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Title: An investigation into the oral communication skills component in the English language syllabuses of the Malaysian polytechnics
Author: Muslim, Aishah
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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This study investigates whether the oral communication skills component in the English language syllabuses used by the Malaysian polytechnics enhances the speaking skills of the students. Specifically it aims to explore the extent to which Malaysian polytechnic students are supported in developing their competence in oral communication skills. This study assesses the English language syllabuses used at a Malaysian polytechnic based on the students' perceptions, tests and teachers' views and also the use of supporting documents. This study was done through the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in one polytechnic with 578 respondents. It was a case study which compared pre-test and post-test of the 578 students' English language oral test, using SPSS, analyses of interviews of students and teachers and supporting documents. The study identifies which barriers that are hindering the Malaysian polytechnic students' oral communication performance. Recognising the range of factors associated with this ongoing problem in Malaysia could be used to inform and develop policy that could begin to overcome the performances of these students and improve the quality of teaching in English at the Malaysian polytechnics. The study revealed that the use of the Malaysian English language syllabuses have not supported the Malaysian polytechnic students' spoken English competencies. The study further showed that Science and Mathematics education together with eleven years of English at schools have not developed the students' oral communication skills. It was due to the fact that students upon entering the polytechnic remained unexposed to English in their daily lives, their environment or even socially. These situations remained unchanged when they are at the polytechnic as they experienced a similar environment as they had previously before they joined the polytechnic. On a positive note, the students were found to have showed positive attitudes learning English, their English teachers and stated their desire to learn more of the language. They realized the importance of English especially for instrumental purposes such as getting better jobs and elevating their status amongst their peers yet they faced a high level of anxiety to use English as they are not used to using English on a regular basis. This is the one of the many barriers that had been put forward by the students, teachers on the success of the teaching and learning of English in Malaysia. Too many barriers were found in the implementation of a successful teaching and learning of English in Malaysia and especially in the polytechnics. Yet, if Malaysia is to improve the standard of English of its people, the many barriers which involved the students, teachers, the syllabus, the environment and the system must be considered first. Problems that afflicted the teachers, students especially, have to be resolved prior to the implementation of various policies which might yet remain futile and not produce positive results. However, with the ever supportive supports of the government and all policy makers and those of authority, this situation can be changed for the better as all involved parties should work in tandem for the attainment of one goal - to better the speaking skills in Malaysia generally and specifically in the Malaysian polytechnics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available