The official website of educator Jack C Richards

Advice on developing a new teaching unit


Submitted by Zainab Jaafar, Iran

I’m working in a scientific research centre in which the majority of the staff have very limited capacity in English language. This is due to receiving their undergraduates syllabus in the mother language (i.e. Arabic).

I am planning to start a unit for developing their English qualifications. I would like to have your advice in where & how to start, taking in consideration their different specializations such as chemistry, physics, invertebrates, geology, and biology. 

Professor Richards Responds:

I would suggest starting with a general English course to bring up their proficiency to at least a B1 on CEF. Then you could move to more of an ESP approach. A very good resource to use would be Helen Basturkmen’s book, Developing Courses in English For Specific Purposes.