Rhetoric and Reality: A Case Study of a Course in English for Specific Purposes

Abdel Halim Sykes


This paper explores how far a course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) adheres to the notions of ESP course preparation, design and delivery found in the literature. The research followed the planning, design, development and delivery of the course over a one-month period. Data were gathered through observations and interviews with relevant stakeholders in the course. The findings show that in the absence of an adequate needs analysis and very limited preparation time, the course developers used their knowledge and experience to develop, design and deliver the course by anticipating the most likely needs of the learners and the learning outcomes associated with those perceived needs. While the developers of the course were unable to formulate a detailed pre-course needs analysis and had little time to develop the course, they were able to make the course more specific to the needs of their learners as it progressed. The conclusion is that even without an initial detailed needs analysis and clearly defined learning outcomes, it is possible through knowledge, experience and adaptability for course developers and teachers to deliver courses that can be categorized as ESP.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v2i2.6189


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Copyright (c) 2014 Abdel Halim Sykes

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail: ijele@macrothink.org    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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