2. Locating the ESP space in problem-based learning: English-medium degree programmes from a post-Bologna perspective

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Bologna changes compel universities to rethink ESP training in Bachelor’s programmes. As universities increasingly offer English-medium instruction at Bachelor’s level, ESP training has to match the approach and philosophy of the content training. In a problem-based learning (PBL) environment at a Dutch university, two approaches to ESP training are described, one pre-Bologna (in economics), the other post-Bologna (in health sciences). Principles underlying PBL and ESP are discussed. Analysis suggests that customized, student-centred ESP can fit well in a PBL environment, albeit itself somewhat modified. Bologna changes, however, suggest a reduction of ESP training in English-medium programmes, especially at Bachelor’s level. To increase effectiveness, ESP training should be integrated in content programmes, and designed in close collaboration with the relevant specialists.


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