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Non-technical aspects


By: Mubarak Abdessalami

Which "English" do you speak?

I guess you are surprised. This question, however, is not as eccentric as it seems. It would really sound atypical and clownish if it were asked just a few decades ago. Now, on the contrary, it is justifiable though a little odd. Only those familiar with ESP are not supposed to be incredulous about its legitimacy. The internet, on the other hand, has made it the most appropriate remark ever. Thus no surprise at all!

            Many factors, among which English for Specific Purposes is one, have made it possible to differentiate between many Englishes in terms of the various English-speaking geographical areas as well as different study fields. Do you know, for instance, that ESP understands English as a variety of languages? So,

            None of all the above mentioned divisions can be dealt with or made way to without the interference of a major character, the only one who could still survive the technological progress. Highly performing robots can in no way replace or even imitate her/him. I mean the teacher par excellence...

            Before talking about the utility of ESP in a developing country where technology is primitive or almost absent, let's first see how the manager of the ESP class should look like and how we can deal with ESP in a non-technical setting. It is true that ESP is a short cut to the welfare and prosperity of developing countries but the "how?" question is very important to answer first. Let's take the Moroccan setting as a sample.

The Teacher In the Age of Technology

            A student normally invokes a teacher. The natural environment for both teachers and students is the classroom. The students come to the classroom because they have their own reasons. The main reason is generally seeking knowledge. The teacher can easily understand that because he is there for almost the same reason and rolls up sleeves to work on it. So between students and learning there is the teacher who can help them satisfy their needs and reach their goals.

            On this basis, a teacher is more a necessity than a luxurious decoration in a computer assisted class. The teacher's role however is neither to spoon-feed the students nor to perpetually and endlessly badger them with convoluted questions. It is primarily to show her students the best way to learning by teaching them the strategies they should adopt toward learning, to be self-reliant. It emphasizes an active responsible and investigative approach to self-study and learning. In brief, the teacher acts as a guide in the classroom. The Chinese proverb styles it this way, "The teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself".

            In spite of all the progress that technology has reached recently, it seems unable to invade the classroom kingdom completely. It is true that technology has participated a lot in ameliorating and bettering the conditions of work in classroom settings, (the very source of its own development and evolving). It also takes part in the making of successful lessons through enriching them with para-linguistic materials such as Audio-visual aids, Software and Internet. Nevertheless, it cannot go farther than that, as to replace the teacher, for example. Its efficiency is not that powerful as to allow it to run a class by itself.

            Therefore the old noble role of the teacher proves to be impenetrable and more a necessity than a luxuriousness. When technology tried to play the teacher-figure artificially, it failed because teaching is not only the act of transmitting information and knowledge "mechanically". It is, far more than simply that, a mixture of different sensations, feelings, looks, smiles, emotions, stimulus and response which the rigid technology, despite its apparent intelligence, lacks greatly. In brief, teaching is a complicated interactive task which only Man can perform. Consequently the teacher could not only be but a human being. Teaching is more an art that consists initially of feelings that technology does not and will never possess.

            Thus, teaching is perhaps the one and only activity where technology can only provide furtherance and support but cannot manage or practice wholly. There are things in the teacher's job that only specialized human beings can understand and react to accordingly relying on the love they have for their noble mission. Technology misses that love which is the backbone of giving and not expecting to take. In a word, sacrifice. If technology is looked upon as a means to better what is good, Wordsworth said, "Love betters what is best."

            I'm deeply convinced that the teacher's role have become compulsory and increasingly important in the modern societies. Thus, teachers will certainly succeed where politicians have failed. Teachers gain no profits in the on going phenomenon of polluting our planet through emitting toxic gases and radioactivity in the air. That's why teachers can bridge the gaps between all people from the four corners of the world so as to understand each other and communicate their thoughts about issues which concern them all to eventually become one to face the danger that is surely coming. Don't teachers propagate nobility before erudition?

            A teacher of English, particularly, participates a lot in the reconciliation of many peoples all over the world and gathers them to confront the challenges, which threaten their lives. Our planet becomes as a village, doesn't it? What affects a country will automatically contaminate its neighbors. Chernobyl, Ukraine's major disaster at a nuclear power plant (16 April 1986), is just a model.

