Students’ Perceptions of the Challenges of ESP Courses: A Study from an Indonesian University
The current study aims to investigate challenges experienced by ESP students. Conducted at the University of Hamzanwadi (East-Lombok, Indonesia), this study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods with two instruments to collect data, questionnaires and interviews. The questionnaire was electronically sent out to 100 ESP students to discover challenges they have been dealing with, which was then statistically analyzed. In addition, semi-structured interviews were carried out with a representative of 20 ESP students to examine their perceptions of the challenges, which were then qualitatively analyzed using a coding system. The results of quantitative data revealed that the students have been experiencing 5 types of challenges in learning ESP with Linguistic Competence and University Support being the two most challenging issues for over 90% of students. Meanwhile, the qualitative data showed that the five challenges were intercorrelated and affected each other. Pedagogical implications gained from this study include university officials should provide support to facilitate ESP students with potential challenges and to help them eradicate the challenges. Despite these, several limitations in this study are found including it recruited a relatively small number of participants, and it missed to explore solutions that students have employed to tackle the challenges as it can provide us with meaningful insight into the general overview of ESP courses from students’ perspectives.
Almathkuri, J. H. (2022). Challenges Encountered by Saudi ESP Students: A Case Study of Taif University. Journal of Positive School Psychology, 6(25), 300–312.
Alshengeeti, H. (2014). Interviewing as a Data Collection Method: A Critical Review. English Linguistics Research, 3(1), 39–45.
Alvi, A. H., Muhammad Bilal, S., & Abdul Rahim Alvi, A. (2021). Technology, Pedagogy, and Assessment: Challenges of Covid-19 Imposed E-Teaching of ESP to Saudi Female PY Students . Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid-19, 1, 334–353.
Arno-Macia, E., Agular-Perez, M., & Tatzl, D. (2020). Engineering Students’ Perceptions of the Role of ESP Courses in Internationalized Universities. English for Specific Purposes, 58(1), 58–74.
Asgari, M., & Ganji, M. (2020). Teaching ESP Students Through Learner-Centre Approach: Zooming in on Students Question Generation. Iranian Journal of English for Academic Purposes , 9(4), 129–140.
Avsheniuk, N., Seminikhyna, N., Svyrydiuk, T., & Lutsenko, O. (2021). ESP Students’ Satisfaction with Online Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Ukraine. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Covid-19, 1, 222–234.
Basturkmen, H. (2019). ESP Teacher Education Needs. Language Teaching, 52(3), 318–330.
Basturkmen, H. (2021). Is ESP a Material and Teaching-led Movement? Language Teaching, 54(4), 491–501.
Bayram, I., & Canaran, O. (2020). Identifying the Perceived Professional Development Needs of English for Specific Purposes Teachers . Ilkogretim Online, 19(3), 1–10.
Bosco, T. J., Gabriel, B., Florence, M., & Gilbert, N. (2022). Towards Effective Teaching and Learning ESP in Mixed Classes: Students’ Interests, Challenges, and Remedies. International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences, 5(2), 1–20.
Dashtestani, R., & Stojkovic, N. (2016). The Use of Technology in ESP Instruction: A Literature Review. Journal of English for Specific and Academic Purposes, 3(3), 435–456.
Doiz, A., & Lasagabaster, D. (2021). An Analysis of the Use of Cognitive Discourse Function in English-Medium History Teaching at University. English for Specific Purposes , 62(1), 58–69.
Drisko, James. W., & Maschi, T. (2015). Qualitative Content Analysis. In Content Analysis. Oxford University Press.
Eligindi, H. E., & Hoque, M. S. (2022). The Challenges Faced by Novice Teachers of English for Medical Purposes (EMP): The Case of Arabia’s Medical College: NA. International Journal of Language and Literacy Studies, 4(3), 202–220.
Enesi, M., Vrapi, F., & Trifoni, A. (2021). Challenges of Teaching and Learning English Language for ESP Courses. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 11(4), 213–226.
Farmati, C., Yeou, M., & Benzehaf, M. (2022). ESP Instruction in Morocco: A Study of University Students’ Attitudes and Perceptions . Journal of English Language Teaching and Linguistics, 7(3), 613–628.
Garcia-Botero, G., Questier, F., & Zhu, C. (2019). Self-Directed Language Learning in a Mobile-Assisted Out-of-Class Context: Do Students Walk the Talk? Computer Assisted Language Learning, 32(1), 71–97.
