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Business English, Professional English, Legal English, Medical English, Academic English etc.
Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World) Home    Information   ESP Encyclopaedia    Resources    Contacts


Martin Hewings
The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


1 Introduction

The development of an academic discipline can be traced in the pages of the journals in which its teachers and researchers publish. The year 2001 marked the 21st anniversary of the journal English for Specific Purposes (ESPj), which started its life as the ESP Journal. Although there are of course other outlets for publishing research in the field of ESP, many of these focus either on particular branches (for example, the Journal of Business Communication) or work produced in particular geographical areas (for example, the ESPecialist from Brazil). ESPj is unique as a journal in ESP that it is international in its interests, covers all branches of the subject, and is relatively well-established as a journal in the discipline of applied linguistics. It also had its reputation marked recently by being included in the Social Science Citation Index, which is widely used as an indicator of quality research publication in, for example, US tenure committees and the UK Research Assessment Exercise. Consequently, an exploration of the contributions made to ESPj over its life should provide a fairly representative overview of the growth of ESP over the last two decades around the world. From this investigation we can go on to point to possible future developments.

 To organise the analysis, I have divided the 20 volumes of ESPj from 1980 to 2001 into four blocks: Volumes 1- 5 from 1980-1986, Volumes 6 10 from 1987 to 91, Volumes 11-15 from 1992 to 96, and Volume 16 20 from 1997 to 2001. Three areas of interest will be analysed: the geographical origin of the papers, the topics focused on, and the literature referred to. A few issues of ESPj have been excluded where it was felt that these would in some way skew the results; for example, the special issue in volume 17 which was a tribute issue marking the 60th birthdays of John Swales and Ann Johns.


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