Needs Analysis for Business English Materials Development in Thai Higher Education

  • Sasikarn Howchatturat

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


English has become a common means of written communication, particularly in emails, within Thai workplaces for business purposes. However, there exists a disparity between the English language skills taught in Thai higher education and those required for effective written communication in the workplace. To bridge this gap, a study was conducted to analyse the needs in two key areas: the Thai workplace and Thai higher education. The study utilized a Target Situation Analysis (TSA) to determine the specific needs of employees in different industries, by examining various English email and messaging genres and essential communicative competencies for success in the Thai workplace. Data was gathered from 40 individuals proficient in English at their respective jobs, and was then used to create a checklist for assessing the effectiveness of the Business English Writing course in Thai higher education. In the Thai higher education sector, a Present Situation Analysis (PSA) at Silpakorn University's Faculty of Management Science reveals gaps in course content and materials, employing the TSA's evaluative checklist. Learning preferences from six students, gathered through a Learning Situation Analysis (LSA), guide the development of tailored materials. The addition of Needs Negotiation ensures a strategic focus on essential content and activities, responding to insights from the PSA and LSA. In the second phase, a framework for enhancing existing Business English materials is established, using materials from the current teacher as a practical illustration. This methodology effectively uncovered crucial insights for both the Thai workplace and Thai higher education. The study significantly contributes by addressing the misalignment between English language education and workplace demands, while actively bridging gaps in communicative competencies needed in the Thai workplace and the instruction provided in Thai higher education, particularly in business management programs.
Date of Award20 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMarie McCullagh (Supervisor), Stephen Crabbe (Supervisor) & Mario Saraceni (Supervisor)

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