Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Main Characteristics of Establishing and Maintaining Rapport in an ESP Classroom

Naira Poghosyan, National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia, Chair of Languages (Armenia)


The target goal of the current paper is to thoroughly analyze and introduce the main characteristics of establishing and maintaining good working relationship in the ESP classroom. The term rapport refers to the quality of the relationship in a classroom: either teacher-student, or student-student. It is not primarily technique-driven, but grows naturally when people like each other and get on together. However, it embraces a number of techniques, such as being welcoming, encouraging and approachable, treating each learner as an individual, concentrating on positive features of learner character, expressing empathy, not faking happiness and avoiding sarcasm, which should be taken into close consideration by the teacher. All these factors have been analyzed in a typical ESP classroom context. As it has been observed, ESP teaching is extremely varied, and ESP work involves much more than teaching. We see the ESP teacher as having key roles of a course designer and materials provider, collaborator, researcher, evaluator, facilitator and consultant. These roles are difficult to adopt for any teacher, especially an inexperienced one and in many cultures these might seem alien to traditional views of the role of the teacher. However, ESP teachers should be well-aware of the factors which can improve and worsen the quality of rapport in their own lessons, e.g.  inherent dangers, such as loss of discipline or blurring of hierarchical roles. Thus, the role of the ESP teacher in building and maintaining positive working relationship in the classroom should be implemented very appropriately and productively with ESP learners who have a clear and specific set of purposes in language learning.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, rapport, teacher’s role, technique.

[1] Hutchinson T. and Waters A. English for Specific Purposes. Cambridge University Press, 1993. -183p.
[2] Scrivener Jim, Classroom Management Techniques, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 307p.
[3] Tony-Dudley E., Developments in ESP: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Cambridge University Press, 2007, -298 p.
[4] Keith Harding, English for Specific Purposes, Oxford University Press, 2007, 170p.

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