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Needs analysis
Needs analysis
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Needs Analysis

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In this class, we will discuss needs analysis, the first step in designing language courses.

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Needs Analysis

  1. 1. Language Course Design: Needs Analysis
  2. 2. Getting started In your experience as a learner of English… • Did you ever feel the content of the course did not match your expectations? • Did you consider some contents or activities were of little use or interest for you? • Were you ever asked about what you needed English for?
  3. 3. In this class • Definition of needs analysis. • Classification of needs. • Processes in needs analysis. • Kinds of information and sources. • Instruments and procedures. • A practical example of Needs Analysis.
  4. 4. Needs analysis: A definition
  5. 5. Definition …a family of procedures for gathering information about learners and about communication tasks... Nunan, 1988, p.75
  6. 6. Definition …systematic collection and analysis of all subjective and objective information necessary to define and validate defensible curriculum processes that satisfy the language learning requirements of students within the context of particular institutions that influence the learning and teaching situation. Brown, 1995, p.36
  7. 7. Definition …systematic collection and analysis of all subjective and objective information necessary to define and validate defensible curriculum processes that satisfy the language learning requirements of students within the context of particular institutions that influence the learning and teaching situation. Brown, 1995, p.36
  8. 8. History Lexicostatistics, register Needs= lists of 1960-70’s analysis discrete language items Munby’s 1978 Communicative Needs= functions Syllabus design and situations Psycological stance to Needs= linguistic Late 1980’s needs (Brindley items + functions 1989, Hutchinson and + learners’ Waters, 1987) perceptions + psycological constructs.
  9. 9. Classification of Needs
  10. 10. Classes Objective Subjective Perceived Felt Process- Product- oriented oriented Necesities Lacks Wants
  11. 11. Processes in Needs analysis
  12. 12. Brown (1995) • Making basic decisions • Gathering information • Using the information p. 36
  13. 13. Brown (1995) Decision making Who will be involved? What types of information should be gathered? Which viewpoint should be taken?
  14. 14. Brown (1995) Target Group People about whom the information will be gathered. Resource Group Audience People considered to be a source of Who will be involved? People expected to act upon the information analysis. Need analist People responsible for conducting the need analysis p.37
  15. 15. Brown (1995) Descrepancy Discrepancies between the desired performance and actual performance. Diagnostic What kind of information Democratic Weaknesses or lacks in learners’ Changes desired by a majority of competence according to specific should be gathered? those involved. contexts or situations. Analytic What students need to move on on a developmental sequence pp. 38-39
  16. 16. Brown (1995) Situation needs vs Language needs. Viewpoint? Linguistic content vs Objective vs Learning Process. Subjective. p.p. 39-40
  17. 17. Dudley-Evans & St.John (1998) p. 125
  18. 18. Dudley-Evans & St.John (1998) • Target situation analysis. • Learning situation analysis. • Present situation analysis • Means analysis
  19. 19. Information and sources
  20. 20. Information required in Needs Analysis (What?) • Participants. • Purposive domain. • [Target] setting. • Interaction. • Instrumentality. • Target level. • Communicative key Adapted from Munby, 1978, p. 190-198
  21. 21. Information required in Needs Analysis (What?) Information gathering Types of questions Types of instruments Selecting procedures Brown, 1995, pp. 43-52
  22. 22. Information required in Needs Analysis (What?) Problems Existing difficulties or lacks in performance. Attitudes Priority Feelings and perception regarding Types of questions Ranking the importance of elements the language or elements in the that make-up performance. program.. Solutions Abilities Perceived changes that might bring Current competence of learners at about improvements entry Brown, 1995, p. 43-45
  23. 23. Sources of information (Who?) • Learners. • People working/studying in the field. • Ex-students. • Documents in the field. • Stakeholders (clients, employers). • ESP research Dudley-Evans & St. John, 1998.
  24. 24. Sources of information (Who?) • Learners. • Teachers and administrators. • Native speakers in the target context. • Documents in the field. • Content teachers. • ESP research (literature). • Existing information (records) Brown, 1995
  25. 25. Instruments and procedures
  26. 26. Instruments and data collection methods • Questionnaires. • Discourse analysis. • Discussions. • Structured interviews • Observations • Assessments Dudley-Evans & St. John, 1998,
  27. 27. Instruments and data collection methods • Tests • Observations • Interviews • Meetings • Questionnaires Brown, 1995
  28. 28. References • Brown, J.D. (1995). The elements of Language Curriculum: A Systematic Approach to Program Development. Heinle & Heinle Publishers. • Dudley-Evans, T. y St. John, M. J. (1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes: A multidisciplinary approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus design. Oxford: Oxford University Press. • Nunan, D. (2001). Syllabus design. En M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3º ed., pp. 55-65). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

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