The main aim of the study is the development of a needs assessment model for educators in intercultural situations. An intercultural situation is defined as a circumstance where the educational institution is located in a country of a different culture, for example, an American or British tertiary institution in Greece, and where the language used as a medium of instruction is not the native or official language of the host country. The model takes into account outcome, process, product, and cultural needs. The main aim of this thesis was accomplished through the means of a case study to exemplify the needs assessment model and its process. The case study dealt with the investigation and definition of the needs of the Greek non-native speaker of English in a university level basic speech course taught in an American higher education setting in Greece. The needs assessment model is based on nine major elements that emerged after reviewing a number of key needs assessment models from a variety of disciplines. As the basic speech course is part of the communication discipline, the review of the literature also included an overview of the field of speech communication: intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, and public communication. The study involved 164 participants enrolled in the Fundamentals of Public Speaking course at the University of La Verne, Athens Campus. Primarily descriptive in nature, and essentially carried out with the researcher as a participant, the study was conducted with survey methods, utilizing a variety of data-gathering techniques, both qualitative and quantitative such as questionnaires, measurement scales, focus groups, and interviews. More specifically, foreign language anxiety, public speaking anxiety, and learning styles as applied to Greek non-native speakers of English were among the needs examined. Included in the study was a look at whether the basic speech course should become hybrid in nature. Perceptions of the students enrolled in the course and of graduating seniors were key elements in the attempt to strengthen the teaching/learning connection. The needs assessment model can be useful beyond the case study in this thesis. Suggestions are made for its broader applications and further research.
|School:||The University of York (United Kingdom)|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Multicultural Education, Curriculum development, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Educational system, Foreign language anxiety, Greece, Learning styles, Nonnative English speakers, Public speaking anxiety, Speech communication|
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