Background of the Study
English is fast becoming an international language and the Middle East is embracing its usage in various activities. This means that it has gained popularity and learning institutions continue to diversify their curriculums by introducing this language in their programmes.
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Saudi Arabian students are embracing the need to pursue higher learning to ensure they diversify their employment opportunities beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region. It is necessary to explain that communication is an important factor in learning and teachers and students in this region look for ways to improve their expression skills (Schein 17).
The need to communicate with the outside world motivates learning institutions in Saudi Arabia to introduce English language in their curriculums. This will equip learners with the relevant knowledge to share information with other students and people from other regions.
The Middle East has widened its investment opportunities and businesses are being established at a high rate in this region. This means that learners will have to adapt to the inevitable changes of modernisation, globalisation and westernisation to ensure they utilise local opportunities created by investors.
However, the study of foreign languages in Saudi Arabia has come under sharp focus and criticism because developers and implementers of their curriculums did not pay attention to the needs of students when proposing and preparing the criteria for teaching them. This has led to the development of a different perception regarding the appropriateness of some learning materials used in class to teach this English.
Students should have a positive attitude towards the importance and suitability of learning materials used in class to ensure they do not have difficulties understanding various aspects taught by their instructors (Dooey 15). Secondary schools are considered to play significant roles in determining the future of individuals in this country.
Most learners start specialising in various courses when they are in secondary schools and this means that the subjects offered and learning materials used must address their future needs to ensure they are aligned to promote healthy intellectual and career development in students.
Speaking, writing, learning and reading are the main fundamental skills of English because they form its foundation that determines the success and progress of students. Students have developed different perceptions regarding the suitability of a study book used in class (Flying High for S.A Student Book) and they think that it has not addressed their needs.
The appropriateness and success of this textbook in promoting the learning and usage of English language in Saudi Arabia will is determined by how students think about its suitability. The perception of an individual towards something will determine his level of interest and concentration on it. Students can be discouraged from learning English if they perceive this book not to address their needs.
They will resist attempts to understand its principles, arguments and presentations because of prior assumptions that this book is not suitable for them. This led to the need to establish the needs analysis of Saudi Arabian students’ perceptions towards their linguistic needs regarding the textbook used to study English.
There is a general perception that study books used in class to teach English do not address the needs of students yet they are the main actors in this field. This research will explore the suitability of this textbook in teaching English and how it has shaped Saudi Arabian students’ perception towards this language and its content.
The use of Flying High for S.A Student Book to teach English has met resistance from Saudi Arabian students and this has created a gap in learning institutions. All reading materials should be leaner-friendly to ensure there is no resistance from students.
Students do not perceive this book to address their needs and that is why they developed different perceptions regarding its suitability as a reading material. The efforts and hard work of teachers to improve the students’ understanding and usage of English language will be an exercise in futility if they continue to use this textbook.
An individual’s perception affects his concentration, attention and attitude towards something. Saudi Arabian secondary students perceive this book not to address their needs and fail to promote their ability to how to speak, write, learn and read English.
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Language is an important aspect in human life and students should learn how to use it to ensure they develop their communication skills. However, if students have poor perceptions about the usage of a reading material in learning this means that there will be difficulties understanding the concepts and issues presented in a book.
The study book used in class to teach English has already cast doubt on its suitability to address the needs of students if they consider in unsuitable. They will not be willing and ready to grasp its contents because of presumed knowledge that it is ineffective in advancing learning of English language.
This crisis will threaten the suitability of other reading materials in class and due to peer pressure students may resort to developing poor perceptions towards other study books used in class (Kemaloglu 48). This shows the urgency and need to address issues that affect student’s perceptions towards this book and how to manage them to ensure learners develop positive attitudes towards reading materials offered to them by their teachers or the relevant authorities.
Lastly, the modern Saudi Arabian culture is resistant to anything that is perceived to originate from the west. This means that the differences in political interests between countries in the Middle East and America have infiltrated into the education system of Saudi Arabia. Most learning institutions are reluctant to use books from authors perceived to be from America.
