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English is considered as an international language that is used for international communication in most of the countries in the world. English language can be used for general and specific needs. That is why many people in countries where English is used as a second or foreign language learn English in order to communicate internationally.
According to Farhady (2005 cited in Ambigapathy & Vahid Baghhanm, 2011), English for Specific Purposes is considered as one of the most important domain in language teaching fields. It focuses on the learners' needs in reality in order to make learning optimized. Moreover, according to Tamopolsky (2009 cited in Ambigapathy, & Vahid Baghhanm, 2011), English for Specific Purposes is intended to increase learners' skills for them to communicate in English language effectively. Moreover, the materials used in English for Specific Purposes are mainly selected based on the learners' field of specialized expertise.
According to John (1991 cited in Benesch, 1996), English for academic purposes (EAP) which is a part of English for special purposes (ESP) curriculum development are conducted based the needs of the learners. The investigation on the needs of the learners known as needs analysis allows researchers to identify essentials of learners' target English situations and use them as the foundation of English for Academic purposes wherein learners will use specific language in order to thrive in their courses and careers in the future.
Based on the needs analysis, the researchers aim to identify the appropriate and suggested teaching and learning strategies that can be used by the teachers and learners in dealing with instructional materials in the classroom. This need analysis particularly focuses on English as a second or foreign language and business field. Thus, the teachers who are teaching the English as Foreign Language (EFL) students who are majoring in business course and learners can get benefits from this study in developing English speaking skills while pursuing business studies.
The participants of this research are the 37 Korean students who are studying English as a foreign language and majoring in business course in different universities in the Philippines. Moreover, 5 college professors are selected as participants in this research. Three of them are currently teaching English language in college and two of them are content teachers who are teaching business in college. All of these professors know the needs of the learners since they have experience of teaching Korean EFL business students.
The 37 randomly selected Korean EFL business students from different schools such as University of De La Salle, University of Santo Tomas, University of Ateneo, and University of Far Eastern answered a survey questionnaire. The survey questionnaire is used as a medium of need analysis for identifying the instructional materials used in their learning and difficulties in using those materials.
The researchers also interviewed fives teachers regarding their experiences on the use of instructional materials in teaching EFL business students. Among three teachers who are teaching English, two professors who are teaching English in De La Salle University were interviewed in a written form. One professor who is teaching English in Korean University answered the interview through e-mail. For those who are teaching business content, one of the professors is teaching business content in Nam Seoul University. He was interviewed through phone call. Lastly, another professor who is teaching Business content in Ateneo De Manila University answered the interview through e-mail.
Common instructional material used in class
Most easiest material to deal
Most difficult material to deal
Difficulties in business article
Difficulties in videos
Difficulties in textbooks
Difficulties in online sources
Strategies in dealing with the difficulties
Teacher's strategies in helping out the difficulties
The table 1 shows that what instructional materials students mostly encounter in the class. Text books are mostly used in the class followed by online sources, lecture, videos, and business articles. Also professors (Holmes, Jeong, Munoz, & Tan, 2012) in the interview answered that they use textbooks and book chapter in the classroom. Researchers also could know that authentic materials such as newspapers, business articles, or printed advertisements are used in the classroom to support the weakness of the textbooks (Jeong, Munoz, Tan, & Tiu, 2012). The authentic materials can be defined as the language materials which have been produced to deliver a real message about real world by a real speaker or writer to for a real audience and these are valuable since the materials contain various cultural aspects and able to show the students the real samples of language as used by field. (Ambigapathy & Vahid Baghhanm 2011). Interviewee also mentioned that authentic materials are necessary because its use is on language and literature testing and these authentic materials are useful to motivate the students. Likewise, the authentic materials become a huge and important part in ESL material development.
The table 2 and 3 shows the students' difficulties and feasibility in dealing with instructional materials in class. Most students answered that they feel easy to deal with textbooks following by online sources. While most students also feel difficulties in online sources, textbooks, and business articles. According to the interview from professors (Holmes, Jeong & Tan, 2012), they mentioned that students are having difficulties in dealing with instructional materials mostly because they don't have schema or background knowledge on those while Munoz and Tie (2012) pointed out the problems in the students' poor attitudes especially in dealing with reading materials. From the data of the interview and survey, researchers concluded that students' difficulties in dealing with classroom materials are depending on their schema and interests on the materials.
In the data 4 to 7, students were asked to mark the specific difficulties in dealing with each material. In general, students feel the most difficulties in vocabulary followed by content and comprehension. Researcher could conjecture from these results that the insufficient knowledge about the vocabulary results in the insufficient schema of the students and it makes students to lose interests in learning. According to Steven Stahl (2005 cited in Svenconis & Kerst. n.d.), "Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world." Learning vocabulary is essential for EFL students to not only understand the contents of the classroom materials but also deepen and expand their knowledge for life-time span in pursuing their careers. Thus, researchers feel the need of providing the vocabulary as a schema before introducing the materials.
In the data 8, most students answered that they use reviewing to deal with difficulties followed by summarizing while teachers use question answering, group discussion and summarizing to aid students from the difficulties in the data 9. According to the interview (Jeong, Munoz, & Tiu,2012), they also stated that students mostly use reviewing strategies to deal with difficulties. The teaching strategies that they use are different from each other which include discussion, giving additional sources from books, articles or online, reviewing and outlining. From the results, researchers concluded to put the major importance on group discussion as a comprehensive strategy for all to deal with difficulties for following benefits of the discussion. According to Smith & MacGregor (1992), group discussion helps students to first, summarize and review the ideas and information gained from the classroom materials with others; Second, have collective and broad view on the subject matters; and third, do brainstorming the ideas through question answering collaboratively.
In this study, researchers show the importance on the need of effective strategies and instruction materials in EAP (English for Academic Purposes) course. Top of all, use of authentic materials is essential since it gives opportunities for students to simulate the real life situations that they will encounter in pursuing their careers. Also, the focus on the vocabulary should not be ignored before providing instructional materials, in addition that; discussion is useful strategy for students to deal with the difficulties which occur during the class.