brush-up schooling in this area. The subject component of the informants PCK, i.e. knowledge of law as the special purpose discipline, seems to be the least developed of the subordinate types of knowledge collectively forming the professional competence for ELP teaching, but whether this fact has any significant bearing on the effectiveness of the respondents teaching would depend on the pedagogical choices they make regarding course goals, objectives, content, and methodology, as well as the underlying conceptions of ELP teaching motivating these choices. These were researched in the subsequent part of the survey, with relevant questioned scattered rather than clustered to prevent self checks for consistency, and consequently, to disclose any inconsistencies in teacher thinking that may hinder the quality of the ELP instruction offered. 2. Findings of Part II: Conceptions of teacher roles and teacher tasks The second part of the questionnaire began with a question into the respondents professional self-perception. The question was not left open-ended but offered four options to choose from: as an EFL teacher, an ELP practitioner, a CLIL instructor of English and law, and all of the above options. The results (presented in Figure 6.5 below) revealed that most respondents could not decide what professional hat they were wearing, or perhaps wore more than one depending on the teaching context and situation. Only 36.4% of respondents saw themselves as a pure type, where 22.7% said they were teachers of English, 13.6% considered themselves teachers of Legal English, and only R12 (4.5%) described herself as a CLIL instructor. The remaining 63.6% respondents perceived themselves as wearing two or even three professional hats, where 27.3% described themselves as teachers of English and Legal English, 4.5% (R20) as an English teacher and a CLIL instructor of English integrated with Anglo-Saxon law, 4.5% (R21) as a Legal English teacher and a CLIL instructor, and 22.7% saw their work as involving all three kinds of instruction. Of these multi-hat conceptions, the ones involving English and Legal English or English and CLIL can be effectively explained by invoking the profession-job distinction, where the teaching of English as a foreign The Results of The Study 243

248 language is seen as one s trained profession and the teaching of English for legal purposes has the status of a current job. The self-concepts involving the combinations of Legal English teacher and CLIL instructor or of all three teacher types lend themselves to several plausible interpretations. Obviously, they may be regarded as indicating a theoretical assumption that CLIL is a special type of ESP (and specifically its ELP variety), which in turn is merely a variety of ELT. However, such a self-concept may also be interpreted as a sign of extreme learner-centeredness on the part of the teacher, who is willing to adjust to the learners to the point of donning a hat that best suits their specific needs. That teacher would recognize that while a class of law students may be interested in learning about English and American law alongside English and so favor a CLIL instructor, a class made up of law professors is likely to need a brush-up course of general English for socializing or academic English for article writing delivered by a General English teacher, and a class of young recruits at a global law firm certainly needs a highly specialized ELP course of legal drafting delivered by a competent teacher of legal English. The actual interpretation seems to hinge on the teacher s attitude to needs analysis as a course planning tool, and to course planning as such. These attitudes were probed in questions II/3-5, but offered no conclusive answer as to whether the multiple professional hats worn by some respondents were a consequence of their flexibility, because they differed considerably in terms of frequency of needs assessment, the types of needs researched, and the regular performance of course design. The most radically divergent data were collected from R9 and R16, of whom the former only sometimes performed a needs analysis of selected present needs of her students and equally rarely designed her ELP course alone (preferring to do it jointly with other teachers), whereas the latter usually performed very extended present and target situation analyses and always designed her own courses, but both described themselves as EFL, ELP and CLIL practitioners. The Results of The Study 244

249 Figure 6.5: Respondents professional self-concepts (II/1) Even considered in isolation, the two needs-analysis questions, II/2-II/3, revealed very interesting data regarding the respondents performance of this essential task of the ESP teacher, as presented in Figure 6.6 below. Apparently, despite its relevance for course design, student needs analysis was not nearly a routine practice among the polled university ELP teachers. While most of the respondents did conduct some form of needs analysis, 54.5%, did so regularly, i.e. selected the options always or usually on question II/7. Of the remaining 45.5%, 27.3% said they researched learners needs only sometimes, for instance before starting an entirely new course or revising the syllabus of an old one, and 18.2% admitted they rarely performed any needs assessment, presumably relying on personal intuition or borrowed expertise instead. As concerns the types of needs analyzed, all those surveyed assessed the present needs of their students, including 27.3% who conducted only a present situation analysis and no target situation analysis whatsoever. Among the most frequently assessed current student needs were: present linguistic needs (students lacks), present academic needs, and present professional needs, analyzed by, respectively, 86.4%, 72.7%, and 59.1% of the respondents. Other current needs were less frequently researched: student needs according to educational authorities were analyzed only by 36.4% of the respondents, and present needs unrelated to study or work (students wants) by 31.8%. In turn, of the three types of target needs offered as answer options, representing three ways of finding information about the target situation: from the students themselves, from members of the target group (i.e. working lawyers), and from students prospective employers, by far the most frequently analyzed was the first type, assessed by 59.1% of the respondents. By contrast, The Results of The Study 245

