English for special purposes (ESL) is an English course meant for students seeking to improve their communication skills in their future or current professions (Dudley-Evans, 45). I enrolled in this course hoping to improve my skills and capabilities. In the period within which I was enrolled in this course, I have seen my communication skills improve significantly especially in the field of business and in general communication. I have also improved my knowledge in English language usage compared to the time of enrollment.
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In this course, students are exposed to various uses of English in a variety of fields, but these are limited due to the time the course takes. In my case, the course was only allocated three months, which amounts to a single semester. This means that one only gets to learn only the basics of the various fields taught in this period. Since the class has students from various professions, it thus becomes difficult to specialize in one specific field.
It would be better if there could be classes for the same course, but those, which are designed for a specific field for instance, business or law. However, in terms of general knowledge, the course serves its purpose. The course instructor had instructed each student to try writing an English paper on the various fields.
We were for instance, were asked to write papers in showing knowledge of the English vocabulary in business, law, religion and science. I specifically was able to present very well written papers in law and religion based on my previous exposure to the two fields.
I encountered some problems with science and business as I had little knowledge on those fields. In science especially, it was a challenging task to grasp the basic scientific jargon due to their complexity. Business English proved to be a challenge especially in writing the various business documents.
Unlike in religion and law where most of the words are the usual English words, English in science and business employ a whole lot of foreign words in order to be in a position to describe effectively the various scientific and business phenomena. The best way to achieve the maximum results in ESL is to have students in units in which they learn more of the language they will mostly use in their profession. This is because the students already have a prior knowledge of the general usage of English.
This is an English- based course on various fields. I will measure my knowledge in the actual application of this knowledge. I will try writing various business articles and documents including writing some business proposals and then wait for the feedback from the various stakeholders I will present my documents too.
I might not have an elaborate way of testing my knowledge in science language but I will get various magazines and read them to ascertain my level of knowledge in the usage of language in that field.
There are yardsticks set to measure the student’s progress in this course. Based on these yardsticks, I can comfortably say that I have at least achieved 60% of the course objectives as I can comfortably converse with people from different professions. I am looking forward to increase this knowledge even more once I get to my profession (Dudley-Evans, 38).
Dudley-Evans, Tony. Developments in English for Specific Purposes: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 1998.