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English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

English for General Purposes (EGP)

The absolute characteristic of ESP, past:

 Designed to meet specified needs of learner.
 Related in content (themes and topic) to particular disciplines, occupations and activities.
 Centered on the language appropriate to those activities in syntax, lexis, discourse and semantics.
 In contrast with general English.
The variable characteristic of ESP, now:
 ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines.
 ESP may use in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of general English.
 ESP is like to be designed for adults learners.
 ESP is generally designed for intermediate and advance students.
Definition of ESP and EGP
ESP is a recognizable activity within the broader professional framework of English Language Teaching
(ELT) with implications for the design of syllabuses and materials as well as its presentation and then
EGP refers to context such as the school where needs cannot readily be specified. It is more usefully
considered as a providing a broad foundation rather that a detailed and selective specification of goals like ESP.
a. Distinctive Features of ESP and EGP


# The focus is on training # The focus is often on education

# As the English is intended to be used in specific # As the future, English needs of the students
vocational contexts, selection of appropriate context is are impossible to predict, course content is
easier. more difficult to select.
# Therefore, an EVP (English for Vocational # Due to the above point, it is important for the
Purposes) syllabus need only have a high surrender content in the syllabus to have a high surrender
value linguistic content in terms of the English value.
foreseen to be most relevant to the vocational context. # What for we use EGP?
The aim may only be to create a restricted English - to initiate conversation with a stranger
competence. - to make doctor’s appointment
# What for we use ESP? - to order food at restaurant
- to negotiate a merger - to read a local newspaper
- to report a crime to the police
- to produce software documentation - to complete a grant proposal
- to engage in courtroom - to comprehend a TV news program
- to announce an aircraft’s position to the control - to address an envelope
tower - to shop via the internet
- to understand pesticide application instruction - to exchange letters with a friend
- to fill out a credit card application
- to read technical specifications

- to explain how to operate a crane
- to make a stock trade on trading floor

The Trace of ESP and EGP in Practice

Some important points about ESP classes and its comparison with EGP ones:
 Learners and purposes of learning, ESP learners are usually adults who already have some familiarity
with English language and they are learning the language in order to communicate a set of professional skills
and to perform particular job-related functions. In EGP classes varies from children to adults and learning
English language is the subject of the classes.
 Purposes of learning, aims of instruction are identified. In EGP class, as a general rule, four skills are
stressed equally. But in ESP, it is needs analysis that determines which language skills are most needed by the
students, and the syllabus is design accordingly. For example, in order to train a tourist guide, the ESP class
should promote the development of spoken skills. Another example, one who intends to work in a business
administration should be trained in development of reading skills.
 In a typical EGP class, there is concentration on teaching grammar and language structure (mostly in
isolation). But in ESP, the focus is on context, to ESP English is not taught as a subject separated from the
students real world/wishes.
 Combination of subject-matter which learners are familiar with English language creates a meaningful
context which is highly motivation. This meaningful context increases motivation that is a positive indication of
a successful learning.
 Regarding the term “specific” in ESP, it should be noted that only does it mean English for Specific
Purposes. For example, English language a service of specific purposes, but also it implies specific purposes of
learning English. In other words, the study of English through a field that is already known and relevant to it.
Therefore, learners are able to use what they learn in ESP classes right away in their work and studies. This
means that ESP enables them to use the English, they know to learn even more English.

b. The Significant Roles of ESP Teacher

 The responsibility of the teacher
 Setting goals and objectives
 Organizing courses
 Creating a learning environment
 Evaluating students
c. The Significant Roles of ESP Learner
 The responsibility of the student
 Interest and motivation for learning
 Subject-content knowledge
 Focus on learning strategies


A. ESP characteristics
Stevens (1981:116) claims that ESP needs to be distinguished from absolute and variable characteristics:
1. Absolute characteristics
ESP consists of English language teaching which is,
a. Designed to meet specific needs of the learners
b. Related in content to particular discipline, occupation and activities
c. Centered the language appropriate to those activities in syntax, lexis, discourse, semantics, and analysis
of this discourse.
2. Variable characteristics
ESP may be, but not necessarily,
a. Restricted as to the language skills to be learned, e.g. reading only
b. Not taught according to any pre-ordained methodology
The claims for ESP are:
a. Being focused on the learner’s needs-waste no time
b. Is relevant to the learner
c. Is successful in imparting learning is more cost effective than general English
Similarly, Robinsons (1991:1) formulates ESP characteristics in the following:
a. ESP course is normally goal directed
The students study English not because they are interested in the English language but because they need
English for study or work purposes.
b. ESP courses is based on a need analysis
The ESP course aims to specify as closely possible what exactly it is that the students have to do through
the medium of English
c. The students of an ESP course are likely to be adults rather than children
d. ESP courses may be written about as though they consist of identical students
The learners in ESP class are involved in the same kind of work or specialist studies. Of course in some cases, a
class may compose of all employees of a company who share knowledge of the company or overall objectives.
B. Subcategories ESP
Types of ESP
David Carter (1983) identifies three types of ESP:
 English as a restricted language
 English for Academic and Occupational Purposes
 English with specific topics.





