Four Pillars of ESP & Roles of Stakeholders - Coggle Diagram
Four Pillars of ESP & Roles of Stakeholders
Needs Analysis (starting point of ESP)
Ways to view needs
(to guide instructors in designing and teaching a course)
What is it? - Needs correspond to the language, genres, and skills that are considered
necessary and essential
for success in the target setting.
Leads to a ranking of learning objectives. Such a ranking is especially useful in short-term, intensive ESP courses because instructors can prfioritize objectives.
Stakeholders to consult: the ones with direct knowledge and experience of the target setting (e.g. experienced ESP instructors, subject specialists, heads of department, future employer, etc).
What is it? - Needs correspond to the
lacks, discrepancies, or gaps
between what learners can do and what they will need to do in the target setting.
Stakeholders to consult: the ones with direct knowledge and experience of target learners (e.g. experienced ESP instructors (EAP), senior staff and line managers (EOP)).
Leads to using placements tests to determine the current levels of learners and assign them to different ability groupings.
What is it? - Needs correspond to what the different stakeholders
want, desire or request
from the ESP course.
Stakeholders to consult: (EAP) learners (most important!), experienced ESP instructors and administrators, members of learners's specialist departments. (EOP) managers, training department teams, heads of human resource.
Very important to consider stakeholders other than learners themselves because each of them has different wants from the ESP course. HOWEVER, it is impossible to design a course that includes all of the wants of different stakeholders.
Solution: try to understand the wants of the different stakeholders and negotiate with them to find the best solution.
What is it? - Needs correspond to elements that Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory and ELT research and practice have shown to be the necessary next step in the learning process.
Brown (2016): Considers this view to be problematic because we still don't have comprehensive understanding of these learning steps.
Leads to the idea of course prerequisites which can guide the development of a linked set of courses that form an ESP program.
Large-scale, detailed NA
Very broad in scope.
Involves many different data collection methods and resources (e.g questionnaires, interviews, observations, testing before, during and after the course, etc).
Likely to be reliable and valid. However, it is not very practical because it is overly complex and time consuming.
Example: A research conducted by Susan Bosher and Kari Smalkoski (2002) titled
From Needs Analysis to Curriculum Development: Designing a Course in Health-Care Communication for Immigrant Students in the USA
In this study, the researchers utilized several different procedures which are primarily interviews, observations and questionnaires to gather information about the students' (immigrant) needs. Various methods and materials were used in the learning process, with an emphasis on role plays.
Example: A research conducted by Jeremy David Cowling (2007) titled
Needs Analysis: Planning a Syllabus for a Series of Intensive Workplace Courses at a Leading Japanese Company
In this study, the researcher conducted NA using various procedures primarily discussions, a questionnaire and interviews with different people in the target setting.
It is done when you have to teach a course for new learners with only a few days or hours to prepare and carry out a NA. You are required to quickly establish the necessities, lacks and wants of the learners.
How to conduct?
Discuss with the course coordinators their expectations and how they view the learners.
Briefly review provided materials.
Obtain samples of learners' outputs from previous iterations of the class. Analyze them and if there is a mismatch between what the administrators want and learners' lacks, discuss with the management team and find an agreement on how the course should proceed.
Briefly inform the learners about your perception on their necessities, lacks, and wants. Monitor their reactions.
Ask learners to complete a survey on what they hope to learn in class.
Continue to monitor learners' performances and motivation.
Likely to be less reliable and valid, but practical.
Form a set of learning objectives (clear, logical and enjoyable) of the course by understanding the English used in the particular specialist area.
Analyze the target language and establish key language features of the interactions of the specialist area.
Materials and Methods
Not committed to a single learning theory or methodology.
Use or adapt a material (if necessary) for the learners.
e.g. audio samples or transcripts from the specialist area (may include noises, complex language, insults, filler, etc - so adapt it for beginners, retain them for advanced learners).
Evaluate the success of the course.
Quantitative data - how many participated? How many completed? What is the success rate?
Qualitative data (survey) - How do the learners perceive the course? Did they enjoy the activities? Did they think the course too short or long? Did they think some language skills were missing?
Measure how much the learners had overcome the lacks identified at the needs analysis stage.
How to do this? - ask the learners to perform a real-world task (or simulation) and ask the specialist informants to evaluate if you are not well-versed with the specialist are.
Evaluate the success of ESP instructors.
Analyze test results.
Refer to learners' qualitative survey.
Role of leaners, instructors and administrators
Play active roles in ESP learning if they perceive English to have a
on their life and future success.
Also, when they take tests like IELTS and TOEFL very seriously to reach the required entry scores.
When they perceive English to have
on their life and future success, they may not take course seriously because they don't really understand their needs, have lower motivation to study hard.
Learners might also not take the course seriously when they perceive the instructors to be unqualified. Sometimes, learners believe that they are more knowledgeable about the subject content than the instructors.
Learners might not take post-entry elective EAP courses in universities seriously because of their minimal reward structure (e.g. credit allocation) and their positioning at the fringes of regular programs.
Design and manage the entire English support program. Might be responsible for establishing the four pillars for multiple courses across the whole faculty or institution.
May be contacted by publishers to develop general materials and courses (change the way English is taught in the broader scope in society)
Play support roles for workers -- help them manage daily tasks and with career advancement.
Advise the company on how to better manage its human resources.
Develop new professional development schemes.
- examine learners' needs, research the target language skills, design courses and materials, collaborating with specialist informants, instruct learners and evaluate.
ESP instructors usually work in a team, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Two different backgrounds of instructors
Have backgrounds in the humanities (linguistics, literature, TESL, etc).
Strengths: strong background in teaching methodology
Weakness: may not have clear understanding of the specific target needs of learners, especially those who are in specialised disciplines (e.g. STEM).
Have backgrounds in specialised disciplines (STEM or medicine)
Strength: able to identify the needs of learners in specialised disciplines as well as provide insights on the occupational needs of learners.
Weakness: little or no experience in teaching, therefore, the methodology used might not be suitable for learners. They might be unaware of language difficulties faced by target learners.
ARE THEY THE MANAGERS OF INSTRUCTORS? HOW MANY ADMINISTRATORS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR A GROUP OF ESP INSTRUCTORS? :question:
Determine the success of ESP courses and programs. 1. Decide if and when ESP courses will run. 2. Determine the overall aims of courses.
Decide how the ESP courses will be run and the importance of them (e.g. elective or required? Rewards for learners? Isolated or integrated to form an ESP program?)
Manage funding and longevity of a program.
Manage opportunity in the program as well as for instructors.