250 target needs according to working lawyers and their employers (e.g. senior partners in law firms) were analyzed by 36.4% and 27.3% of the respondents, respectively, which is hardly surprising considering that such analyses cannot be done in the classroom and require much time and effort on the part of the teacher, not to mention willingness to collaborate on the part of legal professionals asked to provide information. Figure 6.6: Respondents needs analysis practices (II/2-3) Similarly interesting information, presented in Figure 6.7 below, was uncovered by the next four questions, II/4-QII/7, pertaining to course and syllabus design. Less than half of the respondents (45.5%) regularly designed their ELP courses alone, while a majority of those who did it only occasionally (i.e. sometimes or rarely) designed courses together with other teachers of Legal English at their institution (40.9%), whereas a minority of 22.7% had them designed by either a supervisor or the course organizer. The syllabus design question, II/6, proved similarly divisive as one half of the respondents always wrote their own course syllabus while the other half did it only occasionally (36.4%) or never at all (13.6%), usually using a borrowed syllabus (i.e. taken from a course book) or a jointly-designed syllabus instead (respectively 31.8% and 27.3% of the respondents). In two cases the informants had to teach an imposed syllabus (designed by a supervisor or a hired expert), but this situation could have referred to a commercial context, where both R2 and R14 also worked and where imposing a standardized syllabus is a routine practice aimed at The Results of The Study 246

251 securing the course organizers needs in the selection of the course content, teaching objectives, and learning outcomes. Having to teach an imposed syllabus would be virtually unfathomable in a tertiary educational context, except perhaps for novice teachers and in situations where a course is taught jointly by a professor, acting as the course director, and his/her teaching assistants, but the latter rarely applies to language teaching. In fact, the data gathered from the respondents, showing that a half of them regularly designed their courses in terms of both course parameters and course syllabus, indicated that if external or supervising agents intervened at all, it was merely to provide a general course framework in terms of the number and arrangement of contact hours, while the teachers retained the authority to determine the course type and proficiency level. The summative results of the four course and syllabus designed questions are presented below. Figure 6.7: Respondents course and syllabus design practices (II/4-7) The Results of The Study 247

252 The results of the study disclosed that also the decisions concerning development of teaching materials were left entirely to the ELP practitioners, who could write or develop them to their standards, or simply rely on the course book selected. The survey disclosed that the respondents tended to develop additional input (i.e. used in addition to the course book selected) by compiling authentic materials from different sources (e.g. other Legal English course books, law textbooks, and primarily, the Internet) and adapting them to match the learners interlanguage level rather than write the activities from scratch. Only 18.2% of the respondents said they usually wrote their own teaching materials and only one (R16) claimed to always write them. The remaining 77.3% of the respondents only sometimes or rarely wrote additional materials, which was not unexpected considering that none of them was a native speaker of English and only three informants considered themselves speakers of English as a second language, i.e. semi-native. Interestingly, the willingness to write own materials for students was not consistently higher for the respondents who considered themselves ESL speakers (R6, R15 and R20), with only R6 claiming to regularly write materials from scratch. On the other hand, the two lawyer-linguists in the sample, R14 and R16, tended to write their own materials on a regular basis (i.e. usually and always, respectively). By contrast, as disclosed by question II/9, developing materials by compilation and adaptation of authentic texts was significantly more popular among the respondents than writing them, with two thirds doing it on a regular basis, and only two (R17 and R16) hardly involving themselves in it at all. The subsequent two questions, II/10-11, pertained to the respondents practices in the related area of activities design. They revealed that 59.1% of those polled designed classroom activities on a regular basis, where 50% indicated they usually developed them, and 9.1% said they always did it. Of the remaining 40.9%, 36.4% said they sometimes designed their own activities, and R8 stated she rarely did it, probably not feeling competent enough. True to the imperative of communicativeness, most of the developed activities were tasks, i.e. meaningful activities with a real communicative purpose. As many as 54.5% of the respondents set the percentage of tasks in the total of designed activities at about 41-60% while 31.8% claimed that the percentage was even higher, with R1 and R12 setting it at %. Only two respondents, R4 and R8, estimated the amount of tasks at less than 40% of all self-designed activities, and R14 said it depended on the group, by which she was probably referring to the relative importance of communicative versus cognitive practice activities for the students needs. The actual data disclosed by the materials and activities questions are given below. The Results of The Study 248

253 Figure 6.8: Respondents materials and activities design practices (II/8-9) The only question pertaining to assessment was II/12, intended to uncover the respondents assessment practices in terms of test development. As was expected, a decisive majority of 90.9% of the informants always or usually wrote their assessment tests (respectively, 72.7% and 18.2%), while the remaining 9.1% said they did it only sometimes, probably indicating that they preferred compiling ready-made test tasks from different sources, like ILEC or TOLES exam papers, to the more time consuming process of finding appropriate authentic texts, adapting them and writing assessment tasks. Unfortunately, there were no other questions in Part II of the survey capable of shedding more light on the respondents assessment practices regarding the type of test or the tasks preferred, although some relevant information was obtained in Part III, where the informants were asked to provide examples of graded assignments. Still, the issue of assessment testing in tertiary ELP teaching clearly merits an additional study, if for no other reason than to see whether university ELP teachers The Results of The Study 249

