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Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching by Mike Long

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Chapter 6Identifying Target Tasks

6.1.  Sources of Information

There are many potential sources of information available to those responsible for a needs analysis (NA) (see Table 6.1), and some debate continues in the field as to the relative value of each. The issue is an important one if, as Chambers (1980, p. 27) asserts, “whoever determines needs determines which needs are determined.” The position taken here is that, as with periodic discussions of the merits of qualitative and quantitative research methods in other contexts, no single potential information source (or method of obtaining information) for NA merits privileged status. Instead, as with different classes of research methods, different sources of information can profitably be used in a NA, depending on the type of course being designed, the time available, and the kind of information sought. Use of multiple sources typically provides more ...

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