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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

This chapter describes the general issues related to the present study. These include the background of the study, research questions, purposes of the study, significance of the study, definition of the key terms, thesis statement, research design, and organisation of the thesis.

1.1 Background of the Study

The year of 2015 becomes the commencement of ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) which has brought Indonesian students high demand on education especially on their English proficiency. Hall (1996) claims that such changes have resulted in demand for new skills, particularly in industries related to technology, economics, science, health and entertainment. Concerning this issue, higher educational institution especially vocational school should produce learning outcomes correlated with job competencies needed in their future working world. This condition indeed has been a big task for ESP teachers to deal with.

Curriculum is precisely one of the most important things in education. It must be designed appropriately to reach the goals of education. One of the main assumptions of curriculum development is that a major educational program

should be based on an analysis of learners’ needs. Procedures used to collect

information about learners’ need are known as need analysis (Richards, 2001). Periodically evaluating and revising existing language programs may give a lot of benefits for developing curriculum effectively. The basic concept of renewing the curriculum is to unite needs assessment and curriculum development process. Lepetit and Cichocki (2002) claim needs analysis is central importance for developing curriculum. Grier (2005) suggests that curriculum developers must have tenable information which will provide them a basis to ensconce their curricular decisions. If needs assessments are united with

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rather can select options that benefit both the learners and society’ (Grier, 2005:

60). Belcher states that needs assessment should be the bedrock on which all

decisions are based and lists the roles of ESP professionals as ‘needs assessors

first and foremost, then designers and implementers of specialized curricula in response to identified needs’ (2006: 135).

Needs analysis then is an important part of language curriculum design. It involves looking at where the learners are now in their knowledge of the language, where they need to get to in order to use the language for the purposes they are aiming for, and what they feel they want to learn (Nation, 2000). A very

useful way of taking account of learners’ needs in a language course is to use a

negotiated syllabus. This involves the teacher and the learners regularly negotiating with each other to decide what will be taught and how it will be taught.

Needs are described as objective and subjective (Brindley, 1989: 65), perceived and felt (Berwick, 1989; 55), target situation/goal oriented and learning, process-oriented and product-oriented (Brindley, 1989: 63); in addition there are necessities, wants and lacks (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987: 55). These terms have been introduced to describe the different factors and perspectives which have helped the concept of needs to grow. Each of these terms represents a different philosophy or educational value, and merits careful thought.

The importance of needs analysis is mentioned by Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Jordan (1997) and Robinson (1990) when saying that any approach to course design should start with some kind of analysis of: target needs, present situation, language, etc. With the data obtained it will be possible to formulate

‘general aims’ and more ‘specific objectives’ as intended outcomes.

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contexts of use as well as learner or learning preferences. Nunan (2000)

establishes a distinction between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ information (or

needs). Objective data (age, language, educational background) concern facts about the learner. Subjective information concerns the learners’ attitudes, wishes and preferences.

In the history of education in Indonesia, there have been various kinds of curriculum developed, but it seems that there has not been an appropriate curriculum that meets our students’ need. Longstreet and Shane (1993) reveal

another side of curriculum which requires decision making: ‘Curriculum is a

historical accident—it has not been deliberately developed to accomplish a clear

set of purposes’. Rather, it has evolved as a response to the increasing complexity of educational decision making.

Regarding Curriculum 2013, which is the newest curriculum of national education of Indonesia, a lot of changes will be made to the face of education system of this archipelago country. The changes made will be on the process of learning, the number of lessons, and also the learning time will be longer than before. The difference between Curriculum 2013 and the school-based competence Curriculum are located on the competence aspect of knowledge. Curriculum 2013 puts attitude on the higher priority than skill competencies and knowledge (Permendikbud No 66, 2013).

According to the Education National Standard Board (BSNP) the standard of competence of graduate is the qualification of graduates which involves the aptitude, knowledge, and the skills which are stated on the basis of decree No. 23, 2006. This means that the standard of competence of graduate is the guidance to determine the graduation of the student, which is suspended on how the student can master each competency of the study: the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor side of the student.

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folly due to the abolition of vital lessons especially for vocational schools. A vocational school is a school in which the students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job. Vocational students need to be prepared to enter the working world after they graduate and should have some special abilities to support their knowledge.

