English for Specific Purpose, A Compulsory to Help Understanding Your Textbooks

Fri, 04 Oct 2013
7:47 am

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English in university is really different to English at High School. Why? English at High School is general English, only for daily communication. However, English at university should be one which helps students understanding the text books. Yes, that is ESP (English for Specific Purpose).


Started at 9.30 am, the workshop was opened by a speech from the coordinator of volunteer, Mr. Zendy Drivama Surya. For about three hours, about 25 participants from various departments in ITS were explained about ESP by the amazing keynote speaker, Dr. Lubna Algadrie. In the opening, she said, “There are most difficult languages in the world, Chinese, Russian, Arabic. English is not included, right? Because it is the most easiest and effective language to communicate. It is also the reason why it become international language.”

But, it cannot be denied that most students often find difficulties while comprehending their text books. It is because English which students get since high school is general English. They were only taught the basic skills, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. While the text books in universities, all are ESP. this is the reason why learning about ESP is really significant.

There are some characteristics of this ESP, the use of special vocabulary, use of abbreviation, passivation, functional shifts, semantic variation, special compounds, and words or phrases which are rarely used in spoken language. For instances, a sentence using ‘nose’, “your nose is so big” and “the nose of the pipe is so big”. Nose in these sentences has different meaning, the first means a body organ while the second means a hole. Some other examples are interest for bank, chip in electronic, course of a rocket, and many more. These are really different than people usually know and most people are confused of it.

Because of the significance, students should comprehend about this ESP, especially those which are usually applied in their departments. Actually, a book of ESP is a compulsory for students in universities based on their departments. “However, there are still really few English teachers who are capable in it, unexceptionally in the international. There are only few ESP books which you cannot find easily in some bookstores abroad,” she explained briefly. But still, students can attempt to learn about it via internet or English dictionary, like Oxford English Dictionary for learners, etc.

After, a session of discussion, this workshop was ended at 12.00 am. “It is quite interesting. I have just realized that understanding ESP is really significant. I hope that ITS can accommodate this necessity for ITS students, ESP teachers for every department one day, because it is quite distressing considering many ITS students get low TOEFL score and they find difficulties to understand the text books,” said Hasan Isma’il, one of the participant. For all of students, mastering ESP is a compulsory today! Challenge yourself!

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