Why Students Lack Communicative Competence in Our Colleges

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This article is an effort to point out the factors that result in lack of communicative competence in our students at college level. The article is based on general observations of the writer’s pedagogic career, therefore, the reader has every intellectual right to disagree. Early age is the most suitable age for learning a language and students spend this age at school where they miss the opportunity to learn the language. When they step into colleges they have already lost the opportunity of picking up the language. Those who had exposure to language at school have better communication skills and they are exception. Students who have schooling from English medium schools learn English language better because they are directly exposed to target language and they do not seek admission in government colleges. They do A level and enter university with better communicative skills. Our Students, despite studying English as a compulsory subject in colleges for 2-4 years, lack communicative competence unless they have extra training and exposure to it outside the college Due to time and space constraints, I will touch upon only a few a significant ones out of very many factors which hinder communicative competence in our students. First of all, let's look at the way English is taught at college level. A fixed syllabus is given to colleges in advance, which has to be followed and completed by the end of the scholastic year and it stresses upon the theoretical aspects rather than practical aspects of language learning. The foremost resource of teaching is the prescribed text books; which cover only two basic skills: reading and writing. However, at the end of each year students are assessed based on a written test of reading and writing skills only. As a result, students and even teachers are examination-oriented. They spend time inculcating reading and writing skills while ignoring listening and speaking. Thus our curricula produce students who know about the...
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