3. ESP and Listening

  1. Brian Paltridge2 and
  2. Sue Starfield3
  1. Christine C. M. Goh

Published Online: 13 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118339855.ch3

The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes

The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes

How to Cite

Goh, C. C. M. (2012) ESP and Listening, in The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes (eds B. Paltridge and S. Starfield), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118339855.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Sydney, Australia

  2. 3

    University of New South Wales, Australia

Author Information

  1. National Institute of Education, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470655320

Online ISBN: 9781118339855



  • cognitive processes;
  • construct of listening;
  • English for academic purposes (EAP);
  • English for specific purposes (ESP);
  • ESP listening research;
  • ESP teaching


In this chapter, the author draws on theoretical insights about general ESL listening to explore the construct of listening for specific purposes and reviews research carried out into English for specific purposes (ESP) listening, with reference mainly to English for academic purposes (EAP) listening. The chapter presents a synthesis of some key findings on ESP listening research and discussions, drawing information from EAP research and findings from studies on workplace listening. ESP listening as a construct has many similarities to ESL listening. It involves the same cognitive processes that draw from a number of similar knowledge sources to process spoken input, and requires the use of the same core skills that enable effective attention to information in accord with the purpose for listening. The chapter finally provides a few recommendations for teaching ESP listening.