Monday, June 18, 2012
IMPROVING PROFICIENCY: New system from September will prepare them for the working world
KUALA LUMPUR: STUDENTS entering university with a good command of English will learn “English for Employment” to meet the requirements of the working world under a new system which classifies students according to their levels of competency.
The Malaysian University English Test (MUET), which is an entrance requirement for public universities, will determine the classifications when this English learning and teaching system is implemented in September.
Essentially, students will learn English according to three tiers — English for Employment, Intensive English and General English.
Those with MUET’s Band 5 and 6 passes are considered competent and will be prepared for the working world.
Students with MUET’s lower Band 1 and 2 passes will attend the Intensive English (IE) course to strengthen their basic command of the language.
MUET’s Band 3 and 4 achievers will have General English to learn communication skills.
“At the end of this course, students’ competency is expected to jump to at least the Band 3 level,”
Higher Education Ministry director-general Professor Datuk Dr Rujhan Mustafa told the New Straits Times yesterday.
The system will not penalise those with a lower command of the language as the IE course is not part of the credit hours that determine their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin confirmed the approval of this strategic plan to enhance proficiency in English among public university students.
Expanding on the English for Employment category, Rujhan said this would help students develop job search strategies and equip themselves with the necessary language skills.
University faculties can also opt to conduct the “English For Specific Discipline” subject to enhance students’ comprehension of their field of study.
“Here, students are not taught the language per se but the use of English is part of the contents of the subject matter,” Rujhan said.
This is termed classroom learning. There will be another track, beyond classroom learning, where students will learn English through extracurricular activities such as self-access learning, industrial attachment, iconic programmes and nativespeaker support programmes.
All these roadmaps are designed to boost students’ confidence in communicating in English.
“Subsequently, this will heighten their competency level and create holistic human capital,” Rujhan said.
He advised new university students with a low English competency to enrol for crash courses at community colleges.
He said since admission results would be announced next month, they would have two months to take up the relatively cheap short English courses.
“This will help them cope with subjects which are taught mainly in English.”