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Discussion of Learner Needs for English Education

Table of Contents


Learner profile………………………………………………………………….………………02

Discussion of learner needs…………………………………………………….………………02

Teachers Recommendations……………………………………………………………………04

Design of Needs Analysis………………………………………………………………………07




Learners learn English for number of reasons. They have specific goals, objectives and needs to learn English frequently. Hence, it is essential to utilize casual, self-appraisal to estimate student’s particular needs and objectives (Rivera & Collum, 2008). Therefore, by utilizing formal evaluation instruments we measure student growth and discover their needs. For an educator, Need Analysis (NA) is a fundamental piece of instruction. Long (2014) declares that: to structure any language course the initial step is to direct Need Analysis. This report describes the needs of an English learner and enables the teacher to proficiently starts the leaning process of the student. This NA tends to adapting needs of English learner (Sardar Harjit Singh) who has recently enrolled himself in  TAFE course Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English for Employment and education purpose and also has to appear for IELTS exam soon.

  1. Learner’s Profile

For the current analysis, learner is a student whose name is Sardar Harjit Singh; who is on spouse visa with his wife in Australia and belongs to India. His native Language is Punjabi.  He got married last year in the month of September. The journey with Mr. Singh started through informal visits at my house as he is a very good friend of my husband. He loves and admires cosmopolitan culture of Australia.  He has completed his Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from India but only knows basic English because there he used to get less chance to socialize in English. Sardar Harjit Singh is 32 years old and has moved to Australia around 6months ago. He wants to settle here because many of his friends and relatives are staying in Australia. He is looking for an occupation relating to his field and also wanted to do Master in Chemical Engineering. In his home-country he used to work with Trident company and is very well aware of his technical skills but due to issues in communication he is unable to get desired job in Australia. While having a word with him  it came to my knowledge that he has visited many companies in search of a good job but unfortunately, due to lack in his speaking skills he is unable to meet requirements for a particular position which leaves him demotivated and he is losing his confidence. To meet the Australian job standard he is doing Certificate IV course in Spoken and Written English and later will appear for IELTS exam. Brindley (1989) asserts that “Needs analysis therefore becomes a process of finding out as much as possible before learning begins about the learner.”  Hence, it is necessary to explore the needs that can be utilized as the reason for creating educational program and study classroom training that are receptive to Sardar Harjit Singh’s needs. “It encompasses both what learners know and can do and what they want to learn and be able to do. Learners also need opportunities to evaluate what they have learner’s track their progress toward meeting goals they have set for themselves in learning English” (Martiniello, 2008).

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Mr. Singh prefers to have an opportunity to practice every-day English conversation frequently so that he can overcome his weakness and to adjust in Australian culture as soon as possible. He makes new friends belonging to English background and tries to speak fluent English with them but only finds difficulty when he is

  1. Discussion of learner needs

The need analysis method spotlights and expands on students’ achievements and capacities instead of shortages, enabling students to be lucid and shows what they definitely recognize (Holt and Van Duzer, 2000). It is a nonstop procedure and happens all through the instructional program. The methodology can affect substitute course of action, materials decision, and instructive projects structure, and instructional training (TESOL, 2003).  Brindley (2014) found needs of the students as a gap between the current proficiency level of the students and desired proficiency. Towards the start of the program, needs appraisal of Sardar Harjit Singh may be utilized to decide course content, while amid the program, it guarantees that his objectives and program objectives are being met and takes into consideration important program changes. Toward the finish of the program, needs appraisal can be utilized aimed at arranging upcoming bearings for the students and the program according to (Marshall, 2002). These equivalent instruments additionally might be utilized as an approach to make a best suited curriculum for the learner.

According to Brindley needs of a learner can be categorized under three headings: language proficiency orientation, Psychological/humanistic orientation and specific purposes orientation.

i)                    Language proficiency orientation

Mr. Singh can understand the language very well but finds great difficulty while communicating with others. He prefers to converse regularly with people around him but he feels anxious about his words and sentences which makes him to stammer and take pauses while talking. Owing to this he is not able to pass an interview which makes him feel low.

ii)                 Psychological/humanistic orientation

He makes new friends who are English speakers means he don’t hesitate to mingle with new people around him. He is friendly and fun-loving person. He needs to communicate without feeling conscious. He should feel relaxed and calm while speaking rather than worrying about the grammar and sentences.

iii)               Specific purposes orientation

Mr Singh. wants to get desired job in his field and enrol himself for higher studies. For this he is doing certificate iv course and will appear for IELTS exam.

