The issue of double-competence in the teaching /learning of ESP revisited
The issue of double-competence in the teaching/learning of ESP has been an issue of serious concern since the early eighties (Strevens 1980, Dudley-Evans 1993, Perrin 1995, Combes-Joncheray 1999, Narcy-Combes 2005, Fanou 2009 & 2010, etc.). Doublecompetence was first considered as non important, then as useful, and then as a very important tool for a successful teaching/learning of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), in a French speaking environment in particular.
Through this paper, I have tried to weigh the importance of double-competence in my teaching of ESP after more than two decades’ experiences, and have found out that a minimum of command of the specialist subject is indispensable for an easy and successful teaching/learning of ESP, and also that the help of a specialist is still indispensable, especially if the teacher of ESP has not been trained in the specialist subject, given that he/she cannot have been trained in several specialist subjects and yet he/she may still have to teach English applied to more than one specialist subject. Such a specialist is still required for the assessment of learners’ needs and for the preparation of ESP teaching materials.
Keywords: double-competence, specialist subject, English for specific purposes (ESP), teaching/learning, learners’ needs, teachability/learnablity