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CUE ESP Symposium 2014 - Keynote Speakers


First Keynote Speaker, 10:10–11:10


Yasushi Ikebe, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation


My English evolution and comments on important language skills

This presentation will be divided into two general parts. In the first part, I will share my English learning history. This history started with my family at home, then moved to various educational and research institutes, and finally arrived at an international level in my profession. While discussing this history, the audience will learn: a personal perspective of language needs and how they changed during different stages of my life and career; the difficulties faced in particular circumstances; the kind of tasks where English was essential in accomplishing goals to help me get to where I am today; and how my English skills help me do my current work. In the second part of my presentation, I will share my opinions on what kind of language skills are important in order to succeed in an international community, and what training English classes at school could be focused on.


Yasushi Ikebe graduated from the University of Osaka and went on to get his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Tokyo. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) from 1995 to 1997. He spent five years in Germany as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics, and two years in the USA as an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, working for the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. In 2004, he joined the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Mirai-kan) as a Science Communicator, where he is currently the Manager of the Education and Collaboration Division, and Principal Investigator for Science Communication.

Second Keynote Speaker, 13:00–14:00


Michael Handford, University of Tokyo


Applying ESP in the classroom: problem-solving in professional contexts

This talk will begin by discussing three contrasts: firstly, the difference between English used for specific purposes, specifically in business and professional contexts, and English used in general situations; secondly, the gap between research into professional communication, and what has been widely published in professional communication materials; thirdly, language used in professional contexts, and language used about professional contexts.  By considering these issues and developing a more precise understanding of what professionals do with language, it is argued that a more accurate view of learners’ present and future needs can be achieved and more appropriate materials can be developed. In other words, relevant materials and topics should be derived from real situations and, where possible, data. As an example, problem-solving will be discussed as a skill that is relevant to all disciplines, but which has particular manifestations depending on various contextual features. How professional problem-solving can be taught to students in higher education and to in-house trainees will be explored, in terms of appropriate language, stages and genre, while considering interpersonal issues of convergence, conflict and culture.

Michael Handford is Professor of the Institute for Innovation in International Engineering Education at the University of Tokyo, where he lectures graduates on professional discourse analysis and professional intercultural communication. He has published in the areas of ESP, professional and business discourse, intercultural communication and conflictual communication. He is the author of The Language of Business Meetings, and co-author of the course book series, Business Advantage, with Cambridge University Press. He is co-editor, along with James Paul Gee, of the Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis. He also works as a communication consultant at several Japanese companies.

Third Keynote Speaker, 15:00–16:00


Brian Paltridge, University of Sydney


Current and future directions in English for specific purposes research

This presentation will commence with a review of current research in the area of English for specific purposes. This will include a discussion of genre and corpus studies in ESP research, as well as research into the use of English as a lingua franca in ESP settings. Other topics will include advanced academic literacies research, ESP and identity, and the insights that ethnographic studies can provide into the teaching and learning of English for specific purposes. The presentation will then discuss future directions in English for specific purposes research, including genres that are still under-explored in ESP research and how further explorations into learner needs and how learners see themselves in relation to their learning and learning goals can better inform the teaching and learning of English for specific purposes.

Brian Paltridge is Professor of TESOL at the University of Sydney. His publications include Teaching Academic Writing (with colleagues at the University of Sydney, University of Michigan Press 2009), Continuum Companion to Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (edited with Aek Phakiti, Continuum 2010), Continuum Companion to Discourse Analysis (edited with Ken Hyland, Continuum 2011), New Directions in English for Specific Purposes Research (edited with Ann Johns and Diane Belcher, University of Michigan Press 2011) and the Handbook of English for specific purposes (edited with Sue Starfield, Wiley-Blackwell 2013). The second edition of his book Discourse Analysis was published by Bloomsbury in 2012. He is currently writing, with Sue Starfield, a book on getting published in academic journals to be published by the University of Michigan Press in 2016 and a book on ethnography and academic writing (with Sue Starfield and Christine Tardy) to be published by Oxford University Press, also in 2016. He is an editor emeritus of English for Specific Purposes and, from 2014, will be co-editor of TESOL Quarterly





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