The Need for “Needs Analysis”: A Tertiary Level EAP Course in Bangladesh
Mohammad Mahmudul Haque
Abstract: This study evaluates a tertiary-level English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course titled “Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing” (ENG 102) offered at a Bangladeshi private university. It begins with an “environment analysis” section identifying the possible constraints of the curriculum, followed by a “needs analysis” section. For the latter, a questionnaire survey has been developed for its various stakeholders, namely “language teachers,”“content-area teachers,”“students,” and an administrator. The questionnaire addresses issues like “course goals,”“expectations from the course,”“learning and teaching of various reading and speaking sub-skills,” and so on. In addition, test scores and students’ writing samples have been analyzed to identify various writing issues faced by the students. Finally, all the data collected have been triangulated to shed light on them from various standpoints by the abovementioned stakeholders, and thereby to avoid any perspectival bias. The results of the student questionnaire indicate that students need to improve reading sub-skills like “skimming” and “scanning,” and writing sub-skills like writing a “topic sentence” or“thesis statement”. The results of the language teacher questionnaire indicate that higher-order reading sub-skills like “inferring,” “synthesizing,” and “text organization,” have not been adequately covered in the present curriculum. The results of the content teacher questionnaire are similar to those of the language teachers in terms of “inferring,” and “text-organization” skills, whereas the results of the administrator’s questionnaire are partially similar to those of both language and content teacher questionnaires, revealing that the present syllabus does not adequately cover either the lower or higher-order reading or writing sub-skills. In response to these findings, the present study proposes extensive revision of the existing curriculum in that it should emphasize the sub-skills that have been identified above. Moreover, the study highly recommends the use of a wide variety of local as well as foreign materials (both prepared and authentic) to meaningfully engage the students in various languagerelated activities.
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Published in 2017