ESP Project Leader Profile: Mark Krzanowski

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

In this ESP Project Leader Profile, we have the privilege to meet Mark Krzanowski, who has been involved in English language teaching since 1990 and was leader of the IATEFL ESP-SIG when I was chair of the TESOL ESPIS.

Please read a short version of Mark’s bio:

Mark Krzanowski holds an MA in Applied Linguistics, the RSA/UCLES Dip TEFLA, a PG DMS, and is a Fellow of HEA (the Higher Education Academy) and is at present completing his EdD at the University of East London (UEL). The topic of his dissertation is Black South African English (BSAE), and one of the aims of his thesis is to ensure that BSAE finally gains an official status of a variety of English worldwide. Mark is based in London and works at the University of Westminster as Lecturer in English, Linguistics, TESOL and Teacher Training. In the past, Mark was Academic Co-ordinator for ELT in the Dept of PACE at Goldsmiths College, University of London (2002–2005); Head of ELT Unit and Senior Lecturer in EAP at the University of Hertfordshire (1997–2002); and EAP Co-ordinator at UCL/University College London (1993–1997). Mark was the Co-ordinator of the IATEFL’s (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) ESP (English for Specific Purposes) SIG (Special Interest Group) from 2005 until 2013, and since 2014 he has been Editor-in-Chief of its journal: Professional and Academic English (PAE).

Mark and I collaborated on launching a TESOL-IATEFL ESP speaker exchange with the sponsorship of the British Council, and three ESP project leaders were involved in that exchange: Debra Lee, Kristin Ekkens, and Prithvi Shrestha. In addition, as part of our collaboration, Mark provided TESOL ESPIS members with the opportunity to publish in the IATEFL ESP-SIG Journal. Mark writes about the creation of the journal in his responses to the interview questions.

Mark Krzanowski, EdD candidate
University of East London

1. Define leadership in your own words.
The concept of leadership is very close to my heart, mainly because I have assumed this role in a number of professional contexts and probably in each case there were some minute variations to how this role was discharged. However, the main modus operandi remained the same, with some changes as my roles evolved depending on the working environment that I was in.

For myself, leadership is the ability to lead, guide, and inspire colleagues, peers, or coworkers in such a way that the immediate team is able to perform to the best of its ability, with trust, caring, and mutual support. As most of my work has been in higher education (HE), and certainly with volunteer work in teaching organisations, it is clear to me that leadership cannot be equated with orders, commands, or line management implications. In HE and in voluntary nonhierarchical set-ups, a leader needs to gain respect through setting an example and/or being a role model.

Back in 1997 I completed a postgraduate two-year Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) which is considered to be two-thirds of an MBA. While it is a generic qualification, it offered me a set of extremely valuable transferable skills which I later successfully applied at work. It was during this course that I became aware of such concepts and principles as sub-optimisation (a euphemism for dysfunctional organisational behaviour), McGregor’s theory X and Y, the (Japanese) Kaizen philosophy, Belbin’s typology of teams, and a marketing mix of 7Ps for services—to mention but a few examples. In fact, I was able to put all this to good use in my work, and I was able to teach this and reflect on this while I delivered a module “Educational Management in TESOL” on one of the MA TESOL courses that I am still involved in.

2. Tell me an ESP project success story. Focus on your communication as a leader in the project. How did you communicate with stakeholders to make that project successful?

There have been quite a number of success stories in this respect in my career. Possibly one of the most tangible ones is establishing a journal version of the previous IATEFL ESP SIG newsletter, and editing three EAP/ESP books reflecting the expertise and knowledge of ESP/EAP colleagues within and outside the ESP SIG. All this became possible owing to the initiative of Christopher Shakespeare and Olly Twist from Garnet Education (the former no longer working with Garnet). Back in 2006 we realised that it would be worthwhile to raise the profile of ESP/EAP worldwide—as reflected in the activity of the ESP SIG—through the support and sponsorship of a publisher like Garnet Education. By that time Garnet was already gaining more and more international profile as an independent publisher, and it was obvious that for them ESP/EAP was a niche area on which they focused and in which they invested.

Soon all the SIG Committee members (at that time, Ruth Breeze and Prithvi Shrestha, who became the main editors as well), myself and Garnet Education arrived at the first historic issue of the ESP SIG journal: Professional and Academic English (PAE). We came up with a prototypical template, which, essentially in addition to a memorable title cover, would be followed inside by five to seven key topical articles, three or so conference reports, and around ten book reviews.

The formula proved to work very well: We soon received very complimentary feedback from our members who saw the journal as a vehicle of professional empowerment and an opportunity to submit their own non omnis moriar ESP/EAP contribution, be it an article or a conference report or a book review. Gradually, it became apparent that in the world of ELT still there are many Cinderellas—historically disadvantaged and/or marginalised voices—for whatever reason. It was very rewarding to realise that we have the ability and a pulling power to attract and empower such colleagues. From then onwards, each issue of the journal would include at least a couple of quality contributions representing such voices from all the continents.

In terms of the project leader’s communication with the stakeholders, to make the project successful we had to be inclusive, supportive, and encouraging. I spent many hours liaising with Garnet Education colleagues, ESP SIG colleagues, IATEFL HO colleagues, and naturally the SIG members. Everything had been done in a consultative and consensual manner, and maybe this was part of the success story.

The excellent editing work originally done by Ruth Breeze and Prithvi Shrestha has recently been continued by Bernard Nchindila and Andy Gillett (Andy now being the current deputy editor with me on the editorial board). It is a pity that in 2016, due to financial constraints and downscaling, Garnet Education was unable to support us with our journal and with our books any longer; we remain eternally grateful to them.  Nevertheless, we continue to keep the tradition going and will ensure that the journal, as well as any potential future books, remains faithful to its mission.

It was a wonderful experience for me to be able to collaborate with Mark again on this profile. It also brought to mind that Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan and I both published articles in the journal.

Please feel free to contact Mark directly.

All the best,

About Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is an associate professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also been working in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the TESOL ESP Interest Section (ESPIS), he has served as chair and English in occupational settings (EOS) representative, and he is currently the ESPIS community manager. He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the board of directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office. His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
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