This has widened conflicts of interest between members of these two regions and this has affected their attitudes and perceptions regarding learning materials used in class (Aruna 102). Most Saudi Arabian students believe that their education system is superior and that they do not need reading materials from other regions especially from the west. The need to embrace modernity and globalisation issues forces all learning institutions to use materials that are relevant regardless of their authors’ backgrounds.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to establish reasons that shape the perception of Saudi Arabian secondary students to have different views towards the suitability of Flying High for S.A Student Book used to teach English in schools. This study book was introduced in Saudi Arabian learning institutions (secondary schools) to help students acquire and understand how to use English language to speak, write, learn and read.
However, the reaction that followed from students exposed important issues that should be addressed to make this book an acceptable reading material in secondary schools. This book has led to negative reactions from students who think that is not good since it does not help them to understand this subject. The need to learn, speak, write and understand English is motivated by the fact that societies are embracing similar traditions and this language has become a global ode of communication.
Saudi Arabians have no other options except to learn and understand how to speak and write in English language. This drives them to want to use reading materials that will ensure they do not have difficulties in learning this language. It is necessary to mention that it is not easy to learn a foreign language especially when the individual is aged above 14 years (Scott-Morgan 71). Most Saudi Arabians in secondary schools are not having easy times learning and understanding this language.
They need study books that are direct and which respect their traditions and standards to ensure they do not have problems understanding them. Authors should realise the importance of presenting their views and at the same time considering the needs of students. This research aims at establishing the points where this book fails to create a link between advancing learning and considering the needs of Saudi Arabian high school students.
Secondly, this research aims at investigating why students from this country should learn English. This area will focus on the importance of English language in fostering positive interactions between them and the outside world. It will examine how this language influences the action and decisions of Saudi Arabian high school students.
Moreover, students have different needs and various ways of attaining them as much as learning is concerned. This research paper will examine student’s perception about how the controversial textbook satisfies and helps them to achieve their targets. This includes examining students’ perceptions regarding the need to acquire the four skills (writing, speaking, listening and reading) and how they shape their course of attaining learning targets.
Various scholars have developed and advanced theories to explain the importance of different issues in promoting learning of foreign languages. In addition, others scholars have explored the needs of students and how they shape the production of learning materials that are important in ensuring pupils acquire new skills and understand how to integrate theoretical concepts in their real life issues.
The following authors have presented different theories that are important in understanding the context of this research (Mitchell, Myles and Marsden 97). Their views, arguments and presentations will help this research to understand how various issues affect the attitudes of students to learning. The information will enable the research to make reasonable and accurate conclusions regarding its subject of study.
Rosamond Mitchell, Florence Myles and Emma Marsden explain the Cognitive Learning Theory in their book titled Second Language Learning Theories that explain various issues that shape the perception of people towards acquiring language skills. They argue that learning is a continuous process and individuals should not focus a lot of their attention on resisting changes that are inevitable in their lives.
Individuals cannot control the process of acquiring language skills no matter how they try to resist it. These authors argue that the need to discover what lies beyond the boundaries of an individuals’ social setting propels people to want to know how others live in other parts of the globe.
However, they cannot do this if they cannot understand what other people say or do (Callander 17). In this case, the acquisition of skills and knowledge of English language is propelled by the need for Saudi Arabian students and the entire society to know what the outside world does. This has influenced learning institutions to introduce English language as part of its curriculum activities.
Students have developed different perceptions towards learning this language especially because one study material (book) seems to elicit heated debate on its needs consideration to promote learning. These authors claim that such resistance and bad attitudes towards some reading materials can be accommodated due to differences in individuals’ settings (Olson 87).
Secondly, Mathew H. Olson explains Conditioning Learning Theory in his book An Introduction to the Theories of Learning, claim that students should be prepared to learn new skills to ensure they develop positive attitudes towards their teachers, study materials and other stakeholders.
Teachers and parents should involve students in making key decisions that affect the performance and attitude of learners. It is necessary to explain that this book explain the importance of consultation and involvement in shaping perceptions of individuals. For instance, the study book used to teach English in Saudi Arabian secondary schools faced resistance from students because they were not involved in determining its appropriateness in addressing their needs.
They considered the step of including the book in school curriculums as dictatorship since teachers and other stakeholders were perceived to be forcing learners to use this reading material even though it did not address their needs (Chapman 43).Olson believes that consultations are very important in ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders are considered before making key decisions. He adds that students learn and understand issues better when teachers involve them in making key decisions.
