English for Specific Purposes

Statement of Purpose

TESOL's English for Specific Purposes Interest Section (ESPIS) serves the needs of those teachers, program developers, consultants, and researchers who are interested in the design and delivery of courses for individuals with identifiable academic and professional goals. These courses may be for students in specific graduate and undergraduate disciplines or for people working or preparing to work in business, industry, government, or other places of employment.


  • Encourage the sharing of expertise and specialized curricula among ESP practitioners
  • Promote research into the spoken and written discourse involved in areas of ESP
  • Foster the recognition of ESP language training as a professional academic discipline
  • Promote ethical and high professional standards of instruction, administration, and employment practices in ESP programs
  • Advocate for the professional concerns of the members and the individuals the members teach/train
  • Mentor, advise, and train members with regard to conference proposals, publications, and professional concerns
  • Represent the needs and concerns of ESP professionals to the TESOL membership, Board of Directors, TESOL staff, and Interest Section Leadership Council
  • Cooperate with other organizations addressing the needs of ESL learners in order to achieve common goals

Leaders, 2016-2017

Chair: Robert Connor
Chair-Elect: Esther Perez Apple
Past Chair: Jaclyn Gishbaugher
Members-at-Large: Marvin Hoffland and Robin Sulkosky
English for Academic Purposes Representatives: Julia MacRae and Andrew Millford
English for Occupations Purposes Representatives: John Butcher and Elizabeth Matthews
Secretary/Archivist: Karen Shwelle
Newsletter Editors: Roberta Diamond and Kevin Knight
Community Manager: Tarana Patel