NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1151655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Contingent Needs Analysis for Task Implementation: An Activity Systems Analysis of Group Writing Conferences
Mochizuki, Naoko
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v51 n3 p607-631 Sep 2017
Needs analysis (NA) plays a significant role in developing tasks that create opportunities for natural language use in classrooms. Preemptive NA, however, does not necessarily predict the contingently emerging interpersonal and social variables which influence learners and teachers' behaviours. These unpredictable variables often lead to a gap between what has been planned for a task to achieve and what learners actually get from a task in classrooms. To narrow this gap, this study proposes an analysis of needs at the task implementation stage adopting activity systems analysis (Engeström, 2001]). The study investigates needs in group writing conferences for PhD students, where a task, giving and receiving oral feedback on one another's writing, is implemented. The participants were seven PhD students in two groups of writing conferences led by different facilitators in a thesis writing support program at an Australian university. Data were collected through observation and audiorecordings of writing conference sessions, interviews with the students and the facilitators, and students' written drafts. The collected data were analysed for the relationships between students' motives, participation patterns, and rules/division of labour in the groups. The identified aspects of this activity that require pedagogical innovation concern discursive practice during the sessions, students' motives and interests in engaging the task, the rules of writing manifested through discussion, and ascribed and self-ascribed roles of the students. The study highlights the potential of activity systems analysis for NA in classroom task implementation and proposes a new path to investigating tasks in classroom realities.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A