Figure 1. ESP subcategories ( Lomperis: 1996)
EGP = English for General Purposes EVP = English for Vocational Purposes
ESOL= English for Speakers of Other Languages EAP = English for Academic Purposes
ESP = English for Specific Purposes EOP = English for Occupational Purposes
EPE = English in Preparation for Employment EPP = English for Professional Purposes
EEP = English for Employment Purposes


Basturkmen (2006) describes five objectives in teaching ESP. They are:
1. To reveal subject-specific language use aims to show how English is used in the target environment and to
impart to students the knowledge about it that has been revealed by linguistic research in the field.
2. To develop target performance competencies focus on developing the ability to perform the activities of an
occupation and function to the standard expected to those employed in that occupation.
3. To teach underlying knowledge.
4. To develop strategic competence.
5. To foster critical awareness.
Barsturkmen (2006) presents two ideas about conditions needed for language learning. They are
acculturation and input and interaction.
Acculturation is the obtainment of culture by an individual or a group of people. The term originally
applied only to the process concerning a foreign culture, from the acculturing or accultured recipient point of
view, having this foreign culture added and mixed with that of his or her already existing one acquired since
Barsturkmen (2006) said that a number of social and psychological factors identified that could have an
impact on the level of acculturation and thus success in learning.
 Power relations between the groups.
 Desire to assimilate
 Extent of share facilities
 Psychological (language and Culture Shock)


Barsturkmen (2006) also said that sufficient linguistic input and interaction are understood to be
condition favorable for language learning. This is support by Long’s Interaction Hypotheses which summarized
by Barsturkmen as follows:
a. Learners can only learn what they are ready to learn. ( they have their own internal syllabus )
b. Linguistic input is necessary for learning.
c. Learners negotiate the meaning of input to make it comprehensible to themselves.
d. Through negotiation of meaning, the input becomes increasingly useful because it id targeted to the
specific development level of the individual learner.
e. Thus input negotiated to fit the needs for the individual learner can become intake.

ESP students are likely to be adults rather than children. Therefore, it is also assumed that ESP student
are not beginners but should have already studied EGP (English for general purposes) for some years.
Mcdounough (1986:17) suggest the following key learners differences to take into account in foreign language
 Personality : learners maybe quite, or extrovert
 Motivation : learner may have choosen to learn, they maybe obligate to take a course or an
examination, they may or may not perceive relevant materials
 Attitude : learners have attitudes to learning, to target language and, to classroom
 Aptitude : some people seem more readily able than other to learn another language.
 Preferred learning styles : some learners are more comfortable in a spoken situation, other preferred
written materials.
 Intelligence : cognitive maturity and cognitive ability.

ESP teacher Role
 The teacher must have experience in teaching English as a second language
 Teacher needs to analysis the learners
 Formulation of Goals and Objectives of the Course
 Conceptualizing the Content
 Selecting and Developing ESP Materials
 Evaluating the Course
1. Authentic Materials
Authenticity is a key concept within communicative approach and is particularly relevant for ESP.
There are several reasons why authentic material is highly recommended.
First, In short, authentic text will include the type of language which the learner may need to be exposed
to, to develop skills for understanding, and possibly even to produce.
Second, the material may provide information about real-life situations or events.
In relation to material development for ESP, Moore (1977:45) suggests six criteria to be applied in
creating materials:
b. TYPE: Does he exercise type effectively and economically accomplish the purpose?
c. CONTENT: Is the ratio of language given and student task economic? Are instructions to students clear?
e. AUTHENTIC: is it a meaningful task? Is it challenging?
f. DIFFICULTY: does it contain distracting difficulties?
2. Materials for Self- Access Centers
1. Published Materials
2. Authentic Materials
Gadner and miller (1999:102) made a list of categories; newspaper; magazine, user manuals; leaflets and
brochures; foreign mission information; materials from international companies and airlines; letters, faxes and
e-mails; videos; and songs. Lectures and speeches being given locally can be recorded; near negative and native
who may be persuaded to record talks, give interviews, or tell stories. Even TV and radio programs can be also
3. Adapting and supplementing published materials
Published materials which have been adapted and supplemented in some way should also be made
4. Specially prepared materials
In addition to published and authentic materials, there will always be a need for materials that is more
precisely tailored to the needs of students on their own such as practice/testing activities or social/ peer
matching activities.

Contextualization has been recognized as an important concept in ESP classroom and involves some
variables. One of the context variables that should heavily be considered in ESP classroom is what the students
have to do. Context refers to circumstances or setting in which person uses language
Robinson (1991:49) believes that role play and simulation, case study, project work and oral
presentation have been effective and efficient in ESP classroom interactions.
Role Play and Simulation
Role play and simulation essentially involved the learners’ looking on a different role and even identity from
their usual one. In simulation the learner is given task to perform a problem to solve.
Case Study
Case studies involve studying the facts of a real-life case, discussing the issues involved and reaching some kind
of decision or action plan.
Project Work
Project work is particularly appropriate for EAP, since doing is project may be a requirement for a college
student. A project work is typically tasks for several days or even weeks and involves students in some out-of
class activities.
Oral Presentation

