English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
The Demand for Professional English Curriculum
At the present stage, Taiwanese college and university students generally take English as a required course. The curriculum is classified as English for General Purposes (EGP). Its content is designed either as the interface between English courses in high school and universities or practical English used in daily life. Thus, EGP can not promote students’ English learning interests to meet the needs of future career plans.
However, during recent years, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has become one of the most significant fields of foreign languages. Not only do English-speaking countries offer specialized English courses for foreign students, but many universities offer ESP in their graduate programs. In addition, academic journals and international institutes have been founded in pursuit of ESP studies.
NCKU ESP team was founded in October, 2007. There are 6 project hosts/hostesses and 12 project instructors included at present. There are three major planning stages of this project:
(1) for administration; the curriculum framework and teacher recruitments will be supported by NCKU,
(2) for teaching materials; the professional teaching materials of different academic fields will be developed via the university and industry liaison with Bookman Books Co., Ltd.
(3) for evaluation; by means of the university and industry liaison with Educational Testing Service (ETS), the formal TOEIC test will be applied to measure students’ learning effectiveness. Since the second semester of academic year of 2007, we have already offered tentative courses for undergraduate students from departments of business and management. Also, the courses will be expanded to departments of science and engineering and to departments of biology and medicine in the following second and third year. Besides the curriculum, professional teacher training and the textbook development of all fields will be carried out through the university and industry liaison with English Testing Service (ETS) and Bookman Books Co., Ltd.
NCKU ESP curriculum is divided into two major disciplines: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). For undergraduates, EAP includes note taking and group discussion skills in English classes. For postgraduates, EAP focus on formal academic writing and presentation techniques in seminars or conferences. NCKU ESP curriculum is designed to comprise four major fields of study (humanities, administration and business management, science and engineering, and biology and medicine.) and to meet the students’ need.