A Needs Analysis Approach to EFL Syllabus Development for Second Grade Students in Secondary Education in Saudi Arabia: A Descriptive Analytical Approach to Students’ Needs
SuadAbdulaziz Al-Hamlan, Professor Abdallah Ahmad Baniabdelrahman

The present research studied the needs of the second grade students in the secondary schools related to learning English in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The research focused on the learners’ professional needs, their language skills and tasks, preferred learning styles and teaching methods, difficulties learners face while studying language, and the suggestions for better ESL learning strategies. A descriptive analytical approach was referred to in order to meet the research goals. Two data collection tools were used, a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The research had comprised a sample of 400 learners at the second grade in Saudi secondary schools in Riyadh city. The participants were both males and females. The interviews were also conducted with eight male and eight female students. The research findings revealed that students need to learn English primarily with the purpose to speak fluently, communicate with other, and to get a job. Their speaking and listening skills were also at the lower level than their writing, reading, grammar, and vocabulary skills. Furthermore, students preferred additional resources to the school book, to get a chance to select exercises, to perform activities in pairs, for a teacher to translate unknown words for them, and to learn grammar through examples. Furthermore, the research results indicated that teachers did not consider learners’ differences and that students feel frustrated in class as they could not match with their classmates. Moreover, students have demonstrated a need to insert technology and short stories in the curriculum. The study recommended that teachers and schools should conduct a needs analysis regularly and to update the curriculum with such insightful needs.

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