A. Check List for Evaluating Published Materials
Based on Tomlinson’s (in Anonym, 2010) conception of what constitutes effective language teaching
materials; we believe good textbooks should have the following features.
1. Good textbooks should attract the students’ interest and attention.
2. Textbooks should help students to feel at ease.
3. Textbooks should help students to develop confidence.
4. Textbooks should meet students’ needs.
5. Textbooks should expose the students to language in authentic use.
6. Textbooks should provide the students with opportunities to use the target language to realize
communicative purposes.
7. Textbooks should take into account that the positive effects of language teaching are usually delayed.
8. Textbooks should take into account that students differ in learning styles.
9. Textbooks should take into account that students differ in affective factors. Good textbooks should
accommodate different attitudinal and motivational background as much as possible.
10. Textbooks should maximize learning potential by encouraging intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional
participation which stimulates both right and left brain activities.
According to Wello (2008), check list for evaluating published materials consist of six parts, such as the
material that is aimed for the learners, the main language objectives, the main topic areas covered, the main
methodological approach, the role of the material, and the material attractive.
1. The materials that is aimed for the learners
a. Job and task to perform at work
b. Work experience
c. Language level
d. Cultural background
e. Age
f. Learning style
2. The main language objectives
a. Skills
b. Functions
c. Structures
d. Vocabulary
3. The main topic areas covered
a. The material introduce the subject
b. It use the topic area as contextual background
c. The coverage of the topic content high in credibility
4. The main methodological approach
a. Demonstration of language in context through text, tape, or video
b. Explain grammatical rules
c. Presentation of functional language
d. Controlled practice of language
e. Open practice of language
f. Skill development or a combination of these?
5. The role of the material
a. To present language
b. To practice language
c. To provide a resource for the learner
d. To check or test knowledge
6. The material attractive
a. Clear layout
b. Good use of space
c. Useful, clear pictures, and diagrams
d. Interesting context and task
B. Selection and Exploitation of Authentic Materials
According to Wello (2008), when selecting authentic materials to use, there are three questions to keep
in mind:
1. Who is it for?
2. What is the training purpose?
3. How can the material be exploited?
C. Developing or Adapting Materials
According to Swales (in Wello, 2008), there are three stages process of curriculum design in ESP, such
1. Reaching some understanding of the target situation
2. Studying the target situation elements
3. Devising materials and language learning activities
When designing an ESP course, teachers face multifaceted task for selecting an appropriate, motivating
content domain as well as agreeing upon challenging language and content specific teaching materials to use in
classroom and they will face a number of additional hurdles in selecting the specific materials to use in the
classroom. Ideally, the selected material is the ones that fit the language teaching purposes (Wello, 2008).
In the case of adapting language teaching materials based on authentic text, Briton, Snow, and Wesche
(in Wello, 2008) suggest the following useful guidelines.
1. Needs analysis
Needs analysis of a formal or informal nature play a central role in determining how to the best adapt the
content material? For example, teachers may formally analyze the linguistic features of the content reading
materials in order to create activities which make the materials more accessible to their students.
2. Juxtaposition of language and content objectives
In any content based course, language teachers need to make a concrete effort to map their teaching objectives
onto the content materials. This effort involves devising skill activities which derive from the content material
and allow the students to utilize newly learned language and critical thinking skills.
3. Textual features
Authentic texts may deviate from the standard of good writing. Content text may contain linguistic
characteristic such excess embedding or lack of cohesion which hinder nonnative comprehension. Providing
revision of such text can help learners in their comprehension.
4. Informational content
Typically, content texts contain a density of information which is difficult for the nonnative speakers to process.
Adaptation should therefore center on making the text more accessible via the development of exercises to help
learners utilize existing schemata.
In the other hand, Maley (in Anonym, 2010) suggested the following options to adapt materials:
1. Omission: the teacher leaves out things deemed unsuitable, unpleasant, unproductive, etc., for the particular
2. Addition: where there seems to be insufficient treatment, teachers may decide to add to textbooks, either
in the form of texts or exercise material.
3. Reduction: where the teacher shortens an activity to give it less weight or emphasis.
4. Extension: where an activity is extended in order to give it an additional dimension. (For example, a
vocabulary activity is extended to draw attention to some syntactic patterning).
5. Rewriting/modification: teacher may occasionally decide to rewrite material, especially exercise
material, to make it more suitable, more “communicative”, more challenging, more accessible to their students,
6. Replacement: text or exercise material which is considered insufficient, for whatever reason, may be
replaced by more suitable material. This is often culled from other resource materials.
7. Re-ordering: teachers may decide that the order in which the textbooks are presented is not suitable for
their students. They can decide to plot a different course through the textbooks from the one the writer has laid
8. Branching: teachers may decide to add options to the existing activity or to suggest alternative pathways
through the activities (For example, an experiential route or an analytical route).