            ESP is the teacher's main power to bring together these people to exchange ideas about issues of major interest such as the shortage of water, pollution, global warming, Ozone layer thinning, poverty, cloning, genetic engineering, racial cleansing and so on...

            ESP is clearly a magic tool that teachers can manipulate effectively to eventually bring up the sharing of views through rational discussions. ESP is meant to do that and more. It fosters expertise and specialized curricula among ESP practitioners especially if they adopt (ESP IS): English for Specific Purposes Interest Section. The English Language used in this branch of ESP is the international language able to make people of the world listen to each other and stop just talking non-sense. On this basis the teacher is the messenger of knowledge, understanding, love, peace, and humanity (respectively). Because the teacher should always be a human being, technology will just keep aloof in case it is needed for help. The teacher is able to make people control technology and not vice versa.

Imagine a robot teacher or a teacher robot running a class. Both are worse than each other for learning.

Let's begin from the beginning:

            The teachers of English as a foreign language are always reminded that they are teaching the language not about the language.

This is not the only advice the teachers are given but this one has to be regarded differently. I think this advice seems to lose its importance though it is always valid.

            Here is some interesting news for these teachers. They will soon be multi-functional monitors. Their duty is generally known as teaching structures, functions, grammar and vocabulary through the four famous skills, notably listening, speaking, reading and writing. This duty however will expand to include teaching science, economy and technology to name only a few. The internationally evolving character of the English language will somehow force them to be ambivalent. How many English languages are there?

            Which English should we consider as standard, British, American, Australian, South African, Indian or eventually International? Teachers will first be determined to make it clear if it is

Whether it is "a taxi" or "a cab", "colour" or "color", "programme" or "program", "organisation" or "organization" ? I mean that the "English language" is generally divided into two major categories because of their different spellings and pronunciations. The teachers may find it difficult to fix which of which the right one to teach is. This superficial indistinctness may force them to rely on the degree of use of this language or that in the world.

            All in all this is not the urgent problem which has to be fixed. There are other features of this diversity which may affect the role of the teacher. Which "English" for which students? That's, in my opinion, the most urgent task teachers have to decide upon. Is it to teach English so that the students could read William Shakespeare or so as to surf the web. As I see it, both of them should be dealt with seriously because there is "some" of Shakespeare on the Web. Hence the importance of introducing the term English for Special Purposes (E.S.P) into our educational system to solve this ambivalence.

E.S.P, to what extent?

            English for Special Purposes as a method "based on the learner's reason for learning", (Hutchinson et al; 1987:19) is what will probably help teachers decide on what English for which discipline and how it can be performed in an approximately short time! The complication of the teachers' job will surely stem from this huge diversity of English as a language and as an international communication means par excellence. If the objectives (reasons) are spotted and defined, there will be less disorder in the teachers' tasks. Spelling and pronunciation which seem to be the main obstacles to understand each other, even among native speakers from different geographical areas, will absolutely be discarded as a challenging evil. Technology will solve most of this dichotomy to which English is exposed to. Nevertheless, teachers will have to accelerate the urge to skip from teaching "English" to teaching through English in order to lessen the bad impact of these differences and successive subdivisions of the language for those who learn English as a foreign language. Here dwells the culmination of the whole affair.

Which English do you need to learn?

            This question, as it is, should be directed to the students or to their parents. The answer to the question is not that easy because many factors are included. The teachers of English will sit to the parents to explain the "why" of the question. The factors which have to be taken into account are mostly those connected to economy and employment. Most students do no longer go to school to be well educated or to be academic thinkers; they only go there as job-hunters. And because English is the ultimate key to success besides scientific fields of course, students as well as their parents are restless and reluctant. To get a good job as quickly as possible is what matters for them all. School should be neither a burden for the parents nor an ordeal for the students; and so the English they have to learn should be selected and well chosen. Both parents and students may make allusion to the fact that they only need the amount of English necessary to enter the labor market with some confidence. Tough, isn't it?

