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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Business Spanish in the Real World: A Task-Based Needs Analysis

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The growing demand for Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP) courses at universities in the United States in the last two decades (Klee, 2015) has brought to light the need for more theoretically driven research in this field, which can inform pedagogical decisions and materials design. The present study conceptually replicates Serafini and Torres (2015), adopting a Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) approach to instructional design, and it aims to contribute to the under-researched field of SPP by a) performing a needs analysis (NA) of a university business Spanish course at two institutions, and b) creating a semester-long syllabus, which better equips non-expert instructors to teach their business Spanish courses. Results indicated that of the total 40 target tasks cited in the first phase of the NA, 21 were reported to be very commonly performed by at least 30% of the respondents in the second phase. These 21 tasks were regrouped and categorized into five more abstract, super-ordinate target task types that made up the objectives for the semester-long business Spanish syllabus informed by TBLT.


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