Nowadays ESP course is taught by the teachers, who are professional in the subjects instead of language teachers. According to applied linguistics, teaching English language whether general or professional can be called as ESP, because the goal of these lessons are to improve English language of students, not their professional knowledge. These courses are to help students to learn English language by the help of professional texts, another benefit is the motivation caused by these texts which cause the students to get interested in English. One of the advantages that the teachers of English languages have is that they know many teaching methodologies and they have enough information of linguistics as well, in comparison to the other teachers. This article will try to see which one is more successful, a subject teacher or a motivated language teacher.
The writer begins by comparing the purposes of ESP and GPE; in ESP the purpose is to develop a “restricted competence” to cope with a specific set of tasks which are at least partially language tasks and tasks on content as well, while the purpose of GPE is to develop general capacity for English usage. ESP is understood as a matter of aims which are narrower, more concrete, observable, and specific; GPE is realized as a matter of objectives which are broader, more abstract and less observable. He believes that ESP materials should include portions of the subject matter and the general English to actually guarantee the learners’ success in acquiring language. He believes that the underlying syllabus that is employed in the present textbooks in Iran is synthetic even though it’s open to a lot of criticism by many curriculum writers so far as different components of language are taught step by step. According to this and the ideas of Wilkins(1976) language is to be taught as units of linguistic competence for investment and grammatical difficulty is still considered as a determining criterion in this syllabus. According to Nunan (1991), if a synthetic syllabus is to be considered as a point of departure then it seems reasonable to focus on the linguistic items that students will learn or the communicative skills that they will be able to display as a result of instruction.
In the next part, called as material description, he states an important issue in the realm of ESP, which is the authenticity of the materials. However, many have argued that authenticity is not a characteristic of a text in itself; it is a particular feature of a text in context. The writer of a text will judge according to the knowledge of the intended readers. He claims that the text is authentic in the context for which it was originally developed; therefore we can say that in ESP text is automatically removed from its original context so there can be no such thing as an authentic text. Then he goes to the main topic of the article and the question which was asked, at first glance one may say that teachers of ESP don’t know only little or nothing about the context of the text to be taught. He refers to Hutchinson and Waters, who believe that there are two questions to be asked:
1. Does the context of ESP materials need to be highly specialized?
2. What kind of knowledge is required of the ESP teacher?
The writer states that in specialized texts the discourse structure may be more formalized, but this does not necessarily account for the difficulty level of texts. The only reason of having highly specialized texts is likely to keep learners motivated. If such texts are so difficult learners will soon lose their inspiration to continue. He believes that the texts of ESP should be selected in a way to facilitate the learning of English. Now he returns to the second question and in order to give answer to it, he uses the ideas of Hutchinson and Waters, according to whom ESP teachers don’t need to learn the subject matter’s specialized knowledge. Instead they require three things:
a) A positive attitude toward ESP content
b) A knowledge of the fundamental principles of the area
c) An awareness of how much they probably already know.
He states that ESP teachers shouldn’t become a teacher of subject matter; he requires negotiation of the text with learners which will help him to acquire basic knowledge of the subject matter better. He introduces a source through which the subject may have some influences on language is vocabulary which is of four types; structural, general, sub-technical and technical. According to Inman (1987), in an extensive corpus of scientific and technical writing, technical vocabulary accounted for only nine percent of the total range of lexis, the percentage of these vocabularies are too low to affect comprehension drastically and most of such words are used internationally. As he has evaluated the plausible effect of technical words that threatens the language teacher is not so enormous that a subject specialist takes over. Next the writer states the ideas of Widdowson (1983) who says:
“There is no reason why register or varieties or rhetorical types should not be characterized by reference to the communicative properties of linguistic forms in the contexts” which are priority but by the subject matter to which a subsidiary role should be assigned.
Teachers’ insufficient knowledge of the methodology of LT and the effective pedagogic techniques lead them to act anachronistically and consequently encourage students to take turns and read aloud and rely on the often-vicarious habit of translation which is not so productive. One major problem affecting students’ reading ability is language related information, according to Schleppegrell(1991). Such factors as length, connectors, embedded constructions, anaphoric and cataphoric expressions, referential pronouns and so on. A skillful teacher is needed in order to teach these materials. The decisions on who to teach in ESP programs should be readjusted so that students can become independent readers. Most of the subject-teacher specialists, anxious to convert language teachers, would have to take the training in areas of basic language teaching skills as well as relevant linguistic information which the subject teacher does not possess. Therefore, in the domain of ESP, the teaching of information skills presupposes study skills which require a motivated language teacher to establish and validate learning materials.