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ELP Teachers as Researchers. On the Benefits of Conducting Needs Analysis

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The fact that students’ target language needs (TLN) analysis is conducted for the benefits of the students is obvious. However, in the tertiary level context the TLN analysis is usually neglected and replaced with the use of the ready-made curricula (e.g. corresponding to the content of the course books used or syllabi of the examinations taken at the end of the course).

The question which inspired the research undertaken for this paper was whether, and if so how, the very fact of conducting the TLN analysis affects teachers’ professional development. Namely, whether teachers choose to develop professionally in order to cater for the target, entry level job-related requirements, which may significantly increase students’ employability. Very often that means incorporating extracurricular content and skills into the course syllabus which originally have not been compulsory. Moreover, it may require teachers themselves gaining new knowledge and skills; it may induce professional development.

The paper will draw on interviews conducted among legal English teachers running classes at universities and will research their perception of TLN. It will address the questions how the teachers gain knowledge about their students’ target needs, what they understand by target needs, whether they try to satisfy the target needs which go beyond the studies curriculum and how they as language teachers benefit professionally from that.

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Sujets de la revue:
Philosophy, other