English Language Oral Communication Needs at the Work Place

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 66 (2012) 529 – 536

The 8th International Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) Seminar - Aligning Theoretical Knowledge with Professional Practice

English Language Oral Communication Needs at the Workplace: Feedback from Human Resource Development (HRD) Trainees Mohammad Ali Moslehifara*, Noor Aireen Ibrahimb
ab

Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor, Malaysia

Abstract The most essential skill that employers look for is the ability to speak effectively in English. This ability is especially true of sectors, namely the Human Resource Development (HRD), where communication at the internal and external level is an important requirement of the job. Previous studies in Malaysia have found that members of staff often face problems such as speaking fluently and presenting in front of a large audience. This paper reports on an investigation of English Language Oral Communication (ELOC) needs of HRD undergraduates from a public university in the Southern part of Malaysia. The findings identified the specific oral communicative events and skills required by HRD trainees at the workplace. © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the LSP 2012 Committee, Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the LSP 2012 Committee, Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Malaysia. Keywords: Needs Analysis; Oral communication; ESP, Communicative Events; Human Resource Development

1. Introduction The role of English language is important for communication between people especially in higher institutions and businesses in Malaysia. Since English is the second language in Malaysia, the concentration is on generating learners with the ability to communicate effectively in different social and professional contexts. Currently in Malaysia, communication skills play the fundamental role at workplace situations. The importance of communication skills is significant in the management sector as stated in different job advertisements. Without efficient communication skills in the management sector, a manager would never achieve success [15].

* Corresponding author. Tel.:+6-017-745-5616 E-mail address: ammohammad3@live.utm.my

1877-0428 © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the LSP 2012 Committee, Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.11.297

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Mohammad Ali Moslehifar and Noor Aireen Ibrahim / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 66 (2012) 529 – 536

According to Clagett [3], in communication, the most important area is oral communication skills in English language which all graduates should possess to guarantee that they can function efficiently at the workplace. igher institutions in Malaysia are gearing Realising that this critical soft skill increases g their efforts toward improving the oral communication skills of their undergraduates. In the context of workplace communication, having good communication skills is the way to success and that good communication skills are seen as fundamental and an additional advantage [9]. In the perspective of Stivers [14], oral communication skill in English is an important skill for managers to possess in order to carry out tasks efficiently at the workplace. In a study by Kasim and Ali [5], the significant role of oral communication skills in multinational companies was reported by between 71 to 80 percent of the respondents. They ranked the usage of oral communication skills in multinational companies as follows; telephone conversation, informal work related discussions, meetings, giving oral presentations, explaining and demonstrating to subordinates and other colleagues. Higher Institutions in Malaysia are seeking to...
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