Foreign language learning needs in higher education: Reasons for convergence and accountability
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DepartmentFilología Francesa e Inglesa
SourceRevista de Lenguas para Fines Específicos, 21(1), 67-87
Needs analysis is a relevant issue in language teaching as its final aim is to enhance the language learning process by setting realistic course objectives. This paper briefly reviews past and present approaches to the concept of “needs” and “needs analysis” in foreign language (FL) methodology with particular reference to the higher education context and the post-Bologna reform. It discusses the complex interplay of addressing target and learning FL needs by gathering data from different stakeholder groups and making use of different data collection instruments. Then, it explores current trends in needs analysis research and explains how “competences” and “profiling” have surpassed “needs” and “needs analysis” in the educational systems under the European Space of Higher Education. Last, this study addresses the implications of adopting a more critical, quality-driven approach to FL needs analysis with a view to attaining a more participatory and accountable higher education.