November 2022
ESP News



Kevin Knight, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan

In a TESOL Blog post (Knight, 2013), I defined leadership as follows:

As a researcher of professional communication, I recognize that many different conceptualizations of leadership exist. For me personally, however, I like to view leadership as a communication process consisting of two parts: 1) communicating to create a vision and 2) communicating to achieve a vision. Leadership is considered by many to be an “influence relationship,” and in my personal conceptualization of leadership, leadership would involve influencing others through communication associated with the goals of part 1 and part 2.

This conceptualization of leadership as a creative activity would transform my teaching and eventually lead to the creation of the ESP Project Leader Profiles (published initially in the TESOL Blog and then in ESP News and thereafter compiled (1 to 55) in a book with a free PDF version). I have heard that good leaders are committed to achieving wholesome missions, and they replicate themselves constantly. In the book and in this issue of ESP News, you see examples of such good and creative leaders committed to achieving wholesome projects!

Aviation English webinars

Read the Letter from the Chair Jennifer Roberts for details about the Aviation English webinars, which are a collaborative project of the TESOL ESP-IS, the TESOL Applied Linguistics Interest Section (AL-IS), and the International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA). Jennifer is clearly a leader in the Aviation English field!

TESOL Italy and TESOL Ukraine webinars

Read both: 1) the Letter from the Chair-Elect Michael Ennis and 2) his article for an overview of the TESOL Italy and TESOL Ukraine collaboration. Mike is a top leader in TESOL Italy, and this issue of ESP News could not have been written without him!

Read the article of Sharon Hartle and Valeria Franceschi, who are both in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Verona, for a description of the presentation they gave on English for professional purposes (EPP) in the TESOL Italy and TESOL Ukraine webinar series.

Read the 58th ESP Project Leader Profile in which Kevin Knight interviews Iryna Zuyenok, Associate Professor and ESP specialist in the Department of Foreign Languages of Dnipro University of Technology in Ukraine, who describes the creation and implementation of an ESP national policy in Ukraine.

My thanks, again, go to Mike for his article and the introductions to the others contributing to this issue of ESP News!

I highly encourage you to become more involved in the activities of the ESPIS! If you have an idea for an article, please contact me.

All the best,

Kevin Knight


Knight, K. (2013, Dec. 3). Looking at communication through a leadership lens. TESOL Blog

Kevin Knight (PhD in linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is Professor in the Department of International Communication of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. His research interests include leadership conceptualization and development, ESP, and professional communication. Learn more here.


Jennifer Roberts, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA

Greetings ESP-IS Community,

First and foremost, welcome to this special edition of the ESP-IS Newsletter. Our focus on Ukraine is meant to demonstrate our commitment to support our TESOL family in the heart of this conflict.

If you are new to the ESP-IS, welcome! To learn more about who we are and what we do, watch a video compiled by our Secretary/Archivist Alan Orr. We showcased this video recently when we  introduced our ESP-IS community during TESOL’s Celebrate Our Communities event. The video begins to define ESP. Tell us - what does ESP mean to you?

The amount of ESP areas always amazes me – from tourism to business to aviation to medicine. It is important that we cultivate connections with some of the more specifically-focused ESP professional organizations, as well as other TESOL Interest Sections, to continue learning about and defining best practices in our field. Currently, we are partnering with the Applied Linguistics Interest Section (AL-IS) and the International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA) to facilitate five webinars on the topic of Aviation English. I had the honor of conducting Webinar #1 to introduce the field of Aviation English. If you missed it and would like to watch the recording, it is available on TESOL’s YouTube channel!

Mark your calendars for the rest of the series indicated below.




September 29, 2022

Jennifer Roberts

An Introduction to Aviation English

October 21, 2022

Hyejeong Kim

Locating intercultural aviation communication within communities of practice

December 2, 2022

Neil Bullock

The ICAO LPRs - towards an awareness of stakeholder skills and interdependency

January 27, 2023

Michael Kay

ICAEA’s Test Design Guidelines: Facilitating the Standardization of Aviation English Tests

February 24, 2023

Moonyoung Park

Investigating Target Tasks, Task Phases, and Indigenous Criteria for Military Aviation English Assessment

What other ESP-focused professional organizations should our ESP-IS connect with? What other learning opportunities are you looking for within the ESP-IS? Our goal is to lead an Interest Section which serves our members; let us know what you would find most interesting and worthwhile.

Stay safe,

Jennifer Roberts

ESP-IS Chair

Jennifer is the Program Coordinator for the Department of Aviation English in the College of Aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide, where she works to develop and deliver Aviation English training programs. Her interests include the pedagogical applications of corpus linguistics, language policy and planning, and curriculum development in English for specific purposes settings.


