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English for Specific Purposes in Higher Education – holding the key to a promising career

English for Specific Purposes in Higher Education – holding the key to a promising career

Constantinos Tsouris

Wednesday 5 March 2014, 12:00-13:00, Room CY007

English has acquired unprecedented importance due to its status as one of the most widely used languages for communication worldwide (Rogerson-Revell, 2007, p. 103). Centuries-long colonization aside, its rise to a lingua franca owes as much to the contemporary globalization of markets as to the nonstop development of fields such as technology, science and the media (Brutt-Griffler, 2002; also see Crystal, 2003, for a comprehensive reading that traces the origins of English as a global language). This development has led to a spread of vocational degrees with a language component and as an extension, to a more application-oriented education, today accounting for the prominence gained by ESP (Harding, 2007, pp. 6-7; Dudley-Evans & St John, 1998, p. 1). Evidence suggests that ESP, a movement originating in the 1960s (McDonough, 2010, p. 471), is now increasingly dominating the Western foreign language curricula, both at higher education and at secondary education (Hüttner, Smit, & Mehlmauer-Larcher, 2009, p. 99), as markets are on the lookout for employees with professional skills (Harding, 2007, p. 7). Consequently, ESP seems to be gaining “equal status even within degrees” (Fanning, 1993, p. 160). This presentation will discuss how ESP can aid university students in pursuing their chosen careers, by mirroring real-world work environments.

Constantinos Tsouris has been a Special Teaching Staff member at the University of Cyprus Language Centre since 2009. Prior to joining UCY, he has spent around ten years in the tertiary and secondary sectors, most notably at the European University and at the English School Nicosia. Undergraduate studies, University of Cyprus (B.A. in English Language and Literature, 2002). Graduate studies, University of Edinburgh (PG Dip (MSc) in Psycholinguistics, 2005). Graduate studies, University of Cyprus (M.A. in Applied Linguistics, 2008). Doctoral studies, University of Sheffield (Ed.D. in Language Learning and Teaching, 2014). His research interests focus on literacies and collaborative learning in the ESP classroom, curriculum design, and on home education in Europe and the States.