Gu, H. (2019). Developing ESP Teaching Materials Based on the Analysis of Information Engineering Major Needs. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7(10), 121–130.
Hyland, K. (2022). English for Specific Purposes: What is It and Where is It Taking Us? ESP Today, 10(2), 202–220.
Iftanti, E., & Maunah, B. (2021). Belief, Perception, and Challenges of Non-English Department Students to Learn English in Globalization Era. Indonesian EFL Journal, 7(1), 1–12.
Jiang, A. L., Zhang, L. J., May, S., & Qin, L. T. (2020). Understanding Novice Teachers’ Perceived Challenges and Needs as a Prerequisite for English Curriculum Innovation. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 33(1), 15–31.
Kholmatova, G. (2023). Challenges in Creating ESP Primers for Engineering Students. Development of Pedagogical Technologies in Modern Sciences , 2(6), 31–33.
Kohnke, L., Jarvis, A., & Ting, A. (2021). Digital Multimodal Composing as Authentic Assessment in Discipline Specific English Courses: Insights from ESP Learners. TESOL Journal, 12(3), 1–20.
Mostafavi, S., Mohseni, A., & Abbasian, G. R. (2021). The Pedagogical Efficacy of ESP Courses for Iranian Students of Engineering from Students’ and Instructors’ Perspectives. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 6(1), 1–20.
Nezakatgoo, B., & Behzadpoor, F. (2017). Challenges in Teaching ESP at Medical Universities of Iran from ESP Stakeholders’ Perspectives. Iranian Journal of Applied Language Studies, 9(2), 59–82.
Park, E. J. (2021). Affordances and Challenges of Mixed-Methods Needs Analysis for the Development of ESP Courses. Language Teaching Research Quarterly , 23, 12–22.
Petraki, E., & Khat, K. (2022a). Challenges and Constraint in the Design of an ESP Course in Cambodia: Implications for Higher Education Institutions. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 42(2), 260–275.
Petraki, E., & Khat, K. (2022b). Challenges and Constraint in the Design of an ESP Course in Cambodia: Implications for Higher Education Institutions. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 42(2), 260–275.
Poedjiastuti, D. (2017). The Pedagogical Challenges of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Teaching at the University of Muhammadiyah Malang, Indonesia. Educational Research and Reviews, 12(6), 338–349.
Rafiq, K. R. M., Hashim, H., & Yunus, M. M. (2021). Sustaining Education with Mobile Learning for English for Specific Purposes (ESP): A Systematic Review (2012-2021). Sustainability , 13(17), 9768–9770.
Ramirez, E. (2021). The Need to Provide Students and Educators with the Tools to Cross the Digital Divide. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 22–23.
Rinekso, A., Rodliyah, R. S., & Pertiwi, I. (2021). Digital Literacy Practices in Tertiary Education: A Case of EFL Postgraduate Students. Studies in English Language and Education, 8(2), 622–641.
Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A. (2020). English for Specific Purposes: Traditions, Trends, Directions. Studies in English Language and Education, 7(1), 247–268.
Sandal, O., & Ozkan, Y. (2022). The Evaluation of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Program at an Engineering Faculty at a Private University in Turkey. Research in Pedagogy, 12(1), 253–269.
Saraa, N. (2022). Teachers’ Challenges while Designing an ESP Syllabus . International Arab Journal of English for Specific Purposes, 3(1), 83–92.
Srinivasan, M., Jishnu, D., & Shamala, R. (2021). COVID-19 and Online Education: Digital Inequality and other Dilemmas of Rural Students in Accessing Online Education During the Pandemic. World of Media: Journal of Russian Median and Journalism Studies, 4(1), 34–54.
Stoyanova, D. (2021). Designing ESP Courses: Principles and Specificities. Professional Discourse and Communication, 3(1), 62–74.
Syakur, A., Junining, E., & Mubarok, M. K. (2022). Developing ESP Textbooks for Pharmacy Students Using On-Line Teaching in Higher Education. Britain International of Linguistics Arts and Education Journal , 2(1), 467–474.
Toshpulatova, M. I. (2022). The Main Features in Teaching English for Specific Purposes . Journal of Integrated Education and Research, 1(5), 207–214.
Xia, S. A. (2020). English for Specific Purposes in the Digital Era: What has Changed? Interview with Vijay Bhatia. RELC Journal , 51(1), 188–197.
Copyright (c) 2023 Indonesian Journal of EFL and Linguistics
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.