A Course Design for English for Occupational Purposes with Needs Analysis and Practice: An Action Research

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Submission Summary

This action research reflects the teacher-researcher’s curriculum of Workplace English and reconstructs a pedagogy for English for Occupational Purposes. Data was gathered from 17 interviews, teaching logs, and teaching evaluation. The findings are hoped to shed light on the learner-centered approach to ESP course design proposed by Hutchinson and Waters (2009).

Submission ID :
AILA2304
Submission Type
Abstract :

This action research aims to reflect the teacher-researcher’s existing syllabus of Workplace English and reconstruct a pedagogy for English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). Data was gathered from 17 interviews, teaching logs, and official teaching evaluation. Ten participants who took my Workplace English course at a university in northern Taiwan and are working currently were recruited to assist the teacher-researcher to examine and reflect on the pedagogy's effectiveness and adjust the existing syllabus accordingly. The syllabus of Workplace English was designed based on the needs analysis literature of EOP (CHRMA & ETS, 2010; Chang, 2011; Lin, 2013; Spence & Liu, 2013). The 10 interviewees gave positive feedback about the content of Workplace English. They indicated that learning for the preparation of job application was useful, especially the writing of employment application documents and the practice of job interview in English. In the workplace they were often required to read English documents. Due to the diversified student background in the Workplace English course, they suggested that the teaching of cross-cultural oral communication and small talk skills rather than the development of professional English vocabulary should be addressed. The adjusted syllabus which incorporated into the feedback from the 10 interviewees was implemented in the next semester. Another seven participants who registered for the course in the second semester were randomly chosen and interviewed to investigate their perception of the revised syllabus of Workplace English. The official teaching evaluation and interview findings from seven students who took the course based on the revised syllabus showed positive results. This study attempts to provide specific pedagogical suggestions for English educators and tertiary English language course designers. It is also hoped that the findings can shed light on the learner-centered approach to ESP course design proposed by Hutchinson and Waters (2009).

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Assistant Professor
,
National Taiwan Ocean University

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