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Examining Fijian first-year university students’ English proficiency on CEFR levels
English is the main lingua franca among the various ethnolinguistic groups in Fiji. This results in a sociocultural problem when students enter universities from different high school backgrounds. To this end, this study analysed the level of difference in writing abilities at the beginning of the first year of study and at the end of the first-year program of undergraduate students. The goal was to generate new insights that could inform ongoing efforts towards ameliorating academic English language proficiency in Fiji. The study took place at a university in Fiji where 120 students were sampled at the beginning of the first year and at the end of their first year of university program. This study used the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to evaluate student writing skills and for the development of curricula to meet students’ needs. The study employed quantitative research design to a longitudinal language testing research context. The CEFR was successful in gauging the student’s preparedness for university study and work life. Out of the 120 students, it was observed that from the 62 students who were at the A1 level at the end beginning of the year progressed to levels B1 and B2. Out of 62, 21 moved to B1 where 41 moved to B2. Further, 49 students from A2 level also progressed as 44 of these students had B2 and another 5 made substantial improvement by moving up to C1 level. The findings of this study can be used in improving support systems to enhance the smooth transition of multilingual students from high school through university and into the workforce. The analyses have the potential to provide insights into how Fijian undergraduate students are performing compared to students in other countries and how the EFL curriculum might be adapted to students’ needs.
Suggested citationPrashneel Ravisan Goundar. (2023). Examining Fijian first-year university students’ English proficiency on CEFR levels. Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 6(2), 73–93. https://doi.org/10.29140/ajal.v6n2.1050