What Degree of Specificity for ESP Courses in EFL Contexts? A Preliminary Case Report for the Degree in Mediterranean food-and-wine Sciences and Health

Eugenio Cianflone


The aim of this note is to offer a preliminary discussion of ongoing research on the grade of language specificity necessary for the ESP syllabus designed for the degree in Mediterranean Food-and-wine Sciences and Health at the University of Messina, Italy. The present discussion originates from the perspectives presented by Hyland (2002), advocate of strict adherence to specificity issues in course design, and Huckin (2003), the proponent of a milder view. These opinions are contrasted with a learning context wherein English is a university subject read by freshmen in an environment where all lectures are given in the national idiom. The degree of specificity necessary for this EFL context accounts for learners’ needs in terms of vocabulary, grammar and rhetorical patterns to access discourses, practices and conventions pertaining to their actual studies and to the world of work. In EFL settings, this can mean that specificity results from a compromise between different pedagogical points of view.

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