The Social Sciences

Year: 2017
Volume: 12
Issue: 7
Page No. 1257 - 1263

English for Workplace: What Do We Need to Teach?

Authors : Ahmad-Tajuddin , Azza Jauhar and Samsiah Abdul Hamid

Abstract: Malaysian employers have considerable reservations when it comes to graduate’s employability skills, particularly their flawed English language competence. Given the challenges faced by higher education institutions in Malaysia to match employer’s requirements, there is a need to initiate holistic and comprehensive research on the curriculum practices of current English for Occupational Purposes (EOP) courses. This study pursues to better comprehend employer’s perspectives, expectations and practices in dealing with the English language demands of the workplace environment. This study will define Professional Communication Skills (PCS) by looking at the needs and requirements of Malaysian stakeholders, namely employers, the government and academia. This component explores the requirements, suggestions as well as common practices in relation to English language communication carried out at the workplace in the public and private sectors in Malaysia as voiced by the stakeholders. This information will help to fulfil the fundamental objective of this study which is to determine the key definition of PCS identified by Malaysian stakeholders for successful workplace functions. This qualitative study sits within the interpretivist paradigm where data were primarily drawn from in-depth interviews with 24 respondents in the following subgroups: human resource managers from key multi-national industries (10 respondents); government executives who recruit entry-level employees for public sector (4 respondents) and EOP instructors and HE liaison officers for industrial training (10 respondents). This study has yielded findings that make an original contribution to both the theory and practice of English language literacies since it adds to the broader field of workplace literacies by unveiling the requirements for English language used in a professional setting situated in a Malaysian context. These outcomes are especially beneficial for informing policy maker’s agendas in producing competent graduates for the future local and global workforce.

How to cite this article:

Ahmad-Tajuddin , Azza Jauhar and Samsiah Abdul Hamid, 2017. English for Workplace: What Do We Need to Teach?. The Social Sciences, 12: 1257-1263.

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