Needs Analysis in Developing ESP and EAP Materials (Volume 3 – Issue 6)



Language for specific purposes (LSP) is a movement seeking to serve the language needs of learners who need language in order to perform specific roles and who, therefore, need to acquire content and real-world skills by the medium of a second language rather than gain mastery over language for its own sake. English for specific purposes (ESP) programs are specifically developed for professional fields of study. A course in English for agriculture or business writing is considered an example of English for specific purposes.  EAP is identified as a term broadly applied to any course, module, or workshop where learners are taught to deal with academically related language and subject matter. He asserts that EAP is common at the advanced level of pre-academic programs as well as in other institutional settings.  Needs analysis procedures made their appearance in language planning and became widespread in language teaching. The type of needs analysis for EAP/ESP focuses on gathering detailed language used for academic and vocational or other specific language needs. However, it has been claimed that ESP takes a better care of students’ needs and extends beyond its traditional EAP base. This paper briefly discusses the development of English for academic and specific purposes and talks about the importance of inserting needs analysis before EAP/ESP materials are developed. ELT practitioners, teachers, and materials developers may benefit from the discussions of this paper.

Key words: English for academic purposes, English for academic purposes, needs analysis

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