Our students really love the option to develop specialist skills by tailoring their study through our ESP courses,” relates Fiona Davidson at Ability English in Melbourne and Sydney. The school’s General English plus programme aims to extend students’ use of the language with three hours of extra skills training, while its International Business programme combines fundamental business skills with intercultural communication skills. “By offering multiple unique ESP courses,” adds Davidson, “we give students greater opportunities to focus their studies and language development.”
EF in Sydney offers a language product that looks to hone business language skills. According to Jackie Yen at the school, interest in this type of provision is growing, as is student competency. She attests that approximately 40 per cent of their long-term students will have studied some form of business English by the time they leave.
Business Plus is new to the product portfolio at Langports in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Available as a 10-week programme, Anna France at the school explains that its main aim is to improve students’ confidence and English language competency in a business and workplace environment. Comprising three components, students can expect to enhance relevant grammar and vocabulary skills, build written communication skills needed for the composition of emails, proposals and reports, work on oral communication skills needed for PowerPoint presentations, business meetings and job interviews, as well as prepare for business English exams such as BEC-V, Bulats or Toeic.
English for Business and English for Sports at Victoria University (VU) English Language Institute help prepare students for entry onto the university’s VU Tafe Business course, the Certificate IV in Sport or a Diploma of Sport. Michael Ratcliff at the study centre notes that they are specialist programmes run for specific groups. The courses attract encouraging numbers with 15 students currently enrolled on their Sports English programme and 800 students enrolled on Business English.
English Language Company’s Premium English course is an interesting offshoot of the ESP format. “We have always received enquiries for specialist courses such as English for nursing, engineering or economics,” begins Anne Menard, “however, the demand was never high enough to justify running such courses or electives.” Instead, students can combine 15 hours of general English with five hours of customised one-to-one tuition in a particular area of interest.
Christine Bundesen, Director at the University of Queensland’s Institute of Continuing & Tesol Education (ICTE-UQ) in Brisbane, QLD, says that the university prides itself on being flexible on course design, development and customisation. “The key to teaching ESP courses is understanding the language needs of the students in their specific context of use,” she says. “This involves analysing the language used in that context and then creating programmes, materials and lessons that engage the learners in using the target language.”
Alongside English for Business Professionals (EBP), the Australian Institute of Professional Education (AIPE) in Sydney, NSW, also runs English for Healthcare Professionals (EHP), which has proven very popular, affirms the school’s Shumaila Ali. “These students range from early to mid-career professionals…who want to establish themselves as medical practitioners or would like to develop their English language skills specific to the healthcare industry.”
Course design has been given much attention at SELC in Bondi Junction and Sydney, NSW. As well as English for Business the school also offers English for Customer Service Communication a practical four-week course conducted in the school’s purpose built café ‘classroom’. The course, asserts Kevin Warham, is one of their core products and is particularly popular with working holiday visa students. However, vocations that compliment a particular lifestyle are also in demand, he adds. As such, SELC recently introduced a four-week English course aimed at students using English in the context of a yoga or pilates instructor, aromatherapist or nutritionist.
English plus Health and Wellness is also available at Think: Education. As a direct entry programme (DEP) it feeds directly into a vocational or higher education course at one of its group colleges. DEPs are the group’s most popular offerings with design, business and hospitality options also available, notes the school’s Denver Craig.
A selection of English for specific purposes courses
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