The Determinatio N of the English Language Proficiency of freshmen: An Exploration Of Some of the Variables That Contribute To Proficiency in English

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Addis Ababa University


This study is an attempt to assess the influence of a number of variables on the English language proficiency of first year students at Addis Ababa University . The selected variables were the exposure to the English language formally or informally , the reading resources , the reading background , and the quality of instruction. To achi eve this goal, a questionnaire entirely devoted to the students ' senior high school English background was distributed to 140 Freshmen , out of which 106 were taken as full participants in the study . The subjects were given two language t ests : (i) The ~Ii chigan Test of English Language Proficiency (offered by the English Language Institute of the University of Michigan), and (ii) The Addis Ababa University Freshman English lOl-A Course Test. The students' responses t o the questionnaire were tallied, coded and computed to see the correlation between the responses to the selected variabl es, and the subjects' performance in both t ests. On the average , the group with the highest positive responses to the selected variables was found to be the "A" students in the J: ests . Those who had the l east positive r esponses were the "F" students. The differences among the "All , Hn" I and "e" , and nDUstudents were also significant: the study r evealed that as the amount of positive responses to the selected variables increased. performance also increased . The reverse was also true. The multiple regression analyses showed a positive correlation between the selected variables , and the tests' results. Moreover , the variation in the students' performance in the tests was accounted for by the coefficient of determination. On the basis of these findings. recommendations are made to provide the senior high school students with what they lack . These recommendations are worth considering if Freshmen are to do b e tter at university level.



English Language Proficiency