Resolving Conflict: Enhancing Engineering Students’ English Fluency through Workplace Situation

By Hafizoah Kassim and Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Conversing in a second language particularly in English can be demanding for second language learners; they are often reluctant and embarrassed to communicate due to the fact that they are afraid they will commit grammatical inaccuracy. Concerns over accuracy often hinder students’ ability to speak fluently. At Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) nonetheless, engineering students are frequently required to deliver project demonstrations, present research or project findings and interview people from the industry, and they can perform all these tasks very well in their native language, in this case Malay. However, when it comes to completing the tasks in English, students stumble; often projecting lack of confidence, failing to deliver the message across, and thus, disappointing the receiver. The researchers believe that the needs to, at least, improve students’ fluency regardless of the accuracy will help the students perform better in communicative events. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to present the researchers’ attempt at improving engineering students’ fluency in the English language. This has been done by exposing a group of 30 chemical engineering students to one of the most common communicative events at the workplace – conflict. They are provided with a variety of internal and external conflict scenarios and problem solving situations in which they have to resolve. Students are given opportunities to interact, deliver their opinions and resolve the issues in different speaking activities without penalizing them on the accuracy of the language.

Keywords: English Language Fluency, Engineering Students, Workplace Situations-Conflict

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp.51-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 966.716KB).

Hafizoah Kassim

Lecturer, Centre for Modern Languages & Human Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Hafizoah Kassim has almost nine years of teaching experience which include proficiency and communication subjects to undergraduate students, short courses for tertiary students and adult learners, and she was also part of the teaching team that coaches new lecturers. She has been involved in module development for a number of subjects. Her interests of research include multimedia instructional materials, language learning and technology, language learning in engineering, softskills, learning styles, creativity and cognition.

Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan

Lecturer, Centre for Modern Languages & Human Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan holds a Bachelor Degree in TESL from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a Masters Degree in English Language Teaching from University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She has more than 8 years working experience as an English language educator. Currently she is the Head of Modern Languages Program of the Center for Modern Languages and Human Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Pahang, Malaysia. She has also involved in giving English communication trainings to staff in industries, e.g. BASF-Petronas Chemicals in Pahang and Terengganu. Her research interest includes workplace communication, second language learning strategies, second language vocabulary learning and students’ motivation.

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