Tertiary education and communication skills development of Omani learners

Student perspectives

Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, Victoria Tuzlukova, Christopher James Denman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

English is today the world's dominant lingua franca. The language is employed internationally across a variety of domains. These include in business where it is used either face-to-face or in technologically mediated ways. As a result, in today's business world English language proficiency is often a necessity for success. Within the Omani context, unprecedented rates of growth in international trade and information and communication technologies have fuelled the rapid globalization of business since the advent of the country's modern era in 1970. The rate of globalization of the Omani economy is so unrelenting that only the communicatively competent are usually able to make full use of their professional, technical, and/or vocational qualifications. However, anecdotal evidence suggests a mismatch may exist between the linguistic, pragmatic, and communicative capabilities of a typical Omani tertiary-level graduate and the demands of the job market. The current study explored how well Omani tertiary students believe their English-language courses prepared them with the communicative skills demanded by the workforce. A 71-item Likert response scale questionnaire was distributed to 952 Omani tertiary students studying in English-medium environments. Results indicate that, overall, tertiary-level courses undertaken by Omani students are doing a satisfactory job in developing students' English-language communication skills, although concerns were raised about the development of learners' professional communication skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

communication skills
Education
Students
English language
Communication
education
student
globalization
occupational qualification
Industry
language course
International trade
mismatch
Linguistics
world trade
communication technology
pragmatics
information technology
graduate
linguistics

Keywords

  • Communication Skills
  • Communicative Competence
  • ESL/EFL
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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abstract = "English is today the world's dominant lingua franca. The language is employed internationally across a variety of domains. These include in business where it is used either face-to-face or in technologically mediated ways. As a result, in today's business world English language proficiency is often a necessity for success. Within the Omani context, unprecedented rates of growth in international trade and information and communication technologies have fuelled the rapid globalization of business since the advent of the country's modern era in 1970. The rate of globalization of the Omani economy is so unrelenting that only the communicatively competent are usually able to make full use of their professional, technical, and/or vocational qualifications. However, anecdotal evidence suggests a mismatch may exist between the linguistic, pragmatic, and communicative capabilities of a typical Omani tertiary-level graduate and the demands of the job market. The current study explored how well Omani tertiary students believe their English-language courses prepared them with the communicative skills demanded by the workforce. A 71-item Likert response scale questionnaire was distributed to 952 Omani tertiary students studying in English-medium environments. Results indicate that, overall, tertiary-level courses undertaken by Omani students are doing a satisfactory job in developing students' English-language communication skills, although concerns were raised about the development of learners' professional communication skills.",
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