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Writing professional discourse: the challenges faced by Malaysian engineers

Shamsudin, Sarimah and Sarjit Singh, Manvender Kaur (2012) Writing professional discourse: the challenges faced by Malaysian engineers. The Asian ESP Journal, 8 (4). pp. 125-161. ISSN 1833-2994

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Official URL: https://www.asian-esp-journal.com/journal-index/20...


In Malaysia, English is taught and used as a second language. Nevertheless, English has become a requirement for employment and career advancement. Mastering English requires mastering the spoken and written aspects of the language, and written linguistic competence requires grammatical and pragmatic competence to produce a cognitively understandable text. In the petroleum industry, written professional discourse plays an important role as a core element of the communication process. Yet written workplace literacy in the petroleum industry in Malaysia has yet to be explored and thus requires investigation, particularly since it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the demand for engineers in Malaysia in the near future. Thus, in the interests of making suggestions for curriculum design, research exploring the actual written communication of Malaysian petroleum workers is necessary to understand what professionals need in real work situations, and through such needs analysis teaching methods can be evaluated and revised. This paper presents the findings of an inquiry into the challenges faced by Malaysian engineers in the petroleum industry while preparing job-related written communication. Data were obtained through on-site observations at work sites during field visits and semi-structured interviews conducted with 8 engineers from 4 key companies in the local petroleum industry. Findings were triangulated between field notes, interviews, and textual analysis of official company documents called 'work procedures'. Results showed that engineers engage in daily written communication and competence in writing is a crucial requirement for the petroleum industry. The findings presented here may be useful to ESP course designers for petro-chemical engineering at higher learning institutions in Malaysia.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:language, written linguistic competence
Subjects:L Education
ID Code:33635
Deposited By: Fazli Masari
Deposited On:30 Aug 2013 08:53
Last Modified:28 Jan 2019 03:54

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