254 follow the test models chosen by the providers of the two Legal English certificate exams, namely the British Council for ILEC and Global Ltd for TOLES. The results of the study in the area of assessment practices are presented in Figure 6.9 below. Figure 6.9: Respondents assessment practices (II/12) Questions II/13-15, in turn, sought to gauge the respondents attitude to course evaluation in terms of the frequency of performance, the time and type of the evaluation (one-off or ongoing), and the agent behind the administration of the course assessment instrument. The information gathered disclosed that while the imperative to conduct course evaluation was generally recognized by the respondents, its importance for course design and quality improvement may not have been so widely acknowledged. Specifically, 77.3% of the ELP teachers participating in the study conducted course evaluation on a regular basis (where 36.4% marked the option always and 40.9% chose usually ), but 18.2% did it only sometimes and 4.5% hardly did it at all. Also, only 22.7% of the respondents stated they conducted some kind of an on-going course evaluation, both during the course and at its end, whereas for the remaining 77.3% of the informants course evaluation was a one-off activity, done as much for the purpose of teacher evaluation as for making the ELP course more needsrelevant. This conclusion was further supported by the data yielded by question II/14, which revealed that 45.5% conducted course evaluation at the exclusive initiative of the course organizer (i.e. the university or its unit employing the teacher). Still, the percentage of the respondents who saw the need to conduct course evaluation for the purpose of re-designing the course was higher by 9.1% (i.e. stood at 54.5%), although 18.2% admitted that the decision to do a course evaluation was a joint initiative of the teacher and her/his unit or institution, as shown in Figure 6.10 which presents the complete course analysis findings. The Results of The Study 250

255 Figure 6.10: Respondents course evaluation practices (II/13-15) As question II/15 was the last one pertaining to the respondents performance of the standard ESP teacher tasks, a general comment is in place. Looking at the finding presented in Figures , it cannot go unnoticed that the standard of performance of the teacher tasks considered fundamental for ESP teaching, namely analyzing learner needs, designing a course and developing its syllabus and materials with view to these needs, and evaluating the course to improve its needs relevance, was not always the highest. While it is perhaps understandable that few respondents would go out of the classroom to perform a full-fledged target situation analysis as a basis for course planning, the percentages of those who failed to assess student needs regularly, those who opted for a borrowed syllabus (usually prepared for a highimmersion ESL context and not a low-immersion EFL one), only occasionally supplementing it with self-developed materials tailored to their students, and those who felt no imperative to conduct their own course evaluation, merely obeying a duty to do so imposed by the institution running the course, have to be judged as surprisingly high. It is possible that the teachers who demonstrated lower standards in performance of the key ESP teacher functions did not feel they had to put too much effort into making their courses relevant to the needs of law students, who often lack the knowledge and experience to even verbalize their learning purposes. It is also possible that working in isolation, without much, if any, collaboration from the local law teachers, these ELP practitioners did not consider themselves competent enough in the areas of law, professional legal culture, and English legal The Results of The Study 251

256 discourse to try and improve on the authors of Legal English course books, whose expertise in the subject matter as native speakers of English and lawyer-linguists was regarded as supreme. Both of these explanations find some support in the findings of the subsequent parts of the study, which attest to a rather limited professional experience of the ELP students, who take Legal English relatively early in their studies, and to a feeling of certain cognitive deficiency on the part of the teachers, who often wish they had a better knowledge of law and the legal profession. Yet, regardless of the reason, the observed shortage of due diligence in the performance of needs analysis, course and syllabus design, materials and activities development, and course evaluation may lead to the provision of ELP courses that will be poorly tailored to student needs and so less useful and relevant than expected. The final question in Part II (II/16) asked the respondents to rate the relevance of various recognized conceptualizations of the language teacher role to their professional self-concept. The five conceptualizations selected included the source of linguistic knowledge, the learning facilitator, a more competent TL user, a more experienced TG member, and the source of legal knowledge about Anglo-Saxon law. As the survey disclosed, the most widely recognized teacher role was that of the learning facilitator, which was considered very relevant by 77.3% of the respondents and quite relevant by 18.2%. The second most relevant role was that of a more competent user of the target language, which was marked as very relevant and quite relevant by 54.5% and 31.8% of the respondents, respectively. In the third place of the ranking was the role of the source of linguistic knowledge, regarded as very relevant by 40.9% of the respondents and as quite relevant by 31.8%. The remaining roles received mixed ratings, with some respondents considering them relevant and others, conversely, hardly relevant or even irrelevant. Specifically, the role of a more experienced member of the target group was rated hardly relevant and irrelevant by 45.5% of the respondents, and moderately relevant, quite relevant, and very relevant by 54.5%, whereas the role of the source of knowledge about Anglo-Saxon law received 54.5% irrelevant and hardly relevant ratings, and 45.5% very relevant, quite relevant and moderately relevant ones. In full detail, the data regarding the teacher-role preferences of the respondents are shown below. The Results of The Study 252

