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The study examined the needs, implementation and challenges of the Communication Skills (CS) course in higher education institutions in Tanzania.
The course was introduced to help students develop and improve communication skills in English language while learning in their areas of academic specializations.
However, there have been complaints from various stakeholders that the students are not able to express themselves competently in English even after doing the course.
The literature revealed that no studies have been done on this issue in Tanzania and similar contexts.
The findings were that the learners needed to know the language skills (speaking, writing, reading, listening and non-verbal communication) for social, academic and professional purposes.
The key pedagogical strategies included: lecturing, writing and reading notes, telling stories, asking questions and providing handouts.
These strategies were mostly teacher-centred.
The key challenges included: poor background of the students and lecturers, interference of other languages, the lack of appropriate resources.
It is recommended that teaching of the CS course should start from the lower levels of education.
Jonathan Shishiwa is a Lecturer and Campus Manager, Institute of Accountancy Arusha, Mwanza Campus, Tanzania.
He holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Moi University, Kenya; M.Ed.
in Educational Management and administration from Abo Akademi University, Finland and B.Ed.
in English and Education from University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.
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