Needs analysis of first-year students in a Sino-foreign cooperative university

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Transitioning from an L1-instructed high school to a Sino-foreign cooperative university (SFCU), learning academic content in English medium instruction (EMI) is particularly challenging for first-year English for a Foreign Language (EFL) students. They may face difficulties receiving English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. To assist this cohort of students in language learning, addressing their needs is essential. Hutchinson and Waters (1987) considered the notion of needs as a multiple and holistic construct, dividing needs into three categories: necessities, wants and lacks and this has been used to examine university language learners’ needs (Kavaliauskiene & Uzpaliene, 2003; Liu et al., 2011). As suggested by Liu et al. (2011), it is worthwhile for future studies to extend needs analysis to a different context, such as a non-traditional university. Despite the suggestion, few studies contextualize EFL learners’ perceptions of needs in an EMI university, much less in the particular context of SFCU. Additionally, a paucity of research focuses on EFL learners during the transition year to receive EAP courses. Hence, this study aims to analyze first-year EFL learners’ needs to explore their necessities, wants and lacks of language learning in a SFCU. By using a mixed-methods approach with the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods, this study adopts a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews for data collection. This study aims to obtain a comprehensive understanding of first-year EFL learners’ diverse needs in language learning, providing insight into the development of curriculum design, pedagogical support, and learning goals in a SFCU.

Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for specific purposes: A learning-centered approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kavaliauskien _ e, G., & U_zpalien _ e, D. (2003). Ongoing needs analysis as a factor to successful language learning. Journal of Language and Learning, 1(1), 35–50.

Liu, J. Y., Chang, Y. J., Yang, F. Y., & Sun, Y. C. (2011). Is what I need what I want? Reconceptualising college students’ needs in English courses for general and specific/academic purposes. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10(4), 271-280.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2023
Event2023 UNNC EAP / ESP conference: Transformations in Context - University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, Ningbo, China
Duration: 19 May 202321 May 2023


Conference2023 UNNC EAP / ESP conference: Transformations in Context
Internet address


  • needs analysis
  • first-year EFL students
  • English for Academic Purpose (EAP),
  • English medium instruction (EMI)
  • Sino-foreign cooperative university (SFCU)


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