Students cannot directly participate in decision-making but there are relevant bodies that can be given the responsibilities of protecting the interests of learners. These bodies should be in charge of ensuring reading materials used in class meet the required standards that will promote the understanding and usage of skills taught in schools. Therefore, this author argues that most learning institutions fail to equip learners with relevant skills because they ignore their roles in promoting education activities.
This leads to wrong perceptions and failure of school programmes to achieve their objectives. In this case, the Saudi Arabian government considered the book appropriate to teach secondary students various aspects about the English language; however, this is proving to be a huge failure because students did not respond as the government expected.
They claim that this book does not address their learning needs and this force the relevant stakeholders to go back to the drawing board and examine issues that are not represented in the book or these that have been wrongly portrayed. This author believes that the process of making key decisions in learning should involve all key stakeholders like teachers, parents, students, scholars and relevant bodies to ensure all issues are evaluated before recommending study books used in class and promote understanding amongst them.
Thirdly, Dale H. Schunk explains Behaviourism Learning Theory and argues in his book Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective that students have different abilities to understand various issues during class discussions. This means that it is not advisable to make general remarks regarding their performance because this will not represent the actual picture on the ground.
This author considers learning differences because of personality variation that cannot be easily changed. This means that students with reading difficulties should not be given similar tests with those that have no problems. This will ensure the needs of students are assessed and addressed using appropriate measures. Saudi Arabian secondary school students may be facing learning difficulties and this may affect their perception regarding the use of some reading materials.
This author claims that parents and teachers should use the feedback of students towards reading materials to plan and develop strategies that will promote learning. This means that is important to ensure that the learning needs of Saudi Arabian students should be given attention to ensure the study books proposed and used address these issues. Schunk believes that learning curriculums are developed based on the need to address some problems that hinder the performance and lives of students.
Therefore, they should be issue-specific to ensure they address the general needs of students. For instance, Saudi Arabian students should learn English language for various purposes including socialisation, career development and improvement of their social standards. All study books used in class should address these issues and ensure students identify their contributions in equipping them with the relevant communication skills in this language.
It is important for teachers and other stakeholders to ensure study books used in class address the needs of students and promote learning. Negative feedback from students shows that some aspects of their needs have not been addressed and it is necessary to evaluate programmes or materials that elicit this response to ensure suitable approaches are used to promote learning.
Lastly, Elif Kemaloglu in his book Project-Based Foreign Language Learning: Theory and Research suggest that learning is motivated by the needs of individuals and thus there must be a driving force to compel students to develop interest in a subject or reading material. He uses the Humanism Learning Theory to explain that people have different needs that must be satisfied through various ways.
They choose simple, cheap and available resources to ensure their needs are met. He claims that people have needs ranging from primary to tertiary institutions and their interests and perceptions towards learning is motivated by the impacts of fulfilling or lacking these needs.
Students that want to pass their examinations will use reading materials that reflect the demands of exams and this will shape their attitude towards all reading materials and teachers concerned with the subject. This theory presents that the process of acquiring new skills and understanding of various issues in the society is determined by how individuals interpret, reason, evaluate and make decisions regarding the benefits of a programme to their lives.
Saudi Arabian students have already made decisions that the study book used in class is not appropriate because it does not address their needs. This is important in evaluating the significance of learning English language by Saudi Arabian secondary school students and if their needs are not addressed by this reading material these learners will develop negative attitudes towards it. This theory supports the arguments presented by Abraham Maslow and William Glasser in addressing how learning is motivated by human needs.
Context of the Study
This research is informed by the need to ensure the study books and other materials used by Saudi Arabian secondary school students are appropriate and suitable to promote learning. This means that it gives an overview of the needs of students and evaluates how they shape the type of materials used in learning institutions. There is the need for authors and publishers to ensure they produce books that have the relevant information that will help students to manage various issues about learning.
In addition, this project will focus on secondary school students. There are various issues that can be observed in different learning institutions but the focus of this research will be on secondary students studying English as an examinable subject in Saudi Arabia. People invest a lot of money in learning activities; therefore, they expect returns that are shown by understanding and use of various concepts taught in schools.
The research will cover all aspects that determine the interest of students in various subjects. However, the results obtained will be narrowed to ensure they reflect the issues that are related to studying English and communication. This will help this research to define and describe important issues that are covered in assessing students’ attitudes towards the use of the controversial textbook to teach English.