257 Figure 6.11: Respondents teacher role preferences (II/16 a-e) As the above data suggest, most respondents hold a fairly holistic conception of the teacher role in ELP, in which some aspects are viewed as important and some are downplayed but still present. In fact, three of them (R18, R21, R22) marked all five roles as very or quite relevant, which may be interpreted as indicating a view of their job as a multi-faceted and highly demanding activity. Other respondents found at least one role which could be deemed irrelevant or hardly relevant and so - scraped off as a cognitive demand of the job. The two roles that were most frequently ignored as unimportant were: the source of legal knowledge (called teacher of Anglo-Saxon law in the questionnaire) and the cultural mentor, i.e. a more experienced member of the target group, where the former received 31.8% of irrelevant rating, and the latter 13.6%. The same two roles received most hardly relevant ratings, respectively 22.7% and 31.8%, making them easily the least popular options, which was perhaps understandable considering that with two exceptions the respondents were not lawyers and their membership in the target group, if any, was only peripheral. Interestingly, two respondents, R1 and R11, gave the hardly relevant rating to the source-oflinguistic-knowledge role, which was rated very, quite or moderately relevant by all the other informants. The motives behind these ratings can only be guessed as the respondents were not asked to justify their choices. A practical explanation of the lower ratings given by R1 and R11 to this teacher role could be that students in their ELP classes were fairly advanced learners of English and as such did not require the provision of explicit knowledge about language (KAL), only exposure to relevant authentic materials illustrating the targeted use and an opportunity to practice that use in a safe, classroom environment. On the other hand, these ratings could have been informed by the two respondents theoretical view of language The Results of The Study 253

258 teaching as being learning-induced in that the target language was constructed by learners themselves through exposure to relevant authentic materials and meaningful, interactive practice enabling the proceduralization of the input presented, with the teacher providing mediation of the learning experience and strategic learning coaching alongside performance feedback. If the latter interpretation is indeed accurate, then the question to ask is why this approach to language teaching was not more popular among the respondents. The only explanation that comes to mind was their interest in cognitive teaching of Anglo-Saxon law alongside the communicative teaching of Legal English, which may be quite appropriate for special language education in the context of tertiary education studies. Likewise interesting are the cases with generally very low ratings, especially those offered by R4 and R12. The former said the teacher role as the source of legal knowledge role was irrelevant, the facilitator and the competent EFL user roles were quite relevant, and the source of linguistic knowledge and the experienced TG member roles were moderately relevant. The latter was even less generous, giving the quite relevant rating to the source of linguistic knowledge and the competent user roles, the moderately relevant rating to the learning facilitator and the hardly relevant rating to the remaining two roles. What is unusual here are two things: that these respondents failed to give the highest rating of very relevant to any teacher role (making one wonder what that role could be) and that they found only two roles that could be deemed quite relevant. At the same time, it should be noted that the answers offered by the two respondents were fairly logical: R4 seemed to see herself as a SLL facilitator and mentor whereas R12 appeared to regard herself as the primary source of declarative and procedural linguistic knowledge. A closer analysis of the respondents answers reveals that while the conception of teacher role presented by R12 was quite original (perhaps because it seemed more appropriate for an EGP teacher), the conceptualization of the ESP teacher s role offered by R4 was echoed by four other respondents, R3, R5, R11, and R20, although with higher ratings, and can be interpreted as a mixed communicativecognitive approach. Another aspect of the data collected by question II/16 that merits attention is the fact that almost a third of the respondents considered their role as the source of legal knowledge (about Anglo-Saxon law) as quite important. It would be reasonable to expect that such high ratings of the non-linguistic teacher role should correlate with the mention of CLIL as part of professional self-definition in Question II/1 or, alternatively, with a high rating given to the cultural mediator role in another sub-point of question II/16. Of the two correlations the latter The Results of The Study 254

259 was slightly stronger as applying to 18.2% of the respondents as opposed to 13.6%, which could be interpreted as indicating a tendency to view the knowledge of Anglo-Saxon law as part of knowledge about the TL culture rather than part of explicit subject knowledge of law. Finally, by cross-analyzing the data collected by questions II/16 and II/1, both pertaining to the general teacher role in which the informants cast themselves, we can distinguish three types of teachers according to their attitude to learner specialism: Generalists, Common Corers, and Specialists. The Generalists see themselves as teachers of English or both English and Legal English, but never as only Legal English teachers or CLIL instructors because they have a low concern for the teaching of legal concepts and professional legal culture and tend to focus on the provision of linguistic knowledge. By contrast, the Specialists generally perceive themselves as CLIL instructors or both Legal English teachers and CLIL instructors and have a high concern for subject content teaching. The Common Corers see themselves as teachers of Legal English but do not feel much need to teach legal concepts and dwell on cultural practices. All three types were represented in the sample population, but surprisingly, the group of Generalists, accounting for 50% of the sample, outnumbered both the Specialists and the Common Corers, who proved to be the smallest group. The respondents representing each type are listed in Figure 6.12 below. Bolded print has been used to indicate the most archetypal representatives of the Generalist and Specialist teacher types. Generalists 50% R1, R2, R6, R7, R8, R10, R14, R15, R17, R18, R22 Common Corers 13.6% R3, R4, R19 Specialists 36.4% R5, R9, R11, R12, R13, R16, R20, R21 Figure 6.12: Teacher types by attitude to learners specialism Similarly, by considering the informants attitudes to the teacher tasks that are characteristic for ESP, namely needs analysis, course and syllabus design, materials and activities development, and course evaluation we can distinguish two other teacher types that may be called Orthodox, Semi-Orthodox, and Unorthodox with respect to their performance of the prescribed specific teacher roles (or micro-roles) of needs analyst, course designer, and course evaluator. The ESP practitioners representing the Orthodox type (which is to be preferred as guaranteeing goal-oriented and needs-relevant instruction) would have high scores on the cline questions numbered II/2, II/4, II/6, II/8, II/9, II/10, II/12, and II/13, as well as both current and future (target) needs options marked on question II/3, and option (a) marked on question II/15. Conversely, Unorthodox ESP practitioners would have low scores on The Results of The Study 255