  1. Teaching Recommendations:
    1. Engage in ongoing professional development opportunities that will strengthen his own linguistic, cultural and pedagogical competence and promote reflection on practice.
    2. Sardar Harjit Singh should watch movies, news with subtitle, install different English learning apps and practice exercises available there.
    3. For speaking skills it will be best to socialize with different people so that while communicating he will learn and understand English. He should try to speak aloud and record his voice and then listen it to know his shortcomings
    4. For reading skills Sardar Harjit Singh must read verity of magazines, newspapers and books. He should know procedures of composing complex sentences and write down ideas with proper coherence and cohesion.
    5. He should take help of dictionary to find out meaning of difficult words. Infact, he can practice the words by listening the pronounciation of words online.
    6. For achieving good band score in IELTS he can download various app on his mobile phone which will be handy for him as he can practice any-where he want.
  1. Design of Needs Analysis

In a classroom it is evident to know background of a children and how they feel while learning second language (Lightbown & Spada, 1999). Long (2014) states that there are many techniques to gather data about a student so as to investigate needs comprehensively in depth. These techniques may vary from formal to informal methods (Richterich,1983: p9)like interviews, questionnaires or surveys. My NA comprised of reading, writing, listening and speaking sections to assess the level of  a learner (mentioned in Appendix).

i)To assess the reading skills of Mr. Singh, he was asked to read the given passage and respond to related questions. He answered most of the questions correctly putting him at intermediate level.

ii)Further, he was asked to write an essay on a topic of his choice. He wrote the topic very well with use of simple, interrogative and complex sentences and with good use of general grammar again notifying that he is not at beginner level but at B1 level.

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iii) Interviews are superior way of gathering information for need analysis (Jones,1991:155) Then a small interview was conducted with open ended questions to know the background, goals, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses of the learner which helped to recognize the speaking skills of Mr. Singh. He listened and understands the questions very well. But, he felt nervous and hesitated while speaking. It was also observed that he stammered while communicating because he becomes over-conscious to speak correct words and sentences.

iv) At last a small English video was played and he was asked to translate it in his own language; surprisingly, he did it very nicely most of the recording he translated correctly. This means he understands the language quite effectively and possess good listening skills.

Therefore, on the whole he was good with his listening, writing and reading skills but struggles with speaking skills. Conclusively he is a intermediate learner or B1 learner


  • Brindley, G. (1989). The role of needs analysis in adult ESL programme design. In Johnson, R. K. (ED), The Second Language Curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (63-78)
  • Brown, H., & Lee, H. (2015). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (Fourth ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
  • Holt, Daniel D., Ed.; Van Duzer, Carol H., Ed.(2000). Assessing Success in Family Literacy and Adult ESL. Revised Edition. Language in Education: Theory and Practice 95.(127-134)
  • Jones,C.(1991). An integrated model for ESP syllabus design. English for Specific Purposes,10,3,155-72
  • Lightbown, P. M. & Spada, N. (1999). How Languages are Learned (2nd ed). Oxford, England: Oxford UniversityPress.
  • Long, M. (2014). Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching (First Edition ed.): John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Marshall J. (2002). Learning with technology: Evidence that technology can, and does, support learning, White paper prepared for Cable in the Classroom.(29-45)
  • Martiniello, M. (2008). Language and the performance of English language learners in math word problems. Harvard Educational Review, 78, 333-368.
  • Martiniello, M. (in press). Linguistic complexity of math word problems, schematic representations, and differential item functioning for English language learners (ETS Research Report). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
  • Richterich, R. (ed.). 1983. Case Studies in Identifying Language Needs. Strasbourg: Council of Europe/Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Rivera, C., & Collum, E. (Eds.). (2008). State assessment policy and practice for English language learners: A national perspective. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.



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