The Englisg Proficiency of Civil Engineering Students at a Malaysian Polytechnic

Ahmad Yasruddin Md Yasin, Wan Mohd Haniff Wan Mohd Shaupil, Affidah Mardziah Mukhtar, Noor Izma Ab Ghani, Farawaheeda Rashid

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to investigate the English proficiency of civil engineering students of a Malaysian polytechnic.  A questionnaire, modeled after the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) approach and The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills report was developed and administered to 171 civil engineering students. These students had completed a mandatory one-semester industrial training programme with various organizations. This post industrial training survey, through the use of a self-report questionnaire, provided an important opportunity to capture crucial data from students regarding their English language skills. Findings of this study revealed that the students frequency or ability of using the English language was low, irrespective of the type of workplace or level of study. Analyses of skill deficiencies revealed wide learning gaps between the acquired and required English skill attributes. Analysis of the survey data had also identified a list of important skill attributes in the workplace, and the four most highly valued English skill attributes were a combination of academic and specific job-related tasks: understanding technical documents, correct grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure, writing test/investigation report and questioning for clarification. The results of this study implied the need for curriculum changes (such as content and mode of delivery) so that polytechnic graduates could meet the workplace expectations.

 

Key words : Employability Skills, English Proficiency, Skills Gaps

 


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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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