Michael Ennis, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

Greetings TESOLers and readers of ESP News! I am very excited to serve you as the Chair Elect of the ESPIS and to assist Jennifer through the next Convention in Portland! I can report that with the immense support of the Immediate Past Chair, Pamela Dzunu, and the entire Steering Committee, Jennifer and I have “hit the ground running”. Jennifer is working very hard on organizing the Intersection Session for Portland and I am working with several of our active members to put together the Academic Session on needs analysis. We have also been working on webinars, meet and greets, and other small projects to promote the dissemination of knowledge and experience within our community of practice. Jennifer has told you about some of our recent efforts in her letter, and she will keep you posted on all things to come.

One of the activities I aim to support during my time as Chair Elect this year and Chair next year is communication and collaboration with like-minded groups around the world. The ESPIS has a long-standing relationship with the IATEFL ESP SIG. In this issue I also report on a recent collaboration with TESOL Italy (my national affiliate) to organize an ESP webinar in support of TESOL Ukraine. My hope is that we can build on such experiences to establish connections with other groups. I especially believe that we have much to share and much to learn by working with groups that specialize in other Languages for Specific Purposes (LSPs), that is, not just ESP.

There are indeed very many possibilities. For instance, I recently attended the seventh Languages for Specific Purposes in Higher Education Conference, a very welcoming and open event which was held in York in the United Kingdom this year. In late 2021, I also participated in the fifth Foreign Languages and Tourism Conference. I discovered this highly specialized community through contacts at the Slovene Association of LSP Teachers, which organizes its own biannual conference at a hot springs resort in Slovenia and publishes an important peer-reviewed journal, Scripta Manent. The European Association of Languages for Specific Purposes, which is based in Spain and therefore has a particular focus on Spanish for Specific Purposes, just organized its annual conference here in Italy and will publish selected papers in its journal Revista Ibérica. Other European groups include the Serbian Association for the Study of English, which publishes ESP Today, and the Croatian Association of LSP Teachers, which is organizing its sixth conference in 2023. The Slovenian, Serbian and Croatian associations already collaborate closely on their conferences and journals.

I have also recently found out about groups in Asia through our Newsletter Editor, Kevin Knight, and one of our English for Academic Settings Representatives, Jie Shi, both of whom are based in Japan. Kevin has informed me that the Asia-Pacific LSP & Professional Communication Association in fact maintains a growing list of professional associations, including some of the aforementioned.

I have had very positive experiences working with LSP groups in Europe. Although many key principles and practices overlap across languages and national contexts, there are also certain differences in theoretical and methodological perspectives. It is my hope that our common ground could provide us with a point of departure for collaboration, while divergent experiences and viewpoints create spaces for mutual learning.

I encourage you to read the journals and conference proceedings of our sister groups around the world. With virtual and hybrid modalities readily available nowadays, you can even attend some of their meetings and conventions. But my hope is that we can also find ways to plan joint initiatives which enable us to share with and learn from one another.

Jennifer and I will keep you posted on any developments, and we hope that many of you will participate! And if you know of any other associations which might be interested in working with us, please get in touch!

Michael Ennis
English for Specific Purposes-Interest Section (ESP-IS) Chair-Elect

Michael Ennis is the English language coordinator at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano’s Language Centre. His interests include English for specific (academic) purposes, content-and-language integrated learning, motivation, and intercultural language teaching.



Michael Ennis, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

In the spring of 2022, TESOL Italy organized a series of webinars in collaboration with and in support of TESOL Ukraine titled Sharing Contexts Across Cultures. Each week, two webinars were organized, one by TESOL Italy and one by TESOL Ukraine. The themes ranged from trauma-informed teaching to the importance of oracy development to comparisons of educational systems and teaching practices in the two countries. The webinars were both informative and, for many reasons, inspiring.

During the second week of May, the webinars focused on teaching English for specific purposes at the university level. The ESPIS supported these two events and several ESPIS members participated in the webinars. On May 10, my esteemed colleagues, Sharon Hartle and Valeria Franceschi, described their approach to teaching English for professional purposes at the University of Verona. On May 12, Iryna Zuyenok, from the Dnipro University of Technology of Ukraine, described the development of a national curriculum for ESP instruction in Ukraine.

Sharon and Valeria summarize the content of their presentation in an article in this issue of ESP News, while Iryna’s leadership profile focuses on her work on the national curriculum. So, there is no need for me to delve into the content of their presentations. Instead, I would like to use the remaining space I have for this article to offer some background information and personal observations about the webinar series.

Both TESOL Italy and TESOL Ukraine are national affiliates of TESOL International Association. Like their parent association, both affiliates are comprised of TESOL/ELT practitioners who work in diverse educational contexts representing all levels and all forms of public and private instruction. The key difference was the obvious fact that Ukraine had been invaded on the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin in February and that many of our colleagues in Ukraine were located at or near the front lines of this horrible and unnecessary war.