            The syllabus for each group of students should be designed and shaped to satisfy their needs from English. Thus the syllabus should be Student-centered, that's to say the English Language is seriously selected and presented to fit each group apart. The targeted English is not learned to write books or give lectures. It is needed for short term purposes. Nonetheless, some students may need it for further academic studies. Generally speaking, most of them are after it just for the sake of acquiring the amount of vocabulary and functions necessary to communicate with the others within a specific narrow setting... Take hotel receptionists or taxi drivers for example. These people would not use as much English as a tourist guide or a bazaar keeper for example. These two categories of jobs require different classrooms, materials, methods and somehow different diction. Two separate "English languages" are to make the teachers' job more technical and specific. Consequently teachers need use new strategies to overcome the slight specificities which rule over the method of "English for special purposes". They first have to be aware of this diversity of purposes to get to know which English and which approaches and methods are more suitable for which classroom environment. The use and usage of English are to be carefully highlighted.

            Even in academic schools the English taught to Science-oriented students is not the same as the one used in Letters-oriented students' classrooms. These differences ought to be recognized to make it easy mapping the future needed careers.

English is no longer the same!

            Outlandish as it used to be a few years ago, "which English do you speak?" is now a justifiable question. A taxi driver's English isn't the same as that of a hotel receptionist's though they are one at the end. I mean the range of lexis, functions, structures, in brief, the Jargon for each specialty, don't have the same repertoire. Moreover, a future hotel receptionist may need some writing practice whereas a "Bargaining" Bazaar keeper may need more spoken English and a lot of negotiating expressions. In both cases the spoken language would be much focused upon. The four skills, however, should be subject to reorganization and permanent review. The order of importance of these skills is not the same for all options.

            The computer, as a machine or vehicle, is the same in the bank, the supermarket, the post office or at home; but it is the program of each of them which make them so different that none can replace the other. They have separate jobs, functions, and tasks to accomplish. So is English which is at the same time "one" and "various". There is an independent English for each of the following branches: marketing, advertising, tourist guiding, media, medicine, engineering and so forth and so on. No doubt English has become the language of success in each field thanks to its power in the world of economy. Globalization will accentuate it sooner or later. The Dollar "speaks" English; and if any one wants to tie a relationship with it, he should first know how to communicate with it and its sources. Therefore, we have to deal with English on this basis. We should not ignore its influence and importance in the business world otherwise we'll keep turning around looking for a harbor that has never existed. Meanwhile we should develop our National language to cope with it; who knows one day the world will need to speak another language to embrace success and prosperity. For the time being, English is the language that the world understands well; so we should not underestimate its importance in our schools in order to match with the requirements of the labor market. That's the point.

            The teachers of English as a foreign language are aware of this though the students and their parents don't seem to be concerned. No way! we are doomed to learn it so as to stay inside the tide and not be drifted away.

Why English?

            The modern life has influenced our choices a lot and forced us to cope with it as it dictates. The complexity which shapes our life has begun t force our students to specialize in options which the labor market would require most. Some of these areas of expertise have been unknown to us just few years ago. Because of all this, students become mature at a very early age. They become haunted by the idea of getting a good job if the opportunity to immigrate is not offered.

            To get a good job nowadays means a lot. Students must first discover what they want. They also should know the appropriate short cut to get where they intend to go quickly but surely. They must know exactly what sort of studies they should take and which lessons they should attend and give more importance. They must forget about what they like and like what they have to do. They also must know what means can lead them where they can gain profit or only find a job. What skills they should develop to be accepted as candidates in the labor market and be selected as being qualified. To that end, English has to be a priority in students' interests to eventually harness their abilities to conquer technological fields which are now prevailing all over the business world. In a word, the students should consider the importance of the English language in their future professional life.

            On this basis, English has become a necessity not a privilege for students to familiarize with the nature of electronic technologies (omnipresent in almost all occupations) and to situate themselves in their professional environment and in the world beyond.. Thus they should be aware of the fact that the English language has found itself a place in almost all business and financial systems. It is now considered as central to pioneering, discovering, learning, and marketing. In brief it becomes a world wide hookup for communication.

            Thus English should be regarded and targeted as the most important factor on which success in life relies greatly. To achieve their goals, students should engage in a wide range of activities and operations paving them the way to master and own this "key" to work. These activities should be related to the very job they intend to do later: That's what we call English for Special Purposes.

