skip to main content


Vol.9, Issue 1, 2023, pp. 21-38 Full text

Crossmark logo

Web of Science: 001021117300002

Albena Stefanova

Affiliation: University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria 017ph0934

Denitsa Bozeva

Affiliation: University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria 017ph0934

The paper presents the results of a needs analysis conducted to optimise the academic ESP courses at a Bulgarian university. There are few studies on the issue in Bulgaria unlike the global situation with universities and employers studying the ESP needs of their students and workforce regularly. Hence by carrying out a survey of the students at this particular university along with students from another six local universities and fifteen universities from eleven countries worldwide, all with the same profile, the research team expected to gather reliable information about the course parameters that require improvement. The student sample includes 939 local and 167 foreign students. In addition, a survey of 32 local faculty teaching language and/or subject matter was conducted to triangulate data and strengthen the research contribution to the enhanced course effectiveness based on the greater motivation for ESP acquisition by formulating recommendations for syllabi development.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes, ESP, needs analysis, needs analysis in ESP, ESP courses

Article history:
Submitted: 13 March 2023
Reviewed: 04 April 2023
Accepted: 19 May 2023
Published: 20 June 2023

Citation (APA):
Stefanova, A. & Bozeva, D. (2023). Needs Analysis in ESP as a Motivator and Means to Optimise Academic ESP Courses. English Studies at NBU, 9(1), 21-38.

Copyright © 2023 Albena Stefanova & Denitsa Bozeva

This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission.

Funding: This work was supported by the UNWE Research Programme (Research Grant №6/2021).

Alsamadani, H. (2017). Needs Analysis in ESP Context: Saudi Engineering Students as a Case study. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 8(6), 58-68.

Bacha, N. N. & Bahous, R. (2008). Contrasting Views of Business Students' Writing Needs in an EFL Environment. English for Specific Purposes, 27, 74-93.

Basturkmen, H. (1998). A Needs Analysis Project at Kuwait University. English Teaching Forum, 36(4),

Basturkmen, H. (2010). Developing courses in English for specific purposes. Palgrave Macmillan.

Bolsher, S. & Smalkoski, K. (2002). From needs analysis to curriculum development: designing a course in health-care communication for immigrant students in the USA. English for Specific Purposes, 21, 59-79.

Carter, D. (1983). Some propositions about ESP. The ESP Journal, 2, 131-137.

Chambers, F. (1980). A Re-Evaluation of Needs Analysis in ESP. The ESP Journal, 1(1), 25-33.

Chia, H.U., Johnson, R., Chia, H.L. & Olive, F. (1999). English for college students in Taiwan: A study of perceptions of English needs in a medical context. English for Specific Purposes, 18(2), 107–119.

Council of Europe (2018). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Dudley-Evans, T. & St John, M. (1998). Developments in English for Specific Purposes: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Cambridge University Press.

Ferris, D. (1998). Students' Views pf Academic Aural/Oral Skills: A Comparative Needs Analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 32(2), 289-318.

Gu, H., Bo, H. & Ren, L. (2019). Developing ESP Teaching Materials Based on the Analysis of Information Engineering Majors' Needs. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 7, 121-131.

Gundasheva, Zh. Spasova, L., Dvorska, O., Petrillova, M. (2016). Designing an innovative EAP/ESPP course for students of veterinary medicine based on a comparative needs analysis survey. Pedagogicheski forum, 4, ['Pedagogical Forum']. 54-63.

Hutchinson, T. & Waters, A. (1987). English for Specific Purposes: A Learning Centred Approach. Cambridge University Press.

Ibrahim, H. H. (2020). Needs Analysis as a Prerequisite for Designing an ESP Course for Medical Students. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 10, 83-103.

Kim, S. (2006). Academic oral communication needs of East Asian international graduate students in non-science and non-engineering fields. English for Specific Purposes, 25(4), 479-489.

Lee, C-L. (2016). Principles and practices of ESP course design - a case study of a university of science and technology. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 15(2), 94-105.

Li So-mui, F. & Mead, K. (2000). An analysis of English in the workplace: the communication needs of textile and clothing merchandisers. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 351-368.

Liu, D. Y., & Zhang, P. (2020). A Needs Analysis Proposal for ESP: A Case Study of a Short English Training Course for Bank Tellers in a Chinese Bank. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 206-217.

Mian, M. & Sarwar, M. (2016). Needs analysis of English for specific purposes for receptionists working in private-sector hospitals of Lahore (Pakistan). Science International (Lahore), 28(4), 741-746.

Munby, J. (1978). Communicative Syllabus Design: A Sociolinguistic Model for Defining the Content of Purpose-Specific Language Programmes. Cambridge University Press.

Sakr, A. (2001). English for textile and clothing industry. Paper presented at TESOL Convention. St. Louis.

Stefanova, A. (2021). Motivating students for greater engagement in ESP acquisition. UNWE Publishing Complex.

West, R. (1997). Needs Analysis: A State of the Art. In R. Howard & G. Brown (Eds.), Teacher education for LSP (pp. 24-95). Multilingual Matters.


1. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons

2. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons

Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons

Article Metrics