A. Content-Based Approach
1. Content-based approach definition
Content-based language teaching is an approach to second language instruction that envolves the use of
a second language to learn or practice content. In most instances,content is defined as materials that is generally
outside the realm of the traditional course materials of language programmes. As such, many content-based
courses or programmes use the second language as the medium for the learning the content specific courses
(such as mathematics, science, art, or social sciences), shifting the focus from language as course content to
language as the medium instruction.
2. Suggestion for Content-Based Materials Development
The development of content-based courses involves the task of selecting appropriate content materials as well as
designing challenging language and content activities. Brinton et al.’s (1989) suggestions concerning text
selection for content-based courses include the following:
Content authenticity--- how up to date is the content materials?... does the material give students an opportunity
to practice the more expensive type of reading, writing, and listening typically required in content disciplines?
Task authenticity--- are the task required of students appropriate to the discipline/subject matter? Do they
promote critical thinking?
Difficulty level--- are the materials appropriate for the proficiency level of students? How heavy is the
lexical/syntatic load? Is the leght of the text appropriate neccessibility---do the students have the necessary
background knowledge to engage in the text? Is it culturally accessible? Is the information load appropriate?
Availability-what content-specific materials (e.g readings, audio/ videotaped lectures, films) are available for
use in this couse? Textual aids---are textual aids (e.g glosses, study questions, indices) utilized to assist students
in their comprehension and retention of the content material?
Flexibility---does the text lend itself to the integration of skills? To information exchange activities? (p.90)
Program developers must also consider whether they wish to use a content textbook or whether they wish to
develop their own content related materials (Shih,1998).
3. The Development of Content-Based Curriculum
curriculum Language learning curriculum that is primarily driven by content (content-based instruction) has
gained support because teachers and students are able to see the practicality of language that is meaningful
beyond grammatical viability. Serious ESP instruction also must consider the benefits that a content-based
approach engenders.
In this part, internal and external factors are discussed as a means to provide ESP teachers with some broad
principles to consider when thinking about designing materials with a content-based teaching perspective.
Internal factors are simply those influences that are in the students’ immediate environment, while external
influences are those that are derived primarily from the students’ (eventual) professional domain.
The conclusions in this part emphasize that structural linguistic elements in the classroom must be, at the very
least, balanced with content, and that internal and external influences should be driving forces behind content-
based curriculum development intended for the ESP classroom. The notions behind content-based instruction
(CBI) complement objectives in settings where language is taught with a very specific purpose in mind. At the
heart of CBI is the lofty ideal that language instruction cannot be devoid of the context in which it is presented,
and moreover, that content rather than language structures should be the driving force in curriculum
development (Erickson & Schulz, 1981).
This of course runs contrary to the past notion of allegiance to grammar proficiency as the primary objective
behind language teaching. Such grammar dogmas dictate that language-learning curriculum should built solely
upon the foundations of grammar structures; meaningful language is at best a secondary concern. And, even
though the number of soldiers supporting a “grammar-focused” approach is on the decline, there is still a subtle
but persistent focus on grammar in a plethora of textbooks and other curricular materials. Such materials often
feign allegiance to more functional and content-oriented approaches but fail to deliver the promised goods
(Grabe & Stoller, 1997). This is not to say that CBI advocates generally adhere to the idea that content is
superior to grammaticality of language structures, but that form and content need to be integrated into language
instruction. And, grammar exercises devoid of context and content are rendered less effective. Hence, content
becomes the naturally selected element driving the development of curriculum (Grabe & Stoller, 1997). In the
realm of language teaching, one area where the role of content cannot be ignored is in the context of ESP.
In the present discussion about CBI, we look at curriculum design from the angle of an ESP perspective.
Obviously, in ESP settings the curriculum should be founded upon the subject area in which the students are
majoring. If it is nursing, then concepts related to the medical field should have influence over the design of the
instruction; if it is computer science, then computer science concepts should influence the design; if it is
chemistry, then chemistry related concepts should influence the design, etc. With a specific subject-based
concept in mind, the language teacher can begin the process of content-based instructional development.
However, sound choices need to be made regarding what materials are appropriate to best assist language
learners both in their present situation within the university and in post-graduation activities related to their area
of specialization. Thus, it is imperative that ESP language teachers clearly identify what phenomena in the real
world offer them the most effective resources.
The purpose of this paper, then, is to isolate a few broad factors that can be considered as appropriate influences
toward the design and development of materials for a content-based ESP approach. We suggest here that CBI in
ESP should be influenced by both internal and external factors. In operational terms, internal factors are simply
those factors that are generated from the environment in which the students and teachers find themselves while
external factors are those factors that are generated from outside of that environment.
2. The Class Activities in Content Based Approach :
1. Pre Test
2. Main activity
3. Closing
Note : In a content based approach, the activities of the language class are geared to stimulate students to think
and learn, and communicate through the use of the target language.
3. The Goal of Content Based Teacher
1. The Primary Goal
* To help student develop communicative competence.
2. The Secondary Goals
* To introduce concept and terminology relevant to given subject area.
* To reinforce content area information learned elsewhere.
* To teach specific strategies for writing, reading, or eneral study via the means of interest materials.
A. ESP and Content-Based Instruction
Content-Based Instruction ( CBI ) is a significant approach in second language acquisition (Brinton, Snow, &
Wesche, 1989). CBI is designed to provide second-language learners instruction in content and language.
Content-based instruction means the use of subject matter in second/foreign language teaching. Subject matter
may consist of topics or themes selected for student interest or need, or it may be very specifis, such as the
content course material which students are currently studying. This approach is in keeping with ESP where the
vocational or occupational needs of the learners are identified and used as the basis for curriculum and material
The CBI approach is comparable to English for Specific Purposes (ESP), which usually is for vocational or
occupational needs or English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The goal of CBI is to prepare students to acquire
the languages while using the context of any subject matter so that students learn the language by using it within
the specific context.
There are four major empirical research findings that emphasize the benefits of CBI (Rivers, 1992: 41):
1. thematically organized materials are easier to learn and remember;
2. coherent and meaningful information is deeper and better processed;
3. common outcome of CBI is a link between learner motivation and interest;
4. developing expertise in a topic through a sequence of complex tasks.
The advantages of CBI are numerous, and the most important are: to make learning a language more
interesting and motivating, to develop learners' knowledge of the world and valuable study skills such as note-
taking, summarizing and finding key information in available materials (Peachey, 2003). The potential problems
are related to CBI not being explicitly focused on language learning. This might lead to overuse of students'
native language and a direct copying of information from materials without evaluating its reliability.
Adoption of CBI allows language educators to incorporate language functions, skills, vocabulary, grammar into
language classes. CBI is often linked with project work, which involves multi-skill activities focusing on a
theme of interest rather than specific language tasks (Haines, 1989:7). It is emphasized that different types of
projects have the same common features – students' interaction, collaboration, involvement, and responsibility.
Project work implies cooperative learning and task-based activities, and it is viewed as "an approach to learning
which compliments mainstream methods and which can be used with almost all levels, ages and abilities of
students" (Haines, 1989:8).
Content-Based Instruction refers to an approach to second language acquisition that emphasizes the importance
of content. Different to other approaches or methods, language learning is not centered around the language
itself but around subject matters. Nevertheless, the approach aims to develop the students' language and
academic skills. These skills are developed unconsciously through the content dealt with (Richards & Rodgers
2001: 204-205). As already mentioned, content is central to and the main focus of the approach. As Richards
and Rodgers point out, if the information delivered through the content is interesting and useful, learners may
acquire the language faster (ibid.). In addition, the language acquisition process may be more efficient and the
language learners more motivated. Dörnyei supports this thesis by stating “students will not be motivated to
learn unless they regard the material they are taught as worth learning” (2001: 63). Therefore, it may be
essential within the Content-Based approach to include learners in the choice of topics and activities.
Content-based instructional can be very effective to teach ESP in college education context since it fulfills a
number of conditions which are found in literature of language learning and teaching. Brinton, Snow and
Wesche (1989) characterize those conditions as follows:
 takes into account the interests and needs of the learners,
 incorporate the eventual uses the learner will make of the target language,
 builds on the student’s previous learning process,
 allows a focus on use as well as on usage,
 offers learners the necessary condition for second language,
 learning by exposing them to meaningful language in use.
B. Models of Content-Based Instruction
According to Brinton, Snow, and Wesche (1989), there are three CBI teaching models that practitioners can
1. Theme-based language instruction
Theme-based language instruction In this program, a language curriculum is developed around selected topics
or themes drawn from content area such as global warming, women's rights, pollution, and marketing, or from
across the curriculum like Civil War and US history. The theme must be of strong interest to students and must
allow a wide variety of language forms and practice to be practiced. Materials in theme-based language
instruction are usually teacher-generated or adapted from outside sources. An attempt is often made to integrate
the topic into the teaching of all skills (Brinton et al., 1989). The goal is to assist learners in developing general
academic language skills through interesting and relevant content. Theme-based language instruction is the most
widespread of the three content-based models because it can be implemented within virtually any existing
institutional setting, and the theme or the topic can be selected to match students' interests.
2. Sheltered content instruction
Basically, in sheltered content instruction learners a re taught the subject matter and language course work in
English that is modified to students’ level of prroficiency (Scarcella and Oxford. 1992). Sheltered courses
consist of content courses taught in the target language to segregated group of learners by a content area
specialist. In English speaking countries non-native speaking students are separated from native-speaking
students in order to place them in the same linguistic boat. Sheletered language courses assume an instutional
framework such as a high school, community college, or a university in which access to content courses and
content teaching staff proficient in the target language. The instructional materials are carefully selected for
tehir organization and clarity, the instructor may gears lectures more closely to the written text and make certain
linguistic adjustments to allow for students’ listening comprehension difficulties.
3. Adjunct language instruction
In this model, students are enrolled in two linked courses, one a content course and one a language course, with
both courses sharing the same content base but differ in their focus of instruction. The language teachers
emphasize language skills, while content teachers focus on academic concepts. Such a program requires a large
amount of coordination between the language and content teachers, and usually language teachers make the
extra efforts to become familiar with the content. Both non-native and native speakers of the target language
attend the same lecture. Basically, in this kind of content-based instruction, language and content courses are
linked through instructor and curriculum coordination (Scarcella and Oxford, 1992). In other words, two
separate courses are conducted, but they are carefully linked.
C. Distinguishing Features of Three Content-Based Models
- Primary purpose(s)
Theme-based: Help student develop L2 competence withing specific topic areas
Sheltered: Help student master content material
Adjunct: Help student master content material; Introduce students to L2 academic discourse and develop
transferable academic skills
- Instructional format; Instructional reponsibilities
Theme-based: ELS course; Language instructor responsible for language and content instruction
Sheltered: Content course; Content instructor responsible for content instruction
Adjunct: Linked content and ELS courses; Content instructor responsible for content instruction
- Student population
Theme-based: Non-native speakers
Sheltered: Non-native speakers
Adjunct: Non-native and native speakers integrated for content instruction; non-native and native speakers are
separated for language instruction.
- Focus of evaluation
Theme-based: Language skills and functions
Sheltered: Content mastery
Adjunct: Content mastery (in content class); language skills and functions (in language)

