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Needs Analysis and Curriculum Development in EAP: An Example of a Critical Approach

Sarah Benesch
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Winter, 1996), pp. 723-738
DOI: 10.2307/3587931
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3587931
Page Count: 16
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Needs Analysis and Curriculum Development in EAP: An Example of a Critical Approach
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Abstract

Needs analysis research in English for academic purposes (EAP)/English for special purposes is mainly descriptive. Researchers identify and describe existing elements of the target situation to provide the basis for curriculum development. Critical needs analysis, on the other hand, considers the target situation as a site of possible reform. It takes into account the hierarchical nature of social institutions and treats inequality, both inside and outside the institution, as a central concern. This article explores the literature on needs analysis, offers critical needs analysis as an alternative approach to examining target situations, and describes an example of critical needs analysis and EAP curriculum development in a paired ESL writing/psychology course at a U.S. college.

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