Communication skills course relevance and effectiveness at the University of Dar es salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study sought to evaluate Communication Skills for Arts and Social Sciences (CL 106) of the University of Dar es Salaam both in its design and impact. It was guided by three objectives, namely; a) to identify the students’ needs b) to establish the degree of relevance and c) to measure the rate of effectiveness of the courses in promoting students’ academic proficiency. The study was a program-effect case study that involved 445 students, chosen randomly. Three instruments were used to collect data, namely; documentary review, questionnaire and test. The findings showed that students had positive attitude towards and instrumental motivation for the course. There was a good number of students’ academic literacy needs in the areas of academic reading, writing, speaking, library skills, as well as students’ own wants in course content, teaching methodology, course evaluation and duration, and teaching-learning materials. The course proved more relevant to the students’ needs but was inclined towards EGP (rather than ESAP) focusing on general academic language. Also, the students had a greater need for productive skills than receptive skills. It also found out that the students’ overall baseline academic literacy proficiency was generally low. After the instructions, however, their proficiency improved more in discourse feature items, irregular verbs and in identifying citations and referencing skills. Areas proposed for further research include comparing CL 106 with other CL courses within and outside University of Dar es Salaam as well as the students’ quality of written academic English as reflected in academic papers.
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Communication skills, English language, Curricula, University of Dar es Salaam
Msuya, E. A. (2011) Communication skills course relevance and effectiveness at the University of Dar es salaam, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at