Language proficiency of college students on the decline
Monday, 20 May 2019
The language skills of college students are declining, according to research by Odisee, reported by De Standaard on Monday. Since 2012, first-year students at hogeschool Odisee have been required to take a language test at the start of the academic year. The analysis of the language test of 8,052 first-year students between 2013 and 2018 shows that the language skills of students have seen a drastic reduced.
“Students cannot sufficiently understand the structure of a text, which makes studying difficult. In addition, first-year students find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between formal and informal language use. They often no longer know the difference between language in a professional context and in a chat”, said language policy coordinator An De Moor.
The vocabulary of first-year students is also decreasing. “Many students do not seem to know the meaning of words such as empathy or flow,” added De Moor. These results are ‘alarming’ due to the direct link with their chances of success, she added.