Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/29/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Schrier, Leslie L

First Committee Member

Johnson, David C

Second Committee Member

Merino, Ana

Third Committee Member

Plakans, Lia M

Fourth Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela M


Since the 1990s, the number of courses of Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP), especially Business Spanish, has increased rapidly in institutions of higher education in the U.S. Ideally, the design of these courses is based both on an analysis of the learners’ needs and on a specific business-related purpose. However, instructors of Business Spanish may not be specialists in this area and may lack the means or the time to perform a needs analysis (NA) to prepare the course syllabus and materials. Consequently, choosing the Business Spanish textbook ends up being the first step in designing the course, and for the reasons stated above, this choice tends to be based on the instructor’s needs rather than those of the learners.

In this dissertation, I subjected four Business Spanish textbooks to an in-depth analysis (Littlejohn, 1998) in three stages. This analysis includes their approach to specificity (from narrow to wide), and how the business-related learners’ needs (language- and skill-based) are addressed. Results from these four analyses reveal that the authors adapted four different language teaching approaches and methods. Their wide-angled approach to specificity and different viewpoints of the target learners’ business-related needs are based on (1) their beliefs on the nature of language and language teaching, (2) the position of the course in the macro curriculum (macro-specific purpose), and (3) their respective target audiences. A two-step evaluation of Business Spanish textbooks is recommended to instructors based on the macro-specific purpose of their courses and the micro-specific purposes of communicative activities.


Business Spanish, Curriculum design, Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), Needs analysis, Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP), Textbooks


xv, 219 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 188-197).


Copyright © 2019 Pilar Marcé

Available for download on Thursday, July 29, 2021