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Features of Teaching English


  1. To identify the main features of teaching English for Special Purposes.
  2. To determine the difference of General English and English for Special Purposes.
  3. To investigate on the favorable and non-favorable conditions faced by involved personnel in Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology.
  4. To get a detailed profiling of English for Special Purposes from student and teacher’s perspective.
  5. To identify the factors that are missing in this setting and how they can be created.


How is English for Special Purposes taught in Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology? This will be aimed at providing a base start to the study within which a comparison with general English could be establish.

How different from general English is English for Special Purposes? As much as the two my go hand in hand, the differences, whether or major put the classes, general and special purposes, in place.

What are the favorable and unfavorable conditions that are witnessed in the field as English for special purposes is concerned? Format of the language; how it is perceived by the general English students and the English for special Purposes students.


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What is the perspective of students and teachers of English for Special Purposes on the features of teaching ESP? Generally there would be issues that the students are faced with. Challenges the teachers go through contribute to how their perspective differ from that of the students.

What factors or conditions miss in Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology? What is required to create them and who is responsible for the absence and the creation?


The setting of this study paper is researched on by six people within a period of seven weeks. The study is carried on at the Wuhan University and Wuhan University of technology.  The team members involved in this study would mainly be former students of the Wuhan University; comprising of three females and three males. The time line from the starting day which is 21st of November, 2011 according to the convenience of the team members and the University managing body would approximately be 7 weeks. Within this time and the number of dedicated team members it is assessed that the research would accomplish its objectives in the specified time scale.


Pervious Study and its Achievement

Early 1987, Hutchinson & Waters were requested to develop a detailed paper work for a fifteen month course for a selected group of sophomore students studying at the Shanghai University of Science and Technology.  The course was stationed at the Shanghai University of Science and Technology with funding provided by English for Special Purposes Project (ESPP). The study aimed at finding the origin of ESP and how its present features generally were applied at the Shanghai University of Science and Technology

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Resulting from the study Hutchinson & Waters (1987) found out that ESP was different from General English in the following ways. English for Special Purposes was differed from General English in terms of features like the type of teachers. In GE mostly the teacher concentrated on teaching English as foreign employing TOEFL mechanisms to achieve their goals. In ESP teachers were mostly English professors with PhDs in English. Their focus on teaching involved a detailed analytical approach that was aimed and coinciding with the specific fields that required a student to learn English.

In terms of the scope of students and teachers determination, GE students didn’t attach a specified reason in aiding other courses or preparations. They ended up dropping the subject when they thought they have had enough. For ESP students the requirement of the course doesn’t come from materials that are provided by the teacher but from the purpose that was pushing them to the ESP course.

Features that were observed and noted to have had a negative impact in the way teaching was rendered involved lack of a mechanism linking the ESP teachers and the field in-charges of the other disciplines that required ESP courses. The lack of this link resulted to work on the other field’s side mostly going to waste. This was because some teachers would try to rush the syllabus of what they were teaching. While the teachers of ESP were coping with the understanding speed of the students, so as long as the purpose was being addressed the aim was not served properly.

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The link between ESP and the actual purpose of teaching ESP according to Hutchinson & Waters was missing. For this research we would like to find out whether the link has been created over time, if not it would be the work of the study group to point out the features hindering the establishment and the negative effect caused by the lack of this link. That’s when a foundation to create it would be enabled.


In optimizing the purpose that ESP serves within the environs of Wuhan University and Wuhan University of technology students and teachers are a key concern. Nevertheless, Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology give the grounds of studying ESP. This paper describes the features of the language teaching and the methods that are applied in communicating the message effectively to the students. Many a times English is termed as a subject for teaching foreign curriculum; this case is different in that the special purposes that are to be addressed by the study of ESP are outlined.

A teacher at Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology is a basic element of the study. The main framework of the ESP depends on him or her. The features that are involved in teaching resemble the features of communication. The effectiveness of communication is determined in the way the involved parties are relating in terms of passing the message and processing of the information. At Wuhan University and Wuhan University of technology the basics of communication are the fundamental channels within which ESP features of teaching are reliant on. The paper is to determine the basics of ESP in the light of effective communication.

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Highlighting a number of features like the number of expected students enrolling for ESP, the format of teaching, the environment and it’s conduciveness as Wuhan is concerned; isn’t the main purpose of this paper rather finding what propagates the features as they are. The number of ESP classes at Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology can be determined to offer an arena for comparison within how timing and number of students might be a factor of consideration to declare relevance of main and minor features.

Demonstrating the ESP fundamentals of teaching relating with how the subject and coursework are undertaken and performed, will be a focus of the paper at the level of ESP as a parallel course if at all it happens to be. How ESP and other forms of language compare in general setting will not be a sub-0objective of this paper. However, how ESP teaching features relate to teaching features of GE and other language formats would be a sub-objective aimed to set the known and the unknown differences clear.

Literature Review

Roles, key for an ESP curriculum or courses are: teachers, evaluator, collaborator, material provider and course designer and the researcher. This paper addresses the course designer, material provider and the teacher. It is clear that if the teachers are under the monitoring of ESP in Wuhan University, they will need the skills, time and support from outside sources. The skills may include the teaching methodologies and guidelines, this could involve the personal talents and acquired. The provision of these skills cannot be isolated from the profiting of teachers part as a feature and two of the teaching.

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Support, skills and time were recognized by Numan as key issues for a teacher engaged in the development of a course. The paper outlines the teacher as ESP material provider and course designer with support in theory form. The origins of English for special languages are discussed primarily and the key notions addressed about ESP are types of ESP, course characteristics, variable and absolute characteristics and the measuring of S in ESP. in ESP course key issues include: requisition abilities for efficient communication in settings for occupation.

