Tracking down the Academic Target Needs of Undergraduate Students of English Language and Literature in a Non-Native context

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Yazd University

Abstract

Based on the learning-centred approach to needs analysis, the current study aimed at investigating the academic target needs of undergraduate students of English Language and Literature in Iran as a non-native context nationwide by employing a triangulation of instrumentations namely, questionnaires, class observations, and semi structured interviews. To this end, 320 stakeholders from eight different Iranian state universities participated in the current study. The results of this study revealed a discrepancy between the target needs of the students and the actual EFL courses they undertake during their academic and pre-academic studies. During pre-academic studies, students are not adequately equipped with critical thinking abilities, study skills, and general English proficiency which are required by their prospective academic needs. Likewise, the prevalent lecture-based teaching methodologies as utilized by Iranian content specialists at the tertiary level, seemed to be ineffective in sufficiently equipping the students with sound literary knowledge as well as professional writing and reading skills. The findings may promise implications for establishing a consistent nationwide pedagogical framework for EFL instruction at the non-native academic and pre-academic levels by a synthesis of different communicative and learning-centered approaches to language teaching based on a systematic cooperation among different stakeholders.

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