Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Towards Postmethod ESP and EAP Teaching

Dietmar Tatzl, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences (Austria)


English language teaching (ELT) has moved from an overreliance on rigid methods to an adaptive and dynamic postmethod era [1]. This conceptual paper attempts to demonstrate this shift’s consequences for English for specific purposes (ESP) and English for academic purposes (EAP) teaching. ESP and EAP have been characterised by a focus on students’ content areas and are thus predestinated for an inclusive, open, and versatile instructional approach. Postmethod ESP/EAP teaching is freed from a dogmatic stance and rests on teacher investigation of classroom complexities [2]. It is thus further linked with complexity theory [3] as a foundation of taking learner realities into consideration when preparing, conducting, and revising units and courses. This postmethod angle means that ESP/EAP teaching today is continuously being expanded, refined, and renewed for the benefit of its stakeholders. In other words, it aims at encompassing the diversity of contexts and realities that teachers and learners face in 21st-century postpandemic classrooms around the world.

Keywords: ESP, EAP, postmethod ELT, higher education, complexity, culture.


  1. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2001). Toward a postmethod pedagogy. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 537–560.
  2. Holliday, A. (1994). Appropriate methodology and social context. Cambridge Language Teaching Library. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Larsen-Freeman, D., & Cameron, L. (2008). Complex systems and applied linguistics. Oxford Applied Linguistics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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