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Student Name:

Student Number: Course Code

3 1 0 9 5 5 0

Course Title
English for Special Purposes

E D U C 6 1 2 4

A B C D 1
Campus of Study:

Intro to University

Callaghan 16/05/2013 11:59pm

Assessment Item Title: A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis

Due Date/Time:

Tutorial Group (If applicable):

Thursday 10-12

Word Count (If applicable):

w/o references

Lecturer/Tutor Name: Dr Shen Chen Extension Granted: Yes


Granted Until:

Please attach a copy of your extension approval

Please tick box if applicable Students within the Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and the School of Nursing and Midwifery: I verify that I have completed the online Academic Integrity Module and adhered to its principles Students within the School of Education: "I understand that a minimum standard of correct referencing and academic literacy is required to pass all written assignments in the School of Education; and I have read and understood the School of Education Course Outline Policy Supplement, which includes important information related to assessment policies and procedures. I declare that this assessment item is my own work unless otherwise acknowledged and is in accordance with the Universitys academic integrity policy available from the Policy Library on the web at I certify that this assessment item has not been submitted previously for academic credit in this or any other course. I certify that I have not given a copy or have shown a copy of this assessment item to another student enrolled in the course. I acknowledge that the assessor of this assignment may, for the purpose of assessing this assignment: Reproduce this assessment item and provide a copy to another member of the Faculty; and/or Communicate a copy of this assessment item to a plagiarism checking service (which may then retain a copy of the item on its database for the purpose of future plagiarism checking). Submit the assessment item to other forms of plagiarism checking. I certify that any electronic version of this assessment item that I have submitted or will submit is identical to this paper version.


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Date: ____16/05/2013_______________

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EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


Scenario One - Context A group of 30 secondary school teachers from Thailand are arriving at an Australian university for an in-service training on how to apply information technology in teaching. They will stay at a university hostels for three months. They will attend lectures and workshops on the campus for 8 weeks. During their stay, they will also visit a number of local schools to see how Australian teachers use IT to teach various subjects. Most of the teachers have an intermediate level of general English. You are asked to prepare an ESP course before their IT lectures and workshops.

Needs Assessment These Thai teachers require this ESP course in order to understand concepts in an English training context that they can later translate and apply in Thailand, in a secondary school context. As learners, these teachers may already be experts in teaching a number of different school subjects, indicating that they are already learning specialists as well as content-area professionals. The language that these teachers will need to learn will be English for Academic Purposes (EAP), for their participation in the in-service training, and the discourse for information communication technologies (ICTs) and their application; such language will form the basis of their eight weeks in-service training. An assessment of the learning needs for this ESP course involves analysis of the target and present situations, the learners and the teaching context. (Basturkmen, 2010) N.B. For the purpose of the ESP course design, the teacher participants are here referred to as learners, or participants.

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


Target Situation Analysis It is important that the design of this course keeps in mind that there are two target situations for this ESP course and its participants. There is the immediate target situation, which is the in-service training course that the teachers will be participating in while in Australia, and then there is the implied target; the teachers need to be able to engage with the training on the highest level of Blooms taxonomy. They must not only comprehend or analysis the material, but they must also transfer and translate the knowledge and skills learnt during the in-service training to a linguistically and practically contrasting context. Key questions in determining the needs associated with this process are: How will the language needed by the teachers differ between the environments of the in-service training and when applying their knowledge in the classroom? How might code-switching affect the needs of this group; i.e. how can the ESP course prepare teachers transition from teaching in Thai to learning in English and then applying this knowledge, in Thai? Present Situation Analysis This second component of the needs assessment would involve gathering knowledge of the training participants and their individual linguistic development in the four skills of language in English: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This is important because although the teachers have an intermediate level of general

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


English, this could mean they perform well in some of these skills and not others. This could seriously affect the value of the in-service training to the teachers. If they are able to comprehend the content of the in-service training, but find it difficult to communicate orally in English, additional to any cultural barriers, they will also have difficulties interacting with the teacher to clarify points they do not understand. They will also be disadvantaged in not being able to discuss the resources they have available in Thailand, and how this compares to the ICTs discussed in the in-service training, or the particular impacting features of Thai culture that the Australian instructor may not be aware of. This could also seriously inhibit their ability to translate the knowledge gained by the training back to the Thai secondary school context. A present situation analysis of these teachers could be achieved through pre-arrival research into any information the university may have on the course participants, as well as a diagnostic test conducted shortly after their arrival in Australia. This assessment would reveal valuable data about the students of the ESP course and their individual needs. Ideally, this course would be designed to not only precede the in-service training, but also run concurrently to it. This would ensure that the language needs of the group are consistently met throughout the in-service training. Only a concurrent ESP course would be able to react to needs identified while the students are interacting with the in-service training and the texts, materials and discourse involved. For the duration of the ESP course the participants should be

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


distributed in mixed-ability groups, to maximise the effectiveness of the learning through group activities and peer teaching exercises. Learner Factor Analysis Equally important to an investigation of the teachers present situation is an analysis of their motivation, their learning philosophies and methods, and their perception of their own English needs. As this is a more personalised diagnosis, material on this may be limited without direct interaction with the teachers. This is likely to be an ongoing process conducted throughout the ESP course. Teaching Context Analysis For this ESP course, this would involve accessing multiple sources of information on the in-service training course and its constituents, and how these translate in language requirements; the language needed in order to comprehend and participate in the training. Foremost, research into the in-service training content is needed. Investigation of the environment and resources of the in-service training could help determine the texts and language to be the focus of the ESP course. This course could be achieved by visiting the training site and sourcing out authorities on the training. An asset to this objective would be the professional development specialists who are organising the information technology in-service training. Inquiry questions could include:

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


What kind of language will the teachers be using in this training, and to whom? Will they be interacting chiefly with their co-teachers from Thailand, or primarily with the training instructor?

