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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

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

Applying Strategies for Dealing with Lack of Subject Knowledge: Can Language Teachers Be Effective ESP Teachers?

 

1

Author (Last name, First name)

Tavakoli, Mansoor

Affiliated institution (University)

University of Isfahan

Country

Iran

Department & Rank

Associate Professor, Department of English Language

2

Author (Last name, First name)

Nasri, Najmeh

Affiliated institution (University)

University of Isfahan

Country

Iran

Department & Rank

PhD Candidate, Department of English Language

3

Author (Last name, First name)

Rezazadeh, Mohsen

Affiliated institution (University)

University of Isfahan

Country

Iran

Department & Rank

PhD Candidate, Department of English Language

Abstract

Teaching texts about another field of study has long been regarded as one of the difficulties with which ESP teachers are confronted. Teachers may utilize different strategies to cope with situations when they face a subject area about which they have little or no knowledge. The present study investigated the strategies implemented by five Iranian ESP teachers in academic contexts. After observing the selected teachers’ classes, we identified five instances of situations in which they utilized strategies to compensate for their lack of knowledge. The strategies included avoidance, risk-taking and admitting ignorance. In the stimulated recall interviews, most of the teachers stated that they used such strategies to maintain face and respect. However, the questionnaire results revealed that the students do not expect their ESP teachers to know everything about their subject area and admitting ignorance in some specific contexts is not regarded as a flaw in their teachers.

Keywords: ESP teachers, subject knowledge, strategies, stimulated recall, student views

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