Indigenous students enrol in vocational education and training (VET) programs because they provide a viable pathway into the workplace or further education. However, most high school VET programs use mainstream teaching methodologies which already assume that students speak the Standard Australian English required for the workplace. This approach can disadvantage Indigenous students, particularly those from remote communities who speak a traditional Aboriginal language as a home language. This paper describes a case study of a second language Task-Based Needs Analysis (TBNA) undertaken at a residential high school specialising in VET for Indigenous students, most of whom come from Western Australia’s remote communities and speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). The study used naturalistic data collection methods (non-participant observation, unstructured interviews and document collection) to identify the actual language and literacy tasks that students are likely to encounter in various workplace settings. The main findings are presented in relation to work-oriented tasks, work-life tasks and cross-cultural interactions. The research described here provides a potential guide for undertaking a TBNA as the starting point for designing and implementing task-based language teaching programs, especially for Indigenous VET students (and others from non-Western cultures) who speak EAL.
Oliver, R., Grote, E., Rochecouste, J. & Exell, M. (2013). Needs analysis for task-based language teaching: A case study of Indigenous vocational education and training students who speak EAL/EAD. TESOL in Context, 22(2), 36-50.