A series of discussion and sharing sessions were held at various Language Centres in March and April 2019 on “Good practices in designing and teaching English for Specific Academic Purposes courses: Issues and Strategies“.  Here is a summary of the key points on challenges discussed and good practices identified.



Good practices

Subject design

Too much material to cover = not enough writing practice or feedback

– cut theoretical material (CityU)

– add language glossaries (CityU)

– more teacher consultation (CityU)

Teaching science communication

– working with the School of Science to do a needs analysis (HKU)

– identifying literacy and language features of the genres, i.e. meeting faculty and editors of pop-science magazines (HKU)

– aligning activities, assessments and learning outcomes (HKU)

Alignment and transferability

– involve faculty at planning and implementation stages (HKU)

– emphasise communication skills and audience awareness (HKU)

– involve students more and get endorsement from senior students (HKU)

– observe students on placements (HKU)

Staying relevant and keeping up with communication in the field

– focus on storytelling, attitudes and emotions (UST)

– focus on the dialogue between experts and non-experts and sharing knowledge with the general public (UST)

– focus on controversy and persuasion in science (UST)

Student needs

ESP students diverse language needs

– Students choose own topics for assignments reflecting their interests and discipline (HKU)

– Technical and non-technical audiences for assignments (HKU) 

Mixed ability classes

– Students complete a self-access learning plan as an assessment (HKU)

– Allow students to choose their own learning goals and materials (HKU)

Facilitating collaboration in group assessments

– flipped approach to provide space for collaboration in classes (PolyU)

– Method section of assignment includes ‘author responsibilities’ (PolyU)

– use Google docs to monitor student participation (PolyU)

Subject management

Ensuring quality standards when managing a large teaching team

– having core course team, pre-course meetings, co-marking, peer observations (HKU)


Leave a Comment

Contact Us