Specifying English Needs of Iranian EFL Physics Students

Farzaneh Afshari, Hamid Reza Haghverdi


Designing a curriculum which will match the needs of the learners and help them meet the goals of a language course can best be achieved by starting with a comprehensive needs analysis. This study is an attempt to discover English language needs of physics students and graduates in Iran. A mixed method design including questionnaire and semi-structured interview were used in the study. Two versions of questionnaires were administered at University of Isfahan and Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) branch to 206 randomly selected MA students and 17 related university instructors from faculty of physics in order to determine which of the four English language skills were most essential to the academic needs of students. In addition, the study looked at what academic sub-skills students are expected to need in order to complete their studies successfully. The results revealed that reading skill has been rated as the most important skill. The importance of English skills according to the priorities for the students was as follows: Reading, Technical words, General vocabulary, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Pronunciation, and Grammar. Furthermore, graduate students indicated a greater need for writing abstracts and, giving presentations in seminars. Generally, the study indicated that the present practice of EAP in the curriculum is not consistent with the perceived needs of students. It is hoped that the findings of this study would shed light on syllabus design and curriculum development for university programs in Iran.


English for Academic Purpose, English for Specific Purpose, Needs Analysis, Physics Students and Graduates

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