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Needs Analysis

You may know your level but you also need to think about how you learn best and what you need to use the language for. Use the questions and ideas here to help you make a plan for your study of English.
by

Sharon Hartle

on 7 July 2012

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Transcript of Needs Analysis

Needs analysis START 1. If you're not sure what your level is, go to this link to do a placement test
before you start the needs analysis. http://hartledistancelearning.wikispaces.com/What%27s+my+level%3F 2. Once you know what your level is you need to think
about two main things:
how do you learn best?
what do you need to use the language for?

Do this 4 part map to success. Just follow each arrow and do the activities This is where you start. At the beginning of a course you are usually enthusiastic and motivated but you may not know exactly what to do or how to do it. To stay motivated you need to plan and set yourself realistic, specific goals 1. What kind of learner are you 6. Reading 5. Listening 1. Travelling and picking words
and phrases up 9. Studying by looking at rules and patterns 2. Playing with language 3. Speaking to others and exploring
new language together 4.Watching TV, films, YouTube or DVDs 7. Writing 8. Using Social media, chat or email Reading:
If you like reading then read similar things
in English to the things you usually read in your first language
Look on the Internet, for instance for a magazine you are interested in and plan to read one article a week. Listening
If you like listening to songs or audio files, podcasts. this is an excellent way to study language. You can use songs, looking at the lyrics and singing them too, or you can choose podcasts. Plan to listen to one song or one podcast a week and then to elaborate the language. Start with a site like the BBC World Service where there are language learning podcasts and then search for more. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/sixminute/ Travelling and picking up words
If you are able to travel around to an English speaking country "notice" is the key word. You can hear and see a lot of new words and phrases, and experiment with the language you already know. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Most people are very tolerant and are more interested in your message than "how correct" your grammar is. Studying rules and patterns
One of the signs of a good language learner is that
you can see "patterns" in language. This means "things that go together: "like/love/hate" often go with the verb in "ing" for example. This is easy to remember if you think of the film/book "I love shopping". You can develop strategies to help you remember these patterns that you notice. It is very useful to do this when you read or listen to new language. Words do not exist in isolation but in combination with other words. "Words are sociable and like company". Plan to study and then experiment with something new every week. Playing with language
First you need to "notice" new language but then, if you
want to learn to use it, you need to experiment and use it.
Playing word games, doing quizzes etc. are excellent ways of having fun with language. You can find a lot of "quizzes" online. It depends what you like. If you are someone who always does them in magazines look at English magazines and try them there. If you have an ipod/ipad you can download word game apps as well which are fun and can help you to learn new vocabulary. Writing
If you like writing, and this could mean blogging, writing
a diary or even writing stories and poetry, then why not do it in English. You can do very simple things such as:
take three new expressions
Make them into a poem
In this way you can experiment with the new language you learn. 6. Speaking
If you are sociable and want to speak the language with others. Join a class or a chat on the Internet. This may be for language learning but could be something you are interested in. If you can't go to another country, try Second Life instead. http://secondlife.com/ Watching TV, DVDs YouTube and films etc.
If you like watching video clips there is so much you can do. You can use YouTube, which now has subtitles in English, or DVDs or even television if you have Sky. Plan to watch one or two programmes a week on something that interests you. Find a video that you can understand but that has new vocabulary and expressions too.
Then you could write a summary of the programme you have watched or use the new expressions you have learned. You could also do this by recording mp3 files if you prefer speaking to writing. Using Social media, chat or email
If you use Facebook, MySpace etc. a lot then this
is a good medium to practise your English too. Write and chat to your English speaking friends online. You can do this in normal chatrooms and by email too or you might like to actually "meet" in a place like Second Life for instance. 2. Plan your learning If you read the comments for section 1
you will have seen quite a lot about planning. This is because it is really important
to have goals when you stidy and to plan to do "a little, regualrly". You should plan to do something specific.
Not: "Oh, I'll do some reading this week"
but
"I'll read/listen to an article from "The Economist" on China's Economy on Monday morning and then I'll write a summary.On Tuesday afternoon I'll meet my study partner and we'll compare notes."
This is a realistic plan. Ok, so what are you waiting for?
Start now: write a timetable for next week.
Work out how much time you can spend every day (even if it's only 10 mins.)
Then decide exactly what you want to do.
Put your plan somewhere where you can tick things off as you do them. This gives you
a sense of achievement. 3. Motivating yourself When you start doing something like
a new sports programme or a language course you are enthusiastic at the
beginning but as time passes you can lose your motivation.
Keep it up by:
1. rewarding yourself when you use new language successfully
2. listening to motivation podcasts
3. planning and setting goals (when you do what you have planned you usually feel more in control
4. being good to yourself when something goes wrong. Just stop, breathe deeply and then start again. http://hartledistancelearning.wikispaces.com/Motivation+Podcasts 4. Find your English Identity
Who am I? We are deeply connected to our first language, and if you are Italian, you know exactly "who you are" when you use Italian. You know how you usually express yourself, and what types of vocabulary etc. you use. Is this the same in your second language? It may not be.

Many experts say that you need a second language identity and the words you use must be "real" to you when you use them, not just an excercise in a book. I experienced this when I had studied Spanish. I had used a book, studied grammar and read texts, but it was only when I was on a train and I saw a child looking out of the window and saying "Mira el pajaro!" to his mother that the language suddenly came alive to me and those words were "real". Take five minutes now to imagine yourself using English, and quietly answer these 5 questions to yourself:
1.Where are you?
2.What are you doing?
3.Are you alone (listening, writing or reading)?
4.Are you with other people (speaking, listening or reading)?
5.Imagine yourself using English successfully. How do you feel? (You may be doing business or simply in a shop buying something)
In any case you are developing your English identity.
Now take those feelings back with you to study the language that will help you "BE THAT PERSON" SUCCESS Congratulations!
You have reached the end of the "needs analysis" and have learned a lot along the way. Now go out and use that language you are learning. Have fun! You know what your level is You don't know what your level is Think about how you learn best:
here are nine common types of learning activity with tips for you to apply them. Think about a language you have studied in the past, perhaps at school. What did you learn most from? What worked best for you? Final Exercise 1. 2. 3. 4. All this together leads to
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