chapter  7
16 Pages

Research in English for Specific Purposes

In the previous edition of this handbook, Peter Master (2005) summarises publication trends in the journal English for Specific Purposes. As he points out, research that takes a text/discourse analytic perspective on English for specific purposes (ESP) has dominated the journal since its early days. The very first volume of the journal contained an article by Elaine Tarone and colleagues (Tarone, Dwyer, Gillette & Icke, 1981) on the use of the passive in astrophysics journal articles. In this article, she and her colleagues, at the same time as John Swales (1981) in the UK, provide the first mention of the word genre in ESP research, and indeed the world of English language teaching research in general. Since those days genre-based studies have been an important part of ESP research, and they continue to be so (see Johns, 2008; Johns, Bawarshi, Coe, Hyland, Paltridge, Reiff & Tardy, 2006; Tardy, 2006; Tardy & Swales, 2008 for reviews of much of this work).