Melissa D. Caspary, Diane Boothe, Clif Wickstrom


The English for Specific Purposes (ESP) community has grown at a near exponential rate over the past two decades.  This is due in part to the parallel growth of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) that support rapid and global transmission of the messages and data in multiple formats.  Altbach (2007) has argued that the creation of the internet, and its multiple international networking platforms has led to a form of English hegemony in global communications in academic settings.  Following a similar path, English now dominates the discourse of business on an international level.  Therefore, we have observed the emergence of myriad on-line references for ESP program offerings and ICT-based courses.   The authors were prompted to ask how does ESP compare in business and academic communities.  Problem-based learning (PBL) and ICT contexts were applied as lenses to view manifesting similarities and differences in the ESP arena.


English for Academic Purposes; English for Business Purposes; English for Specific Purposes; English Language Learners; Information Communications Technologies; Problem-Based Learning

Full Text:

Download PDF



Altbach, P. 2007. The imperial tongue: English as the dominating academic language. International Educator Sep/Oct 17 (5). http://www.questia.com/ESL/.

Arani, A. 2004. The effect of ICT-based teaching method on medical students’ ESP learning. Journal of Medical Education 4(2), 81-83.

Barrows, H.. 1988. The Tutorial Process. Springfield IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Cummins, J. 2000. Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire. Cleveland: Multilingual Matters.

Duch, B. J. 1996. Problems: A key factor in PBL. Spring 7-8.

ELAN. 2006. Effects on the European economy of shortages of foreign languages skills in enterprise.

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. http://tla.mpi.nl/tools/tla-tools/elan/

Evenson, D. H. and Hmelo, C.E. 2000. Problem Based Learning: A Research Perspective on Learning Interactions. London: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.

Fischer, K. 2011. Golden Gate U instructs foreign students in the language of business. Chronicles of Higher Education, 57 (43) August 12, 2011. http://chronicle.com/article/golden-gate-instructs/128545.

Gillett, A. 1996. What is EAP? IATEFL ESP SIG Newsletter. http://www.google.com/english-for-academic-purposes/.

Iacob, I. 2009. The effectiveness of computer assisted classes for English as a second language. Anale. Seria Informatica 7(1) 141-148. http://www.google.com/CALL/.

John-Steiner, V. and Mahn. H. 1996. Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vygotskian framework. Educational Psychologist 31, 191-206.

Johnson, J. and Kean, E. 1992. Improving Science Teaching in Multicultural Settings: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 1(4): 275-287.

Lee, O. 2005. Science education with English language learners: Synthesis and research agenda. Review of Educational Research, 75(4): 491-530.

Marschan-Piekkari, R., Welch,D., & Welch, L. 1999. In the shadow: the impact of language on structure, power and communication I the multinational. International Business review, 8(4), 421-440.

Murray, D. 2008. From marginalization to transformation: How ICT (i) is being used in ESL(ii) learning today. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 4(5) Dec. http://www.questia.com/ESL/.

Shultz, K. 2003. Listening: A Framework for Teaching Across Differences. New York: Teachers College Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

GATESOL In Action is a publication of the Georgia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, an Affiliate of TESOL International Association