Investigating ESP Needs Analysis in Iranian Universities: The Case of Social Sciences Students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Foreign Languages, South Tehran Branch, Iran

2 Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Arak University, Arak, Iran

3 Department of Foreign Languages, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran



This study aimed to discover and compare students' and instructors’ present needs in ESP Social Sciences courses in Iranian universities using the applied descriptive survey method. The population of this study consisted of 98 Social Sciences students at B.A level and 30 ESP instructors. Both students and instructors were selected purposefully from some universities of Markazi province, including Islamic Azad University of Ashtiyan Branch, Arak State University, Islamic Azad University of Arak Branch as well as Arak Farhangian University. To collect the data, two questionnaires, which were adapted from Mazdayasna and Tahririan (2008), were employed that included four English language skills. The results indicated a significant difference between the perceptions of the students and their instructors about their preferred skills. For the students, reading (Mean Rank (MR)= 3.77) was the most preferred skill as the present need, and it was followed by writing (MR = 3.07), listening (MR= 1.76), and speaking (MR = 1.41). However, for instructors, reading (MR = 3.63) was the most preferred skill as present need, followed by writing (MR= 3.12), speaking (MR= 2), and listening (MR= 1.25). Based on the results, revision of the current program seems to be necessary to provide the Iranian Social Sciences students with more effective ESP courses. This study may have some implications for ESP instructors, students, ESP curriculum developers, and syllabus designers.


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