After careful review of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Medical Purposes (EMP) literature, I assisted in the development of a curriculum for an ESP Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Preparation course. The course participants were non-native English speaking employees of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (UVRMC), currently working in the department of housekeeping, wanting to further their employment opportunities. The ESP CNA Preparation course was 12 weeks duration, three days per week, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

My contribution to the curriculum was the development of teaching materials and methods and I used two guiding questions to assist in the development of the materials:

• What form should effective materials take for an ESP CNA preparation course?

• How effective were these materials?

From all the ESP / EMP related literature that I reviewed, I found three studies (Orr, 2002; Bosher & Smallkowski, 2002; Dias, 1999) that had a strong emphasis, closely related to our curriculum, on different aspects of materials development. The literature provided a basis for the outline of materials to be developed for the ESP CNA Preparation course.

An in-depth needs and situational analysis, close observation of the CNA course and ongoing Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) coursework, added to the basis established from the review of literature. The CNA course gave the project team opportunities to observe what English skills a non-native English speaker (NNES) would need to participate appropriately, and with different people observing we gathered different perspectives.

The materials development process reviews the types (e.g., lesson plans, activities, worksheets, audio etc) and purpose of materials developed. After two week increments of the ESP CNA Preparation course, I critically reviewed the things that I learned from the use of my materials (e.g., lesson plan format, time allocations, teaching methodology, materials that did not enhance language skills etc). My materials went through a refining process.

Three things I learned from this project are:

• To teach an effective ESP curriculum, an ESL and a content expert are required.

• Materials developed for an ESP course come from a variety of sources.

• The development of materials is a progressional process.



College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




ESP, medical ESP, ESL, TESOL, TESL, materials development, curriculum development, language teaching, CNA, certified nursing assistant



Included in

Linguistics Commons