Graduating with flying colours is not new to Mr. Ndishunwani Vincent Demana. He received his Masters of Arts in English with Distinction in a graduation ceremony held at the University of Venda (UNIVEN) Auditorium on Wednesday, 17 May 2017.

Hard work pays off Demana passes with distinction again.

When he graduated his BA degree in 1996 at UNIVEN, he received the Dr Zahida Ahmed Best Student Award, Willem Van Der Merwe Trophy, English Over-all Student Award and the School Medallion.
He was overjoyed with his achievement. “It is a dream come true”. Demana is an English lecturer at the School of Human and Social Sciences, Univen. He grew up in Tshitereke village.
When asked how he managed to graduate with a distinction while he is a full time lecturer, he said: “If you are passionate in what you are doing, nothing can impede you from realizing your dreams. You can work and study at the same time. Besides, my work is related to my studies”.

He further said that researching the topic was not a bed of roses. “There were challenges here and there, but with support from my supervisors, all challenges were turned to opportunities,” he added.
His research topic was: A study of the English reading comprehension strategies utilised by level-one students at the University of Venda.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the English reading strategies utilised by level-one students at the University of Venda. “The respondents in this study were three hundred and nine level-one students from various Schools in the University of Venda who were doing English Communication Skills (ECS) course in the 2016 academic year. Data were collected by means of a self-completion questionnaire of the Survey of Reading Strategies (SORS) developed by Mokhtari and Sheorey. The researcher employed descriptive statistics to analyse frequency use of each reading strategy using frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and usage level. Open-ended data were summarised by using grouping technique,” he said.

“The results of the study revealed that the respondents in this study were to a large extent, aware of what they were doing when reading as they reported utilising English reading strategies with different frequencies and with the high and moderate levels of reading strategy usage. The highest mean frequency with which the respondents used a given category of strategies when reading English academic materials was 3.98 (high) which was derived from the category of problem-solving strategies, while the category of support reading strategies and global reading strategies were reported being used with the relative mean of 3.79 (high) and 3.57 (high) respectively”.
According to him, the findings can be helpful to students in increasing their awareness of reading strategies while reading, improving their understanding of the reading process, and enhancing confidence in their own reading ability and to teachers and lecturers in helping their students learn to become constructively responsive and thoughtful readers, which will promote their academic reading skills and ultimately enhance their academic achievement.

He advised that students should work hard and be disciplined in order to succeed. “If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. Associate yourself with people who will motivate you in achieving your goals,” he added.
Mr Demana, a father of four children, also said that graduating with distinction gives him strength to work harder towards his Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD).

Issued by:
Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525

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