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Approaches to Specialised Discourse in Higher Education and Professional Contexts

Approaches to Specialised Discourse in Higher Education and Professional Contexts (Hardback)

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Approaches to Specialised Discourse in Higher Education and Professional Contexts brings together a number of studies by various authors in the common field of languages for specific purposes (LSP). This area faces a major challenging need to work with both specialised content and language, a complex combination which can be discouraging to many a language teacher from a traditional philological background. In the introduction to this volume, Dr. Martin Hewings asks how these teachers, as mere onlookers on specialist areas in higher education and the professions, are successfully to teach students communication skills. The answer is most probably contained in no single approach or scope, but rather in a multiple probing of methods aimed at the empirical observation and analysis of language use in the specific contexts in which they are housed. The studies presented herein illustrate such a multi-fold scenario, analysing and sharing significant findings on discourse across academic disciplines and professional areas.

The authors not only evince the importance of the various methodologies adopted, but also, in their role as teachers and researchers, demonstrate the significance of working as integrated members in the fields they teach. Clearly reflected in this volume is the natural adaptation of LSP research, pushing beyond theory, to filter into classroom developments and professional interactions. The fact that these papers have been selected from the fourth conference by the European Association of Languages for Specific Purposes (AELFE), held in Spain (October, 2005), indicates that the LSP community tends to look into the blend of practice and research as a key exponent for successful learning integration. Because the linguist is also the LSP practitioner, or vice versa, the enquiries that conduct these chapters are commonly addressed, either implicitly or openly, by students and teachers alike. For readers who would like to learn or know more about communicative strategies and methodological approaches in different specialisms, this book may be a valuable resource.

Alejandro Curado and Mercedes Rico are Lecturers, and Patricia Edwards Rokowski is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Extremadura, Spain. They teach ESP (in particular, English for Computer Engineering, Business Science and Tourism). Their main research focus is specialised discourse and information technology in foreign language teaching. Currently, they are working on a government funded project for online ESP acquisition.

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