Academic journal article Researchers World

English Language Needs of Teachers at Bangplama Soongsumarnpadhungwit School, Suphanburi, Thailand

Academic journal article Researchers World

English Language Needs of Teachers at Bangplama Soongsumarnpadhungwit School, Suphanburi, Thailand

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Descriptive in nature, the study explored the English language needs of teachers at Bangplama Soongsumarnpadhungwit School, Suphanburi, Thailand. Furthermore, it correlated the teachers' language needs to their profile.

The study revealed that the teachers are handling subjects such as Vocational Education, Science, Mathematics, Thai Language, Foreign Language (including English), MAPE and Social Studies. Most of them are females. The respondents are dominated by teachers who are new in the profession yet they almost have equal number to that of teachers who have been in the profession for long years. Most of the respondents have attended 0-2 number of trainings in English. Results further showed that the teachers have so much need on Listening, Reading, Culture-oriented and Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL) skills. Likewise, the results indicated that the teachers have needs on Speaking, Writing and Test Preparation skills. Thus, courses along these areas may be designed and developed to address their needs. Notably, the teachers' Writing, Culture-oriented and CALL needs have significant relationship with the number of trainings in English they attended while their Test Preparation needs have significant relationship with their number of years in the profession.

The study used Needs Assessment (NA) as its methodology in collecting and analyzing the data gathered from a survey distributed to the teachers. Frequency count, percentage, rank, mean and correlation measures were used to treat the data.

Keywords: Needs Assessment (NA), English language needs, language courses, General English Language Needs Analysis (GELNA)

INTRODUCTION:

It cannot be denied that the universal language is English. As the world gets into globalization, the English language continuously becomes a powerful vehicle for communication. Thus, if one wants to become globally competitive, he or she has to be competent with the language.

According to Hutchinson and Waters (1987), the expansion of scientific, technical and economic activities in international scale after the end of the Second World War in 1945, led to the importance of English as a result of the economic power gained by the United States.

As English became the accepted international language of technology and commerce, it created a new generation of learners, who knew why they were learning a language (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987). Rodgers (1969, as cited in Hutchinson & Waters, 1987) expresses that developments in educational psychology also contributed to the rise of ESP by emphasizing the central importance of the learners and their attitudes to learning. Learners were seen to have different needs and interests, which had an important influence on their motivation to learn and therefore on the effectiveness of their learning. This led to the support of the development of the courses in which relevance to learners needs and interests were of great importance.

However, identification of the needs calls for a systematic way. This systematic way is defined as Needs Assessment (NA). Broadly defined, NA is a procedure to collect information about learners' needs (Richards, 2001). Further, York (1982, as cited in Reviere, 1996) defines needs assessment as the ordering and prioritization of community needs. So, two steps need to be followed in order to fulfill the aim of a needs assessment. These include: 1) data gathering; and 2) analyzing data.

For Brown (1995), NA is considered a crucial component of systematic curriculum development. In his systematic curriculum development model, it is the first phase of an ongoing quality control process. Thus, he defines NA as the systematic collection and analysis of all relevant information necessary to satisfy the language learning requirements of the students within the context of the particular institutions involved in the learning situation.

Applied to language context, it may be defined as the process of determining the needs for which a learner requires a language and arranging the needs according to priorities. …

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