Two Teachers' Conceptions and Practices in English for Specific Purposes Classrooms

  • Ian Byrka

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Teacher conceptions and classroom practices in the teaching of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is a relatively uncharted territory in the ESP literature. The focus of this thesis aims to explore the approaches, practices and conceptions of two university language instructors teaching undergraduate ESP courses for the first time. Following the naturalistic approach, the researcher conducted in-class observations, interviews and questionnaires and employed the constant comparative method to analyze the conceptions and practices of both teachers. The findings show that the conceptions and practices of the two teachers are strongly influenced by their English Language Teaching (ELT) backgrounds. Their approaches are of a wide-angled nature, focusing more on the teaching of general English than the specific content English. These results also highlight the overlapping nature of ELT and ESP that occurs when ESP classes take a more wide-angled approach. The researcher concludes that more comprehensive education for ESP teachers can help achieve more definitive conceptions and practices for ESP classrooms and lead to better understanding of the differences between ESP and ELT.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHui-Tzu Min (Supervisor)

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