Rethinking Needs in an English Language Program: Three Case Studies in English for Academic Purposes

Narita, Yoneko Z.
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lndividual case studies were undertaken to investigate the English listening and speaking needs of three international students at an American university. The purpose ofthis research was to determine how well the English language program at the university is meeting the needs of its ESL students' Ethnographic methods were used to document the experiences of the participants -graduate students in Engineering, Japanese, and Business-as they successfully adapted to the discourses of their majors during the course of a semester. Predictably, highly variable uses of language were found in the three very different disciplines. It is suggested that a more effective approach to teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is to focus on the leaming processes ofthe students, rather than the diverse range of products they are required to generate. valious factors that facilitate these leaming processes are discussed, as well as suggestions for incorporating them into pedagogy.
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