It is apparent that oral communication skills are of a paramount importance in peoples’ workplace performance. English is taught in Ethiopia largely as a foreign language with the aim of enabling graduates cope with communication challenges in the workplace. All university students learn English; so do maritime engineering students who are presumed to work for industries abroad. Their ability to communicate in different situations is a crucial point. This study was, therefore, carried out with a view to measuring maritime engineering students’ level of communication apprehension and its relationship with their communication competence and performance in an EFL context. 76 second year students of the department of maritime engineering took part in the study. Data were gathered through questionnaires and oral communication tests. The findings indicate that students were generally apprehensive in EFL oral communication. The participants showed the highest apprehension to public speaking. It was also found out that communication apprehension was negatively correlated with both communication competence and oral communication performance of the trainees, and the trainees’ self-reported communication competence was found to have been positively correlated with their communication performance. In the light of the findings of the research, pedagogical implications and recommendations have been forwarded.
Key words: EFL (English as a Foreign Language) maritime engineering students/trainees, Bahir Dar University (BDU), Oral communication, communication apprehension (CA), communication competence (CC), communication performance (CP).
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