260 questions II/2, II/4, II/6, II/8, II/9, II/10, II/12, and II/13, as well as only current needs options marked on question II/3, option (b) or (c) marked on question II/15, and option borrowed syllabus on question II/7 The teachers representing the mixed Semi-Orthodox type would exhibit moderate scores on the relevant cline questions and various choices on other questions. The resulting classification of the participants into the three types is shown in Figure The code names of the archetypal representatives of the Orthodox and Unorthodox teacher types have been bolded. Orthodox R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, R16, R20, R21 Semi-Orthodox R5, R7, R11, R14, R15, R17, R18 Unorthodox R8, R9, R10, R12, R13, R19, R22 Figure 6.13: Teacher types by attitude to prescribed ESP practitioners tasks Needless to say, the two classifications can be combined to reveal those participants who are the most and the least likely to view ESP as ontologically and epistemologically different from General English. Thus, the strongest advocates of ESP distinctiveness would be the three Orthodox Specialists identified by the procedure: R16, R20, and R21, while the strongest opposing views would be represented by the three Unorthodox Generalists: R8, R10, and R22. It will be interesting to see if a similar division of participants holds when some classifications of participants according to their actual course decisions are attempted. 3. Findings of Part III of the survey: A description of the university ELP course As revealed by the answers to Question III/1, all respondents taught what might be described as a general course of Legal English offered to law students either as a required degree course or as an elective, and alternatively called Legal English (in 68.2% of cases), English for Law (22.7%), or English for Law Students (9.1%). The choice of the course name was perhaps a significant variable, suggesting, respectively, discourse orientation (linguistic), domain orientation (socio-cultural) and present situation orientation (immediately pragmatic), provided it was selected by the course teacher and not the course organizer. In addition, some informants also taught more specialized courses offered within the commercial activity of their university units (i.e. language teaching centers), such as TOLES or ILEC preparation courses, or in one case a course of legal drafting for doctoral students, but these data were irrelevant for the present purposes. As evidenced by the findings of the study, such general courses of Legal English for law students were usually offered at either the B2+ level, or both The Results of The Study 256

261 B2 and C1 levels, although two respondents stated they taught Legal English to B1 students as well. The length of the course varied, but the most frequent answer was 120 hours taught over two or four semesters. Three respondents (R14, R16 and R17) taught shorter courses, of 75 and 60 hours, designed as either a Legal English supplement to a General English course offered only to law students, or as preparation for one of the international Legal English exams. There were also some longer courses, of 240 or even 360 hours, offered respectively at the University of Warsaw and the Łazarski University. For the most part, the ELP courses taught by the respondents represented the traditional, classroom-based type (in 72.7% of cases), but 33.7% of respondents said they taught blended Legal English courses where some part of teaching was done online, either alongside traditional ones (9.1%) or exclusively (18.2%). In most cases, the ELP courses taught by the respondents carried a simple credit, where students were not required to take a formal exam although often had to take a final test prepared by the course teacher or a group of Legal English teachers working at the same institution. Only one respondent, R15, representing the Łazarski University, said that her students were additionally required to take an external exam, notably TOLES. Interestingly, while this fact suggests that the Law Department at the respondent s institution took interest in the content of the course, she did not confirm it in her answer to question III/6. In fact, only two respondents or 9.1% of the sample acknowledged any interest in their work from the local law department: R9, who remarked that it made the course obligatory for law students, and R14, who said the law department showed interest but did not volunteer any information as to its nature. All the data gathered by questions III/1-3 and III/5-6 are presented in Figure 6.14 below. The Results of The Study 257

262 Figure 6.14: Course title, length, type, and credit (III/1, 2, 3, 5) Moving now to the information about participating students (which in full detail is presented in Figure 6.15 below), in 72.7% of cases the Legal English courses taught by the respondents were offered to the students of the first three years of legal studies. Only three respondents stated they taught students of more advanced years (3rd - 5th), and three more said they taught students of all five years of legal studies. Consequently, when asked to evaluate the students professional experience, 77.3% of the respondents said their students had no or little experience, and only 18.2%, those teaching older years, stated that their students had some professional experience. The obvious link between professional experience and the stage of students academic career was best summed up by R3, who remarked that her students experience depended on the year of studies. Given that most students taught by the respondents were at the B2+ level of language proficiency, i.e. they were independent or even The Results of The Study 258

