Adjusting an ESP Course to Students’ Needs in Tertiary Education: a Case Study
Keywords:ESP course, needs analysis, materials evaluation, teaching materials, tailor-made materials
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is one of the predominant approaches to language teaching in tertiary education,as it is directed towards the specific needs of the particular speciality students’.
The paper deals with the role of needs analysis and materials evaluation adjusting ESP courses to the needs of students in tertiary education. Students’ needs analysis is a reference base for both the development of a new ESP course and alterations of an existing ESP course. Teaching materials determine the content of the course and affect teaching methods, students’ motivation, vocabulary and language functions taught. The evaluation of teaching materials allows the teacher to constantly improve the ESP course, to better adjust it to the changing needs of students.
The theoretical considerations are supported by a survey of students’ needs and their evaluation of teaching materials. The results of the survey reveal whether the students’ needs are met in the ESP course they have attended. The implication of the survey results is that the most topical students’ needs, such as the development of productive skills, and especially speaking skills, do not change over time. Students’ evaluation of the tailor-made ESP coursebooks is also presented, as well as some suggestions to make the ESP courses more attuned to students’ needs.
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