Does the in-service training involve any kind of assessment? If not, how will understanding of the training content be measured and applied?

What kinds of activities will the teachers be doing, and what language demands and expectations do these activities have?

Is the training teacher-centred, learner-centred or content-centred?

These questions could form the basis of interviews with the professional development specialists. They could also be applied to an investigation of the learning materials involved in the in-service training course.

Discourse Analysis In this scenario, the discourse analysis would need to be conducted prior to the teachers arrival in Australia. As the ESP course is designed to precede the in-service training, there will be no opportunity to investigate the teachers interaction with the training materials and the language interactions involved, unless the ESP course where to run concurrent to the in-service training. If this were the case, the ESP course practitioner would be able to response to authentic discourse throughout the ESP course. The most valuable resource in the investigation of the specialist discourse that will form the basis of the ESP course is the professional development instructor

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


managing the in-service training. The ESP course must be based on the in-service training course; its, format, sequence, texts and genres. The instructor of the training should be interviewed at length about the teaching philosophy, curriculum and methodology involved in the in-service training. The feedback from the instructor should be compared to data available through course materials and multimedia used or accessed during the course, and samples of learner work. Ideally, the discourse would be accessed in its original environment through observation of an in-service training session. Any recorded previous sessions of the in-service training would be valuable resources. They would demonstrate the practice and discourse of the in-service training, and the ESP practitioner would be able to determine: If the training is teacher-centred, learner-centred or content-centred If the training has previously involved ESL learners, and how they have responded The features of the classroom discourse The genres of the texts used

A major objective of this ESP course is to ensure that the teacher participants will have a better understanding of communication and language use in three distinct contexts: In the application of information technology in schools In the training course and its content In Australian secondary schools, as they will be visiting them as part of their in-service training.

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


In order to facilitate this, existing data and research on both EAP and the application ICTs in classrooms is needed. Fortunately, abundant research in both of these areas already exists. Research into EAP is important as the learners of this ESP course are preparing for inservice training that will be delivered in an instructive, academic manner. The tenor of the in-service training will be a mixture of expert to novice and professional discourse. As teachers, the training participants are recognised professionals, so the discourse in the training is likely to be in a sophisticated and advanced tenor as communication between professional. The learners will need to approach this content academically, as they will not be learning it passively. Information technology is by nature interactive, and so is the associated discourse in learning about and applying it. It can be assumed that this in-service training will include active interaction with the information technology field. In order to understand and later apply the information technology that they are learning about, the teachers will have to interact with it and use it themselves. Web 2.0 tools are very popular in Australian secondary classrooms; Web 2.0 is the term given to describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online. (QuinStreet Inc, 2013) As such, Web 2.0 discourse is likely to be a major field in the discourse of the inservice training and the classroom. It is a central concept to information technology and at the forefront of its application in classrooms, because it allows school

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


students to interact with technology for learning. The implications of this for the ESP course are the likelihood of a lot of highly specific Participants, Attributes, Processes and Circumstances to deconstruct in preparation for the in-service training. Jargon terms like skydrive, blog, and wordpress and the context-specific meanings of words like connectivity, access, and link are challenging components of information technology discourse that the ESP course will need to address. Research into problem-based learning (PBL) and the value of ICTs in the secondary classroom is also a concept that is abundantly researched in Australia and across the world. Much education academia focuses on the problems and benefits associated with the use of technology in classrooms as a learning tool. An analysis of this discourse is useful to a genre analysis approach to designing this ESP course. Research into PBL and classroom ICTs identifies the common features and target context of the use of the in-service discourse. Many articles on the subject present case studies in the use of ICTs in specific subjects; for example, English (Dudeney & Hockly, 2007; Kajder, 2003; Miller, 2012; Wolsey & Grisham, 2012) Use of this research as texts in the ESP course will not only prepare the teachers for the genre of the training content, but it will also introduce them to the kind of language that they will be communicating in during the in-service training and applying when they return to Thailand.

EDUC6124 A2 - Need Assessment and Discourse Analysis


References Basturkmen, H. (2010). Developing courses in English for specific purposes. New York, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Dudeney, G., & Hockly, N. (2007). How to teach English with technology: Harlow : Pearson/Longman. Kajder, S. B., -. (2003). The tech-savvy English classroom. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers. Miller, S. (2012). Multimodal Composing in Classrooms: Learning and Teaching for the Digital World. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2012. QuinStreet Inc. (2013). Webopedia Retrieved April 16, 2013, from Wolsey, T., & Grisham, D. (2012). Transforming writing instruction in the digital age : techniques for grades 5-12. New York: The Guilford Press.