Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

No Textbook is Perfect: Enhancing the Authenticity and Relevance of ESP Courses

Magdalena Sedrlova, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic)


We all know that no textbook ever suits the needs of your class perfectly and this is particularly true for Language for specific purposes courses, especially in the field of science and technology. One of the reasons is certainly the fact that teaching materials in this area outdate more quickly than in others or than general language textbooks, which often leads to issues with textbooks’ relevance and authenticity and can result in students losing motivation or questioning the entire purpose of the course they are attending.

With myriads of online resources now at hand, we can however accommodate the needs of any class and provide future professionals with specialized and up-to-date materials. This paper aims to demonstrate how videos from the TED talks database and online video sharing platforms (e.g. youtube) can serve various purposes in your LSP classrooms as topic lead-ins, further explanation (endorsed by an expert view) or a fun topic closure.

The paper draws from our experience at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication and the Faculty of Information Technology, Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic), where we teach two compulsory English for specific purposes courses – English for Engineering and English for IT – to undergraduate students, and presents the obstacles we, as ESP teachers, have to face and overcome using online tools.


English for IT, English for Engineering, online videos, authenticity, relevance


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