The Outline

2- Historical account
3- Definition
4- Approaches to Needs Analysis
5- Pros and Cons of Needs Analysis

1-Introduction : ESP courses set out to teach the language and communication skills that specific groups of language learners need or will need to function effectively in their disciplines of study. . . but from determining exactly what the learner needed to do with the target language.The Council of Europe team felt that successful language learning resulted not from mastering linguistic elements. . however. 2-History of Needs Analysis: . little if any attention was given to needs analysis. professions or workplaces. Research and studies conducted by the Council of Europe team resulted in the emergence of the communicative approach to language learning which replaced the situational approach dominant in language teaching and learning at that time.In the following decades. 2010. This can be explained largely by the influence that the traditional structural view of the language continued to exert on the field of English language teaching (ELT). Because ESP focuses on teaching specific language and communication skills. It can also be used to assess learners and learning at the end of the course. .The term “Need Analysis” re-emerged during the 1970‟s as a result of intensive studies conducted by the Council of Europe team. ESP course design usually includes a stage in which the course developers identify what specific language and skills the group of language learners will need.Needs analysis procedure in the field of language teaching was first used by Michael West in a survey report published in 1926 (White. p. This process is termed ‘needs analysis’ (Basturkmen. The identification of language and skills is used in determining and refining the content for the ESP course.17). 1988).

K 1982:42). 1997.” (Witkin et al. 1995) •“A gap between real and ideal that is both acknowledged by community values and potentially amenable to change. Target-situation analysis proceeds by first identifying the target situation and then carrying out a rigorous analysis of the target tasks. rather than on what was done as is the focus of most program evaluations. target communicative competence. 1996. whatever their particular situation and specialization” (Johnson. A need has been described as: • A gap between “what is” and “what should be. 1987). .- “The team recognized that there will be areas of interest common to all students. (McKillip. West. Some people use the elated term “needs assessment” 4-Approaches to Needs Analysis: 4-1. 1989).This model can be used to specify valid ‘target situations’ (Jordan. linguistic features and knowledge requirement of that situation (Robinson. 3-Definition: Need Analysis is the process of identifying and evaluating needs (see sample definitions below) in a community or other defined population of people. The identification of needs is a process of describing “problems” of a target population and possible solutions to these problems. or what should be done. Needs analysis has been neglected in the general English classroom and emphasized in ESP as Hutchinson and Waters (1987) suggested.Need analysis focuses on the future.” (Reviere. 5) • May be different from such related concepts as wants (“something people are willing to pay for”) or demands (“something people are willing to march for”). 1994) that is.A Sociolinguistic Model: Munby (1978) proposed his Model to needs analysis . p.. The best-known framework for .

g. dialect. purposive domain (e. After operating with this framework.g. discussing everyday tasks and duties). educational). while many researchers feel that these practical constraints should be considered at the start of the needs analysis process. The starting point may be the learner but the model collects data about the learner rather than from the learner. Language: Munby fails to provide a procedure for converting the learner profile into a language syllabus. 2. subject content and level of English ability required for the communication. dialogue). 4.g. mode (e. . channel of communication (e. The core of this framework is the “Communication Need Processor” in which account is taken of the variables that affect communication needs and the dynamic interplay between them.g. person/s with whom the communicator/s communicate. Complexity: Munby’s attempt to be systematic and comprehensive inevitably made his instrument inflexible. face-to-face).g. 3. West (1994: 9-10) mentions the shortcomings of the Munby’s model in terms of four headings: 1. Constraints: Munby’s idea is that constraints should be considered after the needs analysis procedure. Learner-centeredness: Munby claims that his CNP is learner-centered. spoken). informal). and time-consuming.g. setting of communication. attitudinal tone (e. medium (e. 1997).target-situation analysis is devised by Munby. complex. we can obtain a profile of students’ language needs and convert them into a “communicative competence specification” from which a syllabus is drawn up (Jordan. main communicator/s. A profile of communication needs which Munby presented comprise of communicative events (e.

The second . two concerns should be raised:  Lack of attention to learners’ real-world needs. Unlike the sociolinguistic approach. They are broken down into three categories: necessities. lacks and wants. Learner needs are approached from two directions.  Over-reliance on learners’ perceptions: becomes an issue because many learners are not clear about what they want (Long. 1987:54). whereas more attention should be given to how learners learn. They suggest that a learning needs approach is the best route to convey learners from the starting point to the target situation. Hutchinson and Waters (1987) argue that other approaches give too much attention to language needs. target needs and learning needs. 4-3.” Although this approach has not received much criticism.4-2. 2005a).A Systemic Approach: The Systemic approach fills the gaps in the sociolinguistic model in terms of flexibility and shows a distinct concern for learners. Target needs are defined as “what the learner needs to do in the target situation” (Hutchinson & Waters. In the words of Jordan (1997) “Learner needs are approached by examining information before a course starts as well as during the course by the learners themselves and by ‘teaching establishments’ such as their place of work and sponsoring bodies. Richterich and Chancerel (1977) proposed this approach for identifying the needs of adults learning a foreign language. and their present situations are thoroughly investigated.A Learning-Centered Approach: It was no longer simply assumed that describing and exemplifying what people do with language would enable someone to learn it. the systemic approach has a distinct concern for learners: the learners are the centre of attention.

the focus is on how individuals respond to their learning situation. learner needs are viewed as the language that learners require in target situations. subjective needs. gender.Learner-Centered Approach: Berwick (1989) and Brindley (1989) are leaders in contributing learner-centered approaches to needs analysis. 1989). subjective needs : Objective needs are explored prior to a course.focus in this approach is on learning needs.  Product vs. and objective vs. background knowledge of English. In the process-oriented interpretation. process oriented interpretations. including who the learners are. Three ways to look at learner needs are offered: perceived vs. 1989). felt needs : Perceived needs are from the perspective of experts while ‘felt needs’ are from the perspective of learners (Berwick. their sociocultural background. felt needs. involving affective and cognitive variables which affect learning (Brindley. attitudes towards cultures of the English speaking world and studying English. background knowledge of specialized contents. age. learning background.  Perceived vs. whereas subjective needs are addressed while the course is underway.  Objective vs. 4-4. attitudes towards English. product vs. referring to numerous factors. process oriented interpretations : In the product-oriented interpretation. .

and when you teach it is when they learn it” (p. functions. course designers. sponsors and teachers . lexical items. 5-Pros and Cons of Needs Analysis : Pros + May Motivate learners Values Learner Contribution Cons Learners reactions to conducting needs analysis May raise false expectations in learners May help in setting more Conflicts between expectations of realistic objectives learners.A Task Based Approach: Long (2005a) recommends taking a task-based approach to needs analysis as well as with teaching and learning based on the argument that “structures or other linguistic elements (notions.4-5. 3).)” should not be a focal point of teaching and learning. “Learners are far more active and cognitive-independent participants in the acquisition process than is assumed by the erroneous belief that what you teach is what they learn. etc.

Very useful where many Needs analysis is basically resources subjective influenced by available perceptions of person conducting it Greater awareness + More problematic with lower motivation may lead to proficiency/ younger learners develop greater competence May help pupils to assess Time Consuming own needs better Learner perceptions may be unrealistic of needs .