José Andrés Carrasco-Flores, Gema Alcaraz-Mármol

DOI Number
First page
Last page


The present study explores the communicative potential of two ESP textbooks. It examines a sample of activities of English for Commerce and  English for Medicine textbooks with an instrument of analysis consisting of three parts: (1) a section for the metadata of the activities, (2) a checklist which assesses the presence and distribution of language skills and systems, and (3) a scale devised by Criado (2016) which measures the weight of meaning-focused and form-focused instruction found in activities. To study these elements, a framework describing and illustrating each component was designed. Inter-rater reliability tests were carried out to ensure the validity of the results. The findings of the study suggest that these textbooks are mainly meaning-focused, although some differences as regards the extent to which each of these elements is promoted can be found. Moreover, several methodological issues are raised in order to improve future research concerning materials analysis.


ESP textbooks, materials analysis, language skills, language systems, type of instruction

Full Text:



Al Fraidan, A. (2012). Evaluation of Two ESP Textbooks. English Language Teaching, 5(6), 43-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v5n6p43.

Alcaraz-Mármol, G. (2009). Vocabulary input in EFL textbooks: Frequency levels. International Journal of English Studies, 9(3), 61–72.

Alcaraz-Mármol, G. (2011). Vocabulary input in classroom materials: Two EFL coursebooks used in Spanish schools. Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada, 24(1), 9-28.

Alcaraz-Mármol, G. (2015). Dispersion and frequency: Is there any difference as regards their relation to L2 vocabulary gains? International Journal of English Studies, 15(2), 1–16.

Almagro, A. (2001). Rasgos que diferencian la enseñanza de ESP de la enseñanza de inglés general: ¿una metodología diferente? In S. Posteguillo, I. Fortanet & J. C. Palmer (eds.), Methodology and new technologies in languages for specific purposes, 39-51. Castelló de la Plana, Spain: Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume I.

Almagro, A. (2002). How useful are ESP textbooks? Odisea, 2, 39-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.25115/odisea.v0i2.31

Anthony, L. (2018). Introducing English for Specific Purposes. London: Routledge.

Baleghizadeh, S. & Javidanmehr, Z. (2017). ELT textbook evaluation: The philosophy-based language teaching approach. In A. Maley & B. Tomlinson (eds.), Authenticity in materials development for language learning, 119-139. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Baleghizadeh, S. & Hossein Rahimi, A. (2011). Evaluation of an ESP Textbook for the Students of Sociology. Journal of Language, 2(5), 1009-1014. https://doi/10.4304/jltr.2.5.1009-1014 .

Benabdallah, A. (2014). Preliminary analysis of Business learners’ needs. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(6), 519-524. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n6p519.

Benesch, S. (2001). Critical English for academic purposes: Theory, politics and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Brindley, G. (1989). The role of needs analysis in adult ESL program design. In Johnson, R.K. (ed), The second language curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 63–78

Brown, J. D. (2016). Introducing Needs Analysis and English for Specific Purposes. Oxon: Routledge.

Carrasco-Flores, J. A. (2019). Analysing English for Translation and Interpreting materials: skills, sub-competences and types of knowledge. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer. http://doi.org/10.1080/1750399X.2019.1647920.

Chovancová, B. (2018). Mediation in Legal English Teaching. Logic, Grammar and Rethoric, 45(58), 21-35. https://doi.org/10.1515/slgr-2016-0013 .

Council of Europe (2018). Common European Framework of Languages. https://rm.coe.int/cefr-companion-volume-with-newdescriptors-2018/1680787989

Criado, R. (2008). Patterns of activity sequencing in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language and their effects on learning: A quasi-experimental study. University of Murcia. Available at: https://redined.mecd.gob.es/xmlui/handle/11162/89141

Criado, R. (2016). Towards the validation of a scale for measuring the load of form focus and meaning focus of textbook activities in Foreign Language Teaching. Revista Electrónica de Lingüística Aplicada (RAEL), 1(15), 129-149.

Criado, R., Sánchez, A., & Cantos, P. (2010). An attempt to elaborate a construct to measure the degree of explicitness and implicitness in ELT materials. International Journal of English Studies, 10, 103-129.

Danaye, M., & Haghighi, S. (2014). Evaluation of ESP textbooks: Evidence from ESP textbook of computer engineering major. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning, 3(2), 55-68. https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2013.469.

DeKeyser, R. (2007). Skill acquisition theory. In B. VanPatten & J. Williams (eds.), Theories in Second Language Acquisition. An introduction, 97-113. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Dendrinos, B. (2006). Mediation in communication, language teaching and testing. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 22(1), 9–35.

Destiani, M., Andayani, M., & Rohmadi, M. (2018). Vocabulary Load on Two Mainstream Indonesian Textbooks for Foreign Learners: A Comparative Study. International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies, 5(2), 137-151.

Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The psychology of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Doyle, W. (1986). Classroom Organization and Management. In M. Wittrock (ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching, 392-431. New York: MacMillan.

Dudley-Evans, T., & St John, M. (1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes. A multi-disciplinary approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dülger, O. (2016). Evaluation of EFL coursebooks taught in Turkey based on teachers’ views. Journal of Advances in English Language Teaching, 4(1), 1-11.

