Conducting a needs analysis with your EFL class is a great way to get to know your new students.
What is the purpose of a needs analysis?
Needs analyses allow teachers or staff to match the curriculum with the learning needs of the students.
This can help you to understand student expectations of a course and give them a sense of control over what they will be learning.
How to conduct a needs analysis
Before conducting a needs analysis, consider what you want to know from the students which will depend on a number of factors such as the teaching setting and the type of course you are teaching.
You will also want to consider how to deliver your needs analysis to get the most useful answers from students. If students can see the benefit of the task, they are more likely to be more engaged.
Open ended questions are more useful than closed questions with yes/no answers and it can also be useful to give students multiple choice options to help students with ideas – this can be particularly useful for lower level classes.
Needs analysis activities
Here are some ways that you could make a needs analysis more interactive:
1. Get students to interview each other and report back about their partner’s needs.
2. Try to find 5 similarities with their partner as to use and need of English.
3. Turn it into a ‘Find Someone Who’ type game where students get to know the other members of their class e.g. “Find someone who is likes reading the news in English” or “Find someone who is doing an exam in English soon”.
An example of a needs analysis
Below is an example of a needs analysis to give you some ideas of questions to ask your students:
1. What are your English learning goals?
2. Rank your English skills from 1-6 (weakest to strongest)?
3. What activities do you find most useful for learning English?
4. What experience do you have of learning English/other languages?
5. How much time do you currently spend learning English each week, on average?
6. How much time would you like to spend learning English each week?
7. How much homework would you like each week?
8. What would you like to achieve by the end of the course?