The number of students entering the Faculty of Arts annually is
approximately 650. The proficiency in English of these students
is rather low. The average competence (at entry) falls within
the range of Band 3-5 in the IELTS score. This is mainly due
to the fact that a large percentage of students entering the
Faculty of Arts is from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds,
(as many as 50% are Mahapola recipients) and they have had very
limited access to English in schools and at home.
During the University career of there students, there is very
little motivation to learn English because the courses in the
Faculty of Arts are conducted in all three media and the
majority of Sinhala and Tamil students follow the academic
courses in their mother tongue. Therefore the attendance at
English classes is rather haphazard, their priority being the
main academic subjects, which are credit courses. On the other
hand, although English is compulsory it is a non-credit course.
The students are aware of it and consequently they merely wish to
get their degree certificates. Therefore the degree of improvement
in English skills of Arts students is very unsatisfactory despite
the Herculean effort made by the staff of the ELTU.
The resulting loss of confidence due to lack of communicative
skills in English prevents them from getting the job of their
choice Arts graduates are therefore considered less equipped
in the job market and a large number of graduates who pass out
from the Faculty of Arts are either unemployed or under employed.
Universities in general are accused of producing graduates
devoid of the skills required by the job market and University
of Peradeniya is no exception. Although English courses are
conducted for the students to improve their communication and
inter personal skills, students especially those in the Faculty
of Arts are not motivated because it does not serve their
"immediate need". (i.e. obtaining their degree )
When confronted with the "real need" they are no longer
in the University. In such a scenario it would be more productive
if the undergraduates could given a chance to acquire English
at a time when there is a real need to learn to learn the
language when there is less academic pressure. The most
suitable time to conduct an Intensive English course for
the students of the faculty of Arts would be during their
final year when they are about to meet the challenges of
employment and the need to improve English would be their
priority. The motivation of the students would be very
high and therefore a comprehensive course in English would
be able to enhance the communication skills and confidence of students.
Objectives and Strategy
- To strengthen the capacity of the ELTU to conduct practical training in English for students in a sustainable manner.
- To design and conduct training courses/ workshops to impart the following the final year Arts and Management students:
1.1 Proficiency in grammatical English
1.2 Proficiency in computer aided language learning
1.3 Develop soft skills and awareness about career opportunities
Mechanism and Design
- This component will be implemented with the assistance of the existing and contractual staff. Both will be provided training in methodology, which will be supported by IBG 1 (English).
- The equipment required (computers, printers, DVD players, photo copiers etc) and teaching material will be purchased to strengthen the capacity of the ELTU to prepare and duplicate material.
- To achieve the second objective, a training program consisting of three components namely:
- Proficiency in grammatical English
- Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL)
- Soft skills and career and career awareness will be developed and offered twice a year (once for the third year students and once for the fourth year students for the next three years.)
Proficiency in grammatical English will be imparted by face to face teaching in the following skills:
|Listening and speaking || 70 hours |
|Reading || 30 hours |
|Writing || 30 hours |
| Project presentation || 20 hours|
A class will consist of 20-25 students each student will have 2 hours of English per day.
Proficiency in CALL
This program will be conducted on Saturdays where a course has been designed to give the skills to the students on how to use the learning of English.
Duration: 2 hours on Saturdays (for face to teaching) and 2 hours during weekdays (for self learning)
Development of soft skills and awareness of career opportunities
This program is conducted in English by Dr B.M.K. Perera, Director, Career Guidance Unit on Tuesday and Wednesday from 5pm-30pm.
The course imparts the following:
1. Development of attitudes required by the world of work (addressing the mismatch between industry requirements and the university output)
2. Current trends relevant to employment opportunities in the different sectors.
3. Importance of different of skills needed in the world work.
4. Introduction to soft skills
5. Active listening skills
6. Assertive behavior
7. Conflict resolution/problem solving skills.
8. Team work and team working skills
9. Motivating others and leadership skills
10. CV writing
11. How to face interviews
12. Effective job search strategies