On the Italian side, there were two impetuses for the joint project. The first was that, like many people around the world, all members of TESOL Italy’s Executive Committee felt a need to express solidarity with Ukraine and lend some form of support to our colleagues there. As individuals, we often feel helpless in the face of geopolitics and acts of aggression. But as an association, we knew we at least had to try to make some small difference.

The second motivation for TESOL Italy was more practical in nature. By May of 2022, Italy had received thousands of refugees from Ukraine, most of whom were unaccompanied minors or university students, predominantly young women. Most of these young Ukrainians were placed in host families and were invited to attend classes at schools and universities throughout Italy. Many also continued to follow their lessons in Ukraine remotely. Several members of TESOL Italy—myself included, as I was in the process of planning an academic English course for a small group of Ukrainian guests at my institution—were concerned that we did not have the knowledge or training to properly support our new learners. So, we wanted to learn about teaching methodologies and teaching contexts in Ukraine and we wanted some input from experts.

The stated motivation of our Ukrainian colleagues, who had very eagerly agreed to collaborate, was somewhat surprising to us: They merely wanted to find opportunities to continue their professional development despite the war! Their statements during planning meetings and during the webinars were overtly patriotic. Those of us in Italy soon discovered that most of them spoke Russian in public and/or for professional purposes before the war, and most had an affinity for aspects of Russian culture. But in spite of their diverse ideological positions, they seemingly unanimously viewed themselves as Ukrainians and perceived the Russian soldiers in their country as invaders and occupiers. While “Western” governments were counting the days until Putin’s army overran Kyiv and deposed President Zelensky’s government, these Ukrainian TESOLers from all corners of Ukraine were resolute in their belief in Ukrainian victory.

Despite what was going on, the leaders of TESOL Ukraine repeatedly stressed that they wanted no one’s pity and just wanted to focus on the content of the webinars. Still, there were many moments when the harsh reality of this war was foregrounded in live discussions and Zoom chats. Participants would nonchalantly mention teaching from bunkers, not knowing where most of their students were physically located, or a recent act of destruction near them. On more than one occasion a participant apologized for briefly disconnecting due to an air raid siren.

It was impossible not to feel empathy and sympathy for their situations. And it was impossible not to be moved by their resolve to move forward with their professions and their faith in the defense of their country and culture. So, while the content of the webinar series certainly met the objective of informing me about the educational context from which my new students were coming, it also reminded me of the mutual learning which can occur when collaborating across cultures and the adaptability and perseverance of human beings.


Hartle, S. & V. Franceschi. (2022). ESP for the 21st Century: providing a bridge between university and the workplace: English for professional purposes at the University of Verona. Paper presented at Sharing Contexts Across Cultures, Online.

Zuyenok, I. (2022). ESP in Ukrainian universities: Experiences, challenges, perspectives. Paper presented at Sharing Contexts Across Cultures, Online.

Michael Ennis is the English language coordinator at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano’s Language Centre. His interests include English for specific (academic) purposes, content-and-language integrated learning, motivation, and intercultural language teaching


Sharon Hartle and Valeria Franceschi, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Sharon Hartle

Valeria Franceschi


The aim of this article is to present the key points covered in a recent webinar held by the authors as part of the TESOL Italy for Ukraine initiative, in which a range of topics were explored in a joint venture with presenters and educators participating both from Italy and from Ukraine. Our webinar focused on English for Professional Purposes (EPP), a sub-category of ESP, which is not related to a specific domain as such, but which aims to develop the English language required for the world of work in general. This was illustrated by means of our advanced level English for the World of Work (EWW) course, which is open to both university students at under- and postgraduate levels and also to those who are already at work but need to increase their English language competence.

ESP usually involves a needs analysis, based on which the subsequent course is designed. As this use of needs analyses has however been criticized, our course was not based on individual needs analyses but on the results of a global survey into the English Language needs for the workplace.

