Implementing English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has become a popular practice in Japanese universities. One difficulty in designing and implementing ESP programs is identifying appropriate ESP textbooks. Faced with this difficulty, our university created four original ESP textbooks. The current study examines the efficacy of two English textbooks which targets second-year Physical Therapy (PT) and Welfare and Psychology (WP) majors. The aims of these textbooks are to enable students to build basic communication skills, improve other language skills, and broaden their knowledge of terms and expressions in their fields. Data included students' final scores and their survey results, involving 100 PT and 30 WP majors. Data were stored in SPSS software and analyzed employing descriptive and inferential approaches. Findings reveal 70% believe ESP approach is necessary. The extensive range of proficiency levels also reveal mixed reactions on textbook contents and instructions. In terms of topic, the most popular were 'spinal cord injury' in the PT textbook, and 'counseling' in the WP textbook. Many believed their limited grammar knowledge impeded their comprehension of the contents. However, they favor the textbooks and instructions, claiming all their English-related skills had improved. Although the study seems to justify the efficacy of using the original ESP textbook for current instruction, it is necessary to ensure the topic contents are up-to-date and practical. In order to engender such a situation, a collaboration between specialists or faculty in the related field and language teachers is critical.
Minako Inoue, Health Science University, Japan