Tertiary Education and Communication Skills Development of Omani Learners

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  • Title: Tertiary Education and Communication Skills Development of Omani Learners: Student Perspectives
  • Author(s): Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, Victoria Tuzlukova, Christopher James Denman
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies
  • Keywords: Communication Skills, Communicative Competence, ESL/EFL, Oman
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2327-7882 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8617 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7882/CGP/v14i02/15-34
  • Citation: Al-Mahrooqi, Rahma, Victoria Tuzlukova, and Christopher James Denman. 2016. "Tertiary Education and Communication Skills Development of Omani Learners: Student Perspectives." The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies 14 (2): 15-34. doi:10.18848/2327-7882/CGP/v14i02/15-34.
  • Extent: 20 pages

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.