Background to EWW

EWW, which has so far completed six annual editions, was originally designed to meet the needs of the Italian context in which we work. It arose to meet a real need for Italian businesses to develop English language skills as demonstrated by the results of a global survey of English in the workplace, conducted by Cambridge together with Quacquarelli Symonds (Cambridge English Language Assessment & QS, 2016). The answers from Italian firms highlighted productive writing and speaking skills as being of particular importance. These skills are required in specific tasks such as the writing of email, reports, participating in meetings or giving oral presentations at work, to name just a few. The report indicated a gap between the skills required by firms and by those actually mastered by employees. The aim of our course, therefore, is to bridge the gap between the theoretical study of the language and the application of practical ESP language skills that are not domain specific but are required in many fields. Our participants, in fact, have, over the years, come from a range of backgrounds such as engineering, surgery, or sociology. Our course forms a bridge, which enables those coming from both sides, the workplace or the university, to meet in the middle and to study in a constructivist environment where different knowledge and skills can be shared, benefitting each type of learner mutually. Those already at work may have more practical “knowhow” and soft skills, whereas university students may have higher English Language competence. Catering for different needs, in fact, requires the development of different learning strategies and multiple access to language work. Bearing this in mind, a blended task-based approach was adopted right from the start (although it was adapted even further to meet the needs of the COVID-19 emergency). This approach focused on developing tasks around the topics referred to in the Cambridge/QS survey as being key and these are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. EWW Topics

The task-based approach enabled us to develop a growing focus on productive language skills but also on the development of multimodal literacy and competence and proficiency in the use of Communication Strategies (CS), as will be detailed in the next sections.

Focus on learner needs: multimodality as well as productive language skills

Learners are central to our process even though the course design is not based on a specific needs analysis and over the years different needs have emerged. For this reason, the course now focuses not only on productive language skills but also on developing multimodal literacy so that our learners work towards not only being consumers of multimodal content, such as Instagram users, but also becoming content creators. What we observed was that learners may well, for instance, be able to write the content of a CV but they did not necessarily consider the importance of other elements such as font choice, colours, spacing and layout (Hartle et al., 2022). When giving professional presentations, on the other hand, an awareness of voice, tone and delivery speed, goes hand in hand with an awareness of effective slide design, another of our key areas of focus. In a Blended Learning context using multiple modes and channels does not, furthermore, mean simply providing a space to upload materials or slides for students to read. Nor does it mean, at the opposite extreme, simply using resources because of their ‘wow’ factor. Using an app to create a digital quiz is innovative and will make a lesson more appealing but needs to be chosen because it meets a pedagogical aim effectively.

Task based learning (TBL) in an ESP framework

Another element of ESP that has been called into question is the lack of a systematic framework for its teaching (Littlewood, 2014). Littlewood, in fact, advocated a theoretical framework for ESP which moves in a continuum from analytical to experiential work and back again, ranging from non-communicative activities to experiential learning and authentic communication. In practice this may mean reflection or discussion, study and finally tasks to put it all into practice. To provide a concrete example of this, the tasks are situated along the continuum with activities that require analysis such as studying models of effective emails, and the experiential, writing email to other members of the class, reacting to them and then writing a reply. Another key area for our learners is the development of effective CSs.

Communication strategies

CSs are a key element in strategic skills, and the ability to use communication strategies to pre-empt and solve communication problems has been recognized as crucial to the success of high-stakes business interactions, especially in international contexts (Kankaanranta & Louhiala-Salminen, 2013). However, awareness of CSs and training in their use appears to be understudied in Business English textbooks (Vettorel & Franceschi, 2020, p. 235). For this reason, attention to CSs is paid throughout the course, introducing the concept and building awareness in earlier modules to act as a springboard for the module which dedicates ampler space for CS practice. Here, students work on this ability following Littlewood’s Communicative Continuum (2014). The focus on CSs starts with a reflection activity in the form of a group discussion, with the purpose of breaking the ice and of encouraging students to draw from their previous encounters with CSs during the course. The discussion and subsequent feedback from the instructor ultimately increase awareness of CSs and their importance. Students are then asked to perform analytical work and are provided access to a list of functional phrases that can be used to fulfill both pre-emptive and solving CSs. Experiential work occurs in two stages: in the first stage students carry out a semi-structured roleplay where CSs are useful to obtain the correct information each party needs. A second activity is a taboo-like game, where students use paraphrasing for their teammates to guess words pertaining to the world of work.

Comments from the audience

After the presentation, the floor was opened to comments and questions from the audience, which gave us a chance to illustrate some of the other innovative features and strengths of the course. For example, a question on how much time the course takes led us to underline the blended nature of this course, which includes, besides compulsory assignments that have a deadline, additional study materials that can be freely accessed by students at any time on the course’s e-learning space. This fosters independent learning. Another question was related to material development, which is left to individual teachers, who select and develop materials and tasks based on the results of the QS survey and their previous experience on the course, as the course aims to provide students with skills and abilities that they can immediately transfer to their professional life. It was also underlined that tasks are usually not linked to a specific domain or industry, as the purpose of the course is not to develop domain-specific lexis, but on the other hand to scaffold learners’ own life-long learning, providing them with the tools to continue their own education after the end of the course. Similarly, as the course focuses on communication skills, grammar is not dealt with specifically, although key errors are pointed out and explanations provided when necessary. Another interesting question focused on the separation of students into groups: the students who attend the course are fairly heterogeneous in both language level and background, as university students and professionals already at work are combined on this course. We find that this is not a drawback but, on the contrary, it contributes to the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Students indeed engage in extensive pair and group work, which allows them to build their learning together through collaboration and sharing. Each student puts their abilities at the group’s disposal and these complementary strengths help the entire group grow and improve their weaknesses thanks not only to instructor feedback but also to peer feedback.


