Singapore University of Social Sciences

English for Specific Purposes

English for Specific Purposes (TSL567)


TSL 567 English for Specific Purposes provides students with theoretical insights into the use of English for specific and specialised purposes (ESP), and discusses the implications for teaching ESP in various situations. The process of course development and the framework for evaluating ESP courses are examined critically. This is followed by the practical concerns of designing and evaluating specific ESP curriculum documents and teaching materials.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY 2 YEARS
E-Learning: - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus. To be confirmed


  • Introduction: Defining ESP; Areas in ESP
  • Analysing needs
  • Investigating specialist discourse: Descriptions of specialist discourse
  • Investigating specialist discourse: Approaches; roles of teachers and course developers
  • An insider’s look at the development of an ESP course: Principles and processes
  • An insider’s look at the development of an ESP course: Implementation and evaluation
  • ESP course development: Designing the curriculum and materials
  • ESP course development: Reviewing the curriculum and materials
  • Case Study 1: English for the police
  • Case Study 2: English for medical doctors
  • Case Study 3: English for Visual Arts students
  • Case Study 4: English for thesis writing

Learning Outcome

  • Contrast various areas of study in ESP
  • Examine critically the process of ESP course development
  • Discuss critically the framework for analysing ESP projects
  • Critique case studies of projects in various areas of ESP
  • Evaluate ESP curriculum and materials using a prescribed framework that incorporates considerations of language, learning and teaching
  • Design an ESP curriculum and materials for a specific group of learners in a particular area in ESP
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