I was very sad to hear of the death on my good friend and colleague Mark Krzanowski in Ghana on 19th January. I knew Mark for almost 25 years and he will be greatly missed. He was on holiday in Ghana, where he liked to spend some time every winter. Although he had spent many years in London, he still could not get used to the cold winters and in the last message I received from him – early January – he said he was hoping never to spend another Xmas in Europe! Continue reading
Several years ago, when the IATEFL; ESP SIG Journal carried out a survey of members, one person said they would like: “Less from Anglo-Saxon based perspective – more on global Englishes – I guess Garnet Publ. was Anglo-Saxon from the sound of it. How about finding an Asian sponsor?”
At the ESP Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting at the IATEFL conference in Brighton this year, there seemed to be some lack of agreement as to whether EAP was a type of ESP. This was shown in several presentations – and committee discussions – when ESP seemed to be contrasted with EAP. People would say and write things such as “In ESP and EAP” and “it is true in ESP, but what about EAP?”
I’m preparing a presentation in commemoration of the 50th Issue of the IATEFL ESP SIG publication for the IATEFL conference IN Brighton in April Here are a few more images that I plan to use, plus some figures and charts drawn from an analysis of article titles from 50 issues of the publication:
The journal of the IATEFL ESP SIG – Professional and Academic English – which I have edited for a while is coming up to its 50th issue. I thought it would be interesting to look back over the 50 issues to see how ESP – including EAP – has developed.
After 10 years of support, Garnet Education are no longer be in a position to sponsor the IATEFL SIG Journal after issue 47. Garnet Education has provided unmatched professional support of the highest quality which stretches from issue 30 (Summer-Autumn 2007) until now (issue 47). They have also sponsored the publication of four ESP SIG books, and for this we are indebted too. With Garnet’s sponsorship we have been able to develop a solid set of EAP and ESP publications which we will now have to maintain in our own right.
It is now necessary to make plans for the future of the journal. The opinion of the ESP SIG committee and the journal editors is that they should take this opportunity to switch to an electronic version of the journal in the immediate future in order to keep up with the times. The committee wanted to know what members thought of this proposal. A short questionnaire was sent out. The committee hoped that IATEFL would publish the findings, but, as they didn’t, here they are:
I’ve often quoted Frank Smith when discussing writing. In Writing and the writer, Smith distinguishes between “composition” and “transcription” in writing. “Composition” is deciding what you want to say, and “transcription” is what you have to do to say it. His advice is “The rule is simple: Composition and transcription must be separated, and transcription must come last. It is asking too much of anyone, and especially of students trying to improve all aspects of their writing ability, to expect that they can concern themselves with polished transcription at the same time that they are trying to compose. The effort to concentrate on spelling, handwriting, and punctuation at the same time that one is struggling with ideas and their expression not only interferes with composition but creates the least favorable situation in which to develop transcription skills as well” (Smith, 1982, p. 24).
After watching Juzo Itami’s 1995 film Shizukana seikatsu (A quiet life) recently I decided to read Nobel prize winner Kenzaburu Oe – on whose novel the film is based. In his novel The Changeling, he deals with a similar situation:
I’ve just returned from the IATEFL English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Special Interest Group (SIG) Pre-Conference Event (PCE) in Birmingham, UK.
The theme of the PCE was tensions and debates in ESP and EAP.
As usual it was a very interesting day with teachers from many parts of the world discussing how they go about trying to meet the academic and professional linguistic needs of their students, sometimes with limited resources.
I recently took part in a TESOL – IATEFL online discussion about how ESP projects can create positive social change.
Kevin Knight – the organiser – gave us the following task:
You are all members of a task force team to provide language training for employees of multinational corporation. The HR department of the company is interested in your ideas about providing not only in-house training but also involving local universities in the training of its employees. In addition, the HR department is wondering how such training could be connected to its annual report on Corporate Social Responsibility. Share your ideas in connection with the big picture: How ESP projects can create positive social change.
In the latest issue of IATEFL Voices – the bimonthly newsletter of IATEFL – Adrian Tennant, in his featured article, claims that ESP is failing students. He justifies this by referring to a YouTube video and his own experience as a visitor in China. Continue reading