The Needs of Air Cadets in An English Speaking Course
Keywords:needs analysis, air cadet, spoken English, curriculum development
This study investigated the needs of air cadets (n = 362) in an English speaking course. The research was initiated to investigate the cadets’ needs in learning to speak English to inform the development of a new English speaking course in a particular military context where English is used for specific military purposes. Data on needs were collected by using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Cadets were asked to fill out a needs analysis questionnaire relating to course content, teaching methodologies and activities. Then, 32 cadets were randomly selected and interviewed to explore specific issues arising from an analysis of the questionnaire data. The analysis of data revealed that the cadets needed to study with a good-natured teacher who did not place them in stressful situations and who didn’t focus too much on scores and textbooks. They needed a teacher who provided equal opportunities for everyone to speak and who could apply authentic materials to classroom learning activities. They also needed to learn English conversation in various contexts such as everyday life, military situations, presentations and when attending international conferences. Adequate time for practicing was also needed. The implications of these findings for course development in spoken English are also briefly summarized.
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