Assessment of English language oral communicative competence : a case of tour guides in Arusha, Tanzania

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The current study is an assessment of English language oral communicative competence of Tanzanian tour guides. It measures their level of the aforementioned competence, which is essential for tourism business. Additionally, it probes into how practising tour guiding with the English language influences their mastery of the language. Three methods of date collection were used for a triangulation purpose. These are direct observation, oral discourse test, and semi-structured interview with the aid of a voice recorder, camcorder and note-taking. Discourse analysis was used in this work as a method of analysis. Some data were analysed using descriptive statistics with the aid of Microsoft Excel. The main finding of the study is that Tanzanian tour guides are moderately competent in English language oral communicative competence at an average level of 63%. Generally, the interaction between tour guides and tourists has positive effects on the guides‘ oral communicative competence in that with time, it sharpens their oral communicative competence and improves their knowledge, skills and attitudes. The study recommends that tour guides should generate a culture of practising their spoken English and pay attention to sociocultural aspects that go hand in hand with oral communication. The study calls upon the government to produce competent language teachers and make sure that a curriculum for professional tour guides is commonly used by all institutions offering tour guiding courses, and English, the language of business, be given the first priority for imparting and acquisition of knowledge and skills.




English language, Tanzanian tour guides, Assessment, Competence