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English skills needed for graduate study in the US: Multiple perspectives

Seferoğlu, Gölge
This paper reports on a study of needs analysis conducted with Turkish government-sponsored students who are studying towards master’s or doctoral degrees in the US and with students who attended a specific language program in Ankara, Turkey before they started graduate programs in the US. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to gather information about these students’ needs in learning English from both graduate students’ and prospective graduate students’ perspectives, and (2) to explore the extent to which the classroom instruction in the language program in Turkey responds to these needs. Data for this study was collected from three sources: survey questionnaires, interviews, and videotaped classroom discourse. Whereas the quantitative data showed that the respondents perceived their academic needs to be far more important than their everyday and TOEFL needs, the qualitative data revealed concern for more immediate needs: to attain a score of 500 or more on the TOEFL.