Congruence between language proficiency and communicative abilities

Ernisa, Marzuki and Ting, Su Hie and Collin, Jerome and Chuah, Kee-Man and Jecky, Misieng (2013) Congruence between language proficiency and communicative abilities. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 97. pp. 448-453. ISSN 1877-0428

Congruence between Language Proficiency and Communicative Abilities (abstract).pdf

Download (190kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Reports in mass media and narratives of people in authority as well as the lay person in the street attribute unemployment of graduates to their poor communicative abilities and, in the same breath, poor proficiency in English. This raises questions for applied linguistics to address through empirical studies. This paper reports students’ views of the congruence between language proficiency and communicative abilities. The specific aspects examined are whether students conceptualise these two constructs as the same, overlapping or different; and whether students think their language proficiency and communicative ability affect their chances of employability. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with university students with different English proficiency levels. The preliminary results indicate that students see both English proficiency and communicative ability as important factors affecting their employability but they can tease apart the two constructs. The students view communicative ability as going beyond language proficiency to encompass ability to take account of other viewpoints and clarity in thought patterns during communication. The findings suggest that strategies to improve undergraduate communicative abilities cannot target English proficiency alone.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language proficiency; communicative ability; employability; higher education; graduates, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies (rebranded to FLSCS in 2015)
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2015 06:53
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015 06:53

Actions (For repository members only: login required)

View Item View Item