Mirela Dubali Alhasani

DOI Number
First page
Last page


Higher education institutions have turned into main actors of multidimensional societal transformations in the EU context but also worldwide. Moreover, these rapid international developments and dissemination of the scientific research at global level have been cohesively accomplished through English language; by now English has been acknowledged as the lingua franca of technological, economic, socio-cultural and educational advances. Consequently, the current academic debate regarding effectiveness of English teaching approaches at university programs has gained special significance. This debate has been centered into two main English teaching approaches; the one targeting English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and the other focused on Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). This paper will shed light upon the attributes of each of these two important English language teaching paradigms. Yet, we argue that it is precisely the flexible - agile nature of ESP to help students socially construct their linguistic potentials which matches very precisely with the social constructivism of European environment and global adjustments of international universities these days. Moreover, we aim to prove that having abundant knowledge on various subject matters is definitely important however, knowing how to express clearly, correctly and properly this immense knowledge to guarantee successful ‘competitive ‘communication in an increasingly interdependent, multi-cultural world takes more prominence than ever before. Therefore, despite similarities between ESP and CLIL, ESP promises a brighter perspective of coping with future linguistic challenges. Our analysis will be carried through a comparative method of the theoretical literature on ESP and CLIL as elaborated in line with the most representative theoretical literature of social constructivism encompassing its recent adaptation in higher educational context especially in the EU.

Full Text:



Balagiu Alina & Mariora Patesan, “Content and Language Integrated Learning or English for Special Purposes”, in Naval Academy Scientific Bulletin, Vol XVIII- 2015-Issue 1, Naval Academy Press, Constanta, Romania. p 284

Bark. Kristin, Cyrielle Maerten, Ian Tudor and Jennifer Valcke, A Discussion Brief of Content and Language Integrated Learning at the Faculty of Applied Sciences, University Libre of Brussels. 2010

David Carter. “Some propositions about ESP, The ESP Journal, 2. Pp 131-137

Checkel. T. J, “Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change”, International Organization, 55(3). 2001, pp553- 588

Commission of the European Communities Brussels, 24.07.2003 449 Final Communication From the Commission to the Council, The European Council, The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee on the RegionsCommunication of 2008 on Multilingualism: an Asset for Europe and a Shared Commitment, COM (2008) p 566

Communication of 2010 on “An Agenda for new skills and jobs: A European contribution towards full employment”, COM (2010) 682 final

Dudley-Evans. T and St John, M. Developments in ESP: A multi-disciplinary approach, Cambridge University Press. 1998

Ellis, Rod. “Principles of Instructed Language Learning”, in Asian EFL Journal, September 2005, pp 3-7

Guthrie . Xenophon, Memorabilia iv.6.1 , p 436

Johnston. Alastair Iain, “Treating International Institutions as Social Environments”, in International Studies Quarterly, 45, 2001, pp 488-489

Gatehouse. Kate “Key issues in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Curriculum Development”, in the Internet TESL Journal, Vol . VII, No.10. October 2001, p 4

Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood, Angus MacIntosh and Peter Strevens. The Linguistic Sciences and Language Teaching, London: Longman, 1964, p190

Harrop, Ena. “Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Limitations and Possibilities”, in Encuentro, 21, 2012, ISSN 1989-0796, pp 57-59

Hutchinson, T., and Waters, A. English for specific purposes: A learning-centered approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1987, pp 9-20

Krashen, Stephen. Principles in Second Language and Practice Acquisition, Oxford; Pergamen Press, 1982

Krashen , Stephen. The Input hypothesis and its rivals. In N.Ellis (Ed.), Implicit and explicit learning of the languages, London, Academic Press, 1994

Leonardi, Vanessa. “Bridging the Gap between ESP and CLIL in the University Context”, Rivista Semestrale, Saggi Essays, Vol 5, Spring 2015, p 19

.Lesher H.J. “Sapheneia in Aristotle:Clarity, Precision and Knweledge” in APEIRON Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science 003-6390/2010/4304 143-156@Academic Printing and Publishing

Liew Khe Li and Khor Ching Pey, “ ESP at Tertiary Level: Traditional ESP or Integrated ESP?”, 2015 Malaysia

Marsh, D. & G. Lange (eds). Using languages to Learn and Learning to use Languages, Jyvaskyla University, Sweden. 2000. p iii.

Mewald, Claudia . Paradise Lost and Found. A Case Study of Content Based Foreign Language Education in Lower Austria , Unpublished PHD Thesis , Norwich; University of East Anglia, 2004

Phillipson, Robert. “English in higher education: panacea or pandemic?”, Angles on the English-Speaking World 9 (2009), pp 29-57

Rasanen, Anne & Renate Klaasen, “From learning outcomes to staff competences in integrated content and language instruction at higher education level”. In Wilkinson, R., V. Zegers and C. Van Leeuwen (eds), Bridging the Assessment Gap in English- medium Higher Education, 2006. AKS-Series, pp 256-275

Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on key competences for lifelong learning (2006/962/EC)

Richards. Jack C .Communicative Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp 9-11

R. DeKeyser , Beyond Focus on Form: Cognitive Perspectives on learning and practicing second language grammar. In C. Doughty & J. Williams (Eds). 1998

Strevens. P. “ESP after 20 years: A re-appraisal”. In M. Tickoo (Ed.), ESP: State of the Art, Singapore, SEAMEO Regional Centre, 1988, pp1-13

Taillefer, Gail. “CLIL in higher education: the perfect crossroads of ESP and didactic reflection”, in ASP, 63, 2013, p 31-53 Accessed on 27 April , 2017

Weinberg, Alysee. Sabdra Burger & Amelia Hope. “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Content-based Language Teaching”, in Theme 4- Content-Based Language Teaching , Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario, Vol 34, Issue 2 Special Symposium Edition June 2008, pp 68-69

Widdowson, Henry G. Learning Purpose and Language Use. Oxford: OUP, 1983, pp 9-12

Wolff, Dieter. “Integrating Language and Content in the Language Classroom: Are transfer and Knowledge and of language ensured?” in ASP, 41- 42/2003, pp 35-46

Yang, Wenhsien “ESP vs CLIL: A coin of two sides or a Continuum of two extremes?”in ESP –TODAY, Journal of English for Specific Purposes at Tertiary Level, Vol.4 (1). 2016. pp 43-45

Zhang, Zuocheng. “ Somewhere in the middle is the optimal balance: A subject specialist negotiating business and language teaching”, in ESP TODAY, Journal of English for Specific Purposes at the Tertiary Level, Vol.4 (2), 2016, p 160


  • There are currently no refbacks.

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