Elizondo, J. F., Pilgrim, Y., & Sánchez, A. (2019). Assessing ESP vocabulary and grammar through Task-Based Language Teaching. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, 30, 73-95.

Ellis, N. (2005). At the interface: Dynamic interactions of explicit and implicit language knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(2), 305-352. https://doi.org/10.1017/S027226310505014X .

Ellis, R. (1997). Second language acquisition research and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gollin-Kies, S., Hall, D., & Moore, S. (2015). Language for Specific Purposes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Harwood, N. (2014). Content, Consumption, and Production: Three Levels of Textbook Research. In N. Harwood (ed.), English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production, 1–44. London, UK: Palgrave.

Hobbs, M., & Starr, J. (2010). Commerce 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Huhta, M., Vogt, K., Johnson, E., & Tulkki, H. (2013). Needs analysis for language course design: A holistic approach to ESP. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for Specific Purposes. A learning-centred approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hyland, K., & Wong, L. (2019). Specialised English. New Directions in ESP and EAP research and practice. London: Routledge.

Işık, A. (2018). ELT materials evaluation: A system and criteria. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 8(7), 797-812. http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0807.11 .

Karimnia, A., & Jafari, F. M. (2017). Critical ESP textbook evaluation: The case of visual arts textbook. Sustainable Multilingualism, 11(1), 219-236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/sm-2017-0020 .

Khodadady, E., & Karami, M. (2017). An evaluation of textbooks designed for advanced English learners within a foreign context: A critical thinking perspective. Porta Linguarum, 28, 95-109.

Lowie, W. (2012). The CEFR and the dynamics of second language learning: Trends and challenges. CercleS, 2(1), 17 – 34. https://doi.org/10.1515/cercles-2012-0002 .

Matsuoka, W. & Hirsh, D. (2012). Searching for the right words: creating word lists to inform EFL learning. Current perspectives in second language vocabulary research. In D. Hirsh (ed.), Current Perspectives in Second Language Vocabulary Research, 151–177. Bern: Peter Lang.

McCarter, S. (2013). Medicine 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGrath, I. (2016). Materials evaluation and design for language teaching. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Textbooks in Applied Linguistics.

McDonough, J., & Shaw, C. (2003). Materials and methods in ELT. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mitra, M. (2014). The role of need analysis in teaching ESP for nursing. Paper presented at the 61st TEFLIN International Conference, Solo, Indonesia, 3-5 September.

Mukundan, J., Hajimohammadi, R. & Nimehchisalem, V. (2011). Developing an English language textbook evaluation checklist. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 4(6), 21-27.

Mukundan, J., & Nimehchisalem, V. (2012). Evaluative criteria of an English language textbook evaluation checklist. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(6),1128-1134.

Nordlund, M. (2016). EFL textbooks for young learners: a comparative analysis of vocabulary. Education Inquiry, 7(1), 47-68.

Ou, C. (2019). A Corpus Tools-assisted Evaluation of Three ESP Textbooks in China.English Language Teaching, 12(6), 161-179. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v12n6p161

Pintado, L. (2018). Translation in language teaching, pedagogical translation, and code-Switching: restructuring the boundaries. The Language Learning Journal. http://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2018.1534260

Purwanti, A. R. (2019). Evaluation on an ESP course book: Get along with English for the hotel industry. Journal of English Educators Society, 4(2), 107-116. https://doi.org/10.21070/jees.v4i2.2432

Sakata, N. (2019). Profiling vocabulary for proficiency development: Effects of input and general frequencies on L2 learning. System, 87, 1-12.

Sari, I., Ülgü, S. & Ünal, S. (2014). Materials evaluation and development: syllabus, setting and learner needs. International Journal of Teaching and Education, 2(2), 60-65.

Schmidt, R. (1995). Consciousness and foreign language learning: A tutorial on the role of attention and awareness in learning. In Robert Schmidt (ed.), Attention and awareness in foreign language learning, 1- 64. Honolulu: University of Hawaii.

Shooshtari, Z., Bordbar, A., & Banari, R. (2017). Pragmatic knowledge and its reflection in ESP textbooks: The case of unauthentic textbooks. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 7(8), 701-707. http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0708.14 .

Swain, M. (2001). Integrating language and content teaching through collaborative tasks. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 58, 44–63.

Syrbe, M. & Rose, H. (2016). An evaluation of the global orientation of English textbooks in Germany. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 12(2), 152-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2015.1120736

Talebinezhad, M., & Matou, Z. (2012). EFL reading comprehension textbooks at university level: A critical thinking perspective. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(8), 1746-1754. https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.2.8.1746-1754

Tomlinson, B. (2003). Developing materials for language teaching. London: Continuum.

Tomlinson, B. (2012). Materials Development for Language Teaching and Learning. Language Teaching, 45: 143–179. doi:10.1017/S0261444811000528

Wales, M. (1993). Issues in the relationship of general and specific language in workplace ESL: Some Australian perspectives. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Language Center Seminar, Singapore, 1-3 October.

Williams, C. (2014). The future of ESP studies: Building on success, exploring new paths, avoiding pitfalls. Intersections - L’anglais de Spécialité, Creuset Multidomaine, 66, 137-150. https://doi.org/10.4000/asp.4616

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/JTESAP2003265C


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2334-9182 (Print)
ISSN 2334-9212 (Online)