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General News of Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Source: Freeman Kwade

University of Professional Studies inaugurates Language Centre

The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has inaugurated a Language Centre to facilitate the effective teaching and learning of communication and language-related courses as part of its expansion programme.

The new Centre which will operate under the Department of Public Relations will oversee all the university's language-related courses including Business Communication, Communication Skills, English, French, Public Speaking and some local languages.

Speaking at the inauguration, Prof. Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice Chancellor of UPSA said the establishment of the Centre was part of the University's expansion programme geared towards bridging the increasing communication gap amongst Linguists, Language consumers and researchers.

"The establishment of this Language Centre is a dream come true for me as the VC. It is also my dream that (the Centre) grows to become an autonomous department in the near future," Prof Amartey said.

Coordinator of the Centre, Mohammed Sadat said the new Language Centre would also run certificate courses in English, French and some Ghanaian languages as well as specialized courses for students from non-English speaking countries.

"The Centre targets students who want to improve their language proficiency in English, French and local language, teachers who want to acquire contemporary language usage to enhance their teaching skills. Corporate organizations who want to help their employees in communications and presentations skills in English and French and journalists who want to sharpen their speaking and writing skills in these languages" Mr Sadat hinted.

Speaking on the topic, "Current Trends in Language Usage," at the Centre which also hosted its maiden public lecture, senior lecturer at the Linguistics Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Clement Appah said the importance and role of language in communication cannot be overemphasized.

"For everything you that we do; whatever fields of expertise that we find ourselves in, language is key," Dr Appah observed.

The senior lecturer added that "for us in the academia, it doesn't matter the quality of your research; if you can't package your message; if you can't present your message in a way that people can appreciate, you are not going anywhere".

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof D.D. Kuupole described language as "the storehouse of knowledge and vehicle for its verbalization".

Prof Kuupole who is also French scholar urged Ghanaians to explore beyond their own native languages, stressing learning another language not only provides practical communication skills but has a unique role to play in developing cognitive, literacy and cultural knowledge.