Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

Course Summary

This stimulating and informative teacher training course provides a learner-centred approach to Teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP), with a focus on developing communicative competence in a specific business or professional area, for example, finance, management, engineering and human resources. Starting with key fundamentals such as how to conduct  a needs analysis and establish SMART objectives, the course also looks at designing and organising a programme and creating relevant and meaningful materials. The course is fast-moving, highly interactive and full of practical and user-friendly tips, techniques and materials from experienced ESP professionals.

Fast Facts

Course dates:24.02.2020 – 28.02.2020
15.06.2020 – 19.06.2020
10.08.2020 – 14.08.2020
Max. group size:12
Entry level:B1
Min. age:23
Course materials:Included
Booking fee£55
Terms and conditions

Target Audience

This course is for teachers who probably already have experience in teaching English as a foreign language and would like to adapt their teaching skills for the teaching of English for Specific Purposes. Participants need to be at a minimum B1 level of English.


After registration, participants on this course programme will receive:

  • a pre-course questionnaire which will enable trainers to learn about the participants’ teaching backgrounds
  • information about the Europass Mobility Certificate
  • a recommended reading list to prepare participants for various aspects of the course
  • information about York to prepare teachers for their cultural experience


By the end of the course participants will:

  • understand what is meant by ESP and how it differs from ESL / EFL
  • be able to conduct an effective needs analysis and set objectives for short, intensive and longer courses
  • use a learner-centred approach
  • use the principles of language in context to generate practical, relevant materials and practice activities
  • have developed a sound understanding of the language for common business situations: socialising, presentations, meetings, telephoning and correspondence
  • be able to respond to specialised content requirements
  • understand the importance of confidence-building and motivation
  • enable learners to think strategically and create realistic action plans


Sessions demonstrate and train Teaching English for Specific Purposes and the different approaches, methodologies, techniques and knowledge. An interactive communicative approach is applied, which provides participants with their own experiential learning of the activities and methodologies. Input sessions are in the form of hands-on workshops and involve brainstorming, analysis, problem-solving, and role-play, both in pair work and group work. Participants are actively involved in the sessions to maximize their learning and to experience activities from their learners’ point of view.

Teachers are asked to reflect on the activities, inviting discussion with regard to their own knowledge and experience, teaching methods and contexts, and on adaptation of activities to their own teaching and learning situations.

Participants are also introduced to key resources related to the further development of their teaching skills and personal professional development. Both theory and practice are explored, analyzed and discussed, further enabling the participants’ use and development of their teaching and classroom management skills regarding Teaching English for Specific Purposes.

Follow Up

The course ends with an evaluation session, where teachers are asked to reflect upon the value of the knowledge gained on the course. They are also encouraged in this session to create a Personal Development Action Plan, and select activities which they would like to try out in their own classes. They are invited to join the York Associates Community, which allows networking and contact with the trainers and fellow colleagues, and with participants from other courses.

Sample Course Programme

TIMESession OneSession TwoSession Three
Introduction to the course: objectives and methodology
Key principles of ESP

Combining subject matter and language learning

Language in context
Having a clear direction:
purpose for learning
needs analysis
setting SMART objectives
trainer/learner contract

TUESDAYOne-to-one training:
learner as a resource
creating the right environment
Course contents
the ‘need to know’ approach
combining professional skills with language
identifying which language skills
EQ in intensive training

Responsibility of teacher in guiding directing / supporting

Work pressures The ‘older’ learner
WEDNESDAYSelecting, designing and organising relevant and meaningful course materials

Managing longer programmes
Contextualised language training

Generic business situations: socialising, presentations, meetings, telephoning and correspondence

Importance of functional language
Dealing with specialised content

Combining learner/trainer knowledge and competencies

Useful resources
being strategic and selecting what to learn
gap analysis through output
Recycling language
Providing the right output:
with stated objectives

Feedback and correction – what, why, when, how .....?


Reappraising objectives
FRIDAYEquipping the learner:
strategies for learning
personalised recommendations
action plans
Professional skills practiceConclusion and

Week Review
and Evaluation


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