How can we make that possible in our schools?

            Let's first talk about the traditional academic school still in action. We have to divide its branches into specific options. Take science-oriented students. They should have compulsory and optional subjects. The compulsory ones should be well defined and appealing to the students' personal tastes, needs and abilities. They also should be subject to intensive work. They have to learn Physics, biology, chemistry, geology or zoology accordingly but not all of them at the same time. Physics students, for instance, should concentrate more on physics than any other school subject in order not to burden them with disturbing trivial things. And it would be better to teach them in the language which produces and innovates in physics through magazines and newsletters concerning new experimentations and discoveries in the field. In this case students won't need to look for someone else to translate for them; or waste time waiting for an academic translation which might be published too late.

            To put it short, goals should be drawn and clearly framed. Which English for which future careers? And to what extent we are ready to form people able to participate in the prosperity of the country.

            In the next papers we'll concentrate on tourism as a field that can benefit from this E.S.P we are talking about very a lot particularly that Morocco is planning to receive about 10 million tourists by the year 2010.


            Nowadays, most students wonder if the type of education they are exposed to is of any utility. So they seldom choose to take school for serious. Through their observation, they can find out why there are a lot of unemployed young diploma-holders amongst them. They easily come out with the idea that the sort of education they are "undergoing" is completely barren. They are obliged to go to school, all the same. But they are aware that going there is just a social image. A "student" is a better title than "idle". Because they must go to school, they only associate learning with exams. They rarely think of a long term use of any of the subjects they take at school. They don't seem to care much about the importance of studying because they cannot see immediate results to what they are learning, except for the exams. They consider them their ultimate goal. They're initially interested in success at the end of the school year. They don't bother think of something farther because the future sends them gloomy messages. Joblessness will "swallow" them sooner or later. They don't realize that learning is a long term investment. The results don't manifest so early. The students are in a critical situation; their parents seem to pay for it all. All this apart, the best students, the elite, are not threatened by unemployment because our education system is becoming more and more selective.

            English as a school subject never seems motivating for the high school students because it has no apparent function in their immediate social environment. They simply believe it is optional in their quest for a job-based learning. There are many reasons behind this belief; the most important of which is that English in Morocco has not yet been introduced in our economical schedule. French is more effective in the labor market here. In Morocco, a non-English speaking country, any one can share this idea with the students. English is still valueless. It serves no goals that the French language can't. In other words, French is greatly sufficient for them.

            This realistic view of the issue has made teachers suffer their students' indifference vis--vis English. However; good language learners, who excel at English, do that on purpose to show off as speaking English is more a privilege than a necessity for them. The syllabus designed and assigned to them makes things worse. It doesn't meet the students' interests and needs. It is not motivating at all.

            Like many other teachers, I believe that teaching English in Morocco should be dealt with in a different manner. It is not necessary to forge or coin a new teaching method. There is a ready made approach which can be appreciated by the students as well as the teachers. English for Specific Purposes (E.S.P) proves the most useful approach to teaching nowadays. When we decide to adopt it, we can really make a great change in the perception of the efficiency and the utility of English in our schools. ESP can make our students their attitude and cease to be indifferent to English. They'll take it seriously when they realize its real impact on their future professional careers. The ESP approach has that powerful quality as to make the syllabus based on the analysis of the learners' needs and their own personal specialist knowledge of using English, not as a privilege, but for real communication. Furthermore, this methodology is rich as it can be identified in terms of three types.

            According to David Carter (1983), the three types of ESP are as follows:

  1. English as a restricted language. (e.g., Language used by a tourist-guide or a taxi-driver).
  2. English for Academic and Occupational Purposes. (It includes EST, EBE and ESS).
  3. English with Specific Topics. (for postgraduate reading studies/ Situational language)
ESP also could be seen in terms of abilities:

            This approach is also capable of operating effectively in Heterogeneous learner group as well as in a Homogeneous learner group.

            All in all, I wouldn't have recommended ESP if I have a slight doubt about its efficiency in the educational system we are all in need of. ESP is perhaps the sole outlet available to fix this problem of giving English the right value and position in our educational and professional tissue.

