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Authenticity in an ESP Tourism course: from localization to internationalization

Chao-jung Ko
National University of Tainan, Tainan, Taiwan


The aim of this study explored how EFL Taiwanese learners from an ESP Tourism course perceived their acquired abilities by conducting an authentic task for helping local stores/restaurants to promote internationalization.

Researchers suggested that an ESP curriculum could give learners opportunities to acquire English in a more natural and informal way by offering them a context where they could work with language and find it interesting, motivating and rewarding (Lavinia & Alina, 2017). In this study, 32 Taiwanese English-major EFL learners enrolling in a Tourism English course in a university located in Southern Taiwan were provided with an authentic experience, in which they could apply and demonstrate their communication, interaction and social abilities through the use of English (Lin, Chang, & Lin, 2014).

The participants, divided into groups of three or four, started their authentic task by approaching their targeted local store/restaurant in Tainan. Then, they were required to interview the owner of the store/restaurant. Next, each group had to analyze their data collected from the interview and report their findings in an oral presentation to their classmates. Through the oral presentation, they shared with each other about professional knowledge gained from the owner of the store/restaurant. Finally, they were invited to produce an English DM promoting their targeted store/restaurant in order to assist its internalization.

The data of this study was collected from the participants’ oral reports and an after-task questionnaire consisting of 18 five-point Likert - scale questions from ‘not satisfied at all’ to ‘very satisfied’ and three open-ended questions. The findings showed that the learners perceived that through conducting this authentic task, not only did they improve their English communicative skills, they also acquired some professional abilities required in the future workplace. The detailed findings will be reported in this presentation.


ESP, Tourism, authenticity, internationalization

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023