D. Implications of The Content-Based Models

- Setting
Theme-based: Adult schools; Secondary shcools; language institutes; all other language programs
Sheltered: Secondary schools; colleges and universities
Adjunct: Secondary schools; colleges and universities
- Proficiency level
Theme-based: Low to Advanced L2
Sheltered: Intermediate to high intermetdiate L2
Adjunct: High intermediate advanced L2
- Curriculum
Theme-based: Topic-based (theme-based) curricular units itegrate all four skills
Sheltered: Content course syllabus; Study skills may be integrated into content syllabus
Adjunct: Curriculum objectives coordinated between content and language staffs; Treatment of general language
skills in addition to content specific language skills
- Materials
Theme-based: Teacher-developed materials; Commercial ESL texts
Sheltered: Commercial content texts; Selected with sensitivity to proficiency level; Coordination of lectures and
Adjunct: Content texts and lectures provide bases for majority of language skills instruction and practice
supplemented by teacher – developed materials and commercial ESL texts
- Teacher teaching
Theme-based: Language teacher need training in curriculun/syllabus design and materials development
Sheltered: Content teachers need awareness of second lang. development
Adjunct: Language and content need training in curriculum and syllabus design and in mayerials development;
training should focus on curriculum coordination aand team teaching
- Administrative issues
Theme-based: Release time needed to develop curriculum/instructor materials
Sheltered: Careful selection on content instruction
Adjunct: Support and remuneration for extensive coordination and for marterials

