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Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World) Home    Information   ESP Encyclopaedia    Resources    Contacts

EAP Needs Analysis in Higher Education: Significance and Future Direction

Soo Ruey Shing

University of Selangor

Selangor, Malaysia

Tam Shu Sim (Dr.)

University of Malaya

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Soo Ruey Shing is a TESL lecturer with the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences at The University of Selangor, Malaysia. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in TESL and a Master’s Degree in English as a Second Language (ESL).  His research interests include ESP, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and supervision.

Tam Shu Sim is a senior lecturer with the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at The University of Malaya. She obtained her PhD in the area of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). Her research interests also include the various aspects of TESL and curriculum development.


This paper is prompted by the growth and demand for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) which has increased immensely in the global higher education sector. It provides an overview of some issues pertaining to the conduct of EAP needs analysis in ESL and EFL contexts. This paper consists of four sections. The first section tries to review the development, description and categorization of EAP. The second discusses the different situations in which EAP courses are conducted according to the status of the English language in respective countries. The third focuses on the most essential issue in EAP, that is, the content or curriculum of EAP courses. The paper concludes by looking at the rationale and focus of conducting needs analysis at the tertiary level.

Keywords: English for Academic Purposes (EAP), English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP), English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP), Needs analysis

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