Research Article

A Multiple-Associations Approach to Teaching Technical Terms in English for Specific Purposes Courses


  • Reima Al-Jarf Full Professor of English and Translation Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Teaching and learning of technical terms constitute a major problem for ESP instructors and students. To help the students learn, retain, apply and relate technical terms, a multiple-associations instructional approach that focuses on connecting the printed form of the technical term with its pronunciation (the hidden sounds, double and silent letters, and homophones), with its part of speech, singular or plural form, synonym or antonym, English and Arabic meanings, usage, component parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots), previously-encountered terms and others should be followed while presenting the new technical terms in business, computer science and engineering to the students. Categorization, association, and visualization skills and mnemonic approaches should be emphasized. Mind maps can be used to show those connections. Out of class, extensive listening and reading activities are also encouraged. Quizzes should require the students to make the multiple associations described in the article. The multiple-associations instructional approach proved to be effective in enhancing the learning of technical terms by EFL college students. Further recommendations for strategies that can be used in teaching multiple associations are given.

Article information


International Journal of English Language Studies

Volume (Issue)

4 (3)





How to Cite

Al-Jarf, R. (2022). A Multiple-Associations Approach to Teaching Technical Terms in English for Specific Purposes Courses. International Journal of English Language Studies, 4(3), 01–09.



Associative learning, multiple associations, technical terms, specialized vocabulary, English for Specific Purposes, ESP.