Planning syllabus through professional partnership.


  • Sujata S. Kathpalia Nanyang Technological University
  • Carmel Heah


In most institutions of higher education, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has evolved into a professional field that has multiple perspectives (Johns, 2002), multi-disciplinary approaches (Dudley-Evans & St John, 1998), and sound research-based pedagogy (Belcher & Braine, 1995). pecifically, ESP practitioners take into account the needs of clients to develop academic courses through professional partnerships with the various stakeholders (Dudley-Evans & St John, 1998). The authors would like to share one such experience at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in designing, delivering and evaluating a writing course using the portfolio approach, which was specially tailored to the needs of its science students in the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The presentation will cover the course of events chronologically from the preliminary discussions between the subject specialists and language experts to negotiate course objectives, the development of the syllabus based on these mutually-agreed goals, the delivery and fine-tuning of the course to the final stage of evaluating the curriculum taking into consideration feedback from tutors and students. The focus will be on the key developments and resulting decisions on matters such as content, approach, structure and assessment of the writing course that lead to a win-win outcome through a collegial partnership between the subject specialists and language experts.