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Title: An impact study on alignment of biomedical engineering ESP with content subjects
Authors: Chan, F
Chen, J 
Keywords: ESP curriculum development
Alignment of ESP and content subjects
Biomedical engineering ESP
Roles of ESP and host department
Collaboration between academics and professionals
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Asian ESP journal, 2012, v. 8, no. 2, p. 27-54 How to cite?
Journal: Asian ESP journal 
Abstract: This paper reports the results of a study conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the alignment of an ESP subject with its corresponding content subjects. The ESP subject, which provides profession/discipline-related language education to undergraduate students studying biomedical engineering in the Department of Health Technology and Informatics (HTI) of a university in Hong Kong, is closely aligned with several HTI subjects in assessments, teaching foci, teaching schedules, and other aspects of the curriculum. The writing performances in laboratory reports and final year project proposals of two student cohorts, one of which took the ESP subject, were assessed by two external biomedical engineering professionals and one language specialist. Students’ perceptions and teachers’ reflections on the subject alignment were explored through surveys and interviews. The findings, which were analysed statistically and qualitatively, show how deeper collaboration between language education providers, academic departments and workplace professionals can facilitate the design and implementation of effective ESP courses. It was found that appropriate alignment of the delivery time of the ESP subject and its corresponding HTI subjects led to more effective learning and teaching while mismatch in assessment foci and arrangements affected learners’ satisfaction with the subject alignment. Students also worried about a perceived role imbalance between the two academic units; this finding echoes to a certain extent Hyland’s (2002) contention that ESP, if seen as a service activity, may be “marginalized as a remedial exercise designed to fix up students’ problem”.
ISSN: 1833-3001
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