Needs Analysis of English for Specific Purposes for Tourism Personnel in Ayutthaya

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Itsara Namtapi

Abstract

This study explored the necessities, lacks, and wants of the tourism personnel who use English at work in Ayutthaya, Thailand’s most famous historical city. The quantitative data were collected via questionnaire from 118 participants working in five types of tourism organizations. The qualitative data were drawn from 16 individuals who participated in semi-structured interviews comprising two open-ended questions. The integration of the quantitative and qualitative findings reveals that the participants’ necessities were mostly related to communicative tasks, such as greeting, giving directions, providing information, and offering and asking for help. Their lacks were chiefly concerned with listening and speaking skills, such as being unable to understand foreign English accents, failing to keep up with the tourists’ fast pace of speech, having a limited range of vocabulary to engage with in a conversation, and lacking grammar knowledge to maintain a conversation. Their wants were to improve cross-cultural competence, be heavily exposed to the target language, both inside and outside the classroom, and be equipped with ample knowledge of Ayutthaya’s history and technical terms related to Buddhist architecture. Above all, this study has pedagogical implications for English for Tourism curricula and material development.

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Author Biography

Itsara Namtapi, Language Center, Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University under the Royal Patronage, Thailand

An English language lecturer at the Language Center, Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University under the Royal Patronage. He received his master’s in English linguistics from Chulalongkorn University in 2016. His research interests center around generative approaches to second language acquisition, discourse analysis, and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).

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