English proficiency still a big problem for many M’sian grads


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is ranked 12th out of 72 countries based on English skills, according to a proficiency index done by Education First, a global organisation founded in Sweden.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden were in the top three positions. Singapore is the highest ranked Asian country at No. 6.

That sounds fairly good for Malaysia. But is it really?

Malaysia Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said there was still a major problem among job seekers, especially fresh graduates, SPM and diploma holders.

Some of them could not even construct proper sentences nor convey the message in a conversation, he said. He related his experience interviewing a job seeker who spoke in Bahasa Malaysia despite being questioned in English.

“After the third response, I got irritated and asked him ‘what’s your problem?’

“He said he could understand my questions but he could not speak English.

“And we’re talking about a university graduate where everything else looks all right on paper,” said Shamsuddin.

He said there was a need for students to improve their communication skills both orally and in writing.

“One of the ways is to take up short courses which will involve some funding but if they cannot do that, they can try watching some videos and try to improve their English.

“It is also important for school authorities to come up with programmes for students to make them communicate in English such as selecting a day or two every week where students are only allowed to speak English,” he said.

In the Salary Surveys 2016 by MEF, it found that more than 90% of respondents indicated the need for graduates to improve their English proficiency to become more employable.

Malaysia scored 431 in reading under the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2015, which is still way below the global average score of 493.

Based on the 2015 score, Malaysia is ranked 49th out of some 70 countries for reading and neighbouring Singapore is right on top of the leaderboard, scoring 535.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Government , English

   

Next In Nation

Covid-19: Vaccination programme on track, no delays expected, says Adham Baba
S'wak's rural folk to have easier access to banking services following launch of mobile bank initiative
Khairy: Round two of opt-in AstraZeneca vaccinations to be announced next week
Najib's SRC trial to extend until March and April 2022
Don't ban dine-ins completely, plead restaurant operators
Give precise directions on how to hire foreign domestic helpers, Pusma tells govt
Ramadan, Aidilfitri bazaars in MCO districts can continue to operate, says Johor govt
Investigation paper on Neelofa, husband for crossing state lines almost complete, say cops
Eleven claim trial in JB to reselling subsidised cooking oil
No Covid outbreak at Ipoh resort

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers