English for specific purposes (ESP) in four technological and vocational higher education institutions in Taiwan, with particular reference to the Department of Applied Foreign Languages
This thesis examines problems in the teaching of English for Specific Purposes(ESP) in four technological and vocational higher education institutions in Taiwan,with particular reference to the Department of Applied Foreign Languages - English (DAFL-E)/ Department of Applied English (DAE), a newly established department intended to meet the high demand in the job market for English specialists with adequate business knowledge. The Department provides courses in English for specific purposes, in this study, for business purposes. However, students' low English proficiency results in inadequate meeting of the needs of industry. To understand ESP and the problems that arise in the DAFL-E/DAE, the writer conducted interviews with the Heads and teachers, and surveyed students, in four selected institutions, to seek their views and attitudes towards the work of the Departments and the difficulties they confronted. The policies regarding new teacher qualification requirements and discontinuation of the 5-year junior college programmes were reviewed. It was found that the DAFL-E/DAE face many challenges. First, specific goals and distinctive features have not been established. ESP is neither recognised nor its specific purposes served. Teacher training to teach ESP is also not developed. Secondly, the departments do not adequately prepare students for future employment, in terms of course design, English proficiency qualification and industrial placement. Students express dissatisfaction towards the Departments. Recommendations are made to the departments, teachers and students with respect to teacher training, team teaching, course design, needs analysis, English proficiency qualification and industrial placement. It is concluded that ESP should be incorporated in business-related English courses, in order to promote satisfactory attainment in English competence and business-related knowledge, and so contribute effectively to meeting the growing demands of industry.