Significance of the Study
This research will explore the possibilities that students have different perceptions towards the use of the specified textbook in teaching English. This means that it will examine these attitudes and their impacts on learning. The data obtained will be useful in the following ways. First, it will examine the reaction of students to the book. This information will be important in determining whether the book is good or bad as a learning material.
This will influence the decisions of the departments responsible for preparing and recommending school curriculums. If the attitude of students to this book is negative this will mean that it will not be appropriate to teach them various issues regarding English language. It will be removed from school curriculums and this will threaten the plans of the author because it will mean that he has failed in providing quality materials that promote learning (Rahman 63).
His reputation and credibility will sink and this will discourage him from venturing in academic writing in the future. However, if it attracts positive feedback from students it will considered an effective tool for promoting learning and this will means that the author will have strengthened the credibility of his name and have higher chances of his other work being considered in learning curriculums.
The purpose of this research is to examine the needs of secondary students in Saudi Arabia regarding the appropriateness of a study book that has elicited controversy amongst various academic stakeholders. The following research questions will determine and shape the procedures, participants and analysis presented after the research is complete.
First, it will answer the question “What are the linguistic needs of Saudi Arabian secondary students pursuing English?” This will involve examining the needs of students and how studying English enables them to meet them.
This will ensure the researcher delves into the aspects that motivate students to pursue English and examine whether that are included in school curriculums and in particular, the book used to teach this subject (Morgan 77). The second question will be “what are the students perceptions regarding the reasons for their learning English?” This question will examine salient issues that propel students to study English in secondary schools in Saudi Arabia.
This country has many learning institutions that offer different courses including the study of other national languages like French. This question will strive to answer what motivates learners to decide to study English and their perceived benefits. The expected benefits may include the desire to socialise with other members of the society from different nations, expansion of employment capabilities and personality development.
Thirdly, the research will aim at answering this question. What are the students’ perceptions about how the current text book, known as Flying High for S. A Students Book, satisfies their target needs? This question will investigate the appropriateness of this book in meeting the needs of these students.
However, this book may be appropriate to teach students various issues about English language. However, it may not be appropriate for their age or needs. This question will establish similarities or differences between the content of this book and how it satisfies the needs of Saudi Arabian secondary students.
This means that it will evaluate how this book will help them to speak English fluently and communicate with other people without difficulties. It will assess if this book can help learners to listen and comprehend what other English speakers communicate to or with them.
Definition of Terms
The terms used in this essay will have similar meanings as they are known in common usage. However, it is necessary to ensure that the readers have adequate information regarding all the terminologies used in this research to promote understanding of the study. The following terms will be commonly used throughout the study; therefore, reads should understand their meanings and usage to ensure they do not confuse or misunderstand various aspects presented in this project.
Need analysis will refer to the process of examining issues that motivate learners to study English in Saudi Arabia. This will include all processes and procedures used to identify motivators that propel youths in Saudi Arabia to register and pursue the study of this language.
Need analysis will also refer to issues that are important in determining the decisions of students to know more about this language. This means that it will focus on the gaps created by Arabic language and which pushes students to have knowledge about other languages. Therefore, it will refer to propellers that make students to think that pursuing English study is a noble idea in advancing their careers.
Linguistic needs will refer to all issues that are concerned with promoting the understanding and proper usage of a language. This will include the use of vocabularies, sentence construction, context appropriateness and accuracy of using English language in communication. This will address key issues that contribute o the success or failure of communicating using a foreign language.
Moreover, language skills will refer to reading, listening, speaking and writing that are key contents in learning. This means that this phrase will refer to these ideas because they are important in determining the level of comprehension of students. Students that understand English language will be fluent in speaking it. In addition, they will write impeccably to ensure their readers do not have difficulties understanding eh issues presented in their writings.
Moreover, it will examine how this book develops reading skills that are concerned with observing punctuation marks, tonal variation and speed of reading to ensure an individual or audience understand messages sent to them. Reading refers to the ability of students to differentiate English words and pronounce them properly.
Writing is their ability to present information by using alphabetical letters and punctuation marks to deliver their messages. Listening is the ability to comprehend spoken English words from other people. Speaking is the use of various English language skills to express ides through oral speech.
Book will refer to the reference material that teachers use to educate learners about English language. This means that the study book used in class called Flying High for S. A Student Book. The term textbook will also be used to refer to this learning material; therefore, the audience should treat all such cases as references to this textbook unless the paper states otherwise.
