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A Golden Age of ESP teaching: 20th century practice

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A Golden Age of ESP teaching: 20th century practice

  2. 2. ESP DIDACTICS: DOCTORAL THESES/HABILITATIONS • Schug, D. (2019). Les cours d'anglais à travers les disciplines : une question de motivation, Paris 8/Ca’ Foscari, Venise. • Labetoulle, A. (2019). Etude de la complexité des environnements d’apprentissage et d’enseignement LANSAD pour la conception, la mise en place et l’évaluation d’un dispositif en anglais, Lille. • Bloor, T. (2020). Travail coopératif entre une enseignante-chercheuse de physique et une professeure d’anglais dans le secteur LANSAD (LANgues pour les Spécialistes d’Autres Disciplines), Brest. • Brantley, K. (2020). Re-framing the Specificity Debate in the Lansod Sector around Pragmatics: An Action Research Project Exploring the Development of Flexible Pragmatic Skills instead of “General English” for Second-year Students in Culture and Media, Lille. • Carnet, A. (2020). L’utilisation de séries télévisées pour l’enseignement/apprentissage de la communication pour la consultation médicale, Lorraine • Conan, M. Apprendre à interagir en anglais vétérinaire : l’interculturel en langue de spécialité, Université Côte d’Azur/Paris 3. • Henderson, A. (2021). Intelligibility and identity : from teaching pronunciation to training for spoken language variation, Université Savoie Mont Blanc Sarré & Whyte 2016 Sarré & Whyte 2017
  3. 3. (DIS)CONTINUITIES IN ESP: ESP DIDACTICS • science and humanities • disciplinary content and language • linguistic description and language teaching • teaching and learning Is it true that we have typically prioritised the first element in each pair? Are there historical explanations for these preferences? What reasons can be advanced in favour of reversing the trend?
  4. 4. • ESP didactics - some context • “the ESP juggernaut” - early figures in British ESP (1970s,1980s) • conclusions and consequences • new perspectives for ESP in French higher education PLAN
  6. 6. Sarré & Whyte (2016: 37) https://journals.openedition.org/asp/4834 “the branch of English language studies which concerns the language, discourse and culture of English-language professional communities and specialised social groups, as well as the learning and teaching of this object from a didactic perspective” ESP ESP DIDACTICS • is a distancing and theorising process which seeks to analyse the way ESP teaching leads to learning • draws on several contributive sciences, • takes a broader perspective than SLA, covering elements of both SLA and foreign language education”
  7. 7. A. Johns (2013) cited in Douglas (2017) “Unlike many other research areas in theoretical and applied linguistics, ESP has been, at its core, a practitioners’ movement, devoted to establishing, through careful research, the needs and relevant discourse features for a targeted group of students” EMPHASIS ON TEACHERS AND TEACHING
  8. 8. Whyte (2016: 27-8) https://journals.openedition.org/apliut/5487 ESP research “often focuses on the analysis of a specific variety, and not always on how non-native speakers might acquire it (Sarré & Whyte 2016). But for L2 learners and users, the goal is usually an acquisitional one, even of only the ‘narrow set of occupation-specific uses and functions’ (Saville- Troike 2006). The goal of language education in SLA terms is communicative competence [… focusing on] L2 learner/user comprehension and production, rather than the explicit knowledge of language rules” which are often emphasised in English studies and ESP research. WHAT ABOUT LEARNING?
  9. 9. ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING (ELT) ESP DIDACTICS ENGLISH STUDIES literature ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES (ESP) NON-LANGUAGE DISCIPLINES & PROFESSIONS culture linguistics science law disciplinary CONTENT what do we teach? how do we teach? METHODS LEARNING (CONTENT & LANGUAGE) THEORY what and how do students learn? INSTRUCTED SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION [ISLA] classroom intervention psycholinguistics
  10. 10. the intended or official curriculum rests atop the taught curriculum, which teachers deliver once they close their classroom doors, the learned curriculum, or what students take away from class, and the tested curriculum, which represents an even narrower band of knowledge Cuban 2012 c o u r s m a q u e t t e s é v a l u a t i o n s c o m p é t e n c e s TRADITIONAL DIFFICULTIES WITH CHANGE MOVING FROM TEACHING TO LEARNING
  11. 11. Previous reforms create the historical context for the multi-layered curriculum and influence the direction of contemporary reforms. This historical context is like a coral, a mass of skeletons from millions of animals built up, that over time accumulates into reefs above and below the sea line. Its presence cannot be ignored. Cuban 2012
  12. 12. • ESP focus on the taught layer • “the ESP juggernaut” early figures in British ESP 1970-1980s • 4 figures: Swales, Johns, Dudley- Evans, Ewer • materials, teaching practice, teacher education PLAN ESP Abbott (1978)
  13. 13. JOHN SWALES (1938-‘RETIRED’ 2006) • 1957 BA Psychology (University of Cambridge), 1966 Linguistics and ELT (University of Leeds) • British Council: Tripoli College, Libya; English Language Servicing Unit, University of Khartoum, Sudan (1973-5) Swales, J. (1971). Writing scientific English • University of Aston (1978): Language Studies Unit; MA in ESP teaching • University of Michigan, English Language Institute; Swales & Feak Academic writing for graduate students • Genre analysis (1990), English for Specific Purposes editor
