VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Key stakeholders’ perspectives on English language requirements at work: concerns and solutions
Tue Ngoc Hoang, Trần Thị Duyên

Last modified: 2018-09-15

Abstract


Identifyingstudents’ target learning needs has been identified as a crucial task in curriculum and course design in English language education, especially English for specific purposes at tertiary level (Dudley-Evans & Jonh,1998; Hutah, 2013). Teachers and students need to have a thorough understanding of the target learning needs in order to design, undertake, evaluate and adapt the teaching and learning activities effectively. However, until now, few studies have been undertaken to investigate the requirements for English language in real working environments and examine how much teachers and students know about those requirements. This paper, therefore, reports research results of a large-scale need analysis study conducted by a Vietnamese public university on occupational English requirements. Participants include 815 ESP students, 54 ESP teachers, 88 subject teachers, 81 employers, and 412 professionals currently working in 7 professional fields including Business, Electronics and Electrics, Information Technology, Tourism and hospitality, Automobiles, Fashion and Garment technology and Environmental Technology. Findings demonstrate considerable differences in the participants’ viewpoints on the requirements for English language at work.Especially, significant differences are found between the target English language needs as indicated by professionals and employers and the perceived English language needs as indicated by students and teachers regarding the frequency of carrying out certain professional tasks using English. This study carries important implications for teachers, researchers and higher education institutions in their search for solutions to improve the quality and effectiveness of English language education programs in their own educational contexts.


Keywords


English for specific purposes, English for Occupational purposes, need analysis, English language requirements at workplace, employees, employers