In this paper reasons of growing importance of ESP in modern society is shown, vital factors in acquisition of knowledge both in learning languages and knowledge on specialty are spoken about, works on ESP performed at the university of information technologies in Tashkent are also considered.
Key words: ESP, learning language, content and language integrated teaching (CLIL), CLT, authentic material, traditional and integrated ESP
В данной cтатье раccмотрены причины роcта важноcти ESP в cовременном общеcтве, показаны важные факторы приобретения знаний как лингвиcтичеcких, так и знаний по cпециальноcти, а также дана информация о проделанной работе по этому вопроcу в универcитете информационных технологий Ташкента.
Ключевые слова: английский для специальных целей, изучение языка, предметно-языковое интегрированное обучение, обучение иноязычному общению, аутентичный материал, традиционный и интегрированное ESP
The integration of Uzbekistan into the world community, the National Program of training specialists and the Law on Education of Uzbekistan have laid the foundation for reformations of the educational system in Uzbekistan. All the reforms in the educational system are focused on the formation of a new generation of experts with high professional and general culture distinguished for their creative and social activity. The world community integration requires the awareness of one of the international languages by the specialists. This idea has supporters not only in the University sphere but also in business circles and in the research as well as in production spheres. Conservatism of a system acutest in relation to the practical knowledge of foreign language by graduates of higher educational institutions. Learning language as foreign language is based, of course, on knowledge of the facts of language. Necessity of communication and cooperation with foreign colleagues, specialists and experts makes awareness of foreign language an integral part of university education.
In terms of increasing integration of the world community, the foreign language becomes a means of communication for Uzbek specialists in many areas of life, because it opens access to sources of information, gives the opportunity to get acquainted with achievements of world science, to be informed of progress, suggesting the presence of a formed language competence not only of students-philologists, but also among technical students in accordance with the state educational standard of higher professional education to the preparation of qualified specialists of our republic.
Hutchinson & Waters discussed the emergence of ESP and its importance; the role of the ESP teacher; course design; syllabuses; materials; teaching methods, and evaluation procedures in their book «English for Specific Purposes». According to the research, focusing on how language is used in real communication means learning English in a specific context pertinent to learners’ needs. Specialized linguistic description of different subjects are studied and integrated into the ESP language teaching. English for Specific Purposes should focus on the method of language delivery, that is how learners learn language and the different methods of acquisition of a language. [1. P. 10]. Consequently, ESP has been developed and become one of the most significant teaching approaches in the field of EFL across the world community. Content based instruction (CBI), Content and language integrated teaching (CLIL) are Considered as new methods of teaching. A content-based or topical syllabus is developed in accordance with the principles of ESP. Therefore, CLIL is focused on teaching of both content and language. Although ESP and CLIL are two separate aspects, however; in practice it is hard to disregard subject matter in an ESP Course. Meanwhile, the presence of subject content is also expected by tertiary level learners and this makes CLIL closer to ESP.
Thus, there is the question: What is the real knowledge of foreign language, i.e., the quality of knowledge of foreign language speech of the majority students of nonlinguistic specialties?
The first vital factor in acquisition of knowledge both in learning languages and knowledge on specialty is computer literacy. The use of information technology in education involves access to a wide range of up-to-date information with the purpose of the development of students’ professional competencies. The use of computer tools, information sources, the Internet promotes the development of information competence and outlook on the modern life, the formation of professional thinking in a foreign language, increases the motivation to learn a foreign language, as well as the successful formation of the personality, which is pointed as one of the aims in our National Program of training specialists.
Intensification of educational process provides a permanent interest of students in the study of basic discipline «Foreign language», aspect of which is the ESP/LSP (English for Specific Purposes / Language for Specific Purposes) designed to be a means of deepening and expanding the students' knowledge in the specialty.
The second important factor in ESP environment is possession of general language knowledge. Although the majority of ESP teachers are not engineers and technical employees as their students or professionals are, but in the field of knowledge they can design training so that to provide quality and serious methodological base. Taking into account the fact that ESP is derived from General English, the ESP teacher can use the universal aspects of the latter at their best. They will include in their discourse some of the more complex tools that enable the professional knowledge of specialists or students acquiring knowledge of the English language in their respective disciplines.
The third important thing in ESP is cooperation and teamwork with content teachers. These cooperation contributes to the enhancement of foreign language learning environment and acquisition of knowledge by students.
ESP experts divide ESP into two types: traditional ESP and integrated ESP. [1. p. 2] Hutchinson & Water define traditional ESP as a language-focused approach and it is designed to meet specified needs identified through needs analysis. Integrated ESP course is focused on the professional content, in this way it is close to CLIL. [3. p. 15]
Besides ESP has some features such as using of authentic materials, purpose-related orientation and self-direction. ESP courses in non-English-speaking countries like Uzbekistan come across with some obstacles, as student’s level is not high enough for integrated learning. Therefore, authentic materials are used at an intermediate or advanced level. But high computer literacy of students at Tashkent university of Information technologies allows using of such materials in independent work or research tasks of students. The students enjoy conducting research using diverse of different resources including the Internet; 2) purpose-related orientation comprises the simulation of communicative tasks depending on a situation.