Local language and culture refers to Arabic and Islamic traditions respectively. These terminologies will appear throughout the paper to explain various issues about the local language and traditions. The term student refers to Saudi Arabian secondary pupils studying English as a career subject.
This research anticipates various limitations that may interfere with the quality of the results obtained. The following issues may affect researchers and the credibility of this project. First, the scope of coverage is very expanse and this may create difficulties understanding the significance of the study on a particular issue.
The research cannot be minimised to cover few issues because its subject is diverse. For instance, it examines students’ perceptions towards the appropriateness of this book in ensuring they acquire language and communication skills. It evaluates various issues like effects of attitudes and impacts of extreme perceptions towards the perceived changes to this book.
Secondly, the research requires many participants from different secondary schools located in Saudi Arabia to ensure the data collected represents the views of the entire population. However, there are no adequate funds to conduct a research of this nature and the time allowed for the research will not be enough to cover the subjects (Eggerichs 49).
Lastly, the feedback collected from teachers and other non-student participants may not reflect the actual perception of students towards the use of this book. Their responses will be subjective depending on the positions of subjects regarding the book.
ELT in Saudi Arabia: A Study of Learners’ Needs Analysis by Morris M. Rahman
Need analysis has critical importance that underpins the appropriateness of its application in English and other fields of education. In this regard, it enables academicians to identify essential English skills that students require thus enabling them to instil necessary skills and sub-skills. Being aware of the needs of the learners influences not only the content of the language course but also what potential can be exploited through such paths.
Needs analysis is a complex process, which has to take into account what Morris Rahman defines as “target needs”. Failure to conduct such analysis could lead to wastage of resources and time since the instilled skills are not correspondent to the student requirement. Additionally, avoiding need analysis could result to lack of proficiency in skills (Benesch 28).
This is an important part in this research because it will enable the researcher to focus on indentifying salient issues that affect learning and shape the perception of students to understanding this subject.
Rahman classifies needs analysis into two broad categories depending on how an issue is presented. Most scholars classify these needs as objective or subjective. Rahman argues that the personal data of learners is assessed by teachers and this forms the basis of assigning the objective needs of students.
This allows teachers to evaluate the suitability of learning curriculums in advancing learning. He adds that the study book used in class can be considered as an objective need because it focuses on providing learners adequate knowledge on this subject.
It is the source of learning authority in this situation and all references will be made to it and the research will assume that it is the only source of knowledge for students. Alternatively, subjective needs refer to issues that arise from learners; for instance, their physical abilities, talents, age and other aspects that influence learning.
Rahman claims that these issues shape the decision of teachers regarding the syllabus used in learning institutions. Focus will shift to students because they are the major players in this section. He believes that their needs will be given priority over those of their teachers or reading materials and the students will direct the type of reading and learning materials used to ensure they understand the concepts of various subject.
However, doubts have been expressed concerning the effectiveness of a need analysis for a general English course, which seemingly has no specific target domains of its use. People have continuously invested in providing academic knowledge on how English can be used for general purposes like communication. Rahman argues that understanding and using language for general purposes neglects its role in promoting relationships and averting conflicts in the society.
The difference between these two objectives is evident in the process of creating awareness regarding these issues. Teachers must pay attention to the needs of students and address each issue while focussing on its importance. He confirmed that needs analysis should not only be implemented as a pre-stage for designing a language courses but it is considered a continuous process that can be used to design, improve, evaluate and implement language programmes.
This author believes that categorisation of needs will play important roles in shaping the future of teaching this subject and enable learners and students to eliminate conflicts of interests during class discussions. The information offered by this author will play important roles of ensuring this research adopts a qualitative and quantitative approach in analysing its data.
Rahman’s findings and recommendations will give education stakeholders adequate information to concentrate on selecting quality reading materials to ensure they reflect the specific needs of students. He presents that it is not easy for people to learn foreign languages if it has some political connotations. He claims that parents and teachers should not use force to teach their students foreign languages.
This is an easy way of ensuring that there are no conflicts between students and teachers of foreign languages. Therefore, the theoretical perspectives presented by this author will help this research to understand why students have different perceptions towards the use of the textbook in teaching English in their schools. The target needs of these students include knowing how to read, write, speak and understand English as a language used for communication.
