A Needs Analysis for a Discipline-Specific Reading Intervention

  •  Naomi Boakye    
  •  Magdaline Mai    


This paper reports on a needs analysis that sought to explore students’ reading challenges as an initial step in designing an appropriate reading intervention programme for first-year Sociology students. The aim of the paper is to suggest conditions for the production of an effective reading intervention programme by determining the needs of the students in the first-year Sociology class. A survey using an open-ended questionnaire was used to explore students’ reading challenges. The responses were analysed using content analysis. The analysis showed a variety of learner needs and revealed that most of the students have difficulty in reading their first-year Sociology texts. Comprehension was the main challenge, but other specific areas such as vocabulary, length of texts, language, and affective issues such as motivation and interest were also mentioned. The findings show that this cohort of first-year Sociology students had reading challenges that involve cognitive, language and affective issues. Based on the results of the needs analysis an intervention programme that addresses cognitive, language and affective issues is recommended for this cohort of students.

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