1.1Four skills needs analysis
Finding out about your students
Asking questions, discussing Englishlanguage needs and presenting information.
Lower-intermediate and above.
Ideally four students or multiples of four. If you have one extra student, s/he shouldpair up with another student and share aquestion card. With two or three extra students,they can double up their cards.
This is an activity aimed atthose students who already have some businessexperience and wish to use their English at work.However, you could redesign the cards usingmore general categories for pre-experiencelearners.
Not ideal, but teacher and studentcan analyze the student’s marks, using them as a basis for discussing the student’s needs andpossibly also for devising a course syllabus.
You will need
One copy of each of the
(p10–11), cut into four, per group of four students. A flipchart is an advantage for stage four.
answers with any students who are waiting tointerview an occupied student.
When everyone has been interviewed, ask studentsto add up the horizontal total for each item on their worksheet and write it in the ‘Total’ column. They should then highlight the items with the highestscores. One representative for each group shouldthen collate this information. While students aredoing this, put the four skills as headings on aflipchart, if possible, or if not, on the board.
Starting with one skill, e.g. reading, ask eachgroup representative in turn to report on thethings their group needs to be able to domost. Where an item is repeated, add a tick or star to it. Then go through the other skillsin the same way.
The teacher or a confident volunteer thenpresents the collated class material.Note down the information from this class andproduce a poster with a heading such as ‘Our classpriorities’ for the wall, or make a handout.Periodically, check whether the list is still relevantto your students and revise it as appropriate. You can use this activity early on in a course to work out a course syllabus which matches, asfar as possible, your students’ needs.
Explain to students that they are going to dosome research to find out what they need todo most in English. Put students into groupsof four, or as close as possible to this. Tell themthat each of them will research one of themain study skills. Hand out a different sectionof the
to each member of eachgroup and ask students first to complete thecolumn headed ‘Me’ for themselves. If necessary, you could demonstrate this usingone student’s answers.
Next, students interview colleagues in theirgroup about their needs and fill in theremaining columns. Encourage pairs to work at a similar pace where possible. Discuss