Centre for Economic Transformation| CET

A communicative needs analysis: analysing professional language

PhD Project


In this needs analysis we identify the language needs of various professional communities. We use them to define learning goals that comply with demands of language learners and of institutions related to the curriculum and other organisations.

Needs analysis usually sees language as a dynamic concept, influenced by social and cultural factors. The user is seen as a ‘social being’ that performs actions of language within a wider social context. That context in turn attributes meaning to the actions.

To understand language as best we can, we must analyse it within the context it is used in. The idea is that social communities in a professional workplace have their own culture that contains explicit and implicit values, norms and procedures. These implicit notions are communicated and shaped with the help of language.

Concretely this means we’ve analysed what members of professional communities need to know and do to communicate in their community. Focus lies on the communications for example that are part of group activities, on speaking and writing conventions under influence of group norms and values. We also review group-specific situations and verbal content.

PhD supervisor: prof. dr. Folkert Kuiken, UvA


Project Info

Start date 01 Sep 2012
End date 01 Sep 2016


PhD fellow supervisor Martha Meerman