Developing Speaking Skills Module for Engineering Students

By Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan, Fatimah Ali, Hafizoah Kassim, Haslinda Hashim, Najah Osman and Ramle Abid.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

To increase the employability of engineering graduates, communication skills are crucial. In a dialogue between the industries and Malaysian public universities in 2002, it was highlighted that most local graduates lack communication skills (Tengku Mahaleel, 2002). Thus, to meet and exceed the expectation of all stakeholders, universities need to review the language and communication courses and teaching approaches. Splitt (1993) states that, “the challenge is to provide better ways for faculty to work with students, and to help them enhance their people-related skills. We need people who can work with other people, who can communicate, be inventive, creative, and have ideas and the courage to see them through”. Thus, taking into consideration these challenges, this research aims to develop an effective module of speaking skills for Universiti Malaysia Pahang’s (UMP) engineering students. The objectives of the research are (1) to develop students’ oral competency through various speaking activities based on workplace case scenarios and (2) to enhance students’ level of confidence as they engage in different types of communicative events. A total of 28 and 16 engineering students were engaged as subjects in the study for experimental and control group respectively. The experimental group was given treatment using the speaking skills module developed. To assess the effectiveness of the module, pre test and post test were conducted to both groups using Malaysian University English Testing (MUET) system. Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA-24) form was also administered to both groups during the pre and post tests to measure their level of communication apprehension. For the experimental group, the results show there was a considerable improvement in their oral competency as well as a significant reduction of communication apprehension level after the treatment.

Keywords: Speaking Skills, Engineering Students, Industry Needs

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp.61-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 836.944KB).

Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan

Lecturer, Centre for Modern Language & 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.

Fatimah Ali

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

Fatimah Ali is an English lecturer at the Centre for Modern Languages and Human Sciences, University Malaysia Pahang. She graduated with a B.A (English) from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2000 and M. Ed TESL from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in 2003. She had been appointed as the Head of Technical and Services and currently pursuing a PhD in English as an International Language in Monash University, Australia. Her research interest includes language learning and technology and Intercultural Communication.

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 includes proficiency and communication subjects to undergraduate students, short courses for adult learners and part of the teaching and learning team that coaches new lecturers. She has also 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, creativity and cognition.

Haslinda Hashim

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

Haslinda Hashim has been teaching for the past 13 years. She is very interested in teaching methodology especially in using technology and drama techniques to help weak and low level proficiency students. Her desire is to explore the strength of Soft Skills in developing oneself especially during life at campus. She handles Soft Skills workshops, which prepare students for their Industrial Attachment, managed to set up an expert group which explored topics on Critical and Creative Thinking Skills, Conflict Management, Facilitation Skills, Mentoring and Coaching, and Emotional Intelligence. The team has managed to produce a book entitled 'Profesional Skills Kit for UMP Graduates''. She often gives talks to students, the public and industry in order to share knowledge on how to overcome obstacles in achieving success in life individually or socially. She is also very much involved in research on communication, and soft skills measurement and problems.

Najah Osman

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

Najah Osman has more than 20 years of experience as an English language educator. Her interests of research include thinking skills and language learning strategies.

Ramle Abid

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

Ramle Abid has more than 20 years of experience as an English language educator. Her interests of research include language learning strategies and motivation.

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