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Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

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Evaluation of Problematic Areas in Different ESP Contexts of Iranian Universities

Maryam Sherkatolabbasi, MA

Guilan University, Iran

Amir Mahdavi-Zafarghandi, Ph.D

Guilan University, Iran


Maryam Sherkatolabbasi holds a BA degree in English Translation from Esfahan University and MA degree in TEFL from Guilan University in Iran. She has been teaching English at different institutes. Her areas of interest are ESP, CALL, critical pedagogy and psychology, and research on English language.

Dr. Amir Mahdavi-Zafarghandi did his PhD in SLA at Essex University, Britain in 2001. He has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses including Research Methods, ESP and TEFL. He has supervised or advised numerous M.A. dissertations on TEFL, and published numerous professional papers both nationally and internationally.


The present study is an attempt to investigate teachers‟ and students‟ perceptions of ESP courses in different contexts at Iranian universities in which content teachers, language teachers and ESP teachers at Language Departments of each discipline teach ESP. For this purpose, 30 students and 15 teachers were randomly interviewed. A questionnaire, based on content of interviews, was designed and checked through a pilot study. In the next stage, the questionnaire, with a high reliability, was administered to 50 teachers and 420 students attending ESP classes in the three mentioned contexts at different Iranian universities. The results concerning the three contexts showed that there are significant differences among the three contexts and the shortcomings emerged mostly in the case of content teachers teaching ESP as a part of their job. On the other hand, students and ESP teachers at Language Departments were mostly satisfied with their ESP courses. This suggests that if ESP courses are offered by ESP teachers of Language Departments in each discipline, the problems could be minimized.

Key words: ESP, evaluation, problematic areas, content teachers, language teachers, ESP teachers at Language Departments

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