Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

E.S.P.: fact or fiction?

Winifred Crombie, Powhiri Rika-Heke



The term ESP (English for Specific or Specifiable Purposes) has been used in a general sense to refer to a wide range of very different courses—from the very specific, formulaic or semi-formulaic occupationally-oriented course (for which we use here the label RRE, Restricted Repertoire English), to the very general, open-ended academically related course (generally referred to as EAP, English for Academic Purposes). The fact that the designation ESP is used for both of these suggests that they have more in common than either has with what are sometimes referred to as GPE (General Purpose English) courses. A close examination of many EAP courses, however, reveals that they are very similar indeed to a number of higher level GPE courses and, indeed, to many courses designed for native speakers. We suggest here that, except in the case of RRE, labels suggesting that courses relate directly to specific or specifiable purposes are misleading and should be abandoned.


Enseñanza de la lengua; Lenguas para fines específicos; Lengua inglesa


Copyright (c) 1991 Winifred Crombie, Powhiri Rika-Heke

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