Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 4 April 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Academics' Perceptions of Reading and Listening Needs
for English for Specific Purposes

A Case from National University of Malaysia

Md. Momtazur Rahman, Ph.D. Candidate


The objective of the paper is to look into academics' perceptions of reading and listening needs for ES (English for Specific Purposes), necessary for the foreign postgraduates in the fields of science and technology at National University of Malaysia. Semi-structured interview, as the instrument for data collection, is used for the language needs analysis. Target Situation Analysis (TSA) is used as the theoretical construct for needs analysis.

The samples of interview include five academics in the fields of science and technology of the three faculties in the university: 1. faculty of science and technology, 2. faculty of engineering and 3. faculty of information science and technology.

This paper reviews literature on some fundamental features of ESP, language needs analysis, components of needs analysis as well as reading and listening areas in ESP. In fact, the findings of the needs analysis determine some important reading and listening tasks, which are necessary for the foreign postgraduates in the concerned fields, can lead to develop a language course framework for them focusing on these two areas in an ESP setting: reading and listening.

Keywords: ESP (English for Specific Purposes); Needs Analysis; Reading and Listening areas in ESP


Language needs analysis is the basis of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) and leads to develop a focused language course. Needs analysis determines the components of a language course. In fact, needs analysis plays a pragmatic role in the field of ESP. Today, it has been a focused topic for the researchers and scholars, who are involved in ESP researches. Dudley-Evans and St John (1998: 122) argue that "needs analysis is the corner stone of ESP and leads to a very focused language course". Munby (1978) stresses the importance of needs analysis of learners to design ESP courses. According to Munby (1978: 2), "ESP courses are determined in all essentials by the prior analysis of the communication needs of the learners". Robinson (1991) emphasizes on the primacy of needs analysis to design a language course. She states that "ESP courses develop from a needs analysis" (Robinson 1991: 3).

Malaysia, today, stresses the importance of English in higher learning institutions. Some of the universities in Malaysia offer ESP/EAP courses to equip the undergraduate students in terms of specific needs of English language. So far, in the public universities of the country, there are no ESP courses in postgraduate studies based upon the language needs analysis.

In line with the advancement of higher education in science and technology in public universities in the country, the number of foreign postgraduate students has been increasingly. The medium of instruction for these foreign postgraduate students is in English. Therefore, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses should be designed to prepare these foreign postgraduate students so that they can cope with the extent of English used in the concerned fields in public universities in the country.

In the context of National University of Malaysia, a language needs analysis is undertaken to develop an ESP course framework focusing on reading and listening areas for these foreign students in the concerned fields in the university.

The paper is concerned with conducting a needs analysis, which can lead to develop an ESP course framework for these particular foreign students focusing on these two areas in the field of ESP.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Mean Length of Utterance and Syntax in Konkani | A Study of English Loan Words in Selected Bahasa Melayu Newspaper Articles | Verb Reduplication in Tamil and Telugu | The Relevance and Usefulness of European Literature for Innovations in Indian Literature - A Review | Girish Karnad as a Modern Indian Dramatist - A Study | Code Switching and Code Mixing Among Oriya Trilingual Children - A Study | T. S. Eliot - A Universal Poet With Appeal to Indian Spirituality | Academics' Perceptions of Reading and Listening Needs for English for Specific Purposes - A Case from National University of Malaysia | Perspectives on Teaching English Literature to English Literature Major Students | Myths and Legends in the Plays of Girish Karnad | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Konkani Language | Compassion - Leo Tolstoy's Philosophy as Seen in His War and Peace | Role of Space in the Narratives of Bharathi Vasanthan, A People's Writer from Puducherry | Teaching English in Multiracial and Multilingual Nations - A Review of Maya Khemlani David's Book, A Guide for the English Language Teacher | HOME PAGE of April 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Md. Momtazur Rahman, Ph.D. Candidate
School of Language Studies and Linguistics
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
National University of Malaysia
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