263 advanced speakers of English, the above learner data suggest that the students declarative and procedural knowledge of the target language was generally greater than their knowledge of law. This conclusion constitutes a significant argument for a broadly defined course of English for General Legal Purposes (EGLP), where participants would have a chance to learn the specialized discourse of their discipline and future profession as well as some facts about Anglo-Saxon law, which may be of academic interest to them as law students. In fact, as the information yielded by the course parameter questions indicates, most respondents recognized this fact and taught their courses accordingly, as will be demonstrated in subsequent sections. Figure 6.15: Information on students attending university ELP courses (III/7-8) As regards the actual instructional choices of the respondents, the inquiry started with question III/4, which asked about the leading course books used, and continued with questions III/9-14, pertaining to the methodology and content of the ELP course taught. The actual findings yielded by these questions are presented in Figures 6.14 and 6.15 below, where the former presents course content data and the later shows the respondents methodological choices. To begin with the leading course book, the study revealed that the respondents chose from a rather limited selection of Legal English books, mostly geared to international Legal English certificate exams, ILEC and TOLES. Among these, a clear winner was TransLegal s International Legal English, intended as ILEC exam preparation for B2+ learners. This book and its intermediate counterpart, Introduction to International Legal English, were selected by 68.2% of the respondents (54.5% and 13.6%, respectively), probably because, like no other Legal English course books on the market, they address all four skills and even suggest The Results of The Study 259

264 activities for translation from and into the learners native language. The second most popular course book, Global s The Lawyer s English Language Coursebook, designed as preparation for the TOLES exam, was used by only 18.2% of the respondents. Compared with the ILEC books, the TOLES book is focused on written language and contains few activities aimed at developing speaking skills. In addition, it is a course book of British Legal English and concerns itself exclusively with UK contexts and institutions, while the ILEC book teaches international Legal English and routinely makes cross cultural comparisons of legal concepts and institutions. The only three Legal English course books not geared to any exam mentioned by the respondents were: American Legal English published by University of Michigan Press (R2), Practical English for Legal Professionals by Oxford University Press (R3), and English for Law in Higher Education Studies by Garnet Publishers (R20). Four respondents, R3, R4, R6, and R16, used their own course books designed specifically for the Polish context, the latter two exclusively. In general, the answers yielded by the course-book question may be viewed as illustrating a dilemma that all ESP teachers working in EFL contexts face: whether to use a course book that was designed for an ESL situation such as studying or practicing law in the UK and work with materials created by native speakers who are also knowledgeable about the subject matter but often ignorant about the specificity of the actual EFL teaching context, or, conversely, to use a course book created specifically for a given EFL context and teaching situation even if it does not quite measure up to the native speakers standard of proficiency. In the present study most respondents opted for the former option, apparently valuing native speakers linguistic and cultural competence over contextual appropriateness, except for the four respondents who authored their own course books and decided to trust their own assessment of student needs and their own subject matter competence. Thus, it came as little surprise that of the four respondents who wrote their own Legal English course books, the only two who used them as the leading source of input had extra subject matter competence: R16 as a lawyer-linguist, and R6 as a semi-native speaker of English. The remaining two respondents, R3 and R4, who co- authored a Legal English course book but had no extra competence in either area, ended up using it as only supplementary material. Two other questions in Part III that pertained to the content parameter of the respondents ELP course, III/11 and III/12, asked them to identify the real content of their classes as well as the variety of Legal English taught. The rationale behind the former question was a desire to gauge the respondents attitude to the non-linguistic (legal) content as part of the subject The Results of The Study 260

265 matter of the university ELP course, and specifically, to determine its importance in relation to the linguistic content, understood either broadly, as the target language in context, or narrowly, as its specialist discourse. The answers provided by the respondents demonstrated that for a 77.3% majority the target language was the sole real content of the course, where 63.6% defined their linguistic content as Legal English, 4.5% as English, and 9.1% as both English and Legal English. Clearly, the respondents who identified their course content exclusively with language did not perceive Anglo-Saxon law as any special knowledge to be provided to students, but merely as context in which the target language was used. However, 22.7% of the respondents opted for a double-content approach to ELP, where English or Legal English was seen as the primary real content but Anglo-Saxon law was recognized as legitimate secondary content. The dual linguistic/non-linguistic content was usually identified as Legal English and Anglo-Saxon law (by R18, R19, R20, and R21), but R1 took a broadangle view, saying that the real content of her course was English and Anglo-Saxon law. The final question in the content series, III/12, pertained to the variety of Legal English taught, where the choices provided were: British, American, and international Legal English. Not surprisingly, given their preference for International Legal English as the leading course book, 72.7% of the respondents indicated international legal English as the variety of the specialist discourse taught in their course. However, a strong minority of 27.3% taught British legal English, which was as much a matter of personal preference as the choice of The Lawyer s English Language Coursebook as the leading course book. Not a single respondent taught American Legal English, even though R2 mentioned using an American course book as an additional source of input, but considering the dominance of British publishers on the Polish language book market, it is hardly an unexpected finding. The complete data obtained in answer to the course content questions are shown in Figure The Results of The Study 261

