An Analysis of Engineering Students' English Language Needs
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This study investigated the academic English requirements of engineering departments at Nigde University (NU) in Turkey from the engineering students' and academicians' point of view. Data were collected through questionnaires and interviews in two engineering departments, the students of which enroll for one year in the School of Basic English. One of the questionnaires prepared in Likert scale having five sections and 53 sub-items was completed by 133 engineering students. The other questionnaire, adapted from the needs analysis questionnaire for non-English-background students used at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (Gravatt, Richards, and Lewis, 1997), was completed by 246 prep class students. Interviews were conducted with 11 academicians. As the primary aim, the study investigated which skill, among reading, writing, speaking and listening, has the highest priority for the engineering departments at NU. A secondary aim of the study was to determine the importance of specific language tasks and activities related to the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking for the departments, teaching content area courses 30 percent in English. The analysis of data was based on the interpretations of frequencies and percentages. The main results of the study revealed that engineering students primarily need to improve their English reading skills in order to do research. In addition to this, engineering students regard speaking skills as very important. Based on the results, adjusting the current curriculum in accordance with the needs of students and the expectations of academicians is recommended. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.