Cambridge English Language Assessment, & (QS), Q. S. (2016). English at Work : global analysis of language skills in the workplace. November. Available at Last accessed 22/08/2022.

Hartle, S., Facchinetti R., & Franceschi ,V. (2022). Teaching communication strategies for the workplace: a multimodal framework. Multimodal Communication, 11(1), 5-15.

Kankaanranta A. & Louhiala-Salminen L. (2013). ‘What language does global business speak?’ – The concept and development of BELF. Ibérica 26, 17-34.

Littlewood, W. (2014). Methodology for teaching ESP. In V. Bhatia & S. Bremner (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Professional Communication (pp. 287–303). Routledge.

Vettorel, P., & Franceschi, V. (2020). Communication Strategies in BELF from users’ perceptions, corpus and textbook analysis to pedagogical implications. Lingue e Linguaggi 38, 219-239.

Sharon Hartle is an Associate Professor in the Verona University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She is specialized in ELT pedagogy, working specifically in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and materials development.

Valeria Franceschi is Temporary Assistant Professor in the Verona University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She specializes in English as a Business Lingua Franca, corpus linguistics and tourism discourse.


Kevin Knight, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

The 58th ESP Project Leader Profile features Iryna Zuyenok, who is an associate professor and an ESP specialist at Dnipro University of Technology in Ukraine. I was introduced to Iryna by Mike Ennis (TESOL ESPIS Chair-Elect) who is also a leader in TESOL Italy and was the host of a TESOL Italy and TESOL Ukraine webinar series. Please see below a modified and shortened version of Iryna’s bio. (For a longer bio, please go to the website of Dnipro University of Technology.)

Iryna Zuyenok is an associate professor at the Department of Foreign Languages of Dnipro University of Technology (Ukraine). She is Director of the University Linguistic Centre, Senior Examiner of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Centre of Quality Assurance in Education, Facilitator on the British Council Online Teacher Community platform (OCT - Open Teachers’ Community) and Facilitator at the Regional English Learning Hub “DniproTECH” aimed at building regional English learning community. She has undergone special training in ESP Curriculum and Syllabus Development, ESP Course Design, ESP Methodology and Information Technology for ELT at the Department of International Education of the College of St Mark and St John now known as Plymouth Marjon University (Great Britain). She has 30 years of teaching experience at the university and 10 years of experience in translating and interpreting while working as a design engineer and a patent attorney assistant. For more than 20 years, she has participated in various British Council in Ukraine projects for Ukrainian universities and numerous CPD courses in teacher training, EAP, and ESP.

In her responses to the interview prompts below, Iryna defines leadership in terms of making changes to the educational system in Ukraine, and she shares her account of creating a National ESP Curriculum for Ukraine as well as a textbook that facilitates the application of the innovative concepts in the new Curriculum.

Iryna Zuyenok

Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages,
Dnipro University of Technology, Ukraine

Define leadership in your words.

To be brief, for me leadership is action, reflection, and effective communication with the stakeholders and effective utilization of the resources. The key here is reflective practice while introducing changes in education; i.e., “negotiating” at each stage with the stakeholders both primary (students, young specialists, language and subject teachers, trainers, etc.) and secondary (university administration, potential employers, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine) via communication and networking.

Tell me an ESP project success story. Focus on your communication as a leader in the project. How did you communicate with stakeholders to make that project successful?

The success of my ESP project designing an ESP textbook for future engineers trained at the university I work in is rooted in my experience (of teamwork and communication with stakeholders) to introduce changes in ESP teaching and learning in Ukraine within the national project on designing National ESP Curriculum for Universities that started with a Baseline Study of Current Situation of ESP in Ukraine in 2003.

Creating a National ESP Curriculum

Our university mini team (the head of our department Svitlana Kostrytska and I) were responsible for gathering and processing statistics based on questioning primary and secondary stakeholders about their needs for change in teaching/learning ESP, designing questionnaires, structuring interviews, etc. On the basis of this benchmarking and the voices gathered from the ESP Ukrainian teachers at various conferences (organized by our university, TESOL-Ukraine, and IATEFL-Ukraine), and after special training in ESP provided by British consultants Rod Bolitho and Mike Scholey, our team of 10 teachers who represented the largest universities of different Oblasts in Ukraine (Kyiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Mykoilaiyv, Sumy, and Dnipropetrovsk) designed the National ESP Curriculum. Since 2005, we have disseminated the innovative curriculum at our university and all over Ukraine via presentations, workshops, round-table discussions, and training. The feedback gathered proved that there was still a lack of understanding of the curriculum concept and how all the innovations can be applied in the classroom. That is why the idea came to share our own teaching experiences in an ESP textbook that would show how to interpret and apply the National ESP Curriculum to the daily practice of an ESP university teacher.

