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A Standard Report To Improve Malaysians Difficulty Communicating in English in the

workplace,especially when it comes to Business-Related Matters.

Prepared By

Hasfariza Bt Abu Hassan

Bachelor of Teaching Primary Education with Honours(BTPE)
Faculty of Education and Language
Open University Malaysia

1.0 Introduction
As Lloyd Trotter suggests,our career success depends largely on us.One of the best ways to
care for our most valuable asset is to improve our ability to communicate effectively in
English.Communication is the processs of sending and receiving massages.However
communication is effective only when the message is understood and when it stimulates
action or encourages a receiver to think in new ways.
When we communicate English effectively, we increase productivity,both workers and
business company.Only through effective communication can anticipated problems,make
decisions,coordinate work flow,supervise others,develop relationships and promote product
services.Effective communication help us shape the impressions and our company make on
colleagues,employees,supervisors,investors and customers and it helps us perceive and
respond to the needs of these stakeholders.
Conversely,ineffective communication can interfere with sound business solutions and can
often make problems worse.Without effective communication,people misunderstand each
other and misinterpret information.Ideas misfire or fail to gain attention and people and
companies flounder.

2.0 The Causes of this situation.

I strongly agreed that many Malaysians have difficulty communicate in English in the
workplace,especially when it comes to business-related matters.As we know,Malaysia
acknowledges the high importance of English yet graduates from public universities in
Malaysia encounter challenges in speaking, writing, reading, and listening in the English
language for job-related tasks at the workplace (Carol et al., 2011). The two forms
of productive communications skills are written and oral; the receptive skills are reading andl
istening.Furthermore,the greatest challenge encountered by L2 or foreign language (FL)
learners is expressing themselves clearly and fluently (Liu & Jackson, 2008) which is a form
of production either in written or spoken.
2.1 Malaysian English language learners to feel anxious towards the language
Horwitz (2010) and MacIntyre (1995) believe that language anxiety impedes language
production; consequently affects achievement. Question shave been raised on the reasons for
Malaysian English language learners to feel anxious towards the language. The first author
views learners have no choice but to learn English language for academic purpose and do not
foresee the need to use the language outside the classroom.
Throughout the primary to the secondary education, the total number of years of learning
English language is between 9-11 years. For some learners, English language learning
continues to pre-university and undergraduate programs which are addition of 2-4 years.
By the end of the formal education, it is anticipated that the Malaysian English language
learner shave good competency of the language that they are able to interact competently to
convey their thoughts clearly with confidence.However, this proved to be a misguided
notion(Pandian, 2002, p. 39) as the anticipation does not happen generally. Little attention is
givenon the language competence of Malaysian L2 learners despite the total number of
yearsreceiving English language input.
2.2 Limited of English Language Usage
The use of English language does not happen at school, in the society nor at home (Gobel,
Thang, Sighu, Oon, &Chan, 2013). For such learners, English language is a foreign language
(EFL) since the language has been practically non existent to their lives. As a result, they

experience great inferiority complex that could be overwhelmingly daunting. In contrast,

learners in urbanareas are in frequent contact with English(Gobel et al., 2013, p. 55) which
directly develops their confidence level and motivation to communicate in the language. The
finding suggests that depending on the societal context, English is not a language that is
commonly used as an everyday language in areas away from cities either for transactions
or conversations. In relation to the locality of learners, Gobel et al. (2013) mentioned that
disparity in the urban-rural divide was strongly indicated from the difference in achievement
levels between the urban and rural youths on the lower secondary school exit examination.
The study shows that English is not spoken all over Malaysia with equal frequency but given
the avenues, L2 learners are able to develop confidence in order to communicate in the
2.3 The lack of a valid and reliable mechanism to assess graduates English competency for
entry-level employment.
Malaysian employers have drawn attention to the discrepancy between graduates English
competency based on their English language scores in SPM, MUET or university language
courses and their actual performance during job interviews. More often than not, an excellent
score in SPM and/or MUET English (A or A+) does not readily translate into an excellent
performance in English during the recruitment exercise. This situation insinuates not only the
incompatibility of the standards applied by universities and industries, but also the lack of a
valid and reliable mechanism to assess graduates English competency for entry-level

3.0 How to overcome the issue.

3.1 The management arranging for English classes.

As most of the staff expressed the view that they were not satisfied with their current English
language abilities, it is recommended that the management of both companies look into the
possibility of arranging for English for specific purposes (ESP) classes for the HR staff. The
result of the needs analysis suggest that the HR staff would greatly benefit from such content
specific English classes as it would contribute significantly to their future performance at
their jobs.
3.2 Motivate learners or workers
Instructors can motivate learners by informing them about the importance of improving their
English language skills. This is very important as the HR staff have previously learned
English language skills during their school-going days and have expressed a desire to attend
training courses in enhancing their English language ability in an effort to boost their self
confidence in using English more effectively to perform their job functions.
3.3 Encourage to mastery the Interpersonal skill.
Interpersonal skill is one of the vital qualities that Business Administration graduates should
posseses.Since interpersonal skill has a bearing on the success of the company,it is equally
important for top management as well,to master the so-called skill and in fact ,with higher
propensity.This is because ,the decision making process always remain the prerogative and
responsibility of top management staff

4.0 Conclusions

Employers are confronted with a new landscape of employment and employability that
emphasizes much use of English at the workplace. Due to the competitiveness and volatility
of current market environments both at the national and global levels, employers cannot
afford to let the issue of English competency to jeopardize the core of their business
intelligence. Since correct and timely decisions are important in the industry, data based on
the performance in the Enterprise Communication Certification will allow employers to
match candidates that best suit the job profile methodically, accurately, and swiftly. With a
globally benchmarked, industrydriven, and standardized English competency certification test
for non-native speakers of English for employment purposes, employers are almost certain to
get job applicants with the required English competency.

5.0 References

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