He argued that sub-skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) shape the perception of students’ to ensure they achieve their targets. The study of this language has been given a lot of attention by most learning institutions and this highlights the need to ensure it is of high quality and uses appropriate study materials.
This researcher examined the possible changes that can be made to ensure reading materials meet the demands of learners. Students do not perceive the entire book to be inappropriate but they consider most sections not suitable in advancing their understanding and usage of English language.
The information presented by this author will shape the purpose of this research to include examining possible recommendations that will help the author, publisher and other stakeholders of this book to evaluate its appropriateness and contributions in learning.
This will ensure all areas that require modifications and changes are given adequate attention to minimise wrong perceptions from students and ensure the book addresses their needs. The identification of the needs of students is an important step in deciding which learning materials are suitable for them (Seedhouse 23).
The Second Language Curriculum: Needs Assessment in Language Programming from Theory to Practice by Richard Berwick
According to Richard Berwick, the need analysis process should have clear outcomes that are stated as set of goals and objectives for all the elements of language in education.
This means that learning institutions and related stakeholders should avoid picking reading materials without examining their impacts in prompting learning and addressing the needs of students. Therefore, this author believes that the choice of learning materials for students should be made after conducting extensive consultations and investigations by all academic stakeholders.
Secondly, Berwick argues that the process of identifying the learning needs of students will be made easy by this project. His research aimed at investigating if reading materials met the requirements of learning by evaluating their appropriateness in meeting the needs of students. It identified key aspects that drove students to seek to understand various issues, especially those that have been introduced in their society.
The information collected and offered by this scholar will form a basis for considering the appropriateness of this book for teaching secondary school students in Saudi Arabia. It will help this project to assist teachers to develop plans and learning activities that will focus on specific needs of students. This will ensure they are not fed with junk materials that will waste their time and resources yet fail to accomplish the objectives of academic institutions (Goman 32).
Most learning institutions focus on the needs of students before accepting or rejecting study books and other academic materials. This research will enable them to develop effective plans that will ensure all the needs of students are addressed. In addition, these needs will be addressed depending with students and their abilities to comprehend and use various learning materials in school.
Moreover, the information offered by this researcher will enable education stakeholders in Saudi Arabia to evaluate school curriculums and ensure they meet the needs of students. The recommendations posted after this research will form a basis for quality improvement and ensuring that all students are satisfied and happy with what is offered in learning institutions. This is important in ensuring that the quality of education offered reflects the needs and demand of the local and international markets.
For instance, this research will propose different ways of ensuring the study books used in class reflect and highlight the needs of students (Long 31). This will be an effective way of examining and evaluating the appropriateness of other reading materials used to teach this subject.
It will motivate academic stakeholders to conduct research and establish whether other learning materials are suitable and how students react to them. This will help learning institutions to improve learning and ensure education promotes growth, knowledge expansion, career development and shapes personalities. These issues are important in determining the quality of workforce available in Saudi Arabia.
He believes that all learning institutions and stakeholders should be involved in making key decisions that affect education. This means that there is the need to involve and consider the needs of all parties involved in learning to ensure their interests are taken into consideration when adopting new policies or changing learning curriculums.
Students are the major players in learning and even though they cannot be consulted to get their views it is important to ensure that their interests are considered when developing an education curriculum (Saratson 11). His analysis of students’ needs will help teachers, educational publishers and other stakeholders to develop curriculums that will be perceived by learners to be beneficial in promoting learning and career development.
However, this textbook was introduced and students were required to use it to develop their understanding of English without evaluating its appropriateness and the likely response it will get from them. The information presented by this author will help this project to identify issues that led to students’ resistance to using this textbook and how it was motivated by the fact that learners could not identify their place in selecting reading materials used in class.
Learning English is like a privilege in Saudi Arabia and very few schools offer this subject. Therefore, most students are reluctant to study this subject and this means that there is the need to influence their attitudes to like this subject. Some of them already have businesses that are doing well and only go to school to become literate.
Studying English language is not a priority in their academic life. Teachers must persuade such students to study English by using textbooks that will ensure they develop interest in this subject. The approach of this author in examining students’ needs will help this research to know how this textbook seems not to yield the expected results because most students think that it does not address their needs.
