English for Special Purposes vs General English Course - Savvy

English for Special Purposes vs General English Course

Speaking English is essential for professional success. But there are a few types of courses the learners can take.

The question is how we can decide which exactly we should choose? In this article, we will take a look at the difference between our General English Course and English for Special Purposes (ESP). 

While a General English Course offers learners the opportunity to become fluent in the language, English for Specific Purposes provides content adapted according to the needs and requirements of the learners. 

And unlike general English, English for Special Purposes focuses on a field or topic and how English is used in that context. ESP concentrates on the development of communication skills customized according to the required area of the learner. 

To sum up the main points about ESP:

  • develops confidence in using English in the most common working situations;
  • expects the learner to have basic fluency in the language;
  • concentrates more on language in context than on teaching grammar and language structures;
  • lasts about 5 weeks (5 sessions / 90 min);
  • focuses on student’s language skills in order to perform more effectively in an international business environment;
  • meets detailed learner needs (e.g. to be able to give a presentation of popular mobile apps using functional language).

All these things combined make ESP a foreign language for everyone, even native English speakers.

Points to remember about General English Course:

  • helps you get rid of the most common grammar and lexical mistakes;
  • improves your accent and intonation;
  • concentrates on teaching all English aspects;
  • doesn’t depend on students’ English Level;
  • lasts about 7 months (on average 60 classes / 1 hour to reach a higher level);
  • focuses on big learner’s goals (e.g.improve Speaking and Listening skills to Intermediate level).

Therefore, the choice of the course will depend primarily on your goals, urgency and focus.

ESP is highly specific and related to a single task (writing for recruiters, running demo meetings, holding interviews etc.). For example, the English language necessities of a recruiter or a team lead would be completely different from each other. While the recruiter would need to learn topics such as ‘Asking Better Questions’ or ‘Giving Feedback’, the team leader would need to learn ‘Problem Solving’ andDealing with client’s questions and objections’.

But one thing about ESP is the level of the learners. Students need to have at least an Intermediate level of English before dealing with the ESP aspect of the language. So if you need to practice business communication skills in IT context or expand vocabulary on specific topics quickly and in a short time, ESP will be the best option. 

If you want to improve all English skills systematically, on a large scale and it doesn’t require urgency, you should choose General English Course. The focus is on the 5 main aspects of language: reading, writing, listening, vocabulary and speaking. And Savvy offers extensive and varied activities programs to help you make the most of your destination. The course isn’t intensive and available at all levels from Elementary to Advanced because the classes are made up of different levels.