Jongore et al
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3 (7), pp. 318-325, September 2013
Manuscript Number: 081613786
The Zimbabwean First Languages seem to be slowly Dying a Natural Death: A Case of University Student’s Academic Writing
*1Jongore Magret, 2Prof. Chipo Chirimuuta,
3Crispen Bhukuvhani and 4Dorcas Zuvalinyenga
1,3,4Bindura University of Science Education.
2Zimbabwe Open University.
Emails: 2chirimuuta @ gmail. com, 3cbhukuvhani @ buse.ac.zw,
4dorcas.zuvalinyenga @ gmail.com
*Corresponding Author’s Email: jongorem @ gmail. com, mjongore @ buse.ac.zw,
Communication Skills is a
course offered to university students especially to first
year first semester students. The essence of this course is
to prepare students for study in their specific areas, to
equip them with study skills and writing skills. Different
departments have different requirements. However, the
academics largely depend upon sound writing skills. At
University of Zimbabwe the department has moved from giving
a one off training to those who had not passed General
English then now Communication skills to offering it to
every student. The Engineering department is said to have
asked the communication skills department to offer the
course continuously to its student other departments also
sort for the same offer. Regardless of such a long standing
establishment it has been noted that students still lack
competence in the writing of assignments and reports in
their various areas of specialisation. The study
specifically looks at Bindura University of Science
Education Students who are offered communication skills in
their first year. The university at large like any other
university is complaining about the quality of written work
that is being produced by the current university student.
The paper tackled the issue of poor writing skills from the
language issue perspective emanating from the Zimbabwean
language policy. A needs Analysis as the research
methodology has been adopted where the linguistically needs
of the students were interrogated against the current
assignment writing standard displayed. The qualitative
paradigm being the dominate research adopted has seen
analysis in terms of the narratives dominating. Very little
in terms of analysis of data has culminated in quantitative
Keywords: First languages, dying a natural dearth, “O” Level four year secondary school Examination Ordinary level, ‘’A’’ Level Advanced level six year secondary school examination , English for Academic Purposes (EAP), English for Specific Purposes (ESP) multilingualism, bilingualism.
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