  14. 14. TIM JOHNS (1936-2009) • BA Modern History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1955 • British Council • Birmingham University (Swales) (1971-2001): English for Overseas Students Unit • father of data-driven learning (DDL)
  15. 15. TONY DUDLEY-EVANS (1943, RETIRED 2001) • BA Arabic (University of London), PGCE ELT (University of Wales) • British Council: Tripoli College, Libya (Swales); English Language Unit, University of Tabriz, Iran • Birmingham University (1976-2001): English for Overseas Students Unit (Johns, Swales) • Bates, M. & Dudley-Evans, T. (1976). Nucleus: General science • English for Specific Purposes editor (Swales)
  16. 16. JACK EWER (1918-1982) • Department of English, University of Chile at Santiago • Ewer, J & Latorre, G. (1969). A course in basic scientific English. Longman • “father of ESP teacher education” • EST/ESP Chile, editor
  17. 17. Developing EST materials linguistic focus of textbooks preference for tailor-made materials planned and serendipitous collaboration
  18. 18. • range of types of syllabus: • structural (Ewer & Latorre 1969, Swales 1971) • notional-functional (Bates & Dudley-Evans 1976) • lack of scientific foundation • no needs analysis • no measure of effectiveness Ewer & Boys (1981) contemporary textbook analysis
  19. 19. 1969
  20. 20. 1971
  21. 21. 1976 http://www.uefap.net/materials/materials-history Andy GILLET
  22. 22. The sample used was comprehensive […] introductory university textbooks, advanced textbooks, semi-popularisations, specialised articles, professional papers and monographs […] the sample amounted to well over 3 million words. […] The main structural and non-structural vocabulary were identified by visual scanning; in order to reduce the subjective factor involved, each investigator worked separately, and only the items noted by both were incorporated into the final list Ewer & Latorre (1967) on 1963 collaboration early corpus linguistics
  23. 23. • such books undermine the professionalism of the instructor • they cannot meet the elaborated inventories of requirements produced by needs analysis or by schemes of evaluation, • they are offered in a format ostensibly unsuitable for communicative language teaching, • their educational effectiveness may have been reduced by marketing considerations Swales (1980, 2013) preference for tailor-made materials The standard solution to these difficulties with published materials is for each institution, organization, or training establishment to offer its own tailor-made programmes
  24. 24. Tim Johns […] would typically respond to some description of materials, with comments like, “Pretty nice, but have you thought of doing it like this?…” Inevitably, adequate materials would be immediately transformed into superior ones Swales (2013) Over that kitchen table and of an evening, [Tony Dudley-Evans and I] could plan next week's materials, spark and improve ideas, kill off weak or stray enthusiasms, and cobble together collages of photocopies and handwritten manuscripts to take to our secretaries for typing up collaboration to develop materials
  25. 25. Teaching English for Science & Technology content and language teacher collaboration remedial focus to support “backward students” and “underachievement among overseas students” challenging and creative for teachers
  26. 26. EST initiative at Birmingham English for Overseas' Students Unit (EOSU) Birmingham University support in EST from language and content instructors to international graduate students in regular graduate programmes in Plant Biology and Transportation a) understanding academic lectures b) producing academic/scientific English Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980)
  27. 27. Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980) 3-way feedback STUDENT needs to know how his performance is measuring up to the expectations of his teachers and to have immediate assistance with his difficulties as they arise SUBJECT TEACHER needs to have a clearer idea of how effectively he is communicating with his students LANGUAGE TEACHER needs to grasp the conceptual structure of a subject his learners are studying; to know how the range of different subjects are taught: to observe where and how difficulties arise
  28. 28. course components 1. audio recording of content lectures analysed by language teachers for subsequent team-teaching 2. exam questions provided by content teachers, analysed by language teachers, student writing checked by both teachers 3. oral presentations: role-play topic defined by content teacher, student plays engineer to ‘planning committee’ of language teachers 4. research projects: team-teaching session where students present proposals; conference with individual students to discuss drafts Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980)
  29. 29. Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980) This part of the session requires a degree of tact on the part of the language-teacher, and of self-awareness on the part of the subject- teacher, most of whom do not realise how many colloquialisms they use. The majority react to the realisation by attempting to control the type and density of colloquial expressions in their lectures; one the other hand, one lecturer in Transportation appears to have increased his use of sporting metaphors, perhaps with the intention of putting the language- teachers on their mettle content/language teacher interaction
  30. 30. Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980) while there was some improvement attributable to the team-taught sessions for all students, that improvement was far greater with the stronger students than with the weaker: that is to say, they achieved the reverse effect to that intended learning effects? Where in an operation of this kind subject and language are so enmeshed, finding out what the language-teacher has learnt of the subject may be as reliable a way of estimating its success as measuring the improvement in the students' English
