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Title: Effectiveness of English Language Bridging Courses in Improving the Communicable Competence of Learners in Tertiary Institutions in Kenya: A Study of One University in Kenya.”
Authors: Wayua, Elizabeth Ndinda
Keywords: Effective communication
Bridging courses
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Moi University
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to study the effectiveness of English language bridging courses in improving the communicative competence of learners. The study was carried out in a private university in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: To establish the relationship between the learner’s communicative competence in English at the beginning and at the end of the ELBC. Also, the study intended to determine the relationship between the leaner’s post test score and their views on the effectiveness of ELBC. Finally, the study intended to determine the difference between learners and teachers perceptions on the effectiveness of ELBC in improving learners’ communicative competence in English. This study was by guided the Meta cognition theory, particularly the tenet that states that; “evaluation of the learning process should occur before, during and after learning.” This study adopted a mixed method approach which combined a pre-test, questionnaire, in-depth interviews, and a post test. The study was conducted in three phases: in the first phase, a pre-test was administered to all the ten learners before they started the ELBC. In the second phase a questionnaire was administered to the learners and in-depth interviews with all five lecturers of ELBC was conducted as well as non- participant observations of some of the lessons being taught. In the third phase a post test was administered to all the ten learners who had undergone the ELBC. Secondary data relating to bridging English programs were obtained and analysed from sources such as libraries, publications and the internet. Data obtained from the pre-test and the post test was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods, including mean, mode, and percentages. Pearson correlation coefficient, regression method and probability value was calculated to test the hypothesis. On the other hand, data from the interviews was analysed using descriptive methods, thematic analysis and narrative analysis. The researcher involved the whole population in the study since the learners undergoing the ELBC were few and their lecturers were only five. The university where this study was conducted was selected randomly. The findings of the study show that, given the current status of what happens in English language bridging courses in Kenya, there is no significant relationship between the effectiveness of language bridging courses and improving communicative competencies of learners in tertiary institutions. The researcher arrived at a conclusion that, there is a lack of a clear framework of the language bridging courses offered in the country. This study recommends that the relevant institutions through the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology should actively and urgently review the curriculum for these courses that are being offered in the country and develop a suitable curriculum and systems that will ensure the program is delivered within acceptable parameters of content and skills, an evaluation be done at entry, during and after the final exam in the course. And finally a final exam should be administered which matches the KCSE standards to ensure uniformity in the country.
Appears in Collections:School of Education

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