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Lina Vanessa Crdenas Luna Seminar on English Language

The Significance of Identifying Learners Linguistic and Skill Needs

In English Language Teaching (ELT) is very important to identify the learners linguistic and skill needs. There are some strategies to know that, but, it is necessary to observe and reflect about the situation living at class. Be reflective teachers is not easier as be traditional ones, for instance it is indispensable to study each particular case in the students. It implies to observe everything along the teaching learning process every day and collect data. Related to the situation teachers faced, it is essential to know the significance of identifying learners needs. The first point it is to know what learners linguistic and skill needs are. Noessel (2003) makes clear that the needs of the students are the gap about what they want to learn and their current state of knowledge, skill, and enthusiasm. Teachers need to be interested to identify their students specific situation and the style the students learn easier. All the time, taking into account the students likes, dislikes and according to Krashen considering the affective filter which includes students motivation, self-confidence and level of anxiety. After know students needs meaning it is very important to distinguish the kind of needs learners present. One of them is the linguistic needs, which include a combination of factors which could impact most of the time in the students learning process. For example, the students do not yet read in their first language; different morphology and sounds in the between the first and second language; different grammatical structures; lack of ability to interpret the communicative aim of a speaker or writer. The other need is related to the skills. They can be identified in four dimensions, cognitive; social; affective and psychomotor. In sum, it is

necessary to identify each one in order to know what kind of needs the learners have. It was mentioned what learners needs are and the factors related to them. Then, why is important to identify them and how to do it?. The work of Dick, Carey, & Carey, (2004) indicates that students are different and they have different learning style, knowledge, motivation and experiences. In the other hand the process of collecting data and applying strategies according to the gathered information teachers could improve the motivation and the level of the students. The third reason is that teachers could use or apply the process through the complete period of teaching to enable learners to get educational aims. There are several ways to identify the students needs, analyzing the syllabus asking learners about the skills and contents they will need to learn successfully. Other might be taking into account students opinions through free writing, group vision and surveys. Be critical and reflective teachers is not easy, but, it is not very difficult. Educators need to know what the students needs are, why is important to know them and how to identify in order to plan and implement the better strategies and methodologies according to students learning style, motivation, content, external factors and their current state of knowledge. If instructors do not apply this process, what kind of learners improvement will they expect?

References Vicky Minderhout. Identifying Learner Needs. Chemistry, Seattle University. From http://cetl.matcmadison.edu/efgb/3/3_2_6.htm Simon Smith. 2003. Unit 109: Identify and assess learners needs and Unit 115 Support and Guidance. City and Guilds7407 Level 4 Certificate in Further Education teaching. From www.simonsdiary.co.uk/teaching/teachertraining