Global LSP Network



LSP around world map (2020 Survey, Risner)

Google Map of LSP Associations Around the World (Please let us know if your organization is missing.)

What Does “Language for Specific Purposes” Mean? 

There are many definitions and descriptions of Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) is an approach to foreign language teaching that focuses on the immediate needs of learners who require a specific language as a professional tool.  Needs analysis of the learner is key for the development of LSP courses and programs.

  • “…designed to meet specified needs of the learner;
  • related in content (i.e., in its themes and topics) to particular disciplines, occupations, and activities;
  • centered on the language appropriate to those activities, in syntax, lexis, discourse, semantics, etc; (1988, pp. 1-2)”

Strevens, P. (1988). ESP after twenty-years: A re-appraisal. In M. Tickoo (Ed.), ESP: State of the
art (pp. 1–13). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

Trace, J., Hudson, T., & Brown, J. D. (2015). Developing Courses in Languages for Specific Purposes (pp. 1–23) (NetWork
#69) [PDF document]. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i. doi:

Fields Linking Language and CareersMelissa2AATSP


Archives of NCLRC’s  “Business Language in Focus”


 Articles on LSP:

Swale, J.  (2000).  Languages for Specific Purposes.  Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 20, 59–76.



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