‘University Undergraduates’ Functional Language Learning for Sustainable Development: A Shift to English for Specific Purposes’ by Umera-Okeke, Nneka P.

Abstract

The current issue of language teaching is for functional literacy. One of the effects of the growing importance of global English in professional contexts has been the rise of ESP teaching at all levels. Gueye (1990) argues that in developing countries all over the world, ESP teaching through English for development purposes should encourage students to understand their roles in the educational and social development of their nations, so the need for a more specialized foreign language teaching has expanded. What is therefore hypothesized in this paper is that the amount of contribution university graduates may make to local and global educational, social and economic development through their scientific knowledge and academic development will be limited unless radical changes are made in their foreign language training programme. This is because every field of study has its own terminology and requires cognitive skills peculiar to it. This can be achieved through English for specific purposes (ESP) as a modern trend in English Language Teaching. This paper therefore examined the relationship between language and sustainable development, and the concept of ESP. This paper postulated that the goal of English for Specific Purposes is not primarily the teaching of a subject in English as a foreign language, but rather to teach English with a specific content which is normally mixed with general topics. To reach that goal, it was suggested that ways should be paved and trainings organized for English as a Second/Foreign Language teachers to be able to undertake the task of impacting functional language training for sustainable development.

Index Terms: ESP, Functional English

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