Proposing the ESP Textbook

There was a need to develop a common vision of the textbook and a model it would be based on. We analyzed a variety of ESP textbooks we had access to and reflected on our own teaching and training. In addition, we asked our students and their subject teachers what kind of a textbook they would like to have, evaluated classroom observations and student feedback, and created the structure of the textbook. The proposed textbook “English for Study and Work” (an ESP textbook for university students specializing in mining engineering) was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and recommended for use in the Ukrainian non-linguistic universities. It was organized into sections that corresponded with the generic job-related skills in the course syllabus. A resource pack was also proposed and corresponded to the modules in the textbook. It contained tasks and activities for self-study as well as resources to be used to develop various study- and job-related language skills and use of language: vocabulary, functions and functional exponents typical for generic study and job-related situations. It also included self-assessment tasks with keys for students. A third book in the proposal contained a set of rules and exercises focused on the grammar issues and the vocabulary used in the textbook and resource pack.

Writing the ESP Textbook

Evaluation of and reflection on our own experiences showed task-based and experiential learning to be the best way for our students to learn English effectively within the time allotted for the course. As soon as this model was developed, we created a Work Breakdown Matrix (WBM – an innovation picked up from the previous projects) with clear deadlines for each unit and/or section. All the specialized texts as well as the models had the support of the subject lecturers who were in contact with potential employers and had experienced work and/or study abroad. The lecturers also provided us with the list of requirements for the tasks and materials being developed (and this list was used as a checklist).

As soon as a unit was ready, we piloted it in the course, gathered feedback and made necessary changes. When all the modules were ready, we used peer-proofreading and editing (to be done by the author in view of the comments of the co-authors). Some issues required additional research, processing professional literature and sources, and consultations with subject teachers and/or students. In this way, all the stakeholders were involved in the textbook development, and a consensus and common vision were achieved.

Piloting and Updating the ESP Textbook

As soon as the textbook was published and spread among the university teachers and students in more than 30 non-linguistic universities in Ukraine, we gathered feedback both formal and informal from all the stakeholders. Here, networking with ESP trainers and our trainees (built on trust and openness to change) was extremely helpful as the majority already shared values and beliefs in ESP teaching and learning. The constructive feedback led to changing the structure of the textbook and its content. The last version of the ESP textbook has four generic modules that can be adapted for teaching the English language communication skills needed by mining engineers and professionals in other occupations.


“English for Study and Work” (2015) has played a role in illuminating how ESP courses and syllabi can be designed for university students at a Ukrainian university. A good sign is that various ESP textbooks designed by our colleagues training students for different specialty areas appeared later. Many of the authors who I know personally shared drafts of these books with me and asked for constructive feedback. What is great and rewarding is that all of these textbooks have their own approaches (e.g., task-based learning), but they are all within the framework of the National ESP Curriculum for Universities.

As I read Iryna’s very interesting responses, I was reminded of two other profiles in the book English for Specific Purposes Project Leader Profiles: The Leadership Communication of 55 ESP Project Leaders (which can be downloaded for free in the PDF version). See the profile of Jigang Cai (number 17) for the creation of an ESP policy in China and the profile of Elizabeth Matthews (number 36) for the creation of a worldwide Aviation English policy. I am impressed by all of the 58 (to date) ESP project leaders! Profiles 56 to 58 can be accessed in the three most recent issues of ESP News (

Do you have any questions or comments for Iryna? Please feel free to contact her directly.

All the best,



Astanina, N., H. Bakaieva, I. Beliayeva, A. Boiko, O. Borysenko, N. Cherkashina, N. Filippova, A. Khodtseva, L. Klymenko, S. Kostrytska, T. Kozymyrska, I. Shevchenko, T. Skrypnyk, N. Todorova and I. Zuyenok (2004) English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in Ukraine. A Baseline Study. Kyiv: Lenvit. - 122 р.

