Communication Skills Course in Bridging the Gap of Weak Students’ Communicative Competence and Accentuating Performance: A Case of Sokoine University of Agriculture
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages: 1-10
Received: Dec. 9, 2019; Accepted: Dec. 21, 2019; Published: Jan. 6, 2020
Views 290      Downloads 132
Job Wilson Mwakapina, Department of Language Studies, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Article Tools
Follow on us
This paper reports the findings on the effectiveness of Communication Skills (CS) course in boosting students’ communication competence at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). In particular, the study determined whether there is a relationship between the ability in the CS and performance in other courses offered at the university. It also assessed the impact of the course on the students’ performance in other courses of their specialty after the training of the course, and lastly, it gauged the extent of effectiveness of the course. The study involved instructors and students and were obtained through random and purposive sampling procedures. Data for the study were collected using questionnaires, interviews and documentary reviews, and were treated qualitatively and quantitatively. The findings show that the course is not much effective at boosting students’ communication competence. Furthermore, it is revealed that there is no relationship between the CS course and other courses. This is perhaps the least anticipated result of all because one of the key objectives for teaching CS course is for it to help students to perform better in other courses of their specialization. Instead of simply concluding that CS and other courses are not connected or there is no impact of CS on other courses, there is a need of considering exceptional factors which have led to the situation. Of course, improved performance because of CS is expected, but based on these findings, there is no clear effect, partly would be because most of the non-CS instructors are being concerned much with the material content of their courses, rather than the grammatical/CS parts when evaluating students’ works. This makes CS components not reflected in the students’ performance of most of the courses. The study urges the government to improve and expand infrastructures to match with enrollment. Again, it needs to hire more academic staff and retain them through improving their salaries, incentives and payments of their demands to remedy the problem of high teacher-students ratio which is currently alarming.
Communication Skills, Effectiveness, English Grammar, Communicative Competence
To cite this article
Job Wilson Mwakapina, Communication Skills Course in Bridging the Gap of Weak Students’ Communicative Competence and Accentuating Performance: A Case of Sokoine University of Agriculture, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 8, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-10. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20200801.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
University of Dar es Salaam, Intensive grammar programme: A workbook in basic grammar for academic purposes, Communication skills Unit, University of Dar es Salaam, 1983.
Y. Y. Mcha, and P. Rea, The impact of communication skills in English courses with special reference to students in the faculty of arts and social sciences. Papers in Education and Development, 1985, vol. 10, pp. 61-64.
J. W. Mwakapina, and A. S. Mhandeni, The influence of language of instruction on students’ academic outcomes: The experience of secondary schools in Morogoro, Tanzania, Journal of Africa Tomorrow, 16 (2), pp. 125-148, 2014.
M. K. Osaki, Forces influencing undergraduates’ performance in an African University”, Perspective in Education, 1997, vol. 13 (3), pp. 145-165.
J. Wilson, English language proficiency and academic achievement in Tanzanian secondary schools, Unpublished M. A Thesis, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2011.
E. A. Msuya, Communication Skills course relevance and effectiveness at the University of Dar Es Salaam. Ph. D Thesis, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2011.
S. S. Al-Toubi, A Perspective on Change in the Omani ELT Curriculum: Structural to Communicative. Unpublished Master’s dissertation, University of Bristol, England, 1998.
R. Al-Mahrooqi, and C. J. Denman, Omani Graduates’ English-language Communication Skills in the Workforce: Employees’ Perspectives, International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 2016, vol. 5 (4) pp. 172-182.
A. Al-Issa, The implications of implementing a ‘flexible’ syllabus for ESL Policy, in Sultanate of Oman RELC, 2007, vol. 38 (1), pp199–215.
J. Moody, A neglected aspect of ELT in the Arabian Gulf: Who is communication between? In Zhang, L. J., R. Rubdy, & Alsagoff, L. (Eds.), Englishes and Literatures-in-English in a Globalized World: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on English in Southeast Asia (pp. 99-119). Singapore: National Institute of Education, Nanyan Technological University. in Agnitotri, R. K. A. L. Khanna (eds.). English Language Teaching in India, 2009.
Y. Lukmani, “Evaluation of a mainstream innovative language skills course”. In Agnitotri, R. K. & A. L. Khanna (eds.). English Language Teaching in India: Issues and innovations. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1995.
K. Hyland, “Is EAP necessary?” A survey of Hong Kong undergraduates. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 1997, vol. 7 (2), pp. 77-99.
H. I. Mohamed, ‘Communication Skills or Communicative grammar of English’. In SUACONE: A Newsletter of Sokoine University of Agriculture Convocation, 2012, vol. 15 November.
Sokoine University of Agriculture, Prospectus for undergraduate students 2012/20113 Morogoro. SUA, 2012.
M. Canale, From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. In Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. W. (Eds.), Language and Communication, 2-27. London: Longman, 1983.
M. Canale, and M. Swain, Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1980, vol. 1, pp. 1-47.
S. C. Komba, The impact of communication skills course on students’ development of communicative abilities. Unpublished M. A. Education, Dissertation. UDSM, Tanzania, 2008.
D. C. Mbowe, (1994). Factors influencing lack of interest in the English communication skills course among students in Tanzanian technical training institutions. Unpublished M. A. Education Thesis. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1994.
H. I. Mohamed, Academic writing as social practice: A critical discourse analysis of student writing in higher education in Tanzania. Unpublished Doctoral thesis. University of the Western Cape. Cape Town, 2006.
J. W. Creswell, J. W. 2014. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
S. C. Komba, S. C. The perceived importance of communication skills courses among university students: The case of two universities in Tanzania. International Journal of Education and Research, 2015, vol. 3 (2), pp. 497-508.
R. C. Kothari, Research Methodology, Methods and Techniques, New Delhi, Wiley Eastern Limited, 2004.
J. Black, Performance in English skills Course and Overall Academic Achievement, TESL Canada Journal, 1991, vol. 9 (1), 43-56.
B. Kazuzuru, Introductory Statistics with Basic Mathematics: A Compendium of Statistics and Mathematics, pp 101, Department of Biometry and Mathematics, Faculty of Science, SUA, 2011.
D. Fakeye, and Y. Ogunsiji, “English Language Proficiency as a Predictor of Academic Achievement among ELF students in Nigeria”, Journal of Science Research, 2009, vol. 37 (3) pp. 490-495, from 37 3 14, [accessed 24th December, 2016].
A. G. Abayo, and T. S. Bwette, “Higher Education Quality: Case Study of University of Dar es Salaam”, in Galabawa, J. C. J, K, Senkoro, F. E. M and Lwaitama, A. F (eds.), The Quality of Education in Tanzania, Issues and Experience (77-90), Faculty of education, University of Dares Salaam, 2000.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186