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Taking it from task: determining learners’ technological needs
Task-based language teaching (TBLT) is an approach to language education that focuses on meaning through the use of different tasks. In recent years, TBLT has expanded into the medium of online learning through the concept of “technology-mediated TBLT” (Gonzalez-Lloret & Ortega 2014). One essential feature of both TBLT and technology-mediated TBLT is the use of a needs analysis. While needs analyses are typically concerned with the needs of the students related to the tasks, they can also be used to find out what technologies the learners have experience with or would like to learn. Most importantly, needs analyses can explore what technologies the learners would like to engage with that may be beneficial to their future outside of the classroom. In this study, a needs analysis was carried out with university English language learners (n=168) at a large private university in Japan to find out what are the perceived technological needs of the learners. A short bilingual six-question needs analysis was administered online in the first week of class exploring the student's self-reported technological needs in general English classes, other classes, and their futures outside of the university. This presentation will describe the formation of the needs analysis, implementation, and findings that may offer insight into the technologies teachers select in their own curriculum compared to the expectations and needs of their students. In addition, suggestions for how English teachers can better incorporate the students' technological needs will be discussed.