Number one for English language teachers

Needs analysis: Part 2

Type: Reference material

Needs analysis: What do we need to know about our students?

A good way of starting to design a needs analysis for a student (or a general needs analysis format for a school) is to brainstorm all the questions you could possibly want to ask them, and then edit them down. We can brainstorm and organise the questions they should/can be asked by several schemes:

  1. By question word
  2. By skills and language
  3. By time
  4. By place

By question word

  • What - e.g. What exactly do you do in English in your job?
  • When - e.g. When is your next meeting in English?
  • Which - e.g. Which parts of the language do you find most difficult?
  • Where - e.g. Where do you use English? - in meetings
  • Who - e.g. Who do you speak English with - native / non-native speakers?
  • How - e.g. How formal does the English you use need to be? 
  • How much - e.g. How much homework can you do?
  • How long - e.g. How long have you been studying English?
  • How often - How often do you watch English language films?
  • How far - e.g. How far do you want/need to go with your English?

By skill and language

Which skills do you use/need/lack most?

By time

Past/present/future

e.g. study / use of English / exposure to English in each of these three times.

By place

Inside work (see above) / outside work (e.g. travel/films/TV)

Discussion/thinking point: See Needs analysis: Part 6 for a result of this brainstorming. Is there anything you would add/take away from this list for the students you usually teach?

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Extremely useful. Brainstorm great.

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  • The brainstorm part is good start.

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