The teacher gives students different tasks — to simulate the conference participation, involving the preparation of papers, reading, taking notes and writing.
At TUIT English course for IT users involves students in the tasks of presenting a presentation on their specialty, blog creation, negotiating with foreign colleagues and experts on their specialty, telephone conversation. They also practice listening, though the use of language materials is restricted because they employ newly acquired knowledge during their ESP classes with their peers and teacher; 3) in self-direction learners are turned into users. For self — direction, it is necessary that teacher gives full autonomy — freedom to students to decide when, what, and how they will study. It is very essential phenomenon in organization of student’s self-study, as it provokes the development of critical and creative thinking, inspire to build self-confidence, positive mindset and contributes to the effectiveness of learning.
B. Milevica describes the role of ESP teachers and uses the term «practitioner» rather than «teacher» to emphasize that ESP involves much more than teaching. [4. p. 490] According to B. Milevica the ESP practitioner is an ESP teacher and consultant, Course designer and material provider, researcher, collaborator and evaluator. As an ESP teacher and consultant practitioner has the opportunity to draw on students’ knowledge of the content in order to generate communication in the classroom as students can know more about the content than the teacher and becomes a consultant if students have to publish in international journals and need advice in both language and discourse issues. As an ESP teacher practitioner should take some risks in teaching content.
As there are more than hundreds of directions and specialties in educational establishments, it is rarely possible to use a particular textbook. As course, designer and material provider ESP practitioners often have to design the material in accordance with their students’ needs and also to assess the effectiveness of the teaching material. ESP practitioners should to be in touch with the research as ESP is considered to be an academic level. The ESP practitioner as collaborator means the cooperation of language and content teachers and conducting team classes.
The evaluator is responsible for testing of students, evaluation of courses and teaching materials. Evaluation can be used to adapt the syllabus, taking into account students progress and weakness. Challenging nature of ESP teaching requires ESP teachers to update their knowledge by remaining constantly in touch with the research in the different fields of ESP [1. P. 25]. Applying skills as a framework of ESP, ESP teachers own the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with their own students’ specializations. It should be taken into account that ESP teachers are not specialists in the field, but in teaching English, they teach English for the profession but not the profession in English. He/she simply brings the necessary tools, patterns, and principles of course design to apply them to new material. The content material should be design in cooperation by the professors or experts in the subject and ESP teacher. Thus, the following can be regarded as an essential points in ESP:
− learning should be learner oriented and based on CLT (Communicative Language Teaching);
− all four language skills should be integrated;
− language approach should be holistically;
− extensive use of authentic, up-to-date, relevantfor the students’ specializations texts.
− content is the organizing unit of course design.
With this purpose, much work has been done at the University of Information Technologies in Tashkent. Increasing demand for highly specialized and experienced specialists in ICT sphere aggravated the issue of English language proficiency. Dozens of CLIL teachers have been sent to different leading universities in IT sphere in order to increase their qualification, share their experiences with their foreign colleagues, and cooperate with them. Moreover, the pedagogical stuff of the department of foreign languages is constantly working on problems of increasing the knowledge of both English and the specialty. As finding appropriate book for different directions, which exist at the university, teacher, try to find optimal decisions to this problem. They work in close cooperation with CLIL teachers and develop number of methodical manuals and e-books in different directions. Materials for these manuals are taken from original books, but exercises are designed on the language-based principle. These manuals help students to improve their knowledge both in learning languages and in content. Methodical manuals «IT related English» by G. N. Suleymanova, «Hardware» by A. Sharipova, «Software» by F. R. Saidova, «Methodical manual for the direction of Television technologies» and «Teaching terminology on television technologies» by M. T. Shakhakimova and G. K. Mutalova, «Methodical manual for 1–2 year students of the direction of Telecommunication» by S. A. Pidaeva and dozens of other manuals assist students to learn English along with their specialty.
The department organizes the annual students’ conference «Intelligent generation of Uzbekistan» where students write articles about their inventions and software productions. Students from 5 branches of TUIT (Fergana, Samarqand, Nukus, Urganch and Karshi branches) also take active part in this conference. The uniqueness of this conference if students are good at their specialty and do not know Foreign language there is little chance to earn prizes which are given to the best three participants. The aim of the conference is to encourage students to integrate their knowledge on English and specialty.
In conclusion, globalization and increasing pace of life provokes the importance of English for Specific Purposes inevitable.
- «Law on Education» of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, 1997.
- «National Program of Personal Training» of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, 1997.
- Choudhary Z. J. English for specific purposes: role of learners, teachers and teaching methodologies. European Scientific Journal July 2015 edition vol.11, № 20.
- Hutchinson T. & Waters, A. English for Specific Purposes: A learning-centred approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1987.
- Liew Khe Li and Khor Ching Pey. ESP at tertiary level: traditional ESP or integrated ESP? General paper 3. 2002.
- Milevica B Teaching Foreign Language for Specific Purposes: Teacher Development. Association of teacher education in Europe 31annual conference.2012.