Needs Assessment or needs analysis in a language program is often viewed simply as identification of
the language forms that the students will likely need to use in the target language when they are required to
actually understand and to produce the language.
According to Isaac and Michael, there are four parts of needs assessment, namely:
1. Identify the students-oriented goals (needs are based on goals).
2. Rank the importance of these goals without regard to performance levels which are categorized as high,
moderate, or low importance.
3. Assess the level of performance for each of the goals. The performance level for each goal is categorized
as high, moderate or low.
4. Establish a priority for each student goal, considering both importance and performance.
A. Steps in Needs Analysis
According to Jordan (1997:23), there are ten steps in needs analysis, they are:
1. Purpose of analysis
In needs assessment, purpose of analysis refers to help the teachers or instructors know the learners’ needs and
make choices as to what to teach and how to teach it.
2. Delimit student population
This step is used to separate the learners based on their needs, so that the teachers will be easier to manage the
teaching and learning process.
3. Decide upon the approach (es)
This step is used by the teachers to decide the approaches that are effective on teaching process based on the
students-oriented goals.
4. Acknowledge constrains/limitations
For this step, the teachers make some limitations about the material that will be taught to the learners based on
their needs, so that the material will not swerve from the learners needs.
5. Select method of collecting data
This step is used by the teachers to select a particular method in collecting learners’ data such as student
population, student needs, and etcetera.
6. Collect data
This step is used by the teachers to collect learners’ data based the method that has been selected.
7. Analyze and interpret results
This step is used by the teachers to analyze and interpret the results of the collecting learners’ data.
8. Determine objectives
This step is used by the teachers to determine the objective of teaching and learning of needs assessment.
9. Implement decision (decide syllable, content, material, method, and etcetera.
This step is applied to decide the syllable, content, material, and method in teaching and learning process to
reach the objectives.
10. Evaluate procedure and result
This step is used to evaluate the improvement of the learners about what they have gotten during teaching and
learning process.
B. Approaches to Needs Analysis/Assessment
1. Target-situation analysis (TSA)
According to Dudley-Evans and St John (1998: 125), target situation analysis focuses on two parts, namely
subjective and objective needs. Subjective needs describes about the students’ personal information, and
objective needs describes about the students’ professional information.
2. Present-situation analysis (PSA)
This approach focuses on the English language information about the students. What their current skills and
language use are present situation analysis (PSA). PSA determines strengths and weakness in language skills.
3. Pedagogic analysis
The term “pedagogic needs analysis” was proposed by West (1998) as an umbrella term to describe the
following three elements of needs analysis. He states the fact that shortcomings of target needs analysis should
be compensated by collecting data about the learner and the learning environment.
4. Deficiency analysis (DA)
DA maps existing proficiency against target learner proficiency determining deficiencies/lacks with the use of a
three-point rating scale (none/some/lots), which establishes the priority that should be given. (West, 1994: 10)
5. Strategy analysis
According to Allwright (1982), there are three important points in Strategy analysis, namely: needs (the skills
which a student seen as being relevant to him/herself), wants (those needs on which the students put a high
priority in the available, limited time), and lacks (the difference between the students’ present competence and
desired competence).
6. Mean analysis
According to Dudley-Evans and St John (1998: 125), mean analysis focuses on environmental situation. The
information is about the environment in which the course will be run (cultural attitudes, resources materials
equipment, methods).
7. Register analysis
Changing approaches to linguistics analysis for ESP involve not only change in method but also changing ideas
of what is to be included in language and its description (Robinson, 1991). Register analysis also called
“lexicostatistics” by Swales (1988:1) and “frequency analysis” by Robinson (1991:23) focused on the grammar
and “structural and nonstructural” vocabulary. As noted, register analysis operates only at word and sentence
level and does not go beyond these levels.
8. Discourse analysis
Since register analysis operated almost entirely at word and sentence level, the second phase of development
shifted attention to the level above the sentence and tried to find out how sentence were combine into discourse
(Hutchinson & Waters, 1987). In practice, according to West (1998), this approach tended to concentrate on
how sentences are used in the performance of acts of communication.
9. Genre analysis
Discourse analysis may overlap with genre analysis. According to Bhatia, genre analysis is the study of
linguistic behavior in institutionalized academic or professional setting. In his article, Bhatia said that an ESP
learner needs to develop so as to get over his/her lack of confidence in dealing with specialist discourse.
C. Philosophies of Needs Assessment
According to Stufflbeam (1995) there are four divergent philosophies in a needs analysis.
1. The discrepancy philosophy views needs as differences between a desired performance from the students
and observed or predicted performance (what they are actually doing). This might lead to gathering detailed
information what is needed to change students’ performance based on the observed differences between the
desired correct use of grammatical items and the incorrect use of those items by the students.
2. The democratic philosophy views needs as a change desired by a majority of some reference group or a
majority of the group involved.
3. The analytic philosophy sees needs as whatever the students will naturally learn next based on what is
known about them and the learning process involved: that is the students are at stage x in their language
development, and the next need to learn x + 1 or whatever is next in the hierarchy of language development.
4. The diagnostic philosophy views a need as the direction improvement predicted, given information about
current status. In other words, need is anything that would prove harmful if it was missing.

A. Who Will be Involved in the Needs Analysis
1. Target Group which is made up of those people about whom information will ultimately be gathered.
The usual target group is the students in a program, but sometimes the teacher and/or administrators are also
2. The audience for a needs analysis which encompasses all people who will eventually be required to act
upon the analysis. This group usually consists of teachers, teacher’s aids program administrator and any
governing bodies or supervisor in the bureaucracy above the language program.
3. The needs analyst who are responsible to conducting the needs analysis. They may be consultants
brought in for the purpose or members of the faculty designated for the job.
4. The recourses group which consist of any people who may serve as sources of information about the
target group. In some context, financial sponsor outsiders (content course teacher).
Hall and Crabbe (1994:8) emphasize that the types of information which are central to any specific purpose of a
language course will answer the following question:
a. In what situations do the learners have to use English?
b. Who do they talk to or listen to, about what task do they have to perform?
c. What kinds of information do they have to read or write, in what form and for what purpose?
B. Types of Instrument
There are six kinds of instrument which are frequently used in gathering needs analysis information:

Records analysis
System analysis
1. Existing Information Literature review
Letter writing

Procedure Placement
2. Tests

Case Studies
Diary studies
3. Observation Behavior observation
Interactional analysis

Procedure Individual
4. Interviews Group

Procedure Advisory
5. Meetings Interest group

Biodata surveys
Procedure Opinion surveys
6. Questionnaires
Judgmental Ratings
Q sort


A. Planning a Test
Before making a test, a tester needs to know some steps of test planning as well as stages and
consideration in developing a language test. A test plan is a document detailing a systematic approach to testing
a system. To plan a test for students or learners we have to have a good consideration in order to we can give the
most suitable test to the students or learners.
1. Different steps of test planning
 To determine the purposes of the test.
EXAMPLE: proficiency, achievement, diagnostic, or placement.
 To specify the objectives of the test.
EXAMPLE: what is to measure.
 To define the content area of the test.
EXAMPLE: Performance or skill.
 To determine the relative weight of the different parts of the test.
EXAMPLE: oral/written, performance/skill, fluency/accuracy, the ability to communicate, etc.
 To determine what testing method(s) and procedure to use in order to tap the objectives and content.
EXAMPLE: role play, simulation, etc.
Stage and consideration in developing a language test


PURPOSE The tester considers on WHY he is testing and WHAT he will use
the results for
PLANNING The tester considers the objectives of the test as they as relate to
WHAT will be tested
ITEMS/TASKS The tester choose among various testing procedure s, giving
attention to the specific testing situation and needs:
communication, open-ended, role play (not multiple choice)
ADMINISTERING The tester considers a systematic administration in the appropriate
testing conditions and gives the test.
SCORING/RATING The tester evaluates the quality of the language sample according
to certain criteria
ANALYSIS The taster analyzes the whole test as well as the specific items and
tasks (identifying problem area)
REPORTING The tester converts the raw testing score3s into meaningful
information for reporting for reporting it to the specific
audiences-the specific test-taker, the administrator, the teacher,
parents, etc.