            The following pages are trying to reach a full understanding of the importance of ESP as a methodology and its utility in a Moroccan context where French is still prevailing as the only language required in the labor market. N.B:Because it is a free research, I didn't really revise it for rectification. Do please enjoy it as it is! It may incite you to do a deeper research in the field.

Our School and Work-Oriented learning!


            We rarely care about the fact that it becomes imperative to interfere with our students' decisions concerning their future careers but only with their consent, of course, and after long negotiations. This is essential for the sort of education they desire to have. They should assume the responsibility of their choice but we have to guide them to be confident with their choices on the basis of their skills, personal competences and the needs of the labor market - which becomes an essential factor influencing our educational system. We have to talk economy. It is an obligation now.

            Why do we have many unemployed graduate people while many sectors are in urgent need of qualified skillful workers? This is not a question! It is a bitter sarcastic fact.

            Our educational system becomes almost an irony. It is badly outdated. Therefore it should be renewed completely to be more rational and practical so as to meet the expectations of the students and their parents; as well as those of the country in the first place.

Where the problem lies!

What solutions!

            Because of the long years of stagnation and carelessness, a huge gap was dug between our educational system and the labor market. It is high time we did something serious about it. This gap will get larger and larger if we keep ignoring it. In order to put an end to this critical situation and look for better alternatives, the government should analyze our educational system in relation to our school economical environment. The main question should be asked openly and without false pride! Our school suffers from systemic, programmatic, and administrative problems. It is no longer practical, so what did we do - or better, what didn't we do to arrive to this stage?

            Did we supply students with the tools which really helped them with their future professional life? If we did, why there are a lot of jobless graduates, now? But if we didn't, and we actually didn't, we should assess our educational system and see what we can do to solve this embarrassing situation for the students, the parents and the country economy above all. We should primarily think of a way to reintegrate and provide jobs for those troops of unemployed diploma-holders. This could be done through a second chance training program based on vocational skills; which couple with the labor market needs. It is obvious that the main problem of our educational system lies in the fact that there was and still is no clear route from education to employment. Most of our graduate students have a lot of theory but almost no skills. Now, what about a school-to-work strategy? It sounds a convenient cute plan of action.

What's that?

            Well, we should redirect our educational policy to serve the goals able to answer this ambiguity of continually teach and train students for useless future projects. Our educational system goes bankrupt, we must admit it. Thus if it is impossible to make a revolution in it, we at least can mend it to meet the new coming students' expectations. The efforts supplied should be geared toward professional training rather than general theoretical knowledge. They also should adopt a school-to-work approach to education and usually have an eye on the labor market and work arena to immediately react to its unexpected changing needs. We're no longer in need of thinkers who would argue if the egg was before the hen. Reforms in finance and Educational administration are urgently claimed. The school programs should equally focus on raising skill levels. Is that all?

Think twice

            Our politicians should think of preparing a global schedule of how things would seem if we adapt this or that system to our education. We are doomed now to cope with the essence of Globalization and manage to progressively push the reform experience to its limits. We also should be armed with a strong will to shun our trivial personal misunderstandings and differences. "No politics in Education, please!" is the slogan we have to raise to reach well-defined goals for the benefit of our country. Let economics talk for the welfare and the prosperity of the Moroccan people.

            We should adopt new programs which appeal to the new era in which qualified skilled workforce is predominant. That's to say a work-oriented learning. Like professional-formation (Al-Takwin Al-Mihani), this new approach to education assisted by career guidance will certainly give way to broader horizons in the field of employment: New factories will be built, new businesses will be set up and new trade projects will emerge. This sort of educational new strategy will contribute greatly to linking job training to long term economical development goals. Because it is an employment and training system vocation, it will surely encourage some students to self-employ themselves by managing a small business investment which could provide new job opportunities for others. In this case, the banks have a lot to do to prevent such initiatives from failure or bankruptcy through backing them with ideas, necessary capitals and facilities while the government could encourage them with long tax-free periods.