266 Figure 6.16: Course content in terms of real content and variety of Legal English (III/11-12) Questions III/9-10 asked the respondents to describe their course in terms of the methodology selected and the types of syllabus used. The data collected from the respondents (presented in Figure 6.17 below) showed significant variation in their choices, but generally supported the already identified tendencies. To begin with methodology, the findings attest to the twilight of a single-method approach. Of those polled, 54.5% described their teaching method as eclectic, which usually means a combination of the communicative and cognitive methods. In addition, 13.6% of the respondents used an unnamed mixed method, described as a combination of the communicative method and the translation method (R13), the natural method and the cognitive method (R12), or the communicative method with CBI (R18), all of which may well be classed as eclectic. Another 13.6% said they used various methods, probably indicating a broad multi-method approach to teaching. One respondent, R11, answered that she did not use any method at all, by which she probably meant that she did not rely on any particular method and used a combination of various methods instead. The only three pure methods used by the respondents were CBI (R20 and R21), CLIL (R12), and the communicative method (R15), showing their preferences for cognitive teaching and communicative teaching, respectively. The preferences for cognitive or communicative teaching were likewise reflected in the respondents syllabus choices. The most popular type of syllabus among the respondents was the thematic syllabus, which was used by 59.1% of the respondents, including 40.9% who used it exclusively. As could be predicted, the use of this syllabus was accompanied either by the use of a cognitively-oriented method, like CBI or CLIL, or by an eclectic method The Results of The Study 262

267 containing a cognitive component. Only two respondents (R1 and R8) used the eclectic method with the functional syllabus, demonstrating a certain preference for communicative teaching. The second most popular syllabus type was the genre-based syllabus, used by 27.3% of the respondents, followed by the national syllabus, which was indicated by 22.7% of those surveyed. Much less popular were two purely communicative syllabus types, the functional syllabus and the situational syllabus, which were used by 13.6% and 8.1% of the informants respectively. Interestingly, the skills-based syllabus turned out to be surprisingly unpopular with the informants, taking the last place in the ranking, on the par with the structural syllabus which is generally considered poorly suited for ESP teaching. These types of syllabus were used by 9.1% of the respondents each. The data collected revealed that over two thirds of the respondents had a single preferred syllabus type, but almost a third used 2-4 different types interchangeably. While using two different kinds of syllabus can be attributed to teaching two different courses or the teachers willingness to adjust to student needs and learning style preferences, it is not easy to explain a situation when an ELP teacher (like R11, R15) alternates between four different syllabus types, including the structural syllabus which has no place in pragmatically-oriented ESP. The Results of The Study 263

268 Figure 6.17: Teaching method, syllabus type, and ranking of syllabus types (III/9-10) The next group of questions sought to elicit information about the goals and objectives of the respondents ELP courses. The first of these questions, QIII/13 asked them to identify the course goal in terms of the targeted student competence chosen from a list of options. True to the accepted definition of ESP, which identifies its goal with learner communicative proficiency, 90.9% of the respondents marked communicative competence as the sole or main goal of their course. Specifically, for 50% of them developing communicative competence in the target language was the only general objective whereas 40.9% mentioned it in combination with other competences, namely: subject competence (18.2%), linguistic competence (9.1%), linguistic and pragmatic competences (4.5%), subject and cultural competences (4.5%), and linguistic, cultural, and subject competences (4.5%). Two respondents, R13 and R15, failed to include communicative competence in their answers, but the choices marked by R13, i.e. linguistic, cultural, and pragmatic competences, collectively form communicative competence. The only truly unusual answer was given by R15, who stated that her single goal was the subject competence of her students as if she were a teacher of Anglo-Saxon law and not Legal English. This answer was also entirely inconsistent with her previous choices of the communicative method and of Legal English as the real course content. Also, while she did mention using the thematic syllabus, which was a logical choice for the teaching of non-linguistic subject content (i.e. Anglo-Saxon law), she also mentioned using the structural syllabus, which is aimed at developing grammar-based linguistic competence, and the genre-based syllabus, which is focused on communicative and cultural competences. The Results of The Study 264

269 Admittedly, the inconsistencies in the answers provided by R15 may be partly blamed on the structure of the goal question, which listed the subordinate parts of communicative competence as separate options alongside their sum (i.e. overall communicative competence) and subject competence. The rationale behind this structure of the goal question was an attempt to identify not only the instances of CLIL/CBI approaches, which would be characterized by a combination of communicative competence and subject competence, but also to uncover which approach to communication was more popular among ELP teachers: linguistically or culturally informed, or, to use the terms coined by Leech (1983), pragmalinguistic or socio-pragmatic. Thanks to this structure of the goal question it was possible to establish that the communicative proficiency sought by R3, R18 and R22, who marked both communicative and linguistic competences as their course goals as, was more linguistically-oriented or grammar-based than the communicative proficiency aimed at by R11, who demonstrated socio-cultural thinking about communication by marking cultural competence alongside communicative competence. These results for all respondents could be interpreted as indicating a considerable prevalence of the pragmalinguistic view of communication, which sees language use in terms of form-meaning relations rather than in terms of culturally defined patterns or genres, although the numbers are too small to be considered statistically relevant. The relative importance of the five goal competences (measured by the number of markings) is shown in the second graph given in Figure As the graph makes evident, student overall communicative competence was by far the most frequently selected course goal as it was selected by 90.9% of the informants. Subject competence was the second most frequently selected course goal, chosen by 36.4%, while linguistic competence was marked by 22.7% of those surveyed. The least popular course goals were students cultural competence and students strategic competence, selected, respectively, by 13.6% and 4.5% of the respondents. In turn, the first graph in Figure 6.18 shows the actual answers to the goals question offered by the informants, which, in addition to being straightforward goal statements may be seen as indicative of their general view of ELP (or ESP in general) as single- or double-focused. Specifically, the 63.6% majority of the respondents that selected students overall communicative competence as their course goal, either alone or in combination with linguistic and strategic competences, seem to represent a single, language-focus approach to ESP. On the other hand, the 31.8% of the informants who marked either communicative and subject competences or communicative, subject and cultural competences as course goals appear to The Results of The Study 265

