Stakeholders’ Perceptions of ‘Use of English’ Programme at the University of Buea, Cameroon

Lima Beatrice Kahboh Lebsia Titanji

Abstract


The ‘Use of English’ (UoE) or ‘English Composition’ is a freshman course taught in many universities around the world. In Cameroon, an officially bilingual (French/English) country, UoE is taught at the University of Buea, one of two English–Speaking Universities as a compulsory course for all students, irrespective of their major. The present investigation was undertaken to assess stakeholders’ perceptions of the relevance of this course, as well as to determine its strengths and weaknesses in view of future improvements.

To accomplish these objectives, structured questionnaires were applied to 500 students who had taken the course. Focused interviews were also conducted with the Coordinators and teachers of the course. Finally to validate the responses, pre- and post-diagnostic tests were conducted with a cohort of 200 students taking the course, marked and their performances compared.

The questionnaire survey indicated considerable stakeholders’ positive appreciation of the course while identifying weaknesses such as insufficient availability of course materials, inadequate pre-course preparation and inadequate emphasis placed on grammar during course delivery. Analysis of the results supported the positive impact of the UoE. We concluded that the UoE course is a necessary requirement that needs to be improved upon and applied in similar learning environments.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v3i2.8043

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