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Introduction to English for Academic purposes curriculum
Need of the English language has been emphasized in today's world than any other time in the history, mainly due to the globalizaton as well as the effects of the improvements in the Information Technology which has made the world a global village.Mainly due to the food scarecity increasing rapidly in the world English as a link language is of immense importance to communicate and share our ideas and views with the outside world particularly for the Agricultural Science graduates. in order to achieve this important goal the faculty offers the degree in English medium only. This demands and intensive improvement of English language abilities of the students those who have done their primary and secondary education in mother tongue; either Sinhala or Tamil medium
English language plays an intergral part at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences as it is being taught as compulsory course units in all semesters in the first three years.
The curriculum has been developed to allow students to attain communicative competence gradually.Communicative competence encompassed grammatical competence, pragmatic competence, discourse competence, and strategic competence, all of which are taught and fostered through the curriculum. By focusing of the development of both oral communication skills (listening and speaking) as well as written communication skills ( reading and writing), the curriculum offers an approach that is balanced and propotional to learners' communicative needs and the knowledge and skills with which to function in communicative settings. During first two years more attention is being paid on the improvement of the oral skills and during the latter part of the degree programme more written skils will be strengthen.
In order to achive this gradual progression, the curriculum is stratified in to six course units in the six semesters. A course syllabus is developed for each semester within the curriculum, each with its own specific objectives and detailed plans for execution. At the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences we adhere to principled eclecticism in our language teaching, with teaching communicative competence as the aim as well as the means. As such, the curriculum promotes new concepts and ideas that are central to the overall educational process, including linguistic, cognitive, cultural, and effective development.
Additionally, the structure of the currriculum allows the freedom to respond to changing or newly-percieved needs in the learners. At the same time, it provides students prospect to improve their less able areas paying attention to them.
Thus, the teaching materials have been prepared to suit our students' loacal and global needs and to correspond with our objective to train our students to be competent communicators, critical thinkers, and knowledgeble individuals.
The curriculum is designed to develop undergraduates' high level communicative competence by focusing on topical units paired with various tasks in intergrative skill training, emphasizing different prospectives on topics related to subject matter and away from sunjects and teaching learners to take sides, formulate ideas and debate in both oral and written formats. Special attention is paid on to develop learners'improvisational, facing different situations and public speaking skillls through presentations and speaking simulations. These aim at boosting the students' confidence in communication and to face any given situation.
Additionally, the curriculum focuses on different styles of writing specially scientific writing which would help them in their undergraduate studies and also for research activitie and higher studies in the future. Attention is also paid to imprve different reading skills for quick comprehension and specially focuses on improving reading speed which is an ultimatum for science students.
English for Academic Purposes curriculum taught in the faculty ultimately would help the students to successfully follow the degreee programme and finally to find a suitable job oppertunity in their selected specialities. Further, it enhances the chances for the graduates those who want to do their higher studies.
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences has a well equipped language lab. The curriculum has designed to use this facilty to improve the listening skill of the undergraduates which has been purposly neglected in English language courses in Sri Lanka mainly due to the lack of facilities.The language lab activities appreciably increase the students' exposure to the native speakers and real-time voice interaction, greately enhancing the learning process.