270 favor the double-focus approach, which recognizes language as the primary subject matter of ESP but treats subject content as its legitimate secondary subject matter. Finally, as has already been mentioned, one respondent saw ELP as single-focused on the subject content. Figure 6.18: Course goals in terms of targeted learner competence and their ranking (III/13) The question about specific teaching objectives, III/14 revealed even more inconsistencies in the respondents thinking, both with and without cross-referencing to the goal question. For instance, R4 aimed at overall communicative competence but deemed the teaching of functions less important than the teaching of grammar, while R22 targeted pragmalinguistic communicative competence but considered grammar teaching to be hardly important. There were also cases of extremely narrow understanding of communicative competence as referring to functions (speech acts) but not to longer texts and utterances (discourse) or conventional rhetorical patterns (genres). For instance, such a narrow view was demonstrated The Results of The Study 266

271 by R5, who focused on communicative competence and considered the teaching of functions as very important, but at the same time deemed genres teaching hardly important and discourse teaching altogether unimportant, and by R14, who also targeted communicative competence but regarded the teaching of functions as only moderately important and the teaching of disciplinary genres as hardly important, while at the same time described the teaching of legal concepts as quite important. Generally, although some of these inconsistencies in the respondents answers could have been caused by the complexity of the research instrument, their number may indicate the existence of some deficiency of professional awareness on the part of the respondents, either attributable to insufficient formal knowledge of certain newer concepts of applied linguistics (e.g. discourse, genres) or, more likely, to an insufficient amount of reflection on specificpurpose teaching in general and the teaching project at hand. While having sound theoretical assumptions is important for one s teaching practice, it is probably the readiness to reflect upon them in relation to a current teaching situation - no matter how routine - that makes the difference between truly effective and needs-relevant ESP teaching and one that promises pragmatic effects but falls short of delivering them. Although the judgment may seem harsh, the results of the study point out to a certain tendency among the respondents to rely on implicit, experiential knowledge of the tertiary teaching context and law students as learners instead of adopting a more reflective and empirical approach to each ELP course taught, which would surely produce more consistent answers. However, the objectives question was not only intended to identify inconsistencies and underlying cognitive deficiencies. Also of interest to the researcher was the very ranking of the specific objectives provided as answer choices, namely the teaching of grammar, discourse, vocabulary, functions, legal concepts, culture, skills and legal genres, regarded as both indicative of what was happening in the university ELP classroom and symptomatic of the respondents thinking about the teaching of English for specific (legal) purposes. The three specific objectives that were universally considered important (i.e. received no rating lower than moderately important were: (1) vocabulary teaching, with the average rating of 4.86; (2) skills teaching, with the average rating of 4.68, and (3) functions teaching, with the average rating of All the other objectives, i.e. the teaching of grammar, discourse, legal concepts, culture, and genres, received mixed ratings. By far the most popular of these was genres teaching (3.81), followed by legal concept teaching (3.50), and discourse teaching The Results of The Study 267

272 (3.45). The teaching of grammar took the last place in the ranking, having received the average rating of The ranking of the specific objectives is given in Figure Figure 6.19: Ranking of specific course objectives (III/14) The above findings give grounds for a conclusion that for a majority of the respondents university ELP teaching is a fairly utilitarian endeavor, whose objectives include the teaching of disciplinary vocabulary, functions used in the targeted context, skills needed to handle typical professional tasks, and to a lesser extent typical texts exchanged within these tasks. More epistemic aspects of specific language teaching, i.e. the teaching of grammar, discourse, target community culture, and legal concepts, are clearly a matter of considerable controversy among the polled practitioners. However, the epistemic or educational objectives are not altogether ignored and at least one of them the teaching of legal concepts - resonates with a third of the polled teachers, who seem to believe that the tertiary knowledge context demands of them to make a contribution to the development of linguistic knowledge and subject knowledge of their students. Incidentally, in their attempts to contribute to students legal education by creating an opportunity for them to learn about the Anglo-Saxon law these ELP teachers may actually be addressing their students demand for maximized learning experience, which was disclosed as an important motivation in signing up for a Legal English course by a study of law students motivation and expectations conducted by the author two years ago (Górska-Poręcka, 2010). The Results of The Study 268

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