Teaching English For Specific Purposes (ESP): What You Need To Know

Teaching English For Specific Purposes (ESP): What You Need To Know

By Angelica Bottaro

Teaching English to people with different first languages is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. It aids in helping people follow their dreams while giving you the chance to help get them there. That said, teaching English is an exceptionally broad category, and not all types of English are the same.

For example, you can teach the language in a way that helps someone learn how to communicate fluently, but you can also teach it in a way that lands someone their dream job as a doctor or pilot.

In that case, a course in English for Specific Purposes, or ESP, is a great way to prepare yourself for the next step in your professional life.

But what is ESP, and what types of jobs can you land with the specialized certification?

What is ESP?

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is a specialized course designed to help people grow their English language skills so they can go after specific careers. By sharpening their English, people who want to excel in their careers can do so in areas where English is the first language.

People who teach these specific courses must go through specialized training so that they are prepared and ready to assist their students in mastering fluency in the English language to improve their professional opportunities.

Can you teach ESP with a TEFL Certification?

A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification allows educators from all over the globe to prepare themselves to teach English. This certification enables teachers to choose where to teach and what type of students they wish to help learn English. While people with a TEFL can hypothetically teach ESP as well, as there is no law against it, there are some roadblocks to a teacher’s success if you don’t further your studies.

For example, if you have a TEFL and want to teach English to people wishing to enter the medical field, you may have a difficult time if you aren’t well-versed in the subject matter. It’s challenging to teach people about something if you don’t know much about it yourself, even if you’re a master of English. If you want to teach English for a specific purpose, completing the suitable courses beforehand will allow you to do so effectively.

What type of courses help with ESP?

There is a plethora of specialized courses you can take with the OISE TEFL Specialization, each with its own set of required skills. These courses are designed with a specific career in mind.

For example, if you wish to help those interested in aviation careers, such as pilots or cabin crew, you can take a course revolving around those careers. You will learn the ins and outs of teaching for aviation and be more equipped with terms and other information surrounding the profession to teach it effectively.

The other specialized courses allow you to take control of your teaching abroad career in places that help foreign language speakers excel in English language studies, which can prepare them for various jobs.

What jobs can you get with an OISE TEFL Specialization?

There are several types of ESP, all geared towards more specific specializations. Many careers may require a good command of the English language and specialized training geared toward that particular job. They include:

  • Aviation: As mentioned above, aviation courses will provide you with the skills required to prepare people for an aviation career, whether a flight attendant or cabin crew.
  • Hospitality or Tourism: The hospitality and tourism industries often require people to speak more than one language, and English is in high demand. Teaching English for these careers allows you to help foreign language speakers recognize their dreams in tourism and hospitality.
  • Medicine: Medical professionals are always in high demand, and communicating with people who speak different languages can open the doors for people in these professions. By helping people gain the English language skills they need to expand their horizons, you are helping grow access to qualified healthcare professionals.
  • Banking: Banking is another career that expands borders, and many people in the financial industry benefit from knowing English.
  • Law: Lawyers and other law-centric professions require specific sets of knowledge. Teaching English for Law with a specialization can aid in your student’s understanding of the law and their ability to excel at their chosen careers.
  • Business: Business also expands borders like banking and the financial industry. Teaching Business English requires a level of understanding of the subject matter and how to design and implement lessons appropriate for various cultures across the globe.
  • Academics: Those interested in academic careers need to have a good grasp of the English language if they plan to educate students in schools in predominantly English-speaking countries. Learning English also opens many doors to different job opportunities for academic careers. As a TEFL educator specializing in academics, you can help people realize their dreams of helping others reach theirs.
  • Teaching to Arabic, Mandarin, or Korean language speakers: Many people learning English from Arabic, Mandarin, or Korean may experience first language interference. To help mitigate the effects, getting a specialized course in teaching people whose first language is one of those languages can help overcome that interference for a better understanding of English for your students.
  • Teaching to Young Learners: Young learners can be taught using a TEFL certification, but if you want to get a leg up against the competition, getting a specialization helps you stand out from the crowd, allowing you to stand out amongst other English language teachers.  
  • Teaching Test Preparation Courses: Schools, governments, and other businesses often require English language exams. You can get this specialization to help people striving toward careers requiring lots of testing.
  • Online Teaching: Online teaching can be done anywhere in the world, but it’s not as easy as many believe. That is especially true when teaching English as a second language. To be the best online teacher you can be, getting this specialization will help to develop the skills needed to overcome the challenges of online teaching.  
  • Learner-centred Lessons: Learning how to teach content in a way that provides students with independence in the classroom isn’t always easy. That is where this specialization comes in. It can help you land jobs that require you to let go of the reigns and give students more control over their language output.
  • Teaching Abroad: While a TEFL certificate provides you with teaching abroad opportunities, it’s not always easy to know where to start. This specialization equips you with the knowledge to research places to teach and how to overcome challenges that can arise when working internationally.

While knowing basic English can help students get started in these careers, the in-depth knowledge required to excel at any of the jobs mentioned above requires more training. That is where ESP teachers come in. They can bridge the gap between teaching basic English for everyday life and English geared towards a specific profession.

Getting Started with the OISE TEFL Specialization

The internationally recognized OISE TEFL course is a self-paced online offering that allows educators to qualify for more teaching jobs abroad. Teachers can choose how many hours of study they wish to pursue and what specializations they’re interested in.

By equipping yourself with further skills to teach English as a second language, you can open the doors to many opportunities that may not be as available with only a TEFL certification.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.