2. Determining the Purpose of a Test

Common types of language tests
A. PROFICIENCY Evaluation of a person’s language knowledge in relation to
future language use. It does not necessarily depend on what
has been learned before in a given course. Example-to find out
if a person’s language knowledge is good enough for him to
became a news broadcaster. This is use of the language,
regardless of what language program the test-taker had gone
B. ACHIEVEMENT To evaluate the test-taker’s language in relation to a given
course. Exam given at the end of course to find out how much
of what was taught the test-taker had learned (backward
C. DIAGNOSTIC To identify the test-taker’s strength and weaknesses in the
language, as well as to explain why certain problem occur, and
what “treatment” can be used. The diagnosis can be performed
using proficiency, placement, achievement or any test,
provided it is detailed enough.
D. PLACEMENT To evaluate the test-taker’s language knowledge in relation to
the curriculum of the different level of the future language
courses which the test-taker’s is about to enroll in (future
E. ENTRANCE To evaluate the test-taker’s language knowledge in relation to
the language needed in a future course (not necessarily a
language course). This becomes the criteria for acceptance.
F. MASTERY To evaluate the test-taker’s language knowledge in relation to
specific, well-defined language knowledge, usually described
by objectives and with an aim that students master the

B. Testing Oral Ability

The main objective of teaching spoken language is the development of the ability to interact successfully
in that language and this involves comprehension as well as production. If an oral test is given, it can be better
to give a few short tasks, to vary these factors, than one long one that will test a limited range of ability. It can
be a good idea to use pairs/groups so that more genuine communication can take place, with information gaps
and using some role plays.
However, if using pairs make sure that one partner is not allowed to dominate or to cause the task to fail
for the other partner in any way. Put pupils together who get on well, and make sure each one is allowed to
really show what they can do.
a. Setting the scene
How do we design a test that mirrors the student's abilities to communicate in such a network? How do
we make a test which is a true indicator of communicative ability and which gives as much information to the
student about his/her language abilities as it does to the examiner? To answer these questions we need to ask
why we are making the test and what its goals are. Who is it for? What is it meant to test? How will we
determine if it is successful? Do we want reliability or validity? Is norm referencing or criteria referencing
appropriate? It was decided at the Language Center to answer these questions by designing a test that mirrored
what had been taught (high face-validity), that was learner-centered (Nunan 1988:134), and that had “wash
back" validity (Morrow 1985).
b. The Test
Two examiners were present for each test - the normal class teacher, and another 'visiting' examiner
providing both a subjective and an objective assessment of the students. Students were required to complete two
stages. Categories for assessment focused on communicational effectiveness, and were based on the type of
'performance criteria' mentioned by Underhill (1987:96), i.e. 'size', 'complexity', 'speed', 'flexibility', 'accuracy',
'appropriacy', 'independence', 'repetition', and 'hesitation'.
c. Reliability-Validity
There are various discussions in the literature on the validity (face/content/construct), and the reliability
(concurrent/predictive) of oral tests. As Jakobovits argues (1970:95): the question of what it is to know a
language is not yet well understood and consequently the language proficiency tests now available attempt to
measure something that has not been well defined
The main objective of teaching spoken language is the development of the ability to interact successfully
in that language and this involves comprehension as well as production.

