Hello everyone,

I just want to ask you about the difference between the two ESP ( English for Specific Purpose ) and ESL (English is a Second Language ).

Thank you so much,


It’s just two buzzwords that don’t mean anything to normal people.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Customer calls to place an order for dog food.[YSaerTTEW443543]

Ahh I see. Thank you for the reply.

I am just curious about it because I will be having my M.A in Language Education. ESP is one of the classes that I will be taking soon. Anyways, I have got this on the net which is much more helpful … s-esp.html.

Thanks again.


Do not judge the book by its cover - very common

Hi Julius, what do you mean by “I will be having my M. A. in Language Education”? Are you trying to say you will be taking an exam? As for that article, have you actually read it? I like this sentence best: “ESP concentrates more on language in context than on teaching grammar and language structures.”

Any learning activity should concentrate on language in context because you can’t teach grammar anyway.

Somebody came up with this new term – ESP – which sounds impressive to university students who are preparing for an exam. However, the entire ESP concept is moot since nobody will ever learn any language if they don’t have a specific purpose.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Giving a customer information about his bank accounts[YSaerTTEW443543]

I will take Master of Arts in Language Education in my graduate school. Most of the classes under my M.A are like Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purpose and World Literature.

I have not read the entire article I just scanned it. I have to be aware about the ESP and the Applied Linguistics because those two will be my subjects for the first semester. And my first class will start on this Saturday.

Thanks again.


Do not judge the book by its cover - very common

The difference is ESP is designed for vocational specific classes where the student will learn specific terminology for the job they may be training for. It evolved from Vocational English as a second language (VESL) or Vocational English for speakers of other languages (VESOL), today’s more common term.

ESL is the basic English as a second language program that has been around since the 1970s or maybe even earlier. But is primarily focused on the four language domains of reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is usually taught in separate classes in many programs for example, community colleges and community based programs. ESL is changing, the name evolved into English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) although the term ESL is still used in many programs. The program structure is still pretty similar though. I was trained in a university ESOL program and have taught ESOL and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at colleges in NY and FL. EAP is a college credit program for second language learners who are preparing to transition into college degree programs, go to the university or go to the workforce.

Best of luck in your program.

CA Cruz, Ed. D.
Education Consultant
CREATE Opportunities, LLC

Hi CACruz,

Thank you for your information. It really helps me.

I am confused now about ESP and Jargon, are these two the same?