Investigating the Beyond-classroom English Literacy Practices of Malaysian Public and Private University Students

Adeline, Ho (2021) Investigating the Beyond-classroom English Literacy Practices of Malaysian Public and Private University Students. Masters thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

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Abstract

In Malaysia, proficiency in the English language has become a vital component of academic success, particularly in university studies, allowing students to comprehend and share ideas more effectively, whether orally or in writing. It is therefore imperative that students are exposed to the English language and apply it within various settings, not just in the classroom. Studies have shown, however, that there is limited opportunity for students to practice using English outside the classroom. This study reported that students in this modern era are exposed to various avenues and technologies that enable them to have a greater opportunity than ever before to make use of their English skills. Thus, this study sought to identify the beyond-classroom activities that students participated in in order to determine the frequency of use of English outside the classroom. Two public and two private universities were taken as representative samples of the Malaysian university student population. A total number of 200 undergraduates enrolled in both the public and private universities participated in this study. This quantitative study involved tertiary students aged between 18 and 23 from different backgrounds. A questionnaire that consisted of 4 sections, namely demographic information, self-perceived English language proficiency, how students use English in various activities and how students cope with using English in different situations was distributed. The questionnaire consisted of 48 items. Data analysis through SPSS was conducted. The study showed that Malaysian university students are actually surrounded by opportunities where they can practice using English. Participants who possess high English proficiency tended to use English more frequently in their beyond�classroom activities as compared to those with low proficiency. There was a direct correlation found between better English SPM results and increased use of English in the beyond-classroom activities. Students with low levels of English proficiency tended to iv depend more heavily on tools such as Google Translate, bilingual dictionaries, and computer-based thesauri to help cope with the difficulties faced when using English in their beyond-classroom activities. Students from private universities, however, tended to communicate verbally more in English compared to their public university peers. Overall, students from both public and private universities used English very frequently in their beyond-classroom activities. By better understanding the frequency and the context of use, we can identify activities that can be used to effectively foster further use of English among university students to improve their proficiency. Keywords: English literacy, literacy practice, literacy as social practice, Malaysian university public and private students

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: English literacy, literacy practice, literacy as social practice, Malaysian university public and private students
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Language Studies & Communication Studies
Depositing User: ADELINE HO CHIN PEI
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2021 01:11
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2021 03:24
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/35799

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