Document Type: Original Article


Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan


The applicability of second language instruction to various situations including academic settings provides great opportunities for students and researchers to access fresh sources of knowledge. This is extended to the majority of Iranian students receiving courses such as English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) who may not find instruction compatible with their needs and aspirations. The present study intends to provide an insight into the current status of ESP and EAP courses within the Iranian context. To this end, 120 male and female university postgraduate students majoring in various non-English fields were selected and given a survey questionnaire to report on their needs and on the quality of the language courses presented to them. The results of the statistical analysis showed that 44.2 % of students believe that listening comprehension is the most required skill followed by reading, speaking and writing skills at 41.7%, 39.2% and 17% of frequency respectively. Meanwhile, the most satisfying ESP and EAP skills currently presented at universities were found to be listening, speaking and reading, in order of preference. In fact, it seems that the current instructional trend ought to be discontinued or modified in various ways. Finally, a comprehensive analytical analysis of the needs and components of each skill has been provided, discussing the potential of the current research for improving ESP and EAP instruction inside Iran.


Aliakbari, M., & Boghayeri, M. (2014). A Needs Analysis Approach to ESP Design in Iranian Context. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 175-181.
Belcher, D.D. (2004). 8. Trends in teaching English for specific purposes. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 165-186.
Boniadi, A., Ghojazadeh, M., & Rahmatvand,
N. (2013). Problems of English for specific purpose course for medical students in Iran. Khazar Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 16(1), 48.
Boroujeni, S., Moradian Fard, F. (2013).A needs analysis of English for specific purposes (ESP) course for adoption of communicative language teaching: A case of Iranian first-year students of educational administration). International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 2(6), 35-44.
Dudley-Evans & St John. Developments in English for specific purposes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp. 140–144.
Fadavi, M., & Ershadi, A.R. (2014).Evaluating the position of ESP for art students in university of Tehran art schools.Journal of Novel Applied Sciences, 1151-1162.
Hosseinpour, N., & Koosha, M. (2015). EAP Needs Assessment of Undergraduate Students of Computer Science. Iranian Journal of Research in English Language Teaching, 3(1), 5-15.‎
Hutchinson & Waters. English for specific purposes,
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Khoshsima, H., Saed, A., & Ghasemi, P. (2014).The application of ESP principles on course design: the case of English for students of management and fisheries. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World (IJLLALW), 5(2), 163-175.
Long, M. (2005). Second language needs analysis.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Moslemi, F., Moinzadeh, A., & Dabaghi, A.
(2011). ESP needs analysis of Iranian MA students: A case study of the University of Isfahan. English Language Teaching, 4(4), p121.
Rajabi, P., Kiany, G. R., & Maftoon, P. (2012). ESP in-service teacher training programs: Do they change Iranian teachers' beliefs, classroom practices and students' achievements?. Ibérica: Revista de la Asociación Europea de Lenguaspara Fines Específicos (AELFE), 24, 261-282.

Richards, J. (2001) Curriculum development in language teaching, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sadeghi, E., & Tahririan, M.H. (2015). ESP courses for psychology and law tertiary level students: attitudes, challenges needs and obstacles. Iranian Journal of Research in English Language Teaching, 2(2), 63-77.
Zohoorian, Z., Baghban, V.,& Pandian, A. (2011). Areview on the effectiveness of using authentic materials in ESP courses. English for Specific Purposes World, 31(10), 1-14