Presentation from Day 1 of International seminar 2021 organised by CLIL-HET project.
Title: University students’ expectations towards ESP: Methods, materials, future perspectives
Presentation by: Merilyn Meristo
Recorded on: 11 March 2021
One of the outcomes of the last university reform in Estonia in 2014/15, was a strong emphasis on teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Almost every curriculum now has a compulsory ESP course. This decision aimed to contribute to students’ professional skills in today’s globalized world. This study was undertaken to listen to the students’ voices by exploring their expectations towards teaching and learning ESP. A survey was compiled, comprising a questionnaire as well as open-ended questions. 185 students (131 females, 54 males) from all the disciplines at BA and MA level responded to the survey. Results point that the highest expectations were related to acquiring speaking skills, followed by field-related terminology, writing, reading and listening skills. Surprisingly many students expected ESP to be similar to General English, yet this is understandable given the fact that 67% of the respondents did not have any previous encounter with ESP. Students were asked to rationalise their answers. The study also shed light on methods and materials used in the classroom and students’ reasoned preferences regarding it.