Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: English Language Centre


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to Q3K207
Tied to Q3K307


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • design and implement a needs analysis;
  • develop curricula appropriate for a specialised language course;
  • assess the merits of existing specialised course materials;
  • have full understanding of the relationship between specific language needs and general language teaching;
  • adapt general teaching methods for specialised purposes;
  • design lessons using authentic, specialised resources.


  • This module explores language teaching and learning in particular environments. Issues in teaching English for Specific Purposes are explored both in terms of theoretical questions of appropriate methodology as well as more practical questions of needs analysis and syllabus design. Students will create a needs analysis tool from which they will then design a specialised programme in English for Specific Purposes.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Full understanding of the differing client needs that arise in ESP.
  • Understanding of the relationship between general English language teaching and English for Academic Purposes, Business Purposes and other Specialised courses.
  • Understanding of reflective Teaching Practice within the context of ESP.
  • Understanding of Varying Modes of Programme delivery in ESP.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to assess and evaluate current teaching methodologies in light of specialised needs.
  • Ability to distinguish between general English language teaching and English for Academic Purposes, Business Purposes and other Specialised courses.
  • Further development of skills in using authentic resources in the classroom.
  • Ability to assess the merits of skills-based teaching vs. a holistic approach.
  • Ability to conduct an effect needs analysis instrument.
  • Ability to develop curriculum appropriate for a specialised context.
Key Skills:
  • Ability to critically evaluate primary texts in language teaching for specialised purposes.
  • Ability to critically evaluate existing programmes.
  • Ability to reflect on teaching practice.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will introduce and explore the issues in English for specialised purposes.
  • Seminars will allow for critical discussions as well as presentations by students of needs analysis tools, whole course curriculum outlines as well as analysis and consideration of the role of the ESP teacher.
  • Along with their own independent reading, these input sessions will leave the student with a good command of relevant theoretical background to enable them to apply this knowledge to actual or envisaged teaching contexts.
  • The student will demonstrate an ability to research and organise complex material to sustain a logical argument. These arguments will be supported by a clarity of style and purpose that follows the expected conventions of academic writing.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly in terms 2/3 1 hour 10
Seminars 10 weekly in terms 2/3 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Needs Analysis Tool Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Needs Analysis Tool with written rationale 1,000 word equivalent 100%
Component: Syllabus for Specialised Course Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Syllabus for Specialised Course with written rationale 1,500 word equivalent 100%
Component: Profile of an English for Specific Purposes Student Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Profile of an ESP student 1,000 word equivalent 100%

Formative Assessment:

Draft version of Needs Analysis. Draft version of Syllabus.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University