Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Essay
Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
In order to reach the four objectives of ESP teaching, a needs analysis is essential. In this regard, after one academic year of learning English, normally, students are able to make an objective opinion about the teacher, the subject taught, and their needs in terms of language. This can also help the teacher improve him/her course through students’ feedback. For this case study, the subjective needs analysis, which concentrates on the learners’ wants, reasons for attending the course, and expectations, was chosen.
A questionnaire was designed to a group of 179 second-year students from the Faculty of Engineering and from the Faculty of Sciences, i.e. studying either technical or Business English. The questionnaire included four questions. The first dealt with non-English course-related aspects. the second question, which aimed at assessing students’ level of satisfaction with the English course and the teacher, had positive responses (88%), while 12% were dissatisfied stating that their dissatisfaction was due to the choice of activities, and their peers’ attitude in the classroom. However, none of the students provided feedback about the teacher’s performance, behavior, knowledge or skill.
The third question dealt with the aspects and activities the students appreciated during the English course. « Most aspects referred exclusively to the course. », and some included the teacher’s behavior or attitude that made them enjoy the course. Humor was proven helpful in reaching a positive atmosphere in the classroom.
Regarding activities, students showed appreciation for certain types of activities and showed their dislike for others. Grammar, public speaking, reading and writing activities received the lowest scores. However, the highest score went to teamwork (35 out of 179). Students preferred working in groups because in these activities they are allowed to use their smart devices in order to help them with vocabulary or for extra information. The second activity that had a high score was games, in which competition was required and which involved team play. The reasons why this kind of activities was most liked is that they gave participants a feeling of safety from public judgment. Some students showed their preference to vocabulary related activities.
Regarding activities that are supposed to improve their listening skills, 23 students expressed their preference to them. This can be a good sign about their awareness of the necessity of improving this skill. Projects were only liked by 10 respondents despite that they are considered successful according to teachers. However, for students, they are time to consume.
The final question was to suggest activities students consider useful. Grammar activities were requested by people who preferred them. Project activities were suggested by 12% participants (twice the number of students who mentioned these activities as their preferred ones). 35 students (almost a quarter of the respondents) suggested more teamwork activities. It is no surprise that games were suggested by a similar number of participants (33). Vocabulary activities were also requested.
In terms of speaking activities and presentations, 15 participants suggested more of them. This can be a proof that students are conscious of the need to practice their speaking skills.
Regarding the listening skills, 13% requested that this type of activity be used more during the English course.I t is important to mention that among the whole group of respondents, 14 had no recommendations or suggestions.