VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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From a General English teacher to an ESP teacher
Mo Thi Nguyen

Building: A12
Room: Room 403
Date: 2018-10-13 09:35 AM – 10:05 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-15


Previous studies have shown that many English for Specific Purposes (ESP) teachers are recruited from the ranks of General English (GE) teachers. However, no research has focused on the initial period of the evolution that these teachers experience. As part of an attempt to fill the gap in the literature, this case study explores and describes how a GE teacher has transitioned to become an ESP teacher. The study, thus, aims to provide in-depth insights into the teacher’s beliefs and attitudes toward her new teaching field, her teaching practices, and the challenges she encounters. Multiple sources of evidence, including a biographic questionnaire, narrative frames, interviews, observations, and documents, are gathered from the Vietnamese English teacher and the research site for analysis. As the results reveal, the teacher regards ESP teaching as an interesting but challenging area. She performs three key duties, i.e. developing the coursebook, lecturing the course, and evaluating her students. She gives priority to the activities of vocabulary, reading comprehension, and translation in her teaching. In spite of her efforts, she faces several difficulties in her job such as the limited teaching time, limited content knowledge, poor cooperation with subject teachers, and an unsatisfactory syllabus. In presenting this teacher’s experiences, this qualitative inquiry helps construct meanings of relevance for all novice ESP teachers who transfer from years of GE teaching – a common yet under-researched phenomenon.


English for Specific Purposes; ESP; novice teachers