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English for Specific Purposes in the Efl Context

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Asian ESP Journal Volume 7 - 2 Spring 2011

Title English for Specific Purposes in the EFL Context: A Survey of Student and Faculty Perceptions Author Chia-hsiu Tsao Fooyin University Biodata Chia-hsiu Tsao is a full-time lecturer at Fooyin University of Technology, where she has been teaching various English courses to EFL learners for nearly twenty years. Her research interests include language-learning motivation, learning strategies, needs analysis, and factors that affect foreign language learning. Abstract This study reports on a questionnaire survey carried out with 351 students and 23 instructors in a technological university in Taiwan about their attitudes toward English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and related issues. Major findings of this study include: (1) Students favored ESP more than English for general purposes (EGP) while teachers were more reserved about the idea of replacing EGP with ESP; (2) Although both faculty and students recognized the importance of ESP, neither considered students’ English proficiency up to the level needed to cope with the ESP course requirements; (3) Both sides agreed that although ESP courses should differ from EGP in their objectives, materials and approaches, they should still focus on the training of language skills while integrating specialized terms and discipline content into the course; (4) The two sides disagreed on whether English should be the only medium of instruction, to which the students give stronger support than the teachers; and (5) Regarding the factors that may affect the effectiveness of an ESP course, there is a notable difference of viewpoints between the two sides. The top-ranked factors, 126

Asian ESP Journal Volume 7 - 2 Spring 2011

which were all student-centered, are as follows: student needs analysis, students’ learning capacity, and students’ learning motivation. In contrast, the teachers emphasize more the course itself, placing teaching materials and methods as the top concerns,...


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