One of the most important aspects to planning language training is good needs analysis. Traditionally language teachers/trainers ask their students some basic open questions like: Why do you need English? What is your job? Who do you speak English to? What do you need to do in English? This is normally followed up by questions about student’s learning preferences, job role and other areas of concern.

However, some language coaches say this is insufficient and apply other data-driven strategies to gain deeper insights into the learner type. These resemble the types of tests which are often used by recruiters, such as the Myers-Briggs test, which is used to fit applicants into a number of predefined psychometric models. One organisation are using an open source equivalent of Myers-Briggs called Open Extended Jungian Type Scales (OEJT). Like Myers-Briggs, there are four different dichotomies: sensing vs. intuition, introversion vs. extroversion, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving

Needs Analysis

These can be divided up into 16 different personality types (see below) which are labelled by a combination of initials. They are then defined as 16 learner types, divided into four basic categories (Explorers, Sentinels, Diplomats and Analysts), which can be used to inform the design of courses and selection of materials.

I tested myself on the website and they sent me a feedback email stating that I am a curious learner ISTP (Introversion + Sensing + Thinking + Perceiving), which puts me in the Explorer group of learners. According to, I need a language course which challenges me to find out new concepts on my own and push me through steep learning curves. I need to find my own study path, as most language courses out there are either too rigid or conceptual for me. I don’t like doing regimented courses and learning drills. I like learning materials filled with real-life examples, and prefer to learn in my own time through practical experimentation. I think all of this feedback is very relevant and appropriate to my learner style.

If you want to try to work out your learner type you can visit, or if you would prefer the paper version, then click this link:

Featured image: Photo by Haut Risque on Unsplash

Learner Profiles for Needs Analysis

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