TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION, vol.14, no.1, pp.81-93, 2009 (SSCI)
This study reports the perceptions of students and lecturers on the effectiveness of the foreign language instruction in relation to students' academic needs in an English-medium university in Turkey. The theoretical framework of the study draws upon a discourse community (DC) perspective, which considers writing as a socio-cultural practice and takes a work-embedded nature to reading. Fifteen lecturers and 220 students participated in a target situation needs assessment to identify students' academic needs, their perception of difficulties in meeting those needs, and the extent of the relevance of the students' previous language instruction in meeting their academic needs.The findings reveal that a skills-based English for Academic Purposes (EAP) curriculum remains inadequate in preparing students effectively for the academic requirements. Multi-dimensional nature of needs analysis is highlighted, and several innovative suggestions are proposed within the DC framework to improve the EAP curriculum.