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ESP....any problems?
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rryz



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: ESP....any problems? Reply with quote

Are there any problems you face while apply ESP approach? What are those problems?
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Superhal



Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually finding materials is the hardest part. Unless you have a textbook specifically for that content area, you will have to spend a lot of time adapting materials or creating them from scratch.
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

also some industries may have specific jargon.
Sometimes what are common terms to the lay person, may have specific meaning in that industry.

Dirty laundry to a hotel chanmbermaid is not the same as 'dirty laundry' to a barman in a hotel (gossip) LOL.
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggest problem is you the teacher understanding what they mean when they are using industry specific terms.
If your industry knowledge is weak they may assume (and usually do) that your teaching is also weak.
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rryz



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superhal wrote:
Usually finding materials is the hardest part. Unless you have a textbook specifically for that content area, you will have to spend a lot of time adapting materials or creating them from scratch.


definitely, i face the problem too. i have tried to get some help from content teachers, (for e.g. science lecturers) but...they are not "helpful' enough in giving me the information. They themselves do not really know what the sky outside there is all about. sometime, i feel i understand "better" than them.
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rryz



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tigertiger wrote:
Biggest problem is you the teacher understanding what they mean when they are using industry specific terms.
If your industry knowledge is weak they may assume (and usually do) that your teaching is also weak.


sometime i manipulate the situation, returning the questions to students. i don't think my manipulation skill is going to work for any longer. how specific do i need to know? is it enough by just knowing the frequent occurence words?
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rryz wrote:
tigertiger wrote:
Biggest problem is you the teacher understanding what they mean when they are using industry specific terms.
If your industry knowledge is weak they may assume (and usually do) that your teaching is also weak.


sometime i manipulate the situation, returning the questions to students. i don't think my manipulation skill is going to work for any longer. how specific do i need to know? is it enough by just knowing the frequent occurence words?


This is why I flatly refused to teach a course covering contract law. And I recomended the training centre did not take the assignment.

There is a good debate on another thread on ESp for medical purposes. Some things need specialist knowledge, that can only be garnered from real experience in the industry.
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Superhal



Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why a good textbook is so important. Seldom will you find an industry expert who is also an expert teacher. Usually, they stay in one or the other with less of a skill in what they don't do.
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superhal wrote:
That's why a good textbook is so important. Seldom will you find an industry expert who is also an expert teacher. Usually, they stay in one or the other with less of a skill in what they don't do.


From the market perspective, the thing is that some ESP is not really teaching, it is a cheap route management consultancy.

Saying that ESP is about teaching is missing an important point.
For proffessinal ESP you need both good teacher and industry experience. Some things you can not effectviely learn or teach from a book. It is about both.
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rryz



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tigertiger wrote:

This is why I flatly refused to teach a course covering contract law. And I recomended the training centre did not take the assignment.


ESP is to meet the need. You may refuse or reject the assignment, but the need is still there. There is a need for ESP to take more crucial roles.

tigertiger wrote:
There is a good debate on another thread on ESp for medical purposes. Some things need specialist knowledge, that can only be garnered from real experience in the industry.


i think i need to pursue another degree. to be expert of both. Oh no, finally teachers are the one needs to bear the responsible. Why don't those content experts get a diploma in teaching. solve all my problems.
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Superhal



Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but you seldom find 1 person who is both an expert in a business field and teaching ESL. And, if you gathered all of them into one room, and grouped them by field, you may end up with as many fields as people, which makes it almost impossible to form into a curriculum. So, I think the best possible option is to have the best possible materials with the best possible teacher.
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superhal wrote:
... So, I think the best possible option is to have the best possible materials with the best possible teacher.


Super
Might be a good compromise, and the best compromise that you can achieve locally,
But the best option is to do the job to the best of your ability. Sometimes we can only offer second best.

I work for an outfit in Shanghai
We have about 20 F/T and P/T insturctors,
We have 3 MBAs, one with TEFL. We have others with teaching and busienss experience.

It can be done.
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Superhal



Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me restate: the best possible option is to have the best possible materials with the best possible teacher rather than the most expert person in the field. If you have a decent teacher with decent materials, I think that will always outperform a great expert who is a bad teacher with any materials.

Of course, if you offer an ESP course in teaching ESL with a teacher who has an MA in ESL, that would be ideal.
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Superhal"]Let me restate: the best possible option is to have the best possible materials with the best possible teacher rather than the most expert person in the field. If you have a decent teacher with decent materials, I think that will always outperform a great expert who is a bad teacher with any materials.
quote]

Agree to a point but I also believe that a decent teacher, with an appropriate background is better.

Especialy true for special purposes that will impact on peoples lives.
Business is not one of these purposes, but medical and legal are such fields.

The other thing to consider in Asia is that many of the ESL/EFL teachers are not experienced. We have had new teachers leave totally demoralised after a short period (sometimes days) because the students totally undermine their confidence. A newbie with an approriate background can at least hold thier own until they learn the ropes of teaching.

This business can be tough Sad , I don't like feeding newbies to the lions, but often have no choice. Sad

Evil or Very Mad And at the end of the day a bad teacher with a business background is better than a poor teacher without one. Twisted Evil
They might even stay around long enough to learn how to teach. Laughing
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tigertiger



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superhal wrote:
the best possible option is to have the best possible materials with the best possible teacher rather than the most expert person in the field.


The sad reality is there are good materials, that can be used as a springboard. It is only the best people that are in short supply.

Where I work we do not demand qualified teachers, we train people to deliver the companies materials. Half of these are ESP and having worked in the field (business) I can (hand on heart) say that they are good for the purpose.
We give 5 days training.

The sad truth is that from experiece we have found :-
A/
Inexperienced teachers (TEFL trained), who maybe have taught in schools but have no business backgound, usually fail miserably. Students/companies complian, refuse to pay for lessons, and cancel contracts if the teacher is not changed.

B/ People with even a moderate business background, but no experience of teaching, survive and some even thrive.

A lot of it may be due to the ability of ex-business people to understand the rules of the discourse on the part of those with business experience. Even though they are unaware of discourse analysis. And to go beyond the materials when needed.

As you pointed out, a GOOD teacher could do the discourse analysis. But when it comes to students of intermediate, or above, levels of English, they will want to go off topic. Often they will need to go off topic if we are to meet their special purposes.

I am constantly remided we don't always have access to good teachers in Asia. We have to make the best fo available resources.
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