ESP pedagogy: Blending low and high order thinking

2012 IJRSLL – Volume 1 Issue 2


Yuvienco, Janette Custodio*
National Taiwan University, Taiwan (


Conventional teaching of English has followed a gradual and linear procedure of learning –from vocabulary to phrase to sentence to paragraph. We are familiar with classroom situations where the teacher starts with lecturing about the target language: Firstly, going through a list of vocabulary, then translating words; singling out phrases where a word may be used, then, reading a sentence where the words may be used; finally, walking students through paragraphs, slowly and carefully explaining the grammatical and contextual information in them. In the present Techo-Info Age, however, this approach to learning may prove irrelevant given the amount of information we see, read and hear in different parts of the world at varying contexts and at distinct phases of the development of the language. This paper reports a study on Technology-based pedagogy; it describes and defines the elements of Genre-based pedagogical framework, an ICT-supported set of procedures of teaching Business English at Higher Education which includes showcasing, highlighting, transferring, in order for students to notice, compare and integrate – cognitive skills that encompass both low and high order thinking. Adopting Fink’s (2003) instructional procedures and taking into account Schmidt’s (1990) Noticing Hypothesis; the framework identifies three aspects of consciousness within language learning: awareness, intention and knowledge thus, seeking to arrive at significant, deliberate learning. Guided by this principle, the last section of the paper proposes a proto-syllabus (Breen, 1989) which elaborates the components of a Business English course. Intermeshing knowledge and skills into teaching, the proto-syllabus contains the following: (1) authentic materials which include genre-specific resources (e.g., writing training course leaflet, writing press release, etc.) and straightforwardly demonstrate the  elements of commercial documents and the criteria for evaluating integrated works [projects]; and (2) a glossary of  meta-cognitive skills which enables students to know the processes of completing creative tasks for a specific context. These elements predict to aid students to become independent learners and catalysts for continuous, equitable learning in their present learning community and beyond, specifically in their future workplace.

Keywords: ICT-supported learning; genre-based pedagogy; cognitional hierarchy; proto-syllabus



*Corresponding Author