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University's Students' Perception On English As A Medium In Their Learning Environment.

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English plays an important role at this area of globalization. People need to be proficient in English in order to compete on an international platform. Based on the resolutions of MELTA (Malaysian English Language Teaching Association) National Colloquium on the Role of The English Language In National Building held on 22nd of April 2003 at Sheraton Subang Towers and Hotel, Subang Jaya Selangor, "English Language plays a significant role in the enhancement of the economy and international-level political initiatives as well as cross cultural communication." English Language is also being identified to be one of the factors that many graduates unemployed. The unemployed graduates are urged to polish up their English and communications skills to better equip themselves, (Friday, November 04, 2005). English is now a medium at all level of education in Malaysia, from primary to tertiary level.


This research covers the results of a survey done on Malaysia Open University's Students, May Intake 2007, PPW Sarawak.


This research was conducted to identify university's students' perception on English as a Medium In Their Learning Environment. The aims of this research is :-

I. To determine the English Language proficiency among university's students and attitude towards learning English

II. To determine students' opinions on the role of English Language in present job market

III. To identify students' opinions on the factors that contribute to English Language learning problems

Method of Investigations

A survey was conducted on 10 undergraduates in a tertiary institution in Malaysia, Malaysia Open University (OUM). Methods of distributing questionnaires to students and interview were conducted.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this research is to identify students' opinions on the needs of English in Education and formulate some suggestions to be submitted to the Ministry of Higher Learning.


Many countries recognize the need to place emphasis on English to meet demands of an increasingly borderless world, says International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Prof Dr Rosnani Hashim. However the efforts to promote the English Language in Malaysia are hampered by the dominant position held by mother tongues in Malaysia. During the survey, respondents state that they used to speak in their own dialects when communicating with colleagues and course mates.

According to (Aziz, 2003), language plays an important role in communication, thinking and is a tool for exchanging ideas and concepts between individuals, Thus ones must master a language so that our ideas are well understood and successfully delivered to the receiver. It might create misunderstanding and confusing to receiver if we are having poor structure of communicating.

In addition, according to the Psychology Dictionary, understand is defined as the process of becoming aware of the relationship between thing or their meanings (Evans, 1978). Thus to learn effectively in, someone has to understand what he/she had learned. In my research, the respondents were not having problems in understanding the language but they were having problems in speaking English.


The information of this report has been obtained from a survey conducted on the University's students' perception on English as a medium in their learning environment

I. Questionnaires

Questionnaires were distributed to 10 OUM students. The questionnaire comprises of 6 sections. Section A, B, C, and D are comprise of four Likert Scale. Section E of the questionnaires collect demographic information of the respondents.

II. Population and Sample

The population of this study was OUM distance learning students. The samples selected for this study comprised of 10 students.

III. Interview

Face to face interview has been conducted to 5 OUM students. Valuable comments and opinions have been elicited from them.

IV. Analysis of Data

Data obtained from the questionnaire survey and interviews were collected and analyzed. Frequency counts and percentage of the data were computed and transformed into tables.


Table 1: Percentage for the items on Students' attitude in Learning English

Item No: Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

1. I always speak English whenever is appropriate.

10% 20% 50% 20%

2. I prefer to read books in English

10% 10% 70% 10%

3. I prefer to learn course's modules in Malay rather than English.

0% 50% 50% 0%

4. I will refer to the dictionary if there are words in English that I don't know the meaning.

0% 0% 80% 20%

5. Learning modules in Malay is easier for me to understand.

0% 30% 60% 10%

6. I am willing to spend high tuition fee to improve and master English Language.

0% 40% 50% 10%

7. I like to spend my past time by reading English reading materials.

0% 30% 70% 0%

8. English as the only educational language in education will create conflict in my culture and loss my identity. 20% 50% 30% 0%

9. Education in Bilingual (English and Malay) confused me. 0% 70% 30% 0%

From the survey, the data showed that 20% of the respondents strongly agree, and 50 % of them agree that they always speak English whenever is appropriate. It was learnt that they practice speaking English most of the time. It was also found out



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