Nataliya Orlova


Introduction: ESP teaching to students of non-linguistic study fields remains significant at the university level. ESP knowledge and competence are vital in regards to the contemporary processes of globalisation and internationalisation. The aspects of ESP teaching and learning organisation cover EPS syllabus development, ESP courses creation, timetable arrangements, availability of appropriate learning and supporting materials. ESP syllabuses as a product of interaction of numerous factors play a crucial role in planning and organising ESP teaching and learning.

The purpose of the article is to describe and systematise current views on the types of ESP syllabuses, their forms and characteristics, approaches towards a syllabus design, ways ESP syllabuses are built, developed and employed.

Results: It has been defined that in their nature, ESP syllabuses depend on several factors, which include specific teaching approaches and methods. In this regard, we have distinguished grammatical, lexical, functional, situational, topical or content-based, competency-based, skills-based, task-based, text-based, and integrated syllabuses. Among factors influencing syllabus construction, content, organisation, and presentation have been identified. In this concern, researchers have defined structural, notional and functional, situational, genre- and text-based, process or procedural, task-based and language skills-based syllabuses.  Moreover, ESP syllabuses may be differentiated according to their focus, whether it is placed on the language per se, or it prioritises the principles and means of ESP teaching and learning. Thus, we can point out product-oriented syllabuses and process-oriented syllabuses respectively. The next aspects concerning ESP teaching and learning establishment and improvement are organising, sequencing and grading ESP syllabus contents. Among corresponding criteria, we have to mention difficulty, usefulness, frequency, and tradition. The article as well has defined the two ways of syllabus organisation: a linear syllabus for language items, and a spiral syllabus for the content. The approaches towards presenting language also differ. They may be synthetic and closely linked to structural syllabuses employed within Grammar-translation language teaching methods, and analytical relating to process-oriented syllabuses and as a result being linked to Communicative and Task-based language teaching methods. However, it should be mentioned that there is a rare chance of meeting a pure syllabus of just one type, as they all tend to form a combination of two or more types and approaches in order to ensure successful ESP teaching and learning. 

Originality: The article analyses present-day approaches towards ESP types and designs mentioned in the recently published works describing criteria and mechanisms behind the processes of development of effective and flexible ESP syllabuses eminently suitable for the current requirements of ESP teaching. The topic of the article is especially vital in regards to the innovative processes an reforms in the sphere of Higher education in general, and the processes of internationalisation of the tertiary education in particular. Data presented in the subsequent article will assist in promotion of ESP teaching and learning enhancement because they cover contextual, structural, and organisational features of ESP syllabuses contributing to this.

Conclusions: To summarise, we should state that proper ESP syllabuses provide transparency and clarify learning objectives for teachers, learners/students and other interested parts. ESP syllabuses need to be designed in close collaboration between learners, teachers and institutional authority, and leave some opportunity for individual interpretation in order not to become overly prescriptive and imposing. Thus, modern types of ESP syllabuses designed for the university level must be organised in accordance to the present-day approaches and meet international, and European in particular, standards. 


syllabuses; English for Specific Purposes (ESP); tertiary education level; syllabus design; «hidden» syllabuses; «official» syllabuses; types of syllabuses; analytical and synthetic approaches; multidimensional syllabuses


Wallace, S. (ed) (2009). A Dictionary of Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Richards, J. C., Rodgers, Th.S. (2014). (3d ed) Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hall, G. (2011). Exploring English Language Teaching: Language in Action. Oxon: Routledge.

Richards, J. C., Rodgers, Th. S. (2001). (2nd ed) Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus Design. Oxford: OUP.

White, R. (1988). The ELT Curriculum: Design, Innovation and Management. Oxford: Blackwell.

Corder, S. (1973). Introducing Applied Linguistics. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Johnson, R. K. (1989). ‘A Decision-making Framework for the Coherent Language Curriculum’. In R.K. Johnson, (ed.) The Second Language Curriculum. Cambridge: CUP, pp. 1 -23.

Nunan, D. (1989). ‘Hidden Agendas: The Role of the Learner in Programme Implementation’. In R.K. Johnson, (ed.) The Second Language Curriculum. Cambridge: CUP, pp. 176-186.

Bolitho, R. & West, R. (2017). The internationalisation of Ukrainian universities: the English language dimension. British Council, Ukraine: English for Universities Project

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.
2015 343 353 365 367 370  
2016 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18
2017 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
13-14 15 16 17-18    
2018 1 2 3 4 5 6
  7 8 9 10-11 12 13
  14 15 16 17 18
2019 1 2 3 4    
2020 1          



Journal Content



Font Size