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Due to the increasing number of higher education study programmes in English and the tendency to incorporate English for Specific Purposes (henceforth, ESP) training into the content courses, there is a need to diversify the learning outcomes of the ESP courses to shift the focus on developing more interdisciplinary competencies. Thus, securing the pertinence of ESP and EAP courses in higher education study programmes. The current study proposes using ESP courses as a platform for developing digital literacy and performs an empirical study to examine the efficiency of integrating a role-based approach to develop students’ digital capabilities in the ESP courses. In addition, it tests the compliance of the Jisc digital capabilities framework with the Business students’ academic and professional needs. Two groups of 32 first-year university students studying Business English were observed for one semester. The data was extracted from the pilot lesson observations, student self- assessment surveys and end-of-semester interviews. The findings show that the inclusion of digital capabilities training does not compromise the acquisition of language-oriented traditional ESP goals. The tasks derived from the digital capabilities framework that the majority of the students rated as meeting their academic and professional needs were the creation of data visualisations, references, surveys, digital textual content, basics of graphic design; the use of collaborative work tools, and the moderation of online accounts for business branding purposes. Finally, the introduction of roles in the project-based learning increased students' sense of accountability and reinforced the metacognition during the learning process; the role distinction also revealed that in group work students struggle the most with professional interpersonal communication tasks, such as providing feedback, forming structural criticism, moderating meetings and assigning tasks to peers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Journal Journal of International Scientific Publications : Language, Individual and Society
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022


  • Language acquisition
  • Group work
  • digital literacy

Field of Science*

  • 6.2 Languages and Literature

Publication Type*

  • 1.2. Scientific article included in INT1 or INT2 category journal of ERIH database


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