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Needs Analysis Instructor: Dr. Mavis Shang

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1 Needs Analysis Instructor: Dr. Mavis Shang
Presenter: Sophia Yar-ling Tsai 27 March 2008 I-Shou University, Taiwan

2 Introduction What are ‘Needs’?
Wants, desires, demands, expectation, motivations, lacks, constraints, and requirements (Brindley 1984) What is ‘Needs Analysis’? Procedures for collecting information about learners’ needs. When did ‘Needs Analysis’ emerge? In the 1960s ESP movement

3 The purpose of needs analysis
1. To find out what language skills a learner needs 2. To help determine if an existing course adequately addresses the needs of potential students 3. To determine which students are most in need of training in particular language skills

4 The purpose of needs analysis
4. To identify a change of direction that people in a reference group feel is important 5. To identify a gap between what students are able to do and what they need to be able to do 6. To collect information about a particular problem learners are experiencing

5 The purpose of needs analysis
‘Needs’ also includes students’ rights ‘It’s school’s responsibility to take into account the cultural, political, and personal characteristics of students …. in order to plan activities and objectives that are realistic and purposeful.’ (Linse, 1993) Needs also includes perceived and present needs, potential and unrecognized needs Needs analysis may take place 1. prior to 2. during 3. after a language program

6 Examples of needs analyses conducted prior to a language program
Method: Staff questionnaire: * background information about the course the lecturer was describing * overview of problems experienced by ESL students * linguistic demands of the course * suggestions to which language skills should be focuses on * modifications made in teaching or in examinations Students questionnaire

7 The users of needs analysis
Big-scale needs analysis curriculum officers in the ministry of education Teachers Learners Writers Testing personnel Staff of tertiary institutions Small-scale needs analysis Teacher Program coordinator

8 The target population Language learners or potential language learners
Policy makers Ministry of education officials Teachers Academics Employers Vocational training specialists Parents Influential individuals and pressure groups Academic specialists Community agencies

9 The target population Subcategories of respondents
students currently enrolled in a foreign language course students previously enrolled but no longer studying a language students who have never studied a foreign language An important issue in determining the target population: Sampling Sampling involves asking a portion of potential population instead of the total population

10 Administering the needs analysis
Who will administer the needs analysis? Who will collect and analyze the results? * academic or research assistant * colleagues in different department * students who piloted the questionnaire * academic staff of the university * secretarial support

11 Procedures for conducting needs analysis
Questionnaires Self-ratings Interviews Meetings Observation Collecting learner language samples Task analysis Case studies Analysis of available information

12 Design of Questionnaires
The following questions need to be considered: Preliminary questions The types of information asked for How the questions are worded The type of items in the questionnaire: open questions, closed questions, checklist, rating scale, ranking, inventory

13 A disadvantage of Questionnaires
The information obtained may be fairly superficial or imprecise. The information will often need follow-up to gain a fuller understanding. * Advice: to familiar with the principles of good questionnaire design.

14 Self-ratings Self-ratings might be included as part of a questionnaire. Disadvantage: It provides only impressionistic information.

15 Interviews Advantage: * Allow for a more in-depth exploration of issue
* may be useful at the preliminary stage of designing a questionnaire. Disadvantage: * Take longer to administer * Only feasible for smaller groups

16 Meetings Advantage: * Allows a large amount of information to be
collected in a fairly short time. Disadvantage: * Information may be impressionistic and subjective

17 Observation Take into account:
* People often do not perform well when they are observed. * The skill of observer.

18 Collecting learner language samples
Language samples may be collected through: Written or oral tasks Simulations or role plays Achievement tests Performance tests

19 Task analysis Analysis the tasks the learners will have to carry out in English in a future occupational or educational setting.

20 Case studies A single student or a selected group of students is followed through a relevant work or educational experience in order to determine the characteristics of that situation.

21 Analysis of available information
Books Journal articles Reports and surveys Records and files

22 Designing the needs analysis
Procedures for bigger-scale Literature survey Analysis of a wide range of survey questionnaires Contact with others Interviews with teachers Identification of participating departments Presentation of project proposal Development of a pilot student and staff questionnaires Review of the questionnaires

23 Designing the needs analysis
Piloting of the questionnaires Selection of staff and student subjects Developing a schedule for collecting data Administration of questionnaires Follow-up interviews Tabulation or responses Analysis of responses Writing up of report and recommendations

24 Designing the needs analysis
Procedures for smaller-scale Initial questionnaire Follow-up individual and group interviews Meetings with students Meetings with other teachers Ongoing classroom observation Tests

25 Making use of the information obtained
Making a list consists of information collected from different source and summarized in ranking More analysis and research ‘…..The primary goal of analysis is to bring meaning to the obtained information …’ (Stufflebeam et al. 1985) Take different views into account: * learners’ view * academics’ view * employers’ view * teachers’ view

26 Making use of the information obtained
The format for reporting the findings: A full written document A short summary document A meeting A group discussion A newsletter

27 Thank you!

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