As a growing industry, tourism provides tremendous opportunity for students who enjoy working with people. It is important that the tourism graduates develop strong oral communication skills needed by the industry. The aims of this study are to determine the industry’s needs on oral communication skills among tourism students in a polytechnic, to investigate the tourism students’ awareness of using appropriate oral communication skills and to propose the oral communication skills syllabus which aligned with the industry’s needs. In order to achieve the aims of this study, mixed methods were used in identifying the findings. Quantitative data was analyzed from a set of questionnaires which were designed based on the A1004: English for Commercial Purposes syllabus used by the polytechnic reflecting the oral communication skills needed by the industry. There was also a post evaluation carried out to find out the effectiveness of the new proposed syllabus. Both the questionnaire and the post evaluation were given to the travel agents. Whereas, qualitative data was analyzed from the interviews with the tourism students on their awareness of using appropriate oral communication skills and the pre evaluation comments gathered from the travel agents which was used as a supporting data for the findings. Based on the findings, the importance of each component of oral communication skills according to the industry’s needs are indicated specifically and the new proposed syllabus was designed and tested to the students. Interestingly, it was surprising to know that even though the students claimed that they are low proficiency level of students, but they have the awareness of using appropriate oral communication skills. Also, the improvement of the students’ performances on using oral communication skills was proved after they were taught on the new proposed syllabus.
Nurzarimah Jamil, Polytechnic METrO Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Stream: Ethics; Religion; Philosophy
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