Evaluating an English for specific purposes programme: the case of business English in Nairobi, Kenya
Despite having been in existence for almost half a century, English for specific purposes still continues to be characterised by serious methodological and pedagogical problems in its theory and practice. While an overview of research and publication on this field indicates that tremendous gains have been made in an effort to address such problems, there is need for further efforts to address certain fundamental issues that have continued to persist in ESP. Evaluation is one of the most persistent problems that ESP has been faced with ESP practitioners have concentrated more on ESP materials evaluation without providing clear guidelines on how the course should be evalutated. The other issue has been the nature of ESP itself and the inherent need to develop different evaluative strategies that would suit a language course that focuses both on the acquisition of linguistic knowledge and occupational skills, such as ESP. The present study is an evaluation of the Business English programme, a genre of ESP, in Kenya. The study is an evaluative survey, which investigates the current situation with regard to the fluectuating performance by students in Business English examinations. The study reports that factors related to the syllabus, the teachers, and the examinations have contributed to the fluctuating performance by candidates in the Business English examinations. The development of an in built evaluation component, in-service programmes for teachers, and a review of the Business English syllabus are some of the recommendations that are put forward in a bid to address this problem.