Neslihan Onder Ozdemir (Uludag University, Türkei)

How to Cooperate with Learners to Tackle ESP Practitioners’ Paucity in Content Knowledge?

The relevant literature suggests that content-based language instruction tend to be more motivating with long-term benefits for students in higher education, such as academic achievement in language and discipline courses (e.g., Song, 2006). However, there are various challenges for an ESP practitioner (see Ferguson, 1997), which remains rarely explored in light of data and published empirical research. Because English teachers may have only general English teaching experience, they need to be familiar with specialized vocabulary and some content knowledge to teach discipline-specific English effectively despite the lack of material, which makes content-based language instruction challenging and requires dedication, indeed. This study reports on the coping strategies of an ambitious ESP practitioner to show how to deal with the paucity in content knowledge in medicine while teaching medical English with a specific focus on cooperation with the medical students. The authentic data, including materials, questions in the assignments, medical students’ written information and feedback that reflect how medical students encourage ESP practitioners’ involvement and enhance her knowledge in discipline specific reading and vocabulary from a teaching milieu in a peripheral country, will be discussed for practical implications in mainstream classrooms in higher education.