The relationship between the syllabus and the examinations in the English for specific purposes: Communication skills for craft programmes in the department of technical education and vocational training
Moonga, Anolt Leonard Himweemba
In a system where academic qualifications determine the potential affluence of its citizens by way of employment, the relationship between what is taught and what is examined deserves to be considered in detail. An insight into the nature of the relationship between the syllabus and the examinations in the teaching of English for specific purposes (ESP) communication skills (CS) in the craft programmes of the Department of Technical Education and Vocational Training (DT'EVT) in Zambia would thus be of considerable pedagogical and economic benefit. Previous research has largely concentrated on the effects of the syllabus on the examinations in English at school certificate level involving native and non native examiners and examinees respectively (Grieve I960, Madsen, 1976, Mukattash, 1981). These studies demonstrated that when the teaching and the examinations are not matched, both the teachers and the learners are greatly affected. Grieve (.1968) blamed this discrepancy on the different cultural and social settings where the teaching and examination setting were done,, The examiners (native speakers of English) failed to prepare suitable examinations for non—native speakers of English in the West African centres— of the Oxford examination Board. In Zambia no known research on the relationship between the syllabus and the examinations in language teaching has been reported. However,, the communication skills teachers up grading course evaluation exercise of 1986 reported some anxiety by teachers and students in the relationship between the syllabus and the communication skills examinations (Mukuni. et al 1986).The Mukuni etal report, however, did not focus on a particular- course in DTEv'T. and the anxiety expressed by the students and teachers was not the main focus of the evaluation exercise either.The present study focuses on the relationship between the syllabus and the examinations in the teaching of ESP communication skills for craft programmes in DTEv'T in the period, 1.985 to 1990. The nature of this relationship is highlighted by the data collected. The outcome of the investigations reveal that the syllabus objectives and the examination tasks in DTEVT CSCP are not matched. In view of this discrepancy it is clear that the examinations in DTEv'T communication skills are not based on the ESP teaching approach syllabus. This raises doubts as to whether the trainees in DTEv'T craft programmes are prepared for the national tasks that are intended since what is taught and what is examined are not matched and what is examined is supposed to validate the trainees' suitability for employment.
Syllabus , English Examinations