Bakayeva, G.E., O.A. Borysenko, I.I. Zuyenok, V.O. Ivanischeva, L.I. Klimenko, T.I. Kozymirska, S.I. Kostrytska, T.I. Skrypnyk, N. Yu. Todorova, A.O. Khodtseva (2005) English for Specific Purposes (ESP) National Curriculum for Universities. Кyiv: Lenvit. – 119 p. Available at: library/national_esp_curriculum.pdf

Англійська мова для навчання і роботи: підручник у 4 т. Т. 1. Спілкування в соціальному, академічному та професійному середовищі = English for Study and Work: Coursebook in 4 books. Book 1 Socialising in Academic and Professional Environment / С.І. Кострицька, І.І. Зуєнок, О.Д. Швець, Н.В. Поперечна; М-во освіти і науки України, Нац. гірн. ун-т. – Д. : НГУ, 2015. – 162 с. Available at:

Kevin Knight (PhD in linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is Professor in the Department of International Communication of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. His research interests include leadership conceptualization and development, ESP, and professional communication. (See



Statement of Purpose/Goals

The English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESPIS) is open to TESOL members who are interested in research and instruction designed to meet the unique English language needs of students and working adults in specific areas of study and employment by providing special training beyond that which is normally acquired by the average English speaker. The ESPIS fosters the sharing of ideas, expertise, and specialized curricula among ESP practitioners to promote quality research, education, and professional development in ESP.


ESP has long been an international movement with great strengths in research and teaching in many parts of the world, including developing countries. Establishing the ESPIS both indicates and validates TESOL's commitment to its international responsibilities.

Daphne Mackey, Kay Westerfield, and Adrian Pilbeam initiated the work to establish an ESPIS at the 1990 TESOL convention in New York, New York, USA. Meetings were well attended by participants interested in promoting the international sharing of ESP experience and expertise.

The proposed IS was given proposals to review for the 1992 TESOL convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and was allotted slots for presentations and discussion groups. The petition to recognize the ESPIS was overwhelmingly approved by the Interest Section Council in Vancouver and was ratified by the Executive Board shortly thereafter. Kay Westerfield was appointed chair (1992–1993), with Laraine Kaminsky as chair-elect. Mary McSwain and Roberta Rettner became the first editors of TESOL ESP News, and Peter Master, the first editor of the TESOL Matters ESP column. In fall 1992, the IS was also awarded its first TESOL Special Projects Grant, submitted by Angela Castro with IS support, to establish the Directory of ESP Professional Services. Today, the ESPIS enjoys active participation from an ever-increasing membership and continually explores better ways to serve ESP professionals in more efficient and effective ways.

ESPIS Community Leaders

  • Chair: Pamela Dzunu,
  • Chair-Elect: Jennifer Roberts, Michael Ennis (incoming)
  • Immediate Past Chair: Tarana Patel
  • Newsletter Editor: Kevin Knight
  • Community Manager: Marvin Hoffland
  • Secretary/Archivist: Alan Orr
  • English in Occupational Settings (EOS) Representative: Shelley Staples (outgoing), Anne E. Lomperis, Jena Lynch (incoming)
  • English for Academic Settings (EAS) Representatives: Hamidreza Moeiniasl, Jie Shi (incoming)
  • Member at Large: Kadirbekova Durdona Khikmatullaevna

ESPIS Chairs

ESPIS chairs serve for a 3-year term as chair-elect (1 year), chair (1 year), and immediate past chair (1 year). The dates and affiliations (at the time of service) here refer to the 1-year (or in a few instances, 2-year) term, between TESOL annual conventions, when the elected leader held or will hold the position of chair.

  • 2023-2024 Michael Ennis (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
  • 2022-2023 Jennifer Roberts (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA)
  • 2021-2022 Pamela Dzunu (Washington University School of Law, USA)
  • 2020-2021 Tarana Patel (LearnEd, USA)
  • 2019-2020 Ismaeil Fazel (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
  • 2018–2019: Marvin Hoffland (Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria)
  • 2017–2018: Esther Perez (Perez Apple & Company, USA)
  • 2016–2017: Robert Connor (Tulane University, USA)
  • 2015–2016: Jaclyn Gishbaugher (Ohio State University, USA)
  • 2014–2015: Kristin Ekkens (C3 Consulting, USA)
  • 2013–2014: Yinghuei Chen (Asia University, Taiwan)
  • 2012–2013: Najma Janjua (Kagawa Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Japan)
  • 2011–2012: Kevin Knight (Kanda University of International Studies, Japan)
  • 2010–2011: David Kertzner (ProActive English, USA)
  • 2009–2010: Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)
  • 2008–2009: Oswald (Ozzy) Jochum (Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria)
  • 2007–2008: Karen Schwelle (Washington University in St. Louis, USA)
  • 2006–2007: Ruth Yontz (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • 2005–2006: Charles Hall (University of Memphis, USA)
  • 2004–2005: Debra Lee (Nashville State Technical Community College, USA)
  • 2003–2004: Mark R. Freiermuth (University of Aizu, Japan)
  • 2002–2003: Ethel C. Swartley (Drexel University, USA)
  • 2001–2002: Jane Lockwood (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
  • 2000–2001: Thomas Orr (University of Aizu, Japan)
  • 1999–2000: Judith Gordon (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • 1998–1999: Leslie Olsen (University of Michigan, USA)
  • 1997–1998: Joan Friedenberg (Southern Illinois University, USA)
  • 1995–1997: Margaret van Naerssen (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • 1993–1995: Laraine Kaminsky (Malkam Consultants Ltd., Canada)
  • 1992–1993: Kay Westerfield (University of Oregon, USA)

