Goal-setting and self-reflection to enhance learners’ interaction in an ESP context

Sergio Andrés Lozano Velandia


This qualitative action research study explored 11 young-adult learners’ interactions in an ESP (English for special purposes) context while they carried out a self-reflection strategy on their learning processes at an airline training-center in Bogotá, Colombia. A needs analysis performed at the beginning of the process showed that learners lacked strong communicative and interactional competences, had poor knowledge of technical English, and lacked self-reflection and goal-setting strategies. Accordingly, they were presented with a pedagogical intervention that implemented communicative tasks in an ESP (English for cabin crews) context, as well as learner training for the development of self-reflection strategies (to be used, based on their learning process, at the beginnings and ends of each communicative task). Data collection procedures carried out during the intervention comprised a piloting stage and three data collection stages, during which data was collected through four different instruments. Data analysis followed the grounded theory approach. Findings suggest that self-set goals and reflection allowed learners to maintain focus on the specific language functions and vocabulary necessary for them to complete communicative tasks (role-plays) successfully, which, in turn, led to increased learner awareness, confidence, and positive self-concept. In addition, learners evidenced progress on language development regarding specific (ESP) language functions and technical vocabulary.

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