The academic curriculum is developed through a systematic process whereby content is created through the alignment of needs to stakeholder or target group. This qualitative research study features a small-scale, English for academic purpose (EAP) needs analysis (NA) of three credit-bearing EAP programs and the corresponding departmental programs conducted at a Language Center at a higher education institution in Oman. Based on interview, observational and documentary data, the analysis showed divergences in academic literacy (writing and reading) between the EAP and content programs. Principally, the findings pointed to the presence and operation of a group of informal orders and the emergence of two interrelated stories: public and real. The public story purported to blame the learner’s English language proficiency for unfavorable performance at EAP and Departmental levels, whereas the real story revealed that institutional factors were equally responsible. The paper ends by making a few conclusions about the importance of heeding informal order when carrying out needs analysis.


Assessment, Curriculum, EAP, Higher Education, Informal Order, Needs Analysis, Oman

Author Bio(s)

Faisal is an assistant lecturer and with the Center for Preparatory Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. He received a BA in TEFL from Sultan Qaboos University (1999), an MA in English Language Teaching from the University of Warwick (2001), United Kingdom, and a PhD at the University of Bristol (2011). His main research interests include teacher cognition and teacher education, program quality, and research methods. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: faisalf@squ.edu.om.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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