Assessment of the needs in Communication Skills' Courses in Tanzanian Universities


  • Zelda Elisifa


Academic writing, Academic Reading, Communication Skills, Needs Assessments, University Students


The study sought to analyse the needs of university students in Tanzania in Communication Skills Courses. The study involved a total of 315 students from two public and two private universities who were randomly chosen, whereas the respondents were selected via convenience sampling. The sole tool used for collecting data was a questionnaire that consisted of items inquiring whether the respondents would opt for communication skills if it were an optional course. The second part sought their perceived needs of different aspects of language skills areas. The participants were first asked for their consent before filling in the questionnaire. The responses were posted to SPSS software for computation of frequencies of occurrences per each thematic area,  and the resulting data were organized into themes and summarized in tables and figures. The findings show that the respondents were divided in their opting for the course, were it optional. The analysis shows that 122 out of 315  (similar to 38.7%) would still opt for the course, while 104 (33%) would not opt for the course; and 89 (28.3%) were not sure. In the area of reading, eye-mapping was rated as highly needed by the majority of students in all universities, while in writing skills referencing and footnote and end-note writing were noted as highly needed mainly by students from public universities. On the whole, there were notable differences between public and private university students in their communication skills needs.

Author Biography

Zelda Elisifa

The Open University of Tanzania