English Courses for Students of Islamic Economics: What Do They Really Need?


The teaching of the English language to the students of Islamic Economics should aim to provide them with the skills needed for completing academic as well as professional tasks. The purposes of this study are twofold: (1) identifying what types of English language skills the students of Islamic Economics need; and (2) figuring out whether the current English for specific purposes (ESP) course offered is relevant to their needs. This on-going study employs qualitative descriptive methods with 200 firstand second-year students of the Islamic Economics study program of a state university in Medan, Indonesia. The data analyzed in this paper were collected using an online survey divided into two sections: one to collect the participants’ demographics and the other to explore their perceived language skill needs. The results reveal that most students need reading and writing skills more than any other language skills. The students reported that the English course they have taken so far did not prepare them to master those two needed skills. This study recommends that the existing ESP syllabus be redesigned to meet the students’ needs.

Keywords: English for specific purposes (ESP), higher education, Islamic economics, need analysis

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