Need Analysis and Course design implications of ESP learning needs
ESP Learning refers to English for speaking purposes. It is applied at places where the users are not the native speakers but the requirement of writing and speaking of English is the basic requirement of there professional or occupational endeavors. For Example, China is gaining rapid fame under the impact of internationalization. However, the expats who move their for working face difficulty because Chinese population are not very open to English Language. In a situation if the other person or expat also have no knowledge of English or the local language than the implications or consequences become far more serious. In such a state, development of an ESP course plan with viable strategy of implementation could serve the purpose. The presented study will explore the concern by performing need analysis and Course design implications of ESP learning needs. The explanatory mode of research will be adopted to study the multiple aspects of consideration with an indebted overview.
The application of ESP assures to address the professional and occupational requirement of users by marking their specific needs. It covers the scope of the ESL Foreign/Second Language branch (EFL/ESL). There are various factors that segregate the ESP branch from normal English. Although, by genre there is no difference in between the two languages but the adoption and purpose of acquiring the language is the element of difference (Amirian and Tavakoli). Likewise, the expectation of general English is also distinct from the expectation of ESP is for training purpose only. The terms, formats, language and sentence structure are the core focus in ESP course plan which allows one to create the scope of application and evolve in professional arena over the referred grounds (Hossain).
.The impact and outcome of the ESP greatly relies on the efficacy of its course and the rational of the design which is planned to serve the specific needs of the user (Brunton). The course design of the ESP plan is the fundamental tool which determines the success of its implementation. The methodologies applied for building up the language and skill level of users should match to the profile and competency level of users. In present times of globalization, the international workforce and language barriers are managed with strategies that balance the communication with learning and development objectives with the support of ESP plans. The tutors which execute this plan are called instructors. Currently, online and offline options are available for support which are making implementation and evaluation far more easier for adaption.
There are various theories that determine the need and process of designing an ESP course for practical implementation. All of these theories revolve around the need analysis which build up the essence of the course and make it effective. For this purpose, the target population and the target procedures are explored to identify the extent of language that is used within the marked horizon. The attitude and behavior of the learners are also an important part that has to be focused in the course of designing the methodology of application. Hence, a training plan is developed keeping in view the basics of both the end of users and the material of knowledge. The three most popular theories addressing the course design methodology of ESP are based over the approaches of language centered in which English teachers speak to make the learner familiar with the use of language. Second is the skill centered approach which is built over the strategy of aligning the requirement of user in a particular scenario with the language through defined learning material (Songhori). basic theoretical design and pragmatic basis are the core principles of this theory. Basic theoretical design is inverted behavioral approach against learner and the language. While, Pragmatic basis theory states that language complexity and limited skills of users is likely to make it difficult to achieve the desired results (Basturkmen)
The third approach which is seemingly the most rational approach elaborates that the learn ing of participants and achievement of course objectives rely greatly on the efficacy of the learners and the learners are the stakeholders who can judge the best that whether the targets of the course have been achieved or not. All the illustrated approaches focus on the viability and accuracy of need analysis which is the fundamental factor that determine success to the course plan. Wrong predictions made in the need analysis is likely to result into false assumption with unsuitable material that will be of no benefit for the user (Hutchinson and Waters). Thus, the outline of the course has to be developed consciously keeping in view the situational factors and the objectives of the plan. The marking of the skill and competency level of users is an essential factor that allows to develop outline keeping in view the strength and weaknesses of users with core focus on learning. Identification of weakness will enable to mark the areas that are to be stressed more and vice. The language structure, format and written materials is investigated to draw the scope in terms of grammar, words, sentence structure and written formats. Hence, an individual’s language needs are explored from the observation of the official role and responsibilities . thus, complete data collection and exploration of behavioral and learning attributes by getting interacted with nonparticipants are the core factors which allows an individual to design a suitable ESP course for learners.
An overview of the illustrated observations makes it obvious that ESP learning is the dire need of time under the effect of rapid globalization. However, the course design of the plan is the fundamental element that establishes the efficiency of the plan. If the basics of the course plan are left attended while marking the need analysis than the ESP plan would be of no value. Hence, sticking to the purpose and objective of the learning need and marking the essentials of course plan with a designed schedule is essential for the success of the plan. Considering the variant nature of the ESP learner, this factor is of critical important subject which has been addressed by numerous scholars. The adoption of the right approach for the right situation is the trick that marks the success of an ESP plan. This equation of situation analysis and ESP planning can not be standardized with a single formula or equation. Hence, the knowledge and skill of the planners is of particular significance in this reference. The details of the study makes it evident that apart from the designing and implementation purpose, the evaluation and monitoring framework should be focused by researchers to allow the learners gauge their learning in specific metrics. Not only would this action be beneficial for raising motivation of users but regular improvement and modification in the plan will also assure successes and achievement to the stakeholders.
Amirian, Zahra, and Mansoor Tavakoli. “Reassessing the ESP courses offered to engineering students in Iran.” English for specific purposes world 8.23 (2009): 1-13.
Basturkmen, Helen. “Specificity and ESP course design.” RELC Journal 34.1 (2003): 48-63
Brunton, Mike. “An account of ESP–with possible future directions.” English for Specific Purposes 3.24 (2009): 1-15.
Hossain, M. “ESP needs analysis for engineering students: A learner centered approach.” Presidency University 2.2 (2013): 16-26.
Hutchinson, Tom, and Alan Waters. English for specific purposes. Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Songhori, Mehdi Haseli. “Introduction to needs analysis.” English for specific purposes world 4 (2008): 1-25.