            Well-educated and highly-skilled workers are more required in the modern labor market. In response to this we have to redirect our educational policy and concentrate it on the socially productive skills as it is the case in all developed economies around the globe. It is not a handicap if we learn from other countries experiences through adopting them critically to avoid the negative sides and adapting the results to our social and economical particularities. Thus, our school system should be rebuilt to fulfill its new function. Last of all, the adoption of ESP methodology in our schools should totally be in coherence with our economy ambitions; and the classroom learning should be in complete harmony with the expectations of our students. That's to say, it should be matched with the requirements of the local and European labor market. Why European? This is another topic to tackle some time in the future.

E.S.P In Moroccan Schools, What For?!

"Bread is the staff of life"    J. Swift


            It is generally agreed upon the fact that E.S.P is an approach meant to teach adult learners who need a strictly limited range of lexis, expressions and functions to use only in their specific professional or vocational environment. In a word, ESP is a method "based on the learner's reason for learning", Hutchinson & Waters (1987:19). Thus this approach is subject to a multitude of divisions and sub-divisions according to the different reasons, study disciplines and specializations spreading in the world day after day.

            Yet this doesn't mean that ESP is useless with young students in secondary school settings. On the contrary, it is, nowadays, the most required method to meet both the learners' and the labor market needs. ESP branches are multiplying with time. Each branch is dividing into sub-branches. So ESP becomes more and more required and talked about all around the world. Take this example from Hutchinson & Water's tree of the sub-branches of ESP:

  1. ELT   (English Language Teaching)
    1. ESP   (English for Specific Purposes)
      1. EST   (English for Science and Technology)
        1. EAP   (English for Academic Purposes)
          English for Medical Studies.
        2. EOP   (English for Orientation Purposes)
          English for Technicians.
      2. EBE   (English for Business and Economics)
        1. EAP
        2. EOP
      3. ESS   (English for Social Studies)
      4. ...

Hey, teachers...!

            The teacher's task, consequently, is to be greatly affected by this diversity of study sections. Therefore she should exert intensive efforts; first, to be able to cope with this "breeding" situation of new branches every day. Second, to widen her all-discipline language repertory (esp. technological jargon) because she deals, at the same time, with General English as it is conceived and used in traditional academic schools, and professional one. So in order to be in harmony with all branches needs and interests and eventually succeed in her task "an ESP teacher must master more than a specialized vocabulary. Thinking styles, problem solving methods and communication strategies within professional groups differ as well" Sutherland (1995:6)

ESP as a strategy in Moroccan schools

            Let's first make it clear from the beginning that ESP in Morocco is still in its theoretical phase. No serious decisions have been taken in this field so far. It seems that the English language doesn't still have any major role to play in our economy priorities; which doesn't sound practical, logical and modern. Apart from this, Teachers of English in Morocco can do a lot, if they are given the opportunity, to change the language into a productive tool in many sectors notably scientific and technological schools, hotel management, business, banking, finance, agriculture and all the sectors connected to the basis of our economy resources. Yet it should not be introduced in the way the 3rd year syllabus "Bridges" was designed and assigned as an ESP curriculum. This text-book is more an amalgamation of different scientific topics than a specific discipline based course. If it is considered as an ESP program, so an optician is also a dentist. "Bridges" can be anything but not a component of ESP curricula in the practical sense of the term. I can even say that integrating ESP should at least occur in two major economical sectors notably tourism and agriculture. They represent the backbone of our economy and have a lot to do with English as an international language. Thus it is imperative to redirect our attention towards these two rich labor markets to draw as a goal intensifying our students' job-related skills.             It goes without saying that the English language has become an international lingua franca in almost any field of study. On this basis ESP has already gone a great deal in USA and Japan and many other developed countries; whereas in Morocco we still can't make our minds about it. Nevertheless what might encourage adopting this approach in our schools is the fact that we have all the ingredients necessary to make it a very delicious "Tajin".

            If ESP is activated in contexts where modernization is the target objective, Morocco now has all the reasons to adopt and approve it. The objectives of modernization in our country are clearly set, defined and begun to get concrete. Our telecommunication field is fertile, the same thing for international trade through important ports and airports. But the most urgent projects of all, as mentioned previously, are tourism and agriculture which constitute the main pillars of our economy. Why then delay launching the project of ESP officially?

