An interdisciplinary approach to teaching adults English in the workplace

Jane Elizabeth Mary LOCKWOOD

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter explores the positive contribution that ideas and constructs from both the business and management training and the adult education literature can make to the theory and practice of workplace ELT curriculum design. Specifically, the chapter looks at how workplace stakeholders can provide a business voice to the ELT curriculum processes, how business-training planning and evaluation frameworks can assist ESP workplace practitioners in reconceptualizing the curriculum process, and how a review of adult learning research can help ESP workplace practitioners better understand the English language needs of professionals in the workplace. Unfortunately, the applied linguistic literature is, for the most part, school-based, leaving workplace ELT programs poorly researched and documented in terms of curriculum theory and practice. The chapter will report on studies of workplace English carried out in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The first Hong Kong study (Lockwood, 2002) investigated the way in which frameworks from business management and training can be used in ESP workplace training to ensure workplace stakeholders and thus the organization as a whole are better represented in the process. The second Hong Kong study (Hamp-Lyons et al., 2002) provides insights into how different stages in a professional career (in this case accountants) impact the kind of written language expectations of that professional. Two studies conducted in the Philippines in the business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry, specifically within call centers in Manila, illuminates further the language demands of the increasingly globalized workplace. Copyright © 2007 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational handbook of English language teaching
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media
ISBN (Print)9780387463001, 9780387463018
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Lockwood, J. (2007). An interdisciplinary approach to teaching adults English in the workplace. In J. Cummins & C. Davison (Eds.), International handbook of English language teaching (pp. 403-412). New York: Springer Science+Business Media.


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