The Situational Analysis of the Language Needs at the BP language Center in Basra, Iraq.
In 2003 Iraq faced a variety of abrupt sociocultural changes following the advent of war and the end of the Sadaam Hussein regime. The subsequent ten years of reconstruction brought about new needs and demands for Iraq and its population. These challenges came to light with Iraq's sudden thrust into a global environment, where English is becoming increasingly important. This study examines the evolving language needs of Rumaila Operation Organization (ROO) employees based in Basra. Specifically, the need for course work that will improve English language skills and enhance performance in the work place is critical. Due to the prior restrictive political environment of Sadaam Hussein and the security risks of the last ten years of a post-conflict environment, not much research has been undertaken regarding the importance of business English in Iraq. Therefore, a critical need exists to research the teaching of English in Iraq to identify education solutions useful in the short run. This needs analysis utilizes surveys and informal interviews with three different groups of stakeholders: employees/students, teachers, and administrators of ROO. This study sits within the context of a license contract between three major oil companies: South Oil Company (SOC), British Petroleum (BP), and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The results demonstrate a critical need for the conversational skills of the students, allowing them to gain the confidence necessary to engage in both formal and informal business discussions, and in improving their effectiveness in collaborative decision-making in this business environment. This research will allow interested stakeholders in Iraq to consider the needs of the employees/students and TESL professionals that are specific to this unique environment and its distinct type of work.
Key words: Needs analysis, ESP, Business English