The history of ESP can be analyzed in many different literatures. The emergence of ESP is dependent on three main reasons: linguistic revolution, learner focus and the expectations of Brave New World. (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987) the Second World War brought about a revolution that touched technical, scientific and economic expansion.  This is the historical life giver of ESP to an international scaling. The power economical characteristic of the USA in times after the world war the commodity of linguistics fell to English. During the oil crisis in the late and early 1960’s and 1970’s respectively, oil countries were flooded with currently from the western countries. The adapted language from the western countries was English. This made the oil-rich countries of Asia and Africa is acknowledged with the English language. The social reasons and economical factors led to this language being taught in colleges, universities and other learning institutions with the aim of boosting the market of job vacancies throughout the non-English speaking countries.

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During this development the pressure that was rendered upon the economical sketches of the western and the afro Asian countries led to the people besides the language teachers to have to deal with English as an acquired means of trading and a way of communication. This led to an obvious liking and policies that required institutions to teach English to enable people to be efficient with the terms of the trade.  A revolution in linguistics impacted the ESP emergence tremendously.

Communication is explained in real terms in the way traditional languages revolved. They help describe the features of language. Hutdinson and Waters (1987) did a discovery on how different written and spoken English varied. Within the setting in which English was introduced, the variant of it changes. In the way learners acquired knowledge, the development of ESP was more of a psychological influence rather than linguistics.



Taking the task at hand at a level of team work, it is designed that the interviewing would be conducted by one of the team members while t he rest listen carefully to observe the tone and make judgment on how reliable or perspective t he interview would be taking the case. All members are expected to be present at all times in the specific timeline and location. It would be helping for everyone to make notes upon their understanding. Given a time scale of seven weeks, the study does not involve the use of gadgets to collect data with, therefore, after every session a study group of our team members would discuss the outcomes of the study would be formed to formulate a final copy out of the many from individual members.

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How data was collected

The data to be collected would be information relating to all features of teaching English for Special Purposes course. In and out of Wuhan University classes, questionnaires in forms of hand outs for later collection would be issued. The collection of the questionnaires would be followed by a brief interview to the person handing over the filled questionnaire. Whether a teacher or a student. The fact that in institutions like Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technologies it’s expected that people who would be potential interviewees may be very busy. Questionnaires would serve that part where time for a one-on-one interview cannot be found in interest for the team members and the expected participants.

Most likely interviews are the best in a setting of this nature. Interviewing the students at the convenience of the team members and their own would be the option to go by. To collect this data, audio recorders and video cameras would be used with back up storages to protect loss. It is expected that problems may arise when dealing with the interviewees. In that some may not stick to the time schedule. To beat this kind of inconvenience, the team members would be in appointment with several interviewees to limit chance of time wastage.

To the team members it would be discussed that observation method of data collection would be adapted within specific cases. Besides what the outcome of questionnaires and interviews might be, the study team as an obligation to observe and put down in writing their findings. With observation method, two or more team members would be expected to be present in an ESP class, drafting the routine of the teaching individually and then deducing a final copy of finding once done.

The perspectives of the students would not act as a main feature in interviews, but a major contributing factor to the research in that several of them can be assembled on a specified class at a specific time to discuss within a certain range of topic. This would deduce the perspective of each student on how they conceive the features of teaching of English for Special Purposes.

Expected results

Since the study is pre-planned, a number of expectations are outlined. This is achieved by looking closely at the social class of the Chinese and how it would be like to venture in with research work within their strict time schedules as speculated. It is much likely that the ESP teachers are English professors who happen to be foreign. If a number of teachers will be of the Chinese race, we expect the number to be minimal. At the event where they are more than English speaking foreign teachers, a supervisor and a consultant for the ESP course would be expected.

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Since the Chinese are traditionally hard working people, the teachers and the students would be expected to be very busy within their disciplines and interviews may not be very effective in this setting. The cooperation of Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology students and teachers is expected to be minimal when time and their coursework is concerned. Hence in this scenario observation would be the most reliable data collection method.

In terms of the conditions that are available for teaching ESP the research team would be expecting an environment free from pollution, both human and industrial. In terms of staff and teachers of ESP the expected number wouldn’t be expected to exceed the ratio 1:30 of teachers to students taking the ESP course. If that case happens to be a wrong estimation, the numbers of students would be expected to be more putting the ratio in place. The reason for this would be that fact that one teacher would and can be assigned a number of ESP classes.

Data Analysis

The scope of the study would be targeting twelve hundred students and at least three quarters of the staff involved with teaching ESP. Data would be analyses in table format, graphical representations where statistics are present. Generally the study will take qualitative and quantitative analytical approach.

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Qualitative analysis would involve weighing of variables, both fixed and changing variables. Some of this will include the advantages of teaching ESP at Wuhan University and the disadvantages it has to Wuhan University. Features that differ in one study area with another would be classified and the reasons as to why they differ outlined in a qualitative representation.

Quantitative Analysis at the other hand would be used to analyze the finding of the study that involves numerical results, statistical estimations, and collective measurement of variables resulting from the features identified. This would be the area to apply graphs and pie charts to show how features are differing from one specific ground of ESP to another. The distribution of the features would be quantified to find out what effect they had to ESP teaching fraternity and the students generally.


Having known what the ESP in Wuhan University and Wuhan University of Technology would be involving will be aiming to establish the features of this course. The study course of time and the methods of use would be applied to come up with the identification of the discussed characteristics of the ESP. The collection of data and the analysis would be determined by the kind and amount of data we will collect.



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