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Needs Analysis

By :
Ira Lestari
Meri Forti Munte
• What are ‘Needs’?
Wants, desires, demands, expectation, motivations,
lacks, constraints, and requirements (Brindley 1984)
• What is ‘Needs Analysis’?
Procedures for collecting information about learners’
• When did ‘Needs Analysis’ emerge?
In the 1960s
ESP movement
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
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
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
Examples of needs analyses conducted
prior to a language program

• Method:
Staff questionnaire:
* background information about the course the lecturer was
* 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
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
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
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
Administering the needs
• 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
Procedures for conducting
needs analysis
• Questionnaires
• Self-ratings
• Interviews
• Meetings
• Observation
• Collecting learner language samples
• Task analysis
• Case studies
• Analysis of available information
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
A disadvantage of
• 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.

• Self-ratings might be included as part of a


• Disadvantage:
It provides only impressionistic information.
• 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
• Advantage:
* Allows a large amount of information to be
collected in a fairly short time.
• Disadvantage:
* Information may be impressionistic and subjective

• Take into account:

* People often do not perform well when they are
* The skill of observer.
Collecting learner
language samples

Language samples may be collected through:

• Written or oral tasks
• Simulations or role plays
• Achievement tests
• Performance tests
Task analysis

Analysis the tasks the learners will have to

carry out in English in a future occupational or
educational setting.
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.
Analysis of available
• Books
• Journal articles
• Reports and surveys
• Records and files
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
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
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
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
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
Thank you!