ESL Pre-university Learners’ Needs Analysis for Web-based English Academic Vocabulary Learning Resource
Keywords:English academic vocabulary; needs analysis; ESL pre-university learners; web-based learning resource
A needs analysis will assist ESL practitioners in designing instructional materials more efficiently by filling in the gaps where language learning is lacking. By adapting Hutchinson and Waters' (1987) needs analysis model, this study investigates ESL pre-university learners’ English academic vocabulary learning needs as regards their attitude, learning experience, preferred learning method, and preferred content for a web-based learning resource. A questionnaire survey was distributed to 117 ESL Life Sciences Foundation students from a foundation studies centre in Kuala Lumpur. The quantitative data collected were analysed descriptively using SPSS Version 26. The findings showed that the learners had positive attitudes towards learning academic vocabulary. Even so, they faced language issues rooted in their lack thereof, particularly in productive skills, such as academic speaking and writing. Their current implicit ways of acquiring academic words and limited resources need to be revised. They also displayed high interest and readiness to explore other learning means, such as a web-based learning resource. The learning needs in the resource include presenting academic words in contexts through sample sentences and by using basic English words, such as synonyms. Additionally, learners need various vocabulary learning exercise types and multimedia. The study informs ESL practitioners on the criteria and elements to be considered to design, develop, and successfully deliver academic vocabulary instruction that is effective, practical, and contextualised.
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