A Language Teacher in the ESP Classroom: Can We be a Successful Dweller in This Strange and Uncharted Land?

  •  Suphatha Rachayon    


The English for specific purposes (ESP) classroom has been described by a number of scholars as a strange and uncharted land for many language teachers. This is because ESP is designed to meet the specific needs of the learner, making it related to subject specialist content. Accordingly, some people feel that language teachers without a specialist subject background are “unqualified” to teach ESP courses. Rather, subject specialists should be the ones who teach these courses even though, in many cases, they are not trained to teach language. This paper therefore aims to find out whether it is possible that language teachers, who have limited subject specialist knowledge, can “settle down” happily in this strange and uncharted land. Reviews of the literature and previous studies of related topics, namely the definition of ESP, subject specificity, subject specialist knowledge, strategies for dealing with a lack of subject specialist knowledge, and the roles of the ESP practitioner, are discussed first. Then, the answer to the question is presented at the end.

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