Factors in the design of an English language syllabus for engineering students at the Malawi Polytechnic.
This thesis sets out to identify and examine two research
(a) is it desirable and
(b) is it practicable to have an English language
syllabus based on the language and communication
needs o~ engineering students?
These questions are examined in relation to students' negative
attitudes to language and the decline in motivation. The
methods used to gather data are through the questionnaire, interviews
Thus, Chapter 1 gives the background history o~ the University
o~ Malawi and its role in national development. It discusses
the role and status o~ English in Malawi and the
University as well as outlining language teaching objectives in a
technical college. Chapter 2 is a comprehensive review o~ the
psycholinguistic literature on Ll and L2 acquisition and learning
pointing out areas o~ controversy. It looks at the major
learning theories o~ behaviourism, cognitivism and humanistic
thought and discusses the part played by motivation and attitudes
in L2 learning as well as the role of formal instruction in SLA.
Chapter 3 is also a comprehensive review o~ current attitudes to L2 learner errors, communication and learning strategies and
examines the implications o~ these on teaching. Chapter 4 discusses
matters o~ syllabus design, sociolinguistic aspects o~
language learning, the communicative approach to language
teaching and learning and the role o~ the teacher.
Chapter 5 examines further some relevant ~actors in language
programme development, describes the research plan and data collection
methods. Chapter 6 presents an analysis, interpretation
and evaluation o~ the data collected. The summary and conclusion
in Chapter 7 highlights the major issues raised in the
thesis, the major findings of the research and goes an to make
suggestions for a language syllabus content and methodology.