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0 Introduction
This paper aims to critically respond to the article entitled The Anatomy of ESP
by Roe (1993) which is the first journal article of English for Specific Purpose (ESP)
Malaysia. Roe has divided his article into a few subtopics which are introduction to ESP,
hypotheses and definitions, some necessary conditions, the role of ESP teacher as a
facilitator, examples of ESP in Malaysia, orientation to ESP research and some ESP research
projects that are possible in Malaysia. In general, I think Roe has achieved the purpose of
provoking thoughts on the subject matter throughout his claims and explanations in the
article. However, I believe that my understanding of ESP is diverse compared to his.
Meanwhile, I am positive that we are sharing the same view on the role of ESP teachers as
2.0 Contradiction of Understanding ESP
Roe believes that every discourse community has a purpose in language and that
having the purpose is the value of language use. Furthermore, he views General English
(GE) as the intersection (instead of a unity) of language varieties spoken. Further this, Roe
defines ESP as a property of people instead of language when he draws a line between GE
and ESP. Contrarily, although Roe opens up a way of understanding ESP, it is slightly
contradictory to my view of ESP. In my humble opinion, ESP is a branch of GE just like how
EST is a sub category of the larger field of English for specific purposes in which it shares
some basic characteristics with the large field of ESP (Rao, 2014). It is another approach in
language teaching where the departure point is meeting learners needs as clarified by
Gatehouse (2001), ESP should not be taught as a subject but instead, an approach to learning
language. Also, ESP should not be viewed as a different identity than GE but rather a variety
of English which is differentiated according to discourse communities. In fact, the
relationship of general and specific within teaching language for specific purposes is intimate
and that the line between General English courses stop and ESP courses start has become
very vague indeed (Bracaj, 2014).
3.0 Shared Belief of Teachers Role as a Facilitator
Even though I barely agree with Rao in definition and understanding of ESP to some
extent, I do share the same belief of the role of teacher on facilitating ESP instead of teaching.
Dkhissi (2014) also supports that teacher of ESP should play the facilitator role. As mention

by Roe, learning will be hampered if the teachers try to teach ESP so he suggest teachers to
facilitate learners to achieve their objectives of learning. Back to the basic, ESP is all about
the learners needs. Therefore, teachers should not spoon-feed students with content of
subject matter because an ESP teacher never is a content expert but it is expected of an ESP
teacher to guide learner on the course of achieving their learning objectives and prepare
learners for the language they need to function in the specific work field or the discourse
community they want to join.
Additionally, the role of an ESP teacher does not stop at facilitating. Dudley-Evans
and St.John (1998) elucidated that ESP teachers or ESP practitioners need to perform five
different roles: teacher, collaborator, course designer and materials provider, researcher and
evaluator. Moreover, Johns & Dudley-Evans (1991) mentioned that ESP requires
methodologies that are specialized or unique where ESP requires the careful research and
design of pedagogical materials and activities for an identifiable group of adult learners
within a specific learning context. Hence, I think that an ESP teacher should focus on the
process of identifying learners needs, developing materials and activities prior to the
learners learning objectives and collaborate with the subject expert so that the ESP class can
be carried out effectively and efficiently.
A bad example of ESP teaching can be seen through what happened in the Malaysian
education program called PPSMI where English is used as the medium to teach Mathematics
and Science in high school. Looking at it carefully, not only the level of students is
inappropriate for an ESP class but the implementation of ESP is being done by incompetent
teachers who at the same time are teaching other subjects like History, Physical Education or
Arts. The laborious work that these teachers have to do has lead failure to the PPSMI
program. Thus, teacher of ESP should only facilitate learning in the related specific subject
matter with specific learners needs because ESP needs ample time and effort to be carried
out proficiently.
4.0 Conclusion
As a conclusion, Roe succeed in shedding a light upon ESP in general and Malaysia
context. Even so, I believe that instead of drawing a distinctive line between General English
and ESP, it is more appealing to me to view ESP as a part of GE which shares some of GEs
characteristics. Besides that, ESP should not be taught as a course but an approach of English
language teaching where the teacher acts mainly as a facilitator.

5.0 References

Bracaj, M. (2014). Teaching English for Specific Purposes and Teaching Training. European
Scientific Journal, 10(2), 40-49.
Dkhissi, Y. (2014). English for Specific Academic Purposes. Global Journal Inc., 14(6).
Dudley-Evans, T. & St. John, M. (1998). Developments in ESP: A Multi-disciplinary
Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gatehouse, K. (2013). Key Issues in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Curriculum
Development. The Internet TESL Journal 7(10). Retrieved October 25, 2015, from

In my opinion roles of ESP teachers are really heavy and unbearable because
Consequently, roles of ESP teachers become questionable. A point I would make is that if a
teacher is responsi
definitions would provoke thoughts but would not provide action or solutions.

1. Strengths and weaknesses of the article (overall view)

Nunes (year)
TESP must include aspects of a general nature, not adopting a clean slate approach towards
the learning process that went on beforehand, but rather gearing it to a number of more
specific goals.
Anthony (year)
Some described ESP as simply being the teaching of English for any purpose that could be
ESP is just another approach to teaching where decisions as to content and method are based
on the learners reason for learning (Dudley-Evans, year; Hutchinson et al., 1987, cited in
Anthony, year).

1. Introduction (objectives of this paper, summary of the article)
Even though the author did not really define the term ESP per say, I have to admit
that the complexity of the term has been presented and introduced well in the paper as the
author has highlighted that the main purpose of the article is to provoke thoughts and debate
in the subject matter. Well, sure he did it right.
2. Respond critically to the issue presented (whats the issue? What did you
Firstly, I agree to the argument mentioned by Roe (1993) that ESP does not belong

It is significant to note that the author offered a number of hypotheses, corollaries,
definitions and necessary conditions (pg. 1) to contribute to the foundation of ESP through a
few hypotheses before the discussion is brought further.
Roe believes that ESP brings out the value of English within the vast linguistics resources of
General English through specific purposes of a certain discourse community.
With the purpose of provoking thoughts, the author has done a great job in presenting indepth analysis of the real nature (pg. 1) and philosophies of English as a Specific Purposes
(ESP) thoroughly in the article.

is vague in my view referring to the first hypothesis; ESP-ness is not a property of

language. Trying to define ESP is simply pointless. Besides, I believe that the relationship

between general and specific English is intimate (Nunes, year; pg. #) In my

opinion, ESP is an approach of teaching English varieties for the sake of learners academic
or occupational needs.

Thus, it hits my mind as if even the term is hard to be defined, then teaching ESP will
not be easy either. Nunes (year) claimed
So, ESP is not as specific as it suggest and I have to agree with Nunes that it is
specific to a certain vague point; thus, make the This attempt to define ESP, however, is
pointless to my view as I believe that the relationship between general and specific
English is intimate. There is no way ESP can be defined as as claimed by Nunes (year)
Teaching Languages for Specific Purposes is by nature fuzzy, in the sense that it is only
partially specific: as in Fuzzy Logic, everything is a matter of degree.