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Needs analysis and the General English classroom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul SeedhouseORCiD



Although learners' needs are theoretically of prime importance in current learner-centred approaches, needs analysis is rarely carried out in the General English classroom. It is argued that this is partly because of an erroneous belief that it is not possible to specify the needs of General English learners, and partly because of a lack of literature on the practicalities of analysing needs data in the context of General English. An example of the analysis of psychological and social needs in one particular General English classroom is worked through in detail. The purpose of this is to show that it is possible to specify General English needs, even in the abstract area of psychosocial needs; to demonstrate that needs analysis can be useful in the General English classroom with respect to problem-solving and as a basis for designing aims, courses, and materials; and to provide a concrete illustration of how analysis of data can be performed, and how a tight and direct link can be maintained between needs, aims, and materials, and what actually occurs in the classroom.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seedhouse P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: English Language Teaching Journal

Year: 1995

Volume: 49

Issue: 1

Pages: 59-65

Date deposited: 14/04/2008

ISSN (print): 0951-0893

ISSN (electronic): 1477-4526

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/elt/49.1.59


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