Political and Economic
Roots of EAP
The previous chapter presents a chronology of EAP's goals, research, and instructional practices over the last 30 years, from inside the field. This chapter is a view from the outside, an unofficial history, including political and economic issues not traditionally taken up in the literature. It examines how English became the dominant language of science, technology, and business and why, from an ideological point of view, ESP/EAP responded as they did. Included in this chapter is a discussion of a 1971 document revealing the willingness of ESP/EAP specialists to accept target requirements unconditionally and uncritically as the basis of instruction. Also included is Phillipson's (1992) study of the economic roots of English language teaching during the post-World War II period.
The discussion begins with two quotes, one from a frequently cited early English-for-science-and-technology document (Barber, 1962), the other from a 1971 conference paper I have never seen cited in the ESP literature, although it has been preserved as an ERIC document (130 525):
During recent years, English has increasingly become a medium for the teaching and learning of other subjects. This use of English as an auxiliary language is especially important in those countries where a great deal of university-teaching is carried out in English (e.g., India); but it is also important in many other countries, which rely to a great extent on textbooks written in English, especially at the university level. This dependence on textbooks in English seems to be particularly marked in scientific and technical subjects, and there must be many thousands of students of these subjects who rely wholly or largely on books published in Britain and the United States. It is