Designing a second language bridging course for university students

Carol A. Puhl, Johan J. Swartz

Abstract


The increasing number of students, especially black students, enrolling at university and
needing to study in a medium of instruction which is not their mother tongue has underlined
the need for additional language preparation as one way to reduce the failure and dropout
rate. A possible solution is a bridging course aimed at developing academic language
competencies to enable students to cope with communicative demands of their chosen
course.
An effective bridging course must take into account the requirements of the chosen
institution and course, the level of student competency already achieved, and the actual
student needs. These needs are divided into three areas: cognitive, which includes
communicative macro-language skills and problem-solving skills; affective which includes
self-confidence, acceptance of responsibility, and motivation; and behavioural, which
includes cross-cultural competencies.
Issues include duration of the course, the extent to which the course catersfor special
purposes, and the didactic strategies employed. Three further considerations are the
influence on the course of sponsors from business and industry, the academic level of the
course, and effective evaluation methods.
Die toenemende aantal studente, vera/ swart studente, wat aan 'n universiteit registreer
waar die onderrigmedium nie hul moedertaal is nie, noodsaak bykomende taalvoorbereiding
in 'n poging om die druip- en uitsaksyfer te verminder. Een moontlike oplossing is 'n
oorbruggingskursus wat gemik is op die ontwikkeling van akademiese taalvermoens om
studente in staat te stel om die kommunikatiewe eise van hul gekose kursus die hoof te bied.
'n Effektiewe oorbruggingskursus moet die volgende faktore in ag nee m: die vereistes
van die gekose inrigting en kursus, die vaardigheidsvlak wat die student a/reeds bereik het
sowel as die werklike studentebehoeftes. Hierdie behoeftes word in drie kategoriee
verdeel: kognitief - wat kommunikatiewe makro-taalvaardighede en probleemoplossingsvaardighede
insluit; affektief- wat selfvertroue, aanvaarding of verantwoordelikheid
en motive ring insluit; en gedrags- wat kruis-kulturele bevoegdhede insluit.
Sake rakende die duur van die kursus, die mate waarin die kursus in spesiale behoeftes
voorsien en die didaktiese strategiee wat gebruik word, is ingesluit. Drie verdere oorwegings
is die invloed van borge uit die sake- en industriele wereld op die kursus, die
akademiese peil van die kursus en effektiewe evalueringsmetodes.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/5-1-447

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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