Berwick’s research findings will play significant roles in shaping, proving and examining the appropriateness and strength of hypotheses presented regarding this issue. It will create a link and examine the appropriateness of various learning theories in advancing the quality of education offered in different learning institutions in Saudi Arabia. This will complicate the debate about the appropriateness of various reading materials and in particular the significance of studying English language in Saudi Arabian secondary schools.
The Role of Needs Analysis in ESL Program Design by Alfred Fatihi
Alfred Fatihi argues that there is a strong connection between the difficulties students face in learning the language and the skills they would like to improve (Fatihi 49). They would like to improve the skills that are challenging or problematic for them. This arouses the interest of the need to investigate the difficulties that students face in learning the skills as a kind of need analysis.
He argues that there is the need for parents and teachers to ensure that the materials used for learning allow students to concentrate in class. They should be attractive and engaging to ensure students take part in learning. Learning activities should be developed in such a way that they should accommodate and allow students participation.
Most learning institutions, especially those that teach languages do not pay attention to activities that promote participatory learning (Johnsons 51). They offer many theoretical lessons and ignore the importance of practical activities. This research identifies and highlights the need for teachers to ensure all students are given equal and fair chances to participate in class discussions.
Learning will be successful if students can translate theoretical aspects into practice to prove that they have understood the contents of their class discussions. Fatihi argues that this will help teachers to evaluate the progress made by students in grasping various contents.
Fatihi claims that it is necessary to explain that English and other languages are practical issues that cannot be taught in class and the discussion ended there. Teachers and students should put into practise the theories and other aspects regarding learning. For instance, students should be in positions to communicate in English through writing or speaking after completing their studies. In addition, they should not have difficulties reading and comprehending messages presented in English language.
This motivates this research to examine the views of different students towards learning materials and especially the study book used in class to teach English. Most English lessons involve many practical aspects that will ensure the needs of students are addressed (Berwick 65).
Study material used in this class should pay attention to the need to equip learners with reading and writing skills. This includes accuracy, appropriateness and correctness of different aspects of English language to ensure learners become fluent in their communication with others.
He argues that the context of this research is informed by the need to examine the scope of coverage employed by authors and publishers in ensuring important issues are not left out during learning. It is arguable that most authors in modern societies place a lot of emphasis on the economic importance of their writings and ignore the need to promote knowledge generation, learning and growth in academic institutions.
They focus on producing as much publications as possible and ignore the need to maintain high standard. This compromises the value of education in learning institutions and produced half-baked individuals that have limited skills and knowledge regarding various issue.
His study examined the reasons why students have different attitudes and perceptions towards different textbooks and other reading materials and how this affects learning. This means that it focussed on the impacts of the contents of books in promoting or hindering effective learning in secondary schools located in different regions. This offered an insight into the needs of students that study English as a core subject in their careers.
Therefore, it will strive to present the relevance of addressing the needs of learners and how the book deviates from achieving its goal of promoting learning. It is necessary to explain that the most important thing about this research will revolve around the needs of Saudi Arabian students pursuing English in their studies. This will include the role of this language in promoting socialisation, career and personality developments. These are considered the main important needs that all study books used in class should address.
Fatihi argues that failure to do this will lead to a wrong perception towards a book, author or academic system employed by the ministry of education of this country. In addition, this author examined the effectiveness of learning materials in enabling learners to write, read, speak and understand correct issues that are important in advancing their careers and boosting performance in examinations.
He interrogated whether reading materials are important in shaping the perceptions of students regarding the sub-skills of learning. These skills are important in ensuring that learners can prove that they understand and master this language and thus they can use it without difficulty.
Students face some difficulties while learning the skills and sub-skills of communicating using English language. Therefore, his research findings will answer the question that aims at identifying these difficulties and evaluating their impacts on students’ perceptions towards this book. This will form an important part of informing the research whether the needs of students are reflected in the contents and procedures used to teach various concepts presented in this book.
Lastly, he assessed the suitability of various reading material in shaping students’ interests towards learning. This information will help to answer whether there are possibilities of changing the textbook to influence the attitudes of students. Learners will have different perceptions about how changing this book will affect their perceptions and learning.
This research will examine the presentation of these perceptions and how they will motivate and propel the author to change this book to ensure it address the learning needs of students. The information obtained will be compared with what this researcher has presented and help to establish recommendations that will shape the attitudes of students towards the textbook used in class.
Aruna, Gandhi. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. New York; McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
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