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 A Survey of Oral Communication Apprehension in English among ESP Learners in an Engineering Course

Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan1 and Sarjit Kaur2

1Center for Modern Languages and Human Sciences,

Universiti Malaysia Pahang

2School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia



Engineering graduates today need to possess both hard and soft competencies to work effectively in a competitive professional world.  Among soft competencies highly valued in the engineering industry are effective oral communication skills (Grant & Dickson, 2006). In the Malaysian context, English has become the main language used in many established and reputed engineering companies. Hence, to be highly proficient in English is a much needed skill among engineering graduates. This study examined the oral communication apprehension in English of 193 final year chemical engineering students in Universiti Malaysia Pahang.  A set of questionnaires comprising the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension PRCA-24 (McCroskey, 1984) was administered to these ESP students. Results indicated that most of these engineering students (70.7%) perceived themselves to have moderate communication apprehension and only 10.7% had high communication apprehension in communicating in English. Practical implications and the need for specifically addressing communication apprehension among engineering students are discussed.

Keywords: ESP, oral communication apprehension, engineering students, oral communication skills

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