AN INVESTIGATION INTO ESAP NEEDS OF IRANIAN BA STUDENTS OF LAW

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Imam Khomeini International University

Abstract

English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) uses the results of needs analysis for curriculum development and materials production. ESAP courses should be based on students’ academic needs. Consequently, the present study investigated the English language needs of Iranian undergraduate students of Law. Participants included 218 undergraduate students, 33 graduate students, and 10 content teachers of Law (for short, content teachers) from three universities in Karaj, Iran. Data were collected quantitatively, using researcher-made questionnaires. IBM SPSS (version 22) was used to analyze the data. Statistical tests including Mann Whitney U and Kruskall Wallis were used to analyze the data. The results of questionnaire analyses showed that “general vocabulary”, “technical vocabulary”, and “using general bilingual English-to-Persian dictionaries” were regarded as the most important target needs, and “grammar”, “pronunciation”, and “guessing the meaning of the words from suffixes and prefixes” were perceived as the present needs of BA students. The results of data analyses revealed statistically significant differences among the responses of BA students, MA students, and content teachers regarding target needs. Follow-up post hoc analyses showed that the differences lay between BA students and content teachers as well as between MA students and content teachers. Further analysis of data showed statistically significant differences of present needs between BA students and content teachers. The findings of this study suggest that the development of ESAP courses for BA students of law should draw on more general English of BA students of law, enabling them to develop reading skills to fully understand legal academic English texts.

Keywords


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