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How to do a Needs Analysis



Suppose you are sitting down to write objectives for yourself. How do you know where to start? How do you get more specific? You cannot work on everything at the same time. What should your priorities be?


One way to work out your priorities is to do a needs analysis for yourself, in which you analyze your own language learning needs.


You may find some items with high ratings on your list that are inappropriate for your current stage of learning. For example, it may be important and urgent to you to be able to persuade someone to adopt a certain course of action, but this is not an appropriate goal to include in a lesson plan for a beginner.


There is a worksheet available to help you do a needs analysis:

  Follow these steps to do a Needs Analysis:
  1. Think of situations in which you want or need to use the language:
    • at home
    • in work situations
    • for pleasure
    • for socializing
    • in learning situations
  2. For each situation, list specific things you need to do using the language.
  3. Rank each need on your list from one to five according to three criteria:
    • The frequency with which the need arises
    • The urgency of the need
    • Its importance to you personally
  4. Add the three ratings to get a total.

    Results: The items with the highest totals represent what you most want to include in your learning program.


This method is adapted from Dickenson, 1987.

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 21 March 1999

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