Challenges Encountered by ESL Students in The Development of Communicative Competence Skills in Lesotho
Keywords:Language acquisition, Communicative competence, English as a second language, Language anxiety, Motivation
This study explored the challenges that undergraduate tertiary students encounter in the development of communicative competence skills in three selected tertiary institutions in Lesotho. Adopting the qualitative approach, the study employed a case study design for data collection strategies which included face-to-face interviews with lecturers (n=11), focus group discussions with students (n=100) as well as classroom observations (n=2). The findings from face-to-face interviews revealed that traditional methodologies which are mostly employed in the language classrooms because of large classrooms do not enhance students’ communicative competence. Furthermore, the findings from focus group discussions showed lack of motivation to learn English language and the anxiety caused by the fear to speak the target language. Further noted from the observations is that lack of language exposure due to scarcity of interactive activities in the classrooms may further render students communicatively incompetent. On these premises, the study thus recommends that students should be exposed to language through activities that encourage interaction. Also recommended is that lecturers should balance fluency and accuracy activities so as to improve students’ discourse, linguistic, interactional as well as strategic competencies.
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