1. Problems in testing oral ability.

The basic problems in testing oral ability arise in setting tasks that objectively represent oral task which
the candidates are expected be able to perform, i.e. tasks that elicit behavior which truly represents the
candidates’ ability and can be scored validly and reliably.
In setting the tasks, specifications for oral at the intermediate level may involve the following language
a. Content
Expressing : Thanks, requirement, options, comment, attitude, confirmation, apology,
reasons/justifications (high frequency functions);
Narrating : events and sequence of event;
Eliciting : information, direction, service, clarification, and help;
Directing : ordering, instructing, persuading, advising, warning;
Reporting : description, comments/views, decision;
Text type : dialogues and multi-participant interactions normally of a face-to-face nature, but
telephone conversations could also be included.
b. Central Level of Performance
Accuracy : Clearly intelligible pronunciation, although influenced by L1, high grammatical and lexical
accuracy. Some errors which do not destroy communication are acceptable.
Appropriate : Use of language generally appropriate to the function. The overall intention of the speaker is
always clear.
Range : A fair level of language is available to the candidates. He is able to express himself without overtly
searching for words
Flexibility : Is able to take initiative in a conversation and to adapt to new topics or changes of direction.
Size : Most contribution may be short, but some evidence of ability to produce more complex utterances and
to develop these into discourse should be manifested.
c. Format
Interview : The interview is the most obvious and the most common format for testing oral interaction.
However, it has serious drawback in the traditional form. The relationship between the tester and the candidate
speaks as if to a supervisor and is unwilling to take the initiative. As a result, only one type of speech is elicited
and many functions-such as eliciting (by the candidate)- are not always represented in the students’
performance. If the interview is made more broad-based and non-threatening, it can be used as a very reliable
With peers : Two or more candidates may be asked to discuss a topic, make plans, comment on a picture,
etc. while this makes it easier for the tester to assess the candidates’ more objectively, the performance of one
candidates is likely to be affected by that of the others. An assertive or insensitive candidate may dominate and
not allow another candidate to show what he or she can do. If this format is used, candidate should be matched
carefully wherever possible and/or given instructions.
Responding to
Tape-recording: Uniformity of elicitation can be achieved through presenting al with the same audio or video
recorded stimuli. This will both promote reliability and effect economy if a language lab is available as large
number candidates can be tested at the same time.
2. Planning and Conducting Oral Tests
a) Make the oral test 15-30 minute long to get reliable information about the candidate’ oral
communication ability. However, if it is placement purposes a 5-10 minutes interview should be enough.
b) Include as wide a sample of specified content as possible in the time available and use more that one
format if necessary.
c) Plan the test carefully. It would be a mistake to begin an interview with no more than a general idea of
the course the course that it might take.
d) Give the candidate an opportunity to:
1. Use more than one format:
2. Interact with more than one tester:
3. Tackle separate and, if possible, graded items within each format so that if a candidate gets into
difficulty, not too much time is wasted on one item.
e) Select interviewers carefully and train them with video-recording of interviewers, interviewers must be
sympathetic, flexible and have a good command of the language themselves.
f) Ideally, have two testers present at each interview. This makes the judgment more reliable.
g) Set topics and tasks that would cause candidates no problem I their own language.
h) Carry out the interview in a quiet room with good acoustic.
i) Put candidates at ease, interview an oral testing can be very stressful for candidates. Be pleasant and
reassuring and start with manageable, straight forward tasks like a request for personal particulars, remarks
about the weather, etc.
j) Collect enough relevant information to help you make a fair and comprehensive assessment of the
candidate’s oral ability. Use a graded series of question and tasks, if possible.
k) Do not talk too much! Elicit and let candidates do much of the talking.


A. Testing listening comprehension

In listening comprehension tests we primarily test the following aspect:
a. Sound discrimantion
b. Sensitivity to stress and intonation
c. Global comprehension
d. Discrete-point comprehension
e. Other aural comprehension-related skills
f. Task performance
1. Important hints in testing aural/oral skills
a. Focus on the message
b. Do not test memory alone
c. Stress authentic contexts, materials and use, as far as possible
d. Provide sufficient context-clues
e. Give simple, clear and unambiguous directions
f. Try to create a non-threatening environment
g. Avoid using unfamiliar accent
2. Item Types
a. Recognition
Sound discrimination
- Ticking the right word
- Picture/word matching
- Word in context
b. Comprehension
c. Picture-spoken word correlation
d. Identifying location/direction in diagrams
e. Following directions/instructions
f. Information transfer
g. Identifying summary/outcome of short dialogues
h. Lecture-based note-taking
3. Sub-skills in testing comprehension
a. Literal recognition (reading) or recall (listening)
1) Recognition or recall of details
2) Recognition or recall of main ideas
3) Recognition or recall of sequence
4) Recognition or recall of comparisons
5) Recognition or recall of cause and effects relationship
6) Recognition or recall of character traits
b. Inference
1) Inferring supporting details
2) Inferring the main ideas
3) Inferring sequence
4) Inferring comparisons
5) Inferring cause and effects relationship
6) Inferring character traits
7) Inferring outcomes
8) Inferring about figurative language
c. Evaluation
1) Judgments of reality or fantasy
2) Judgments of fact or opinion
3) Judgments of adequacy or validity
4) Judgments of appropriateness
5) Judgments of worth, desirability or acceptability
d. Appreciation
1) Emotional response to plot or theme
2) Identification with characters and incidents
3) Reactions to the speakers use of language
4) Imagery
e. Task performance
1) Following Directions
2) Following instructions
A. Testing Grammar
1. In testing grammar there are some points to remember
a. Avoid testing only discrete items unless it is for diagnostic purposes
b. Use natural running contexts wherever possible
c. Ensure that the test includes a broad range of relevant grammatical problems in proportions reflecting
their relative importance
d. Avoid infrequent or involved constructions found in only in very formal writing
e. Do not use non-existing
f. Do not have too many items of one type or one area
g. Try to test grammar in context using items like a modified cloze or a dialogue-completion exercise,
either multiple choice or open ended depending o the level of the class. These items also help you to relate the
teaching and testing grammar to themes or topics.
h. If you are testing diagnostic or remedial purposes, use a large number of discrete items as well
2. Item types
1) Completion
2) Rearrangement
3) Recognition of right form
4) Error recognition
5) Short responses
b. Transformation
c. Writing appropriate word forms
d. Matching parts
e. Extension
f. Modified cloze-multiple choice or open-ended
A. Testing Vocabulary
1. Points to consider
a. A word acquires meaning in context and can have several meanings.
b. A word can have several synonyms and antonyms and false synonyms as well.
c. Words are used differently in formal and informal context
d. Learners have a larger repertoire of recognition vocabulary
e. Words are/should be taught on the basis of frequency and range, and appropriateness to level
f. Words are often used in combination (as phrasal words, collocations, associate pairs, etc.)
2. Item types
a. Recognition-multiple choice
Picture/word matching
Matching synonyms/antonyms
Parts of a whole
Elimination of non-homogenous words
b. Productions
Sentence with words list/word alternative
Cloze with word list/word alternatives
Replacing words in context with suitable synonyms
Writing appropriate forms of words, given the context
Scrambled words
Producing appropriates contexts for a given word
Using words/phrase appropriate to context
Explaining meaning of words/phrase in context
Modified (certain classes) or standard cloze, (every 3 or five words are deleted)
3. Points to remember
Use appropriate contexts/language
Ensure that
a. The correct option and the distracters are at the same level of difficulty and the same length, as far as
b. Instructions are simple and clear
c. There are no synonyms among the distracters
d. All choices relate to the same area or activity and part of speech
e. You avoid tricks and traps