Informal order, needs analysis, and the EAP curriculum

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Abstract

The academic curriculum is developed through a systematic process whereby content is created through the alignment of needs to stakeholder or target group. This qualitative research study features a small-scale, English for academic purpose (EAP) needs analysis (NA) of three creditbearing EAP programs and the corresponding departmental programs conducted at a Language Center at a higher education institution in Oman. Based on interview, observational and documentary data, the analysis showed divergences in academic literacy (writing and reading) between the EAP and content programs. Principally, the findings pointed to the presence and operation of a group of informal orders and the emergence of two interrelated stories: public and real. The public story purported to blame the learner’s English language proficiency for unfavorable performance at EAP and Departmental levels, whereas the real story revealed that institutional factors were equally responsible. The paper ends by making a few conclusions about the importance of heeding informal order when carrying out needs analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1672
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Report
Volume22
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 19 2017

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Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • EAP
  • Higher Education
  • Informal Order
  • Needs Analysis
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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