Investigating English Literacy and English Needs of Engineering Undergraduates

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Prathibha N. Gardihewa


English could be an exceptionally critical dialect since it is widely spoken all around the world additional it is the official dialect in many countries. As Sri Lankan engineering students whose mother tongue is not English, acing English is more vital, not limited to the fact that English is important only to students’ scholarly life but also for their imminent careers. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the English literacy rate and the English needs of first-year engineering undergraduates at the University of Ruhuna. The research problem was to identify the level of English literacy of the students and to identify the English needs of the engineering undergraduates which would assist the curriculum developers for revision and to upgrade the curriculum. A sample of 100 undergraduates was selected through a random sampling method. Data was collected through quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The results of the study stated that the undergraduates’ English proficiency is at an average level. Most of the students are keen to learn English for academic purposes and for their future profession. Therefore the students are enthralled to improve in English language proficiency since it highly impacts their content subjects. Furthermore, the students look forward to improve their speaking abilities with more student-centered learning and practical use of English with modern language labs. Moreover, the time allotted for English classes ought to be incremented. Therefore the current English language course ought to cater to the students’ needs so that students’ can fulfill their English needs and achieve a high English literacy rate.

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