  31. 31. Johns & Dudley-Evans (1980) We hope we avoided the hubris which can too easily afflict the EAP teacher when, with a smattering of knowledge in the subject area, and a view of himself as an expert on communication, he comes to regard himself as an expert - or the expert - on how the subject ought to be taught, and even on what the subject ought to central role of ESP teacher Dudley-Evans: “it remains the most creative aspect of teaching I have ever been involved with” (St Johns 2012)
  32. 32. EST teacher education multilayered perspective: student, teacher, teacher educator, programme director ESP teacher collaboration practical orientation
  33. 33. Ewer (1983) challenges for EST teacher 1. attitude 2. concepts 3. language 4. methodology 5. organisation SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY “relaxed attitude to errors” programme administration
  34. 34. team-teaching: one “active” instructor, one “passive” or “watching” lecture breaks: stop every 10-15 min group work with close supervision teacher training programme Ewer (1983)
  35. 35. central role of teacher groups should contain at least one fairly good student ("good" in the sense of quickness of reaction, general knowledge, energy and, least important of all, knowledge of English); if this is not done, all the best students tend to group together, leaving all the weak ones together too! Again, in this game we are learning all the time, and it often happens that the active teacher may omit or underemphasize a relevant point which the watching teacher can ensure is brought to the attention of the students and given its due weight Ewer (1983)
  36. 36. HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF ESP • emphasis on science over humanities • focus on content as pre-requisite to language • linguistic description and language teaching • teaching and learning official curriculum taught layer learned layer tested layer official curriculum taught layer learned layer tested layer
  37. 37. ESP LEARNER • paternalistic stance with respect to learner needs and learning outcomes • little exploration of intercultural dimensions or learner strategies (BUT Dudley-Evans & Swales 1980) • avoidance of theories of (language) learning/acquisition (Bloor & Bloor)
  38. 38. The students obtain the trimmings from the University’s press and copy onto them […] from textbooks, or from notes, either the student’s on, or more frequently borrowed from a colleague. The multiple copying of technical terms is illustrative of the reliance on the ‘word’ as given, and the fact that the trimming strips are always discarded after a revision session shows how thorough has been the process of internalisation Dudley-Evans & Swales (1980)
  39. 39. second language acquisition in most cases the teaching of a language involves much more than providing the cirumstances for optimal acquisition. Although these are essential, the teacher is also responsible for teaching those aspects of language that have to be taught even to native speakers: cultural conventions, and the system and uses of literacy (Bloor & Bloor 1986) when Swales directed the establishment of the first MA in ESP in Britain at Aston University (on which I was a founding colleague) he would not consider suggestions for including a component on psychology, psycholinguistics, or language acquisition, which were commonly found on masters’ degree courses in ELT or Applied Linguistics. In this he saved us all from wandering down blind alleys. (Bloor 1998)
  40. 40. ESP teaching paradox is ESP a materials and teaching-led movement? linguistic inquiry is the most establised area of research and discussion; value for teaching and learning a strong tradition of innovative teaching and materials design, usually reported as case studies; materials are most noticeable relatively limited research and discussion literature concerning approaches to teaching and learning “ESP is a theoretically and empirically based field of inquiry that aims to identify the linguistic features of specialist English varieties, the nature of ESP teaching, and to understand how specialist English can be acquired in instructed ESP and naturalistic contexts” Basturkmen (2020)
  41. 41. CURRENT PROJECTS IN FRENCH HIGHER EDUCATION • Réseau d’acquisition des langues secondes (ReAL2): intersection of second language acquisition and teaching/learning - learner corpora • DidASp: Sophie Belan, Aude Labetoulle, collaborative research (ESSE 2021 Lyon) • CATAPULT (Computer-assisted training and platforms to upskill LSP teachers (http:// catapult-project.eu) - teacher education • English Medium Instruction (EMI) teacher preparation Bordeaux University (Pagèze & Lasagabaster 2018)
  42. 42. Dafouz et al 2019 “EFL language specialists are often called upon initially to provide linguistic support to lecturers who are switching into English, yet, […] they are also requested to provide support in the areas of pedagogy, intercultural competences and, more recently, academic disciplinary language” “if linguists wish to remain relevant and continue to gain access to EMI contexts then they will need to take the interests of content lecturers into account” Airey 2020 ESP AND EMI: AN OPPORTUNITY AND A CAVEAT
  43. 43. CONCLUSION… Can we emulate the energy and creativity of early ESP teachers, trainers, programme developers and researchers and turn our attention to questions of how students learn? ESP has historically prioritised content, description, and teaching Key figures in late 20th century ESP typify a creative, innovative, and individually driven approach to EST Learning has been overlooked, assumed rather than attested