Distinctive Characteristics of English for Specific Purposes and General English

Momtazur Rahman, Sultanul Arefin


English for Specific Purposes (ESP), abbreviated as 'ESP,' has been a significant movement in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) since the 1960s. Are there the distinctive characteristics between ESP (English for Specific Purposes) and GE (General English)? This paper explores the distinctive characteristics that differentiate ESP from General English (GE). The findings reveal differences in syllabus design, materials, teaching methodology, and evaluation. ESP courses are tailored to the specific needs of learners based on needs analysis, whereas General English courses lack this customized approach. According to the findings, ESP teachers take on multiple roles, including mentorship, syllabus design, material provision, collaboration, research, and evaluation, which distinguish them from General English teachers. ESP is a distinct activity within ELT, emphasizing learner involvement and participation. The paper concludes with a recommendation that ESP teachers should receive special training in the areas of needs analysis and material designing so that they can be able to meet the specific needs and high expectations of their students.


English for Specific Purposes (ESP), Needs Analysis, General English (GE), Roles of an ESP Teacher

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