ESP Project Leader Profiles (on the TESOL Blog & in ESP News)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The ESP Project Leader Profiles (1 to 55) have been replicated in a book (free PDF version) accessible at (Knight, K. (2022).English for specific purposes project leader profiles: The leadership communication of 55 ESP project leaders. Hong Kong: Candlin & Mynard). The preface is by Ann M. Johns, and the volume is endorsed by Vijay K. Bhatia. Be sure to get a free copy!)

The ESP Project Leader Profiles were announced by former ESPIS Chair Kevin Knight in April 2015 in his role as an ESP blogger for TESOL International Association. The majority of the ESP project leaders featured in the profiles have been former ESPIS chairs and/or members of the ESPIS steering board. The projects in the profiles have been conducted on six continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. The profiles are listed as a reference in TESOL’s ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program Online because of their value to all English language instructors, researchers, and leaders worldwide. One teacher at a university in the USA provided a wonderful description of the profiles: “I stop and read each new one you post and feel my knowledge of leadership, different practices and the state of the field are enhanced.” If you are (or know) an ESP project leader, please contact Kevin Knight.

  1. 5 May 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Kristin Ekkens
  2. 2 June 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Charles Hall
  3. 14 July 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Ronna Timpa
  4. 11 August 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Evan Frendo
  5. 8 September 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jaclyn Gishbaugher
  6. 6 October 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Anne Lomperis
  7. 20 October 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Ethel Swartley
  8. 3 November 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: David Kertzner
  9. 1 December 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Margaret van Naerssen
  10. December 2015: ESP Project Leader Profile: Marvin Hoffland
  11. 12 January 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: John Butcher
  12. 26 January 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Karen Schwelle
  13. 23 February 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Esther Perez Apple
  14. 8 March 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Kevin Knight
  15. 5 April 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan
  16. 3 May 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Robert Connor
  17. 17 May 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jigang Cai
  18. 14 June 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Ismaeil Fazel
  19. 28 June 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Yilin Sun
  20. 26 July 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Tarana Patel
  21. 23 August 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Prithvi Shrestha
  22. 6 September 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Robin Sulkosky
  23. 18 October 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Philip Chappell
  24. 2 November 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jie Shi
  25. 13 December 2016: ESP Project Leader Profile: Laurence Anthony
  26. 24 January 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Barrie Roberts
  27. 7 February 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jen Cope
  28. 21 February 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Susan Barone
  29. 21 March 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Debra Lee
  30. 18 April 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Kay Westerfield
  31. 2 May 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Stephen Horowitz
  32. 14 June 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Pam Dzunu
  33. 11 July 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Marta Baffy
  34. 8 August 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Vince Ricci
  35. 6 September 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Kirsten Schaetzel
  36. 5 October 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Elizabeth Matthews
  37. 14 November 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Mark Krzanowski
  38. 12 December 2017: ESP Project Leader Profile: Sandra Zappa-Hollman
  39. 9 January 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Valia Spiliotopoulos
  40. February 13, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Andrew Silberman
  41. March 13, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jennifer Roberts
  42. April 10, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Elise Geither
  43. May 2, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Michael Ennis
  44. June 5, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jennifer Speier
  45. July 16, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Gina Mikel Petrie
  46. August 7, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Charles Browne
  47. September 11, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Marcelo Concario
  48. October 9, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Andy Gillett
  49. November 13, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Louise Greener
  50. December 11, 2018: ESP Project Leader Profile: Tim Murphey
  51. February 26, 2019: ESP Project Leader Profile: Alan Simpson
  52. October 18, 2019: ESP Project Leader Profile: Christoph A. Hafner
  53. March 6, 2020: ESP Project Leader Profile: Caroline Hyde-Simon
  54. December 21, 2020: ESP Project Leader Profile: Shelly Staples
  55. March 3, 2021: ESP Project Leader Profile: Christine Coombe
  56. October 18, 2021: ESP Project Leader Profile: Alan Orr
  57. March 2022: ESP Project Leader Profile: Jena Lynch
  58. November, 2022: ESP Project Leader Profile: Iryna Zuyenok