An immodest proposal for tertiary level EFL: An interview with Mike Guest

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John Gunning Chairperson, CUE Conference 2009, Tezukayama University


Last July, in the closing hours of the College and University Educators (CUE) Special Interest Group (SIG) annual conference held at Kinki University, the reins were passed and I somewhat reluctantly agreed to become this year’s conference organizer. I say “reluctantly” only because I knew that I would be following on the overwhelming successes of the Kinki Conference and ones held in previous years. I was lucky in one respect – as CUE Coordinator Matt Apple and others were discussing this year’s theme at lunch that Sunday, we unanimously decided on the theme for the 2009 CUE Conference: ESP/EAP: English for Global Working, Living and Studying. With this in mind and based on discussions I had with John Campbell-Larsen and Stuart Cunningham, who both chaired and organized a one-day conference on ESP at Himeji University in May 2008, I knew the CUE 2009 conference theme would generate interest among educators in Japan. Through casual conversations with other CUE members, I have come to the conclusion that many of us are involved with educational issues related to both English for General Purposes as well as courses that could be described as either being English for Specific Purposes (ESP) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

One of the first orders of business was to generate a short list of plenary speakers. Campbell and Cunningham mentioned Dr. Thomas Orr at the University of Aizu as a possible speaker. I contacted him and was thrilled that he agreed to speak. Matt Apple then mentioned and subsequently contacted a familiar name – Michael (Mike) Guest, an Associate Professor of English in the Medical Faculty at the University of Miyazaki and a regular columnist on EFL affairs for The Daily Yomiuri newspaper. After he agreed to attend our conference as one of the plenary speakers, I was fortunate enough to discuss some issues related to ESP/EAP with him.

大学教育者SIGの年次大会が今年度は奈良県の帝塚山大学にて、10月17、18日に開かれる。この大会を盛り上げるために、会の主催者John Gunning が宮崎大学医学部准教授のMichael Guest にインタビューした。Guest氏はデイリー読売のEFLコラムニストでもある。両氏はESP/EAPの教授法に関する問題を議論した。