Greetings and Salutations TESOLers,
On behalf of the English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESP-IS), I would like to provide you a short introduction to ESP and our Interest section as part of TESOL's Celebrate our communities event. The following information is mostly taken from the ESP-IS Community Home at TESOL.Org where you can find much more information.
WHO ARE WE? ESP-IS Steering Committee
Current Chair: Pamela Dzunu
Chair-Elect: Jennifer Roberts
Past Chair: Tarana Patel
Secretary: Alan Orr
Community Manager: Marvin D. Hoffland
Newsletter Editor: Kevin Knight
English for Academic Purposes: Hamidreza Moeiniasl
English for Occupational Purposes: Anne Lomperis and Shelly Staples
JUST WHAT EXACTLY IS ESP?
There are many different definitions for ESP and there is much debate what actually ESP is. I personally like Hutchinson and Walters (1986) statement "Tell me what you need English for and I will tell you the English you need", which is often quoted as a guiding principle for ESP. For a very comprehensive and in-depth look at ESP, we would recommend that you download the presentation: English for Specific Purposes - An Overview for Practitioners and Clients (Academic & Corporate) by Kevin Knight, Anne Lomperis, Margaret van Naerssen, M., Kay Westerfield (2010) which can be found here ( English for Specific Purposes - An Overview for Practitioners and Clients (Academic & Corporate) . If you are unable to download the document via the TESOL ESP Library, just let me know and I can email you the PDF.
WHAT DOES THE ESP-IS OFFER?
In addition to useful resources such as the overview listed above that are posted in the TESOL.org ESP-IS Community Home Library, we have a Facebook ESP-IS page where members and non-members can post upcoming ESP events and publications and we are currently working on a Linked-In page as well. The ESP-IS publishes the ESP Newsletter biannually and you are welcome to submit proposals. For more information and past issues, please go here: https://www.tesol.org/read-and-publish/newsletters-other-publications/interest-section-newsletters/esp-news. Moreover, Kevin Knight, our Newsletter Editor published a series of ESP Project Leadership Profiles (the current count is 55) for TESOL and these profiles can also be found in the ESP-IS Community Library (same link as above). Moreover, the ESP-IS discussion forum is a useful tool to network with ESP professionals and post questions (e.g., English for Veterinarians?) and upcoming ESP events (e.g., Machine Learning for Language Learning).
WAYS TESOL MEMBERS CAN GET INVOLVED IN THE ESP-IS?
In conclusion, let me list just a few ways that you can become involved in the English for Specific Purposes Interest Section.
If possible, attend the upcoming TESOL convention and come to the ESP-IS Open Meeting which will hopefully be a hybrid mix of on-site and on-line. I attended my first ESP-IS Open Meeting way back in 2004 and that started my involvement with TESOL ESP-IS which I have found to beneficial both professionally in terms of career development as well as privately in being able to meet some really nice colleagues.
Share your ESP ideas and ESP best practices by submitting articles to the ESP-IS Newsletter.
Submit proposals for ESP topics at TESOL
Sign up to receive the ESP-IS discussion forum postings and check out and follow the ESP-IS Facebook Page and POST your questions/ideas/events, etc.
Again, on behalf of the ESP-IS Steering Committee, I hope that I have been able to provide everyone with a brief overview of the English for Specific Purposes Interest Section. I wish you all a very nice summer and hopefully, we will be able to meet in person next year in Pittsburgh.
Marvin D. Hoffland, MSc.Senior Lecturer of English/Moodle Administration and TrainingFachhochschule Kärnten/Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Klagenfurt, Austria
[Belcher, Diane. 2006. "English for Specific Purposes: Teaching to Perceived Needs and Imagined Futures in Worlds of Work, Study, and Everyday Life." TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 1, pps. 133-156.] which was a tip to me from Karen Schwelle.
"[The ESP instructor is a] combined needs assessor, specialized syllabus designer, authentic materials developer, and content-knowledgeable instructor, capable of coping with a revolving door of content areas relevant to learners' communities" (p. 139). Here in Austria this person would most likely be called a 'Wunderwuzzi' which roughly translates to a person with exceptional abilities. :-)