English Language Use among Malaysian Tertiary Level Students: A Case Study of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College


While English is widely spoken in Malaysia, there have been concerns about its declining standards, with educationists and employers observing that even graduates are unable to use the language proficiently. The inability to use English or the lack of the necessary language skills has even been said to be the reason for the high level of unemployment among graduates. In view of this, this study set out to explore the language use of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College students in all the four areas of English language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing in six domains: education, family, friendship, transactions, mass media and entertainment by adopting the concept of literacy as a social practice and the concept of domains by Fishman. The objectives of this study were to investigate to what extent English is used in TAR UC and outside the campus as well as the relationship between the use of English in the six domains and students’ proficiency. This study adopted the concurrent embedded strategy of mixed methods design. In this approach, quantitative data from questionnaires of 435 respondents and qualitative data from interviews, home observations, classroom observations and document study were collected. The secondary qualitative data were embedded within the predominant quantitative data to provide a supporting role in explaining and expanding the findings of the questionnaires.Results show that English language learning or English literacy learning is placed on the integration of the four language modes (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as it is used in real-life situations.

Author Information
Bee Imm Low, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2016
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon