Needs Analysis Essay

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Needs analysis is one of the main issues for designing ESP courses, materials, tests or other evaluation tools (Prachanant, 2012). Needs analysis is defined as “the process of identifying and evaluating needs” of the particular group of people, or target population (Titcomb, 2000). Needs analysis also known as needs assessment. McCawley (2009) defined the needs assessment as the systematic study about “knowledge, ability, interest or attitude of a defined audience or group involving a particular subject (P.3).
The term “target population” is the same as “learners” called by Hutchinson and Waters (1978). The term “needs” generally means something required or wanted (Khan et al., 2011). However, in the field of ESP, “needs” refers to “learners’
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This is the factors within learners which contrast to the target needs that focus on the outside factors. To perform the analysis of learning needs, which is called learning situation analysis by Dudley-Evans & ST. John (1998), the researcher needs to answer the following questions (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987):
- Why the learners want to take the course?
- How do they learn?
- What resources are available?
- Who are the learners? e.g. the personal information of the learners
- Where and when will the course take place?

Furthermore, Dudley-Evans & ST. John (1998) propose the concept of needs analysis which are the additions form Hutchinson & Waters (1987) including aspects as follow:
- Target needs analysis and objective needs focus on the activities for which English is used.
- Wants, means, subjective needs focus on factors that may affect language learning.
- Present situation analysis focuses on the current skills and language use of the particular group of people.
- Lacks focus on the gap between current language skills and target situation.
- Learning needs focus on effective ways of language learning.
- Linguistic analysis, discourse analysis, genre analysis focus on knowledge of how language is used in target

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