An Investigation into Engineering ESP Textbooks from Instructors’ Perspective: Critical Thinking in Focus

Zohreh Kashkouli, Maryam Azizi


This study is an attempt to evaluate, through a qualitative design, engineering ESP (English for Specific Purposes) textbooks taught to students of Engineering with a focus on critical thinking skill. A typical ESP textbook taught in Iran consists of 15 units, starting with a text, comprehension, vocabulary, and several production exercises. The purpose of this study is to evaluate ESP textbooks and present four ESP instructors’ opinions with respect to critical thinking as a fundamental need for students of engineering. To this end, a semi-structured interview was exploited to probe the books and through content analysis, instructors’ opinions were categorized and their commonalities were extracted grounded on five main themes of the WGCTA (Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal). The results of the content analysis indicated that there was a general consensus among the instructors that these textbooks do not rightly address the needs of learners in terms of enhancing their critical thinking skill; therefore, certain suggestions were provided by the instructors to improve the books. The findings promise implications for reflection in ESP instruction and materials development.


engineering ESP textbooks, ESP instructors, students’ critical thinking, WGCTA

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