More reasons

            If ESP understands English as a variety of languages characterized by two important features, notably
  1. A definite conceptual orientation.
  2. A set of linguistic restrictions imposed upon the contextual functioning of words.
A.I Komarova & A.A Lipgart

            Morocco has to provide and develop high quality training in the language and communication skills because its economy is dynamic and growing in such a pace which allows it to be at the center of the business world interest. It could easily be a substitute to the former Hong Kong market. Its geo-strategic situation as a bridge between Africa (a growing economy) and Europe (a developed economy) has a lot to do with the progress and fluorescence of the networked business. Tangiers is going ahead in this direction.

            The problem is that we still don't conceive the real importance of the opportunity that we are hesitating to seize. We still consider English as a foreign language despite the fact that it is at home everywhere in the modern world. It is thanks to it that the Asian economies, for instance, emerged. In Morocco, however, we still rely on French as the only language available to grasp science and technology whereas France, ironically, is developing an ESP strategy to find itself a place in the world wide market. We can even talk about a sort of a French English or better an English of a French nationality thanks to the French scientists who contributed a lot to development and evolvement of some scientific facets.

A Moroccan English,... Why not?!

            It is more than just true that English used in ESP methodology is not the language used by British, Americans, Australians or Canadians. It is rather the language of science and technology. Therefore, every country apart can have its own way of conceiving and using English to eventually meet the basics of the international means of communication. Is English metamorphosing? No. The obscurity of defining the English language has been made opaque by the multitude of users of English from other languages. It is not clear enough, is it?

            Well, a French or a German or a Japanese or whoever scientist who uses English in the sphere of scientific communication is not obliged to take native speakers for standard to weigh or test his/her spelling or pronunciation accuracy. Whatever nationality the scientist is, the English she or he uses is simply a different one referred to as scientific English; which is the International Language.

            Many other disciplinary factors may interfere to enrich the lexical repertoire of this international English. Each new discovery can contribute to the jargon of English be it scientific, financial, business, or tourism one. Couscous, Tajin, Meshwi, pastille and Mint Tea... are English words of Moroccan origin. Hence, they are part of the English specialized vocabulary repertoire despite their nationality. This doesn't mean that the internationalization of English will negatively affect the native classical English accuracy. On the contrary, the use of these imported words, for instance, into English will be limited and constrained in communicating "the Moroccan Cuisine" as it is the case here. The specification of some Englishes is a healthy sign. They simply show that, scientifically speaking, "And the world will be one". (Imagine, John Lennon). The scientific English, let's state it differently, enfold many languages because all scientists, including those working in USA or Britain, are not only American or British.

            In brief, speakers of other languages participate in the enrichment and diversification of the English language used for specific purposes. There are in English words and terms which are more German, Russian or Indian than English. Why not some typical Moroccan terms?!

What else?

            Obviously, we have no choice. Our educational system is barren and the result is thousands of diploma holders without jobs. The elite is summoned by developed countries which can provide them jobs, the rest are torn apart between futile jobs and trying to "burn" travel illegally to Europe. Hence Swift's saying, "Bread is the staff of life." Let's be quick and integrate this new ESP approach into our educational system, everybody does.

            What is E.S.P?

            Pretentious as one may be, one cannot actually describe ESP fully in a paper of this length because the term is more complicated than it seems to be. Many new factors are being involved every now and then; which makes the task of defining ESP quite easier said than done. It is still blurring. In this paper I'll endeavor to come out with a somehow close-to-reality definition.
To begin with, let's find out what the acronym itself stands for! E.S.P is English for Special / Specific Purposes. So what?! What does all this mean?

            Because it has become one of the most prominent methods of EFL teaching for more than 40 years now, ESP is no longer confined in scientific and technological fields of study. It gradually includes other specialties that were until recently dealt with through General English (G.E). Nowadays, ESP could be defined as an approach used in teaching English for any purpose that could be specified. But this definition is not widely agreed upon as being incomplete. This disagreement stems essentially from the power that ESP is acquiring with time in professional as well as academic classrooms; which may keep the door wide open for more various definitions. Up to now, participants in conferences consecrated to this topic couldn't generally agree on a single and unique definition of ESP. Still, we fortunately can refer to it as the teaching of English used in academic studies or as the teaching of English for vocational or professional purposes. However the complete uniform definition - everybody looks for- is not yet reached because ESP is growing in all directions. It seems that it will be a miracle if an agreed upon definition for ESP is reached soon.

