Communication strategies of English majors in Philippine classroom discourses: Basis for an enhancementmodule on strategic competence

Henry E. Lemana II
English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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Both high and low language proficiency learners encounter communication issues, so they use verbal and nonverbal communication techniques to make up for communication failures brought on by performance factors or a lack of competence. This study described the communication strategies employed in the utterances of Filipino students in their classroom discourses as a basis for an enhancement module on strategic competence. Furthermore, it utilized a descriptive-quantitative approach. Third-year college students under the Bachelor in Secondary Education major in English program of four purposively selected higher education institutions in Region XII, the Philippines were the participants of the study, who were observed with video recordings. Transcription of students’ utterances provided the data for analysis through the use of the taxonomy of communication strategies. Based on the results, English majors possess strategic competence as evidenced by their use of varied communication strategies, with fillers being the most lavishly employed. However, the analysis also conveyed that students incline to overuse three communication strategies (use of fillers/hesitation devices, self-repetition, mumbling) which resulted in observable message distortions, unsuccessful information transfers, and even total communication breakdowns. The results of this study became the basis to come up with an enhancement module on the strategic competence of English majors. The findings suggest that the proposed enhancement module on strategic competence be implemented in the selected higher education institutions in the Philippines and further studies on other aspects of communicative competence (linguistic, socio-linguistic, and discourse) be conducted with a more significant sample of students taking other courses and coming from various groups and ages.

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