Needs Analysis : Needs Analysis Assess the needs of the stakeholders and students of a particular course or program by: (a) deciding what information to gather and why, (b) deciding when, from whom, and how to gather it, and (c) developing or adapting an assessment tool. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching Richards (2001) : Curriculum Development in Language Teaching Richards (2001) Ch. 3 Needs Analysis
Ch. 4 Situation Analysis
(With a little help from some friends) Some purposes of Needs Analysis in ELT are to determine: : Some purposes of Needs Analysis in ELT are to determine: Language proficiency in L1 and English
Communicative abilities in English
Formal knowledge of English
How students use English on a daily basis
Literacy skills the students have and may need
Cultural and personal characteristics of students
Attitudes of students and families toward school A Case Study : A Case Study The two deans said that many foreign teachers’ classes were not challenging. They believe foreign teachers do not have an accurate understanding of students’ levels. One foreign teacher said that the students began the term with almost no knowledge of English, but had improved greatly over the term to the point where they now know “some English.” During the teacher feedback meeting for the foreign teachers, two of the new teachers were told that their courses were too easy and the students were complaining about a lack of learning.
What was the issue? How would you counsel these teachers? What are Needs? : What are Needs? Are students’ needs value-free wants, desires, demands, expectations, motivations, lacks, constraints, requirements, or a set of linguistic deficiencies?
Or do they reflect the interests, values, and agendas of those creating the forms and interpreting the data? What are Needs? : What are Needs? Consider how different stakeholders view immigrants’ needs. The majority population: linguistic assimilation into the dominant culture. Immigrants: the desire to defend their rights and interests.
Thus it is important to realize the political nature of needs analysis and that different stakeholders will want different things. Procedures for Conducting NA : Procedures for Conducting NA Triangulation: the use of more than one source
Observations Learner language samples
Consultation with a variety of stakeholders Now what do I do? : Now what do I do? Analyze the data and consider writing up a document or holding a meeting to discuss the findings.
Ask how this will affect your program/course
Use the information to write goals/objectives (assessment)
Use the information to select materials Now what? : Now what? Graves says teachers have 3 choices:
Act on students’ suggestions
Don’t act, but explain why
Look at ways to add/change in the future One Idea: Auerbach : One Idea: Auerbach Participatory Curriculum Development
Based on the concept that people learn best “when learning starts with what they already know, builds on their strengths, engages them in the learning process, and enables them to accomplish something they want to accomplish.” (Auerbach, 1995, p. 9)
Curriculum emerges as a result of interaction with students which leads to an understanding of the themes in their lives.
It involves students at every step; empowering the students is the goal.
Would this work in your context? Designing Language Courses Graves (2000) : Designing Language Courses Graves (2000) Ch. 6 Assessing Needs Needs Assessment: A definition : Needs Assessment: A definition Needs assessment is a systematic and ongoing process of gathering information about students’ needs and preferences, interpreting the information, and then making decisions based on the interpretations in order to meet the needs (p. 98). Reconciling : Reconciling “Needs assessment can be as much about reconciling different views as about finding out what the needs are” (p. 100).
“…needs assessment is a process of reconciling competing needs and views of what should be taught and how” (p. 109).
It is complex due to learners in the same class having different needs, various stakeholders, and felt/perceived needs. Needs Assessment Cycle (p. 100) : Needs Assessment Cycle (p. 100) NA is a form of dialogue and is something that teachers continually do as part of their teaching. It includes:
Decide what information to gather and why
Make a plan of when, how, and from whom to gather it
Gather and interpreting the information
Act on the information
Evaluate the effectiveness of the action
Decide on further information to gather Types of information to gather (p. 103): : Types of information to gather (p. 103): The learners’
Level of language proficiency
Interests, preferences, and attitudes
Language goals and expectations
Target contexts: situations, roles, topics, content, tasks
Language modalities (speaking, writing, reading, listening) Getting Started : Getting Started Examples