Teaching English for Specific Purposes at Tertiary Level in Sri Lanka: A Needs Analysis Approach

  • Ruwini Prasadini Dharmawardene
  • Lishanthi Wijewardene
Keywords: Needs analysis, English for Specific Purposes, undergraduates, Management


The main purpose of conducting this needs analysis was to revise the existing curriculum and syllabi for the course in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) at the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce (FMSC) in the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. The study used a descriptive method and was aimed at identifying learning needs of the students and the lecturers’ perception about the importance of problematic areas in ESP programs in the Faculty. After reviewing the theoretical background about needs analysis (NA), a questionnaire was designed, piloted and administered to the first-year undergraduates in the Faculty. The questionnaire that carried 10 closed-ended questions was administered to all the students to collect responses on their requirements and perceptions of learning English as a Second Language. The number that consented to participate in the survey was 261. Nine lecturers involved in teaching English in the Faculty also participated in the study for a focus group discussion. The results suggest that the majority of the students in the Faculty use English to a great extent in their everyday work, and they are interested in improving it further. Except for a few students all the others were interested in learning English language as a core subject in their curriculum. However, the most interesting and important task for the students was speaking while it was reading skills for the lecturers. The overall results show a discrepancy between the perceptions of ESP learners in different language components and between learners and the lecturers. The study has implications for curriculum design and instructional delivery of ESP courses for the students in the Faculty. The implication of the findings would be the base of the teaching and learning process, especially in designing the learning materials for the English writing skill.

How to Cite
Dharmawardene, R. P., & Wijewardene, L. (2022). Teaching English for Specific Purposes at Tertiary Level in Sri Lanka: A Needs Analysis Approach. European Journal of Science, Innovation and Technology, 2(4), 60-70. Retrieved from https://ejsit-journal.com/index.php/ejsit/article/view/125
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