A SWOT Analysis of the Department of Communication in Regard to Its Provision of English Communication Courses: A Case of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Professional Purposes (EPP)

By Makamani, Rewai | NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication, June 2012 | Go to article overview

A SWOT Analysis of the Department of Communication in Regard to Its Provision of English Communication Courses: A Case of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Professional Purposes (EPP)


Makamani, Rewai, NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication


Introduction

When she presented her June 2011 conference paper titled, "Pressing the right button to motivate student learning in a multicultural African context", Buyiso Ige of the University of Cape Town's Academic Development Unit noted the following stumbling blocks to learning as evident in her students:

* Some students come inadequately prepared by their primary and secondary schools

* Even English first language speakers are having learning problems

* First generation university students with no one to learn from

* Problems of time management and stress management.

Even though there are very few English first language speakers among students at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Ige chronicles what appears to be universal problems which also affect students at the Polytechnic of Namibia. It is such problems that a well planned English curriculum should address. However, as revealed by findings in this study, the current English curriculum offered by the Department of Communication, particularly at higher level English courses, only partially address challenges faced by students particularly those related to the target situation needs. This paper, which stems from two conferences, namely, the Poetics and Language Association (PALA) conference which was hosted by the Polytechnic of Namibia in July 2011 and the E-Teacher Scholars conference held in August 2011 at the University of Maryland, USA, seeks not only to precipitate debate about the current English curriculum of the Department of Communication, but to encourage academics to purposefully implement the ongoing curriculum change without taking any shortcuts in order to fully address the needs of learners and relevant stakeholders.

The importance of a needs analysis in the English for Specific Purposes curriculum

To date, current English for Specific Purposes (ESP) research point to the primacy of needs analysis both in the conceptualisation and implementation of an ESP curriculum (Nunan, 1988, Jordan, 1997, Spiropoulou, 1996, Bouzidi, 2009). In this study, ESP is conceived as referring to a variety of English, used more or less consistently, to serve a specified purpose in a specified context. This view is in tandem with the definition given by Dudley-Evans & St Johns (1998, p. 4-5). Their definition is based on the following absolute and variable characteristics of ESP:

Absolute characteristics:

* ESP is designed to meet specific needs of the learner

* ESP makes use of underlying methodology and activities of the disciplines it serves

* ESP is centred on the language (grammar, lexis, register), skills, discourse and genres appropriate to these activities.

Variable characteristics:

* ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines

* ESP may use, in many specific situations, a different methodology from that of General English.

It follows from the above that a needs driven definition of ESP regards it as the English that is needed by the learner were s/he to brace with challenges of the 21st-century workplace. The US national Institute for Literacy indicated that employers gave the following as key skills of the 21st-century: skills in communicating, making decisions, solving problems, planning, working in teams, negotiating, resolving conflicts, and taking responsibility for learning (Wastefield et al., http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/). The learner-centeredness of ESP methodology coupled with its use of authentic materials for instructional purposes makes it the best subject discipline to equip learners with the abovementioned skills.

Background to the study

Currently all students enrolling with the Polytechnic of Namibia undergo an English placement test. This selection process marks the Department's first step in meeting its goals, which are to:

* equip students with substantive skills for competent and effective communication. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A SWOT Analysis of the Department of Communication in Regard to Its Provision of English Communication Courses: A Case of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Professional Purposes (EPP)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.