An Investigation of Current Trends and Approaches in Teaching Reading in University ESP Courses

Samereh Mollaroudi, Fereydoon Vahdani, Shahriar Sarvari


This study investigated the current trends and approaches in teaching and assessment of reading in ESP classes in Iran. Ten ESP teachers from ten different majors in the department of Humanities at Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch were selected to be observed in this study. Direct Observations, field notes and audio- recordings were used to investigate the process of teaching and assessing reading in the selected ESP classes and to determine the amount of time given to each category in three phases of pre-reading, silent-reading and post reading during the class time. The results of data analysis revealed that the total time spent on post- reading activities was higher than that allocated for pre-reading activities. The most observed pre-reading activities were vocabulary-related and pronunciation-related activities while grammar-related activities were rarely used in the observed classes. In addition, the most observed post-reading activities in the ten ESP classes were “multiple questions”. With regard to assessment procedures in teaching reading in ESP classes, the results demonstrated that summative assessment was used  notably more than the formative assessment by the ESP instructors in their classes.


ESP, pre-reading, silent reading, vocabulary

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