            ESP, in its early age, was first known as EST (English for Science and Technology). The pioneers of this teaching approach like: Ewer and Latorre, Swales, Slinker and Trimble were to be considered as revolutionary figures in linguistics. They revolt against traditional linguists who were busy describing the features of language; whereas the problem with language was to make it flexible to be used in all settings communicatively. This new perspective of the language could be seen as the only way to help facing the demands of "a Brave New World": The world, which suddenly emerged with its own challenges on the level of studies especially. Now in its infancy (about 42 years old), ESP is invading many new disciplines such as Business, Law, Art and Design to name but a few. No doubt, ESP becomes a substantial teaching methodology which we cannot ignore its impact on the social and economical levels in the future.

Hutchinson and Waters gave ESP a broad description as "an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner's reason for learning" (1987:19). The issue, now, shifts to be a quest and inquiry about the meaning of special language on one hand; and specialized purpose on the other... Perron (1974) was practically the first to note the confusion arising over these two entirely different notions. Mackay and Mountford (1978:4) define the notion of special language "as a restricted repertoire of words and expressions selected from the whole language because that restricted repertoire covers every requirement within a well-defined context, task, or vocation". Specialized purposes, on the other hand, greatly rely on needs analysis.

            Dudley Evans (1997) who prefers to call ESP "an attitude of mind" gives an extended definition in terms of Absolute and Variable characteristics.

  1. Absolute characteristics.
    1. ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learners.
    2. ESP makes use of underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves.
    3. ESP is centered on the language appropriate to these activities in terms of grammar, lexis, register, study skills, discourse genre.
  2. Variable characteristics.
    1. ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines.
    2. ESP use, in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of general English.
    3. ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either at a tertiary level institution or in a professional work situation. It could, however, be for learners at secondary school level.
    4. ESP is generally designed for intermediate or advanced students.
    5. Most ESP courses assume some basic knowledge of the language systems
      */ Dudley-Evans, 1997 \*

            These characteristics are carefully listed to eventually allow a compromising concord in views about the issue. Or to practically solve arguments about what ESP is and what is not. They are actually stated to draw a line between ESP and General English approach to teaching. These characteristics don't seem to help much subdue the problem of giving a complete compromising definition. They were themselves subject to various points of view. All in all, ESP definition is based on knowing the goals of learners at all stages, hence the importance of permanently conducting learners' needs analysis. At this very crucial situation, the perception of the clear distinction between ESP and General English approach is not yet resolved. The evolution of ESP through a continual learner needs analysis will keep us ask the same question again and again, "What is the difference between the ESP and General English approach?". Hutchinson et al. (1987:53). Furthermore, ESP is progressively gaining new areas in EFL teaching, at times under G.E rule. One day, perhaps, there will be no more General English used but only English for Specific Purposes as the widely used approach in all fields of study.

            ESP is practically used to teach Science and Technology. It is mainly tailored to fit all disciplines through vigorously prepared and designed programs to improve the students' ability to communicate in English about their specific fields of study. It focuses on using English effectively in specific academic fields such as business, international studies, English linguistics, literature, chemistry, biochemistry, physical education, and so on. It is getting clearer now that nothing is arduous or tough for ESP to tackle and modulate even those specialties which don't require more than two-week training period. ESP is proven to be so open to all learning purposes and able to use the suitable pedagogical style, appropriate materials and course design for each discipline and field of study more effectively. ESP is considerably practical because it meets the individual needs and goals of either preparing for an exam, (e.g. TOEFL), or academic studies. In brief this teaching methodology is so powerful that all classrooms can gain profit from it...

            Why don't we try ESP in teaching Tourism and Catering in a non-English speaking country like Morocco? Isn't ESP pertaining primarily to TESOL?!

To read more about ESP here are some interesting