Global Resources in ESP: Focus on Self-Directed Learning

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

One of my favorite things to tell my students is that they should study English 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).  Of course, my students understand that I am exaggerating to a certain extent.  However, I do want my students to make efforts outside of the classroom to learn English.

At Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan, where I am employed, there is a Self-Access Learning Center (SALC), and because I am a believer in lifelong learning, I tend to be interested in articles on self-directed learning.

One such article recently appeared in TESOL Connections: “Self-Directed Learning: Personal Speaking Plans for Adult ELLs” by Alexandra Dylan Lowe.

The author describes herself as “currently [teaching] English as a second language and business English for internationals.  She has a JD from Harvard Law School and a TESOL certificate.”

The seven activities in the article include a parable, advice from a fluent nonnative guest speaker, preparing English-speaking listeners, etc., and are described as “steps that can help students overcome their fear of speaking English in the real world.”

From an ESP perspective, the teacher wants to guide students in identifying, creating, and choosing self-directed learning activities that help the students to meet their immediate needs for English language communication skills in their respective professional or academic settings.

Reading this article may give you some ideas about how you can help your learners to achieve their own language learning goals!

Check it out, and I hope to see you again soon!


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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