Director’s Welcome Message

Director’s Welcome Message
You are warmly welcome to the website of the Language Centre. Founded in 1970, it is a Centre for research in language use in Ghana. It focuses on research and teaching related to the improvement of performance in languages used within Ghana, that is, English as the official language of the country, and the various Ghanaian languages as vectors of education, culture and community interaction. One of the Centre’s core teaching responsibilities is academic writing which it runs for all students in the first and second years. The Centre also runs a Certificate of English Proficiency programme for students from non-English speaking countries. In line with its teaching and research responsibilities, the Centre has two academic sub-units, namely, Academic Writing and English Proficiency, with each unit headed by a coordinator. The Ghanaian language dimension of our mandate is generally coordinated by the Director with the support of the Ghanaian language experts in the Centre. 
When the Language Centre was founded in 1970 the perception,at that time, was that many students were unable to use English as well as their mother tongue with the expected degree of proficiency in both academic and non-academic contexts. It was argued that remedial work at University could help but a comprehensive approach which tackles the problem of language study and language use in the total educational system of Ghana was regarded as the most realistic solution. For that reason, research in the Language Centre has tended to focus on language learning, teaching and assessment, standards of English language use across the educational system but particularly at the university level, language endangerment and documentation, language use in the media, multilingualism, intercultural communication, written communication, and the interrelated areas of language and literature.
We are happy to share with you our vision and mission, the professional profiles of our core staff, and details of the programmes that we undertake.
Vision Statement
Our vision is to become the leading research centre in language research that informs policy in Ghana and to become a focal point for collaborative research into academic literacies within the sub-region.
Mission Statement

  • To conduct applied linguistic research which informs academic literacies throughout the educational system of Ghana;
  • To provide proficiency in English instruction for Francophone West Africans and nationals of non-Anglophone countries intending to pursue English medium higher education; and
  • To conduct research into Ghanaian languages, with a particular focus on endangered languages.

 
 
FACULTY MEMBERS
Gordon S.K. Adika  BA PhD (Ghana) MPhil (Cantab)       Associate Professor &Director
David A. Odoi, BA Dip Ed MPhil (UCC) PhD (Ghana)      Senior Lecturer
Nana A. Agyeman BA (Ghana) MPhil (Trondheim) PhD (Lond.)   Lecturer 
Seth NiiMoiAllotey BA MA(Ghana)PGDE (UCC)         Tutor
Alimsewen E. Ayaawan BA MPhil (UCC)              Assistant Lecturer
Nancy B. Nkansah BA MPhil (UCC)                       Assistant Lecturer
Isaac Afful BA MPhil (UCC)                                    Assistant Lecturer
PROGRAMMES AND COURSES
Certificate of English Proficiency
The one-year Certificate of English Proficiency programme comprises five distinct courses at the intermediate level.  These courses are all tailored to the needs of students with low to higher intermediate levels of proficiency.  The curriculum and instructional materials follow a pre-determined progression from a lower intermediate to higher intermediate level of proficiency between the first and second semester versions of the courses.  Students are predominantly drawn from Francophone West Africa, China and Korea, with occasional representation from Europe, South America and Japan. 
The courses taught in the Certificate of English Proficiency programme are Writing Skills, Reading & Comprehension, Listening & Speaking Skills, Structure of the English Language, and Literature in English.
Aims and Objectives
At the end of the programme, students are expected to be able to:

  • engage in conversations in English dealing with problem solving
  • understand and respond appropriately to English speakers with different accents
  • deliver short presentations 
  • use higher-level persuasive arguments in English in support of a position they have taken in a discussion or debate
  • understand the application of various rhetorical functions in written English, including description, definition, exemplification and classification
  • produce coherently written paragraphs and short essays
  • exhibit consciousness of the varieties of style of academic writing
  • skim and scan a text for main ideas and specific information
  • make informed guesses of the meanings of unfamiliar words with the help of context
  • take notes of the salient points of relevant paragraphs in a text as a means of achieving comprehension
  • recognize incorrect grammar and word choice in sentences and paragraphs
  • demonstrate improved grammatical accuracy of their spoken and written sentences
  • demonstrate an awareness of the functions and correct use of modals, interrogatives, negation and passive structures in the English language
  • demonstrate an appropriate and expanded use of English vocabulary and idioms
  • understand the cultures of English speakers, as represented in their reading.

 
Tuition Methods
Classroom instruction, Language laboratory practice, Role-play.
Career Prospects
Whereas the Certificate of English Proficiency programme is not an end in itself, it is a veritable means to an end in academia and industry.  It satisfies the language requirement of students who wish to study for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Ghanaian universities.  It also fulfills the language requirements of employees of companies and organizations that operate in an English medium in West Africa, including some in the Francophone countries.
Academic Writing
UGRC 110 Academic Writing I
The course orientates fresh students to understand the expectations of lecturers concerning university-level reading and writing assignments, and equips them with the skills and strategies to meet the requirements. In furtherance of this goal, students are taught the characteristics of academic writing as opposed to non-academic writing. Academic reading skills associated with the writing process are considered along with skills related to writing with clarity and coherence. These are consolidated through practical tasks. Also, grammar review exercises aimed at firming up students’ knowledge of grammar are done along with specific writing tasks. There are preliminary discussions on strategies for incorporating information from multiple sources into an academic essay and avoiding plagiarism. These discussions cover the nature of in-text citations and the list of references at the end of the essay.
 
UGRC 210 Academic Writing II
The course builds upon the skills introduced at level 100. It reviews the requirements of writing effective paragraphs and extends the discussion to developing content for the academic essay. Students are introduced to strategies for evaluating their own writing as well as that of their peers. In order to increase the awareness of students to the connection between reading and writing, they are also introduced to organisational patterns in paragraphs/essays and how they can contribute to effective reading and writing. With this foundation, students are now ready to practise summary writing in the context of expository writing. They are taken through strategies for synthesizing information from multiple sources in order to develop a thesis statement into a full-fledged essay. In this regard, key issues related to writing from sources such as referencing skills and avoiding plagiarism are thoroughly discussed with accompanying practical exercises. Grammar review exercises aimed at consolidating students’ knowledge of grammar are done along with specific writing tasks. The course also considers disciplinary variation in writing. How different is writing in science from the humanities? There is also a focus on academic presentation skills.