Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2016

Perceived Usefulness and Attitudes Toward ESP Among College Students in Korea

Mae-Ran Park

Pukyong National University, South Korea


The current study aims to examine the students’ affective aspects toward English language learning after having taken ESP courses. Based on the five factors that the researcher identified as the measures of learners’ interest and motivation (in the form of perceived future utility and usefulness), and attitudes, a multi-faceted questionnaire was developed and carried out. The participants were 150 university students from Busan, Korea, divided into the EGP group (48 mechanical engineering students) and the ESP group (102 biomedical engineering students). The key findings were that first, the ESP group demonstrated more positive responses than the EGP group on four out of five factors; second, there were no differences among the students' academic year within the ESP group regarding the five factors. The results from the current study are in line with the previous study (Shin, 2014) that reported the increase in learners’ interest, motivation, and positive attitudes toward English language learning among the ESP group. The study also supports Ardeo (2016) which claims that English learning motivation or instrumental ELM in the ESP group is positively and significantly correlated with affective factors, thus promoting English language learning when instruction taps into learners’ identities (i.e. professional identities in their respective disciplines). Based on the results from the study, suggestions were made on ways in which the quality of ESP programs in Korea can be improved. Insights from the study will shed light on current challenges within the ESP field in EFL contexts where learners have to deal with obtaining both adequate English language proficiency and optimal level of expertise in their respective disciplines.


EGP (English for General purposes), ESP (English for Specific Purposes), motivation, future utility, usefulness, attitudes

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