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English for Specific Purposes Business Communication [Communication]

English for Specific Purposes Business Communication

Kevin Knight, Kanda University of International Studies

Knight, K. (2010). English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Modules in the Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) for Success in the Global Workplace. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 1(2), 119-128.

Introduction – Preparing Students for the Global Workforce

University students must prepare themselves to be successful members of the global workforce, and this paper introduces one way for a self-access center to support such preparation by students outside of the formal classroom environment. In this paper, it is proposed that the Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) provide ESP (English for specific purposes) modules intended to prepare students for their future careers. Within these self-study modules, the following should be recognized and incorporated:

  1. The principles of ESP
  2. Elements of outcome-based education
  3. The relationship between leadership, learning, and teaching

In describing such ESP modules, this paper also proposes the development of self-access materials that could be made available to facilitate the independent study.

SALC Modules

In addition to the other educational opportunities available on campus for career preparation, KUIS students have the option to use the SALC at the time and in the way that they desire. In addition, students can elect to take a self-study module. The aim of these modules is to promote learner autonomy and enhance the learning experiences of KUIS students. Students taking modules are assigned to a learning advisor who helps them to develop skills such as goal setting and encourages them to reflect on the learning process (Noguchi & McCarthy, 2010).

Need for English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

Undergraduate students who are preparing for careers in the global economy by taking courses in English that focus on business communication and business content are in need of English for specific purposes (ESP). Gatehouse (2001) cites Dudley-Evans (1997) in stating that “ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learner.” Although ESP has often been divided into English for academic purposes (EAP) and English for occupational purposes (EOP), Knight, Lomperis, van Naerssen & Westerfield (2010, p.7) further clarify ESP when they divide language learners who need ESP into two categories:

1. Language learners who are in the process of developing expertise in their fields need English communication skills as tools in their training.

2. Language learners who are already experts in their fields need English communication skills as tools in their work.

Undergraduate students often fall into the first category. They are in the process of developing expertise that will enable them to succeed in their future internships and future jobs. They need to master business communication skills and business content in English. ESP modules in the SALC can assist them in this regard.

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Q&A

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What is the importance of English for specific purposes?

ESP is the English needed for specific discourse community based on the analysis of their needs.


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