What do Iranian Undergraduate Students of Social vs. Natural Sciences Say about Their Language Needs?
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (بدون رتبه معتبر)

Notwithstanding the obligation of courses such as English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the Iranian university curriculum, exploring the language academic needs and abilities of students of social and natural sciences has been untouched. Focused on the students’ perspectives, this study aims to identify the present and target situation academic language needs of Iranian undergraduate students of social vs. natural sciences in a comparative manner. A total of 260 undergraduate students studying natural sciences (n=117) and social sciences (n=143) at Sharif University of Technology and Shahid Beheshti University participated in this study by responding to a validated questionnaire on language needs self-assessment. Regarding the present language abilities, the natural sciences students considered themselves as much more competent in the English language compared to the social sciences students. However, the target language needs of both groups were roughly similar. Besides, both groups believed that the EAP courses should be oriented more towards English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Finally, while the majority of the natural sciences students asserted that the number of credits offered for the EAP courses was not enough, the comments made by the social sciences students were contrary. The paper concludes with a suggestion to revise the present program in order to boost the effectiveness of the EAP course and a discussion of implications for instructors and material designers.

International Journal of Research in English Education, Volume:5 Issue: 1, Mar 2020
104 to 115
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