« Q and A - Textbook writing projects | Main | Recommended Resources - English Baby website »

February 09, 2008

Q and A- Sample Needs Analysis

Dear Readers,

This month we have another question that might be of interest to you. This one is from Rashad ...

Hi Carol,

I've enjoyed reading your Blog - the information I have found there have been invaluable to me. I am a Masters student in TEFL and my current assignment is to develop a needs analysis. I have read the information you have available and it was, as usual, very helpful. But I am still a little confused. I think I really need to see an actual completed needs analysis to really cement the concept in my mind.

Do you happen to have ...

... a completed needs assessment that you can share? I feel like I just need a "go-by" to go-by.

Thank you for your assistance and keep up the great work. Believe me, it is very helpful to a lot of future ESL teachers.



Perhaps the most important thing about a need analysis is that it needs to make sense for your situation. When creating your own needs analysis, you might want to look at a few different examples for ideas and then pick and choose the items/style that is relevant.

Here's an example of a fairly basic needs analysis that takes into account what the institution, the students and the teachers might need/want.

Sample questions for members of an institution:

What does the school/department want these students to be able to do in English when they graduate?
What are the most important skills in terms of priorities?
What kind of feedback does the institution want form English language trainers?
What kind of provision / funding is available for training/ course development?

Sample questions for the teachers:

What do you want your students to be able to do with English?
In what specific situations will they be doing these things?
How are your students coping now?
What help do they need?
What are your most urgent short-term needs?

Sample questions for the students:

What aspects of your study involve you using English?
What do you feel about learning English?
What would make it easier?
What skills are most important for your study?
What kind of speaking/ reading / writing tasks do you need to do? What are the most important things for you to learn?
What has been positive/ negative about your English study to date? What would help you do better?

This is just one example of a needs analysis. The example above is for a group of EAP students and is in the form of a series of interviews. However, a needs analysis does not need to be a formal interview; it can also be a questionnaire or even an informal class discussion.

If you have a sample needs analysis, feel free to add it to the comments section below.

Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*To read more ESL Questions and Answers, please click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at February 9, 2008 08:26 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


i need a question answered about needs analysis.

Posted by: FARZAND ALI at August 24, 2008 03:30 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)