Assessing the English Language Needs of Observers and Staff Officers: With Special Reference to Amhara Police College Peacekeeping English Project, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

Wubliker Ephrem Yigzaw


The main concern of this study was to assess the English language needs of the staff officers and observers with particular reference to Amhara police college peacekeeping English project. Regarding to this, special attention has been given to specifying the Basic English language needs and sub-skills of language items and various English language activities that could meet the specific language needs of trainees who are going to be participated in the UN peacekeeping mission areas. From the point of research design, descriptive survey type (non-experimental) research design was used to study attitudes, opinions and characteristics of a particular individual, situation or group. To achieve the goal of this study, questionnaire was used as a major data gathering tool. Thus, questionnaire was designed and distributed to twenty staff officers and observers who are only police. All the participants of this study have served in the mission areas and they are currently working in police commission Bureau, Police College and in each zonal police offices. On the other hand, interview was also conducted with eight staff officers and observers to cross check the data gained through the questionnaire. Since the subjects are a few in numbers (20), the study used purposive sampling technique. Besides, the study has also analyzed the current course books which are currently delivered to the trainees. These course book materials are campaign English for the military from level 1-3 and English for law enforcement which is especially designed for the police. The data gathered through questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive statistical solutions such as percentage, mean, standard deviation.  With the same regard, the data collected through interview and text analysis were analyzed qualitatively. The findings of the study indicated that speaking, writing and listening are the most frequently needed language skills for the observers and staff officers in order to discharge the duties and responsibilities in the UN peacekeeping mission areas. Among the frequently  needed micro languages are listening to instructions given by officers in charge of various tasks, listening to foreign contingents and local communities, reading e-mails, reading notices, schedules, writing daily occurrence reports, writing shift log, speaking on the telephone and presenting oral reports are the major ones. Furthermore, the study clearly disclosed  that the staff officer and observers have got some English language difficulties like listening to briefings, discussions, listening to meetings, seminars, conference and workshop, presenting oral report, giving briefings, giving press conference, writing investigation report, writing patrol report and writing scene of crime. With regard to the text books, the study clearly showed that the materials are generally designed in such good way. But there are some points which are missed in the text books. For example, they do not comprise topics and contexts especially in relation to Africa. In addition there is a gap between the text books and what is actually happening in the mission areas for the trainees.

Keywords: staff officers, observers, Amhara police college, peacekeeping, English for specific purposes (ESP)

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-21-04

Publication date: November 30th 2020

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