The Importance of Mastering the English Language and Its Impact on Employability

Topics: English language, Language proficiency, United Kingdom Pages: 8 (2491 words) Published: March 9, 2013

Asian Social Science

Vol. 8, No. 4; April 2012

Malaysian Graduates English Adequacy in the Job Sector
Gopala Krishnan Sekharan Nair (Corresponding author), Rozlan Abdul Rahim, Roszainora Setia, Norhayati Husin, Elangkeeran Sabapathy, Nur Amalia Abd Jalil, Razifa Mohd Razlan, Razita Mohamad, Shahidatul Maslina Mat So’od & Nurul Izatee Md Yusoff Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Dungun Campus, 23000 Dungun, Malaysia Tel: 60-9-8400-8225/60-12-900-2602 E-mail:

Nor Madihah Mohamed Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School, 24000 Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia E-mail: Norhafiza Abu Seman Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Dungun Campus, 23000 Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia Received: December 30, 2011 doi:10.5539/ass.v8n4p143 Abstract Historically, the use of the English Language in Malaysia, then Malaya, dates back to the Colonial times. This shows there has been a legacy of English usage in the nation. Recently, in view of globalization and increasing competition among nations in the world, there has been a renewed emphasis on the importance of English. This study hopes to provide some feedback from four industries in Kemaman about the adequacy of our new graduates. This study focused on two GLCs and two private sector companies in Kemaman, Terengganu. However, the findings can be applicable to companies throughout the country, be they GLC’s, government or private sector. Although only 115 respondents from the supervisory level upwards have been selected as the sample, these 115 respondents can be representative of the work sector not only in Kemaman, Terengganu but in the entire nation. Based on the findings, the speaking, writing, social skills and overall English proficiency of new graduates were found to be not adequate. Future researchers should focus on the need for a new syllabus design which gives scope for the development of soft skills such as interpersonal skills, speaking skills and socializing skills. Keywords: GLC, Working need, Job market, Language skills, Social skills 1. Introduction This study aimed to find out whether the work sector finds the English Language proficiency of the new graduates is adequate to need of the workplace. The focus is to identify whether lack of English proficiency will contribute to poor market value among new graduates and it is hoped that the findings would help the ministry in modifying the curriculum to be in tune with the needs of the job market. This study aimed to find out which aspect of the language proficiency skills that has been found wanting by the work sector. It is hoped that this feedback would be useful to policy planners and curriculum designers in coming up with English curriculum which will be in tandem with the needs of the job market. The advent of Information Technology and globalization has made English Language proficiency imperative for most countries in the world especially the developing countries. Foreign investors appear to prefer English speaking countries. In the past, the Malaysian economy was based on commodities such as rubber, tin and oil palm. In the 80’s, the focus of the Malaysian economy shifted from the agriculture sector to the industrial sector. In response to this new development, the government has correctly emphasized on the learning of English to facilitate the acquiring of new knowledge and skills so that a knowledge-based economy would be in place. Accepted: January 30, 2012 Published: April 1, 2012


Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education


Asian Social Science

Vol. 8, No. 4; April 2012

Globalization has put all nations on a competitive level and organizations both public and private are seeking to get more competent graduates who are skilled in the language. Therefore, this study focuses on...
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