Ursula Vrotska
WarsawSchoolof Social Sciences and Humanities
It should be kept in mind that teaching language as well as other subjects has the following components in course design: materials, teaching methods, evaluation, students, and, of course, a teacher. The role of each component is strongly argued about but no one will deny the importance of the selected and developed materials for the course. What is meant by materials? First of all it is a textbook. Some teachers believe it is possible to teach ESP without a textbook which in their opinion can limit in some way the freedom in selecting topics of the course content and methods of teaching, and cannot be used as instructional material because it is too inflexible, still necessity of the textbook in combination with other materials in teaching/learning process is undisputable for the most of the teachers.
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is considered to be the most challenging branch in language teaching. It isdesigned to meet specified needs of the learner in contrast with General Englishand is related to some particular occupations and activities. ESP was developed to meet with the different needs every profession has. ESP has started to develop quite recently and the teachers of English have to develop specialcurriculumand provide sufficient materials for every ESPcourseaccording to their students’ professional needs.
The only way out is to develop personal resource set of materials. There are some very important principles to be followed while composing the set:
Scientists put the following requirements to an ESP textbook: as to the content – it should be interesting and useful for the students; as to the structure – it should have a great number of literary forms; as to the language – it should have standard English, which is natural and correct; as to the information – it should be recent and real. Besides, an ESP textbook should have appropriate level of difficulty, clear instructions and should be accompanied by various supporting materials: exercises, vocabularies, etc.
Reviewing the available textbooks for teaching ESP you can hardly find the suitable one for a particular engineeringspeciality. Existing book market offers a great variety of books for general purpose English but the need in ESP books is not satisfied in proper way. There are numerouscoursebooksthat can be used by teachers of English for management and marketing, for business and law, for computing and tourism (Market Leader, English for Business Communication, English for International Banking and Finance from Cambridge University Press, New Insights into Business from Longman Pearson Education, Oxford English for Information Technology, Oxford English for Electronics from Oxford University Press and so on). We have some general engineering textbooks like Everyday Technical English from Pearson Education, OxfordEnglish for careers. Technology1-2 from Oxford University Press, but there are a number ofspecialitieswhere coursebooks are not available, and teachers have to look for some other ways of providing materials.
Special attention should be given to the authentic materials. These must be different on the context and on the structure texts, embracing as many aspects of thespecialityas possible. And the authentic material doesn’t mean a mere text; it should be accompanied by a complex of different assignments aimed at the formation of student’s communicative competences in English for real-life academic and job-related areas. Every unit should include exercises making it possible to develop integrated language skills (reading, listening, spoken action and interaction, and writing).
Speaking about other teaching materials first of all we should mention computer software, video and audio files, and various visual aids. Modern information technologies give us the opportunity to use a great deal of materials available though the Internet. These are video or audioprogrammes, films, software for developing interactive exercises and so on. ESP teachers can use such programs as Hot Potatoes by Half Baked Software which makes it possible to produce presentations and create a number of interactive exercises; Spellmaster in association with Alcester Grammar School which is afree toolfor working outon-lineand vocabularyexercises,wordand phrasegames, etc.
All teachers involved in the ESP teaching have to compose a set of materials for each ESP course. The ESP teachers can surely succeed in teaching by creating their own set of materials, using modern teaching methods while delivering these materials, having the student in the center of learning, and providing the sufficient control through the system of proper tests.
And finally, in creating the ESP course the ESP teachers should closely cooperate with the specialists teaching the specialty as a lot of starting materials (specialism-related texts) for the course development can be provided by them.
1.       Allwright, R. L. What do we want teaching materials for? In R. Rossner and R. Bolitho, (Eds.), Currents in language teaching. Oxford: OxfordUniversityPress, 1990.
2.                Dudley-Evans T.,St John M. J.  Developments in English for Specific Purposes: A multi-disciplinary approach. / T. Dudley-Evans, M. J.St John.Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1998. – P. 234-247.
3.       O'Neill, R. Why use textbooks? In R. Rossner and R. Bolitho, (Eds.), Currents inlanguage teaching.Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1990.

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