Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Designing ESP Materials for Nursing Students Based on Needs Analysis

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Designing ESP Materials for Nursing Students Based on Needs Analysis

Article excerpt


Designing teaching material is the process of selecting, adapting and evaluating of teaching based on specific terms of reference. Need Analysis is very important before designing teaching materials for English for Specific Purpose. The study aims at exploring the learning needs of 50 nursing students, and designing ESP materials for nurses based on Need Analysis. Need Analysis in this study is categorized as Target situation Analysis, Present Situation Analysis, Deficiency Analysis, Strategy Analysis, Constraint Analysis, Pedagogic Need Analysis, and Subjective Need Analysis (Lowi, 2009). The study uses quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings describe the real needs of students of ESP for nurses, the lecturers' view points on the practice of ESP instructions, and descriptions of ESP for nurses used in English speaking countries. The results are very significant for designers of ESP of various fields for they reflect the real needs of nursing students. It is suggested that Nursing English textbooks should be based on the Need Analysis by ESP designers.

Keywords: Designing, ESP materials, Need analysis, Nursing students

1. Introduction

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is defined as "a language course or program of instruction in which the content and aims of the course are fixed by the specific needs of a particular group of learners" (Richards and Schmidt, 2010). ESP prepares the learners to use English in academic (students of different fields), professional (people of different professions such as doctors, engineers, and nurses), or workplace (technicians for example) settings.

ESP is a movement based on the proposition that all language teaching should be tailored to the specific learning and language use needs for identified group of learners. It is also sensitive to the socio-cultural contexts in which these learners use English. ESP is focused on a learner-centered approach, since it meets the needs of adult learners who need to learn a foreign language for use in their specific fields; such as science, leisure, medicine, economics, technology and academic learning. ESP program needs to be developed for there is a need for language courses in which certain contents, skills, motivations and processes are identified and integrated into specialized courses.

According to Hutchinson and Waters (1987), ESP is an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learners' reason for learning. Since 1960's, as stated by Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998), ESP has become a vital and innovative activity within the Teaching of English as a Foreign and Second Language movement. In the beginning, English for Science and Technology was the most desired area of ESP with a particular attention being paid to specific varieties of written scientific and Technical English. Furthermore, Lattore (1969), Swales (1971) and Selinker and Trimble (1976), in their tree of ELT (English Language Teaching), they developed sub-branches of ESP as English for Academic Purpose (EAP) and English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). These sub-branches evolved to include English for Secretary, English for Economics, English for Technicians and English for Medical Studies which continue up to the present day. The underlying factors behind this development are the essence to address the needs of learners.

According to Dudley-Evans and St. John (1998), the cornerstone of ESP is addressing the language which is required by learners as well as learning contexts of learners. As it is about specific learners, therefore, it must be tailored to the needs of these learners. This coordination is accomplished through what is called Needs Analysis (NA). They also argued that "Need" is defined by the reasons for which the student is learning English, which vary from their purposes of learning such as continuing study or of participating in business meetings or dong joining research in English-speaking countries. …

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