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Needs Assessment

English as a Second Language


Assessing students' language needs is a crucial part of planning an effective long-range lesson plan for the term. The course outline provides the basis for the course, but the amount of emphasis placed on certain competencies, topics, proficiencies and structures is determined by the needs and priorities of the students.

Needs assessments should be administered during the first week of class. The process of administering the needs assessment and compiling the results can be turned into a classroom activity. For example, after filling out their forms individually, students could work in groups to compare their answers on a particular section related to one or more of the competency areas. Another example activity could be having the whole class mark their responses for the Language Skills section on the board and then immediately tallying and comparing the totals for the class.

As new students enter, they should complete a needs assessment as part of their orientation into the class. Results from these assessments, along with other input such as ongoing evaluation of progress, class test results, and additional needs reported by students may alter the long-range lesson planning for the term. (The preceding three paragraphs adapted from the ESL Intermediate Low Course Outline 50-01-53, February 2005, LAUSD Division of Adult and Career Education).

Click on the following links for sample needs assessments from each ESL course outline.


Needs Assessment from ESL Beginning Low pdf2.jpg


Needs Assessment from ESL Beginning High pdf2.jpg 


Needs Assessment from ESL Intermediate High A pdf2.jpg 


Needs Assessment from ESL Intermediate High B pdf2.jpg 


Needs Assessment from ESL Advanced Low pdf2.jpg 

pdf2.jpgPlease note: to view the course outlines, it requiers Adobe's Acrobat Reader: getacro.gif