The competition to get the job as advertised in many job vacancies stated that English is required in term of fluency in written as well as spoken forms. So the vocational high school students should be able to perform their English competence; General English (GE) as well as English for Specific Purpose (ESP). However, the present situation of learning English in Indonesian vocational schools has not really fulfilled those issues (Alfiyati & Mariana, 2014). Therefore, by this study, a deep analysis on needs of students of vocational school in Kuningan was conducted in order to enhance the implementation of the newest curriculum for economics and business students of vocational school.

1.2 Research Questions

The study attempted to answer the following questions:

1. What are the required learning materials for economics and business students of vocational school?

2. What are the suitable learning activities for economics and business students of vocational school?

1.3 Purposes of the Study

As mentioned in background above, the present study aimed to investigate:

1. The required learning materials for economics and business students of vocational school.

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1.4 Significance of the Study

With regard to the significance of the study, this research has the potential to the theory, educational practice and professional practice as follows.

Theoretically, this study is expected to enrich the literature on need analysis for economics and business students of vocational school in the context of 2013 curriculum which is still likely received a little attention in Indonesian EFL context.

Practically, this study provides information related to designing need

analysis in order to develop students’ English proficiency especially for economics and business students of vocational school.

Professionally, informed by the results of this study, it is hoped that EFL teachers could develop materials and teaching strategies which incorporate need analysis in order to support students’ success.

1.5 Definition of the Key Terms

There are two terms in this study; “needs analysis” and “course design”.

Firstly, needs analysis is a vital part of syllabus design. It helps to inform decisions concerning the formulation of both process and product objectives, and these in turn, assist with the specification of syllabus content and procedures. Needs should be regularly re-checked, and objectives modified as appropriate throughout the duration of the teaching programme (Richards, 2001). Moreover, needs analysis is an important part of language curriculum design. It involves looking at where the learners are now in their knowledge of the language, where they need to get to in order to use the language for the purposes they are aiming for, and what they feel they want to learn (Nation, 2000). A very useful way of

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Needs are described as objective and subjective (Brindley, 1989: 65), perceived and felt (Berwick, 1989; 55), target situation/goal oriented and learning, process-oriented and product-oriented (Brindley, 1989: 63); in addition there are necessities, wants and lacks (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987: 55). These terms have been introduced to describe the different factors and perspectives which have helped the concept of needs to grow. Each of these terms represents a different philosophy or educational value, and merits careful thought.

The importance of needs analysis is mentioned by Hutchinson and Waters (1987), Jordan (1997) and Robinson (1990) when saying that any approach to course design should start with some kind of analysis of: target needs, present situation, language, etc. With the data obtained it will be possible to formulate

‘general aims’ and more ‘specific objectives’ as intended outcomes.

Secondly, course design is the way in organizing the course. It depends on a number of factors which include the course content, goals and objectives, past

experience, students’ needs, beliefs and understandings, the method or text and

the context (Graves, 2000: 127). A course is “an integrated series of teaching -learning experiences, whose ultimate aim is to lead the learners to a particular

state of knowledge”. (Hutchinson & Waters 1987: 65) The distinction between a curriculum and a course is important because some of the areas of concern in curriculum development as: societal needs analysis, testing for placement purposes or program wide evaluation may be out of the hands of teachers who are developing courses (Richards, 2001).

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or functions, as vocabulary – defined both quantitatively and qualitatively – or it can be specified in terms of all these areas of content (Graves, 2000; Richards, 2001).

1.6 Thesis Statement

This study intends to portray needs analysis and course design for economics and business students of vocational school in Kuningan which become the pilot project school of 2013 Curriculum.

1.7 Research Design

This study employed qualitative method. It was conducted in qualitative design with some data collected quantitatively through questionnaire and qualitatively through interviews and document analysis from students and teachers. It investigated a phenomenon which is described by Cresswell (1994) as an approach which inquires often makes knowledge claims based primarily on constructivist perspectives. The researcher physically went to the people, setting, site or institution to interview or record in its natural setting. The questionnaire was used for descriptive statistics, whereas interviews and document analysis were used for the collection of more in-depth and emergent data.

Data were collected first through questionnaire. As Richards (2001) and Graves (2000) remark, questionnaire is essential instrument to gather information

about students’ needs and context. Then the interview and document analysis

were conducted in collecting the data from English teachers of vocational schools. The small numbers of participants who were interviewed were chosen based on a purposive sampling.

1.8 Organization of the Thesis

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