Creative Education

Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2019)

ISSN Print: 2151-4755   ISSN Online: 2151-4771

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.02  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

The Most Difficult Basic Skill Faced by Learners of English in First Year Undergraduate Classes at UEA/Bukavu, DR Congo

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2019.102033    461 Downloads   958 Views  Citations



This article pursues three objectives: firstly, it aims at identifying the most difficult basic skill faced by learners of English in first year undergraduate classes at UEA, one of the major universities in Bukavu, DR Congo. Secondly, the author aims to find out its factors and thirdly, to propose possible solutions to such a problem. The study focused on 750 learners (259 female plus 491 male) of English at UEA. The research was conducted in the first semester of the academic year 2015-2016. The sample was randomly selected in all the faculties of UEA. The research instruments were a placement test, and class observations. Analytical and comparative methods were used to investigate on students’ English basic skill difficulties. The collected data were transformed into tables and calculated in percentage to facilitate the interpretation. The findings of the study revealed that speaking skill was the biggest problem (with the highest below average rate: 14.27%). Its main factors were low-backgrounds of learners, shyness and lack of interest in English language activities. Some strategies to tackle this challenge were notably: recitation of memory verses related to different fields of studies (Agronomy, Economics, Theology, Social Sciences and Medicine) at UEA, inspiring shy students self-confidence and self-esteem, making presentations in classrooms and in English clubs, attending the Language Resource Centre for practice, answering oral text comprehension in full and correct sentences, spoken English practice by holding dialogues and debates with classmates.

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Jeff, C. (2019) The Most Difficult Basic Skill Faced by Learners of English in First Year Undergraduate Classes at UEA/Bukavu, DR Congo. Creative Education, 10, 464-474. doi: 10.4236/ce.2019.102033.

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