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FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION

OUMH2203
ENGLISH FOR WORKPLACE COMMUNICATION
JANUARY 2016 SEMESTER

NAME

MATRIC NO

NRIC

TEL. NO

E-mail

CENTRE OF LEARNING:

CONTENTS
1.0

2.0

PAGE NO.

Introduction

1.1

The Status of English Language

1.2

The Statement of Declaration

The Purpose of the Report

2.1

Some Proven Benefits of the Doubt

2.1.1

From the Perspective of the Media or Press Released

2.1.2

From the Perspective of the Publics

2.2.3

From the Perspective of University Undergraduates


and IPG Batu Lintang

Table 1: The Usage of Apps Languages by University Undergraduates 2015

7
8

Bar Chart 1: The Usage of Apps Languages by Undergraduates in


Malaysia, 2015

3.0

Pie Chart 1: The Total number of recipients who Used Apps Languages

Table 2: The Number of Staffs with their specialized fields of works 2016

Problems Faced by Employees with Poor Command of English


At Workplace

11

3.1

The Job Requirement

11

3.2

Mutual Misunderstanding

12

3.3

Time Consuming

12

3.4

Low Productivity

12

CONTENTS

PAGE NO.

4.0

Conclusions

13

4.1

Recommandations

14

4.1.1

Within the English Department

14

Chart 2: The Partnerships Framework Model

15

4.1.2

15

Within the IPG Batu Lintang (Teacher Training Kuching Centre)

Table 3: The Insentive Award in the Library for Trainees and staffs

16

Table 4: A list of New Books Proposed in English for 2016

16

Appendix 1: 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM


REFERENCES

19
20-21

1.0

Introduction
It is undeniable that English is an important language that is widely spoken globally.

Not only that, most of our technology communication such as online websites, technology
instructional languages are using English for information.

It is the same way that how

students at schools perceive information. Since English is the second language in Malaysia,
it has once again turned over most Malaysians who have difficulty in English either spoken
or written at workplace. It is doubtable that should we seriously consider the claim that we
are now undergoing one of the most significant revolutions for English education since the
progression from oral to print and books based teaching and learning.
1.1

The Status of English Language


In many countries around the world, English is a lingua franca. According to

Wardhaugh (1999:55), UNESCO defined a lingua franca as a language which is used


habitually by people whose mother tongues are different in order to facilitate communication
between them.
In some places, English is a native language, in others it is a second language or a
foreign language. In countries such as India, the Philippines and Singapore, English as a
second language is used extensively besides their respective first languages. In other foreign
language situations, it may not be extensively employed. English language, therefore, is
spoken in many ways and with many levels of proficiency. Greek Koine and Valgar Latin
were employed in the Ancient World, but these languages were not homogeneous. The
speakers of these languages were varied in their competency of the languages and they were
spoken differently in different places.

In many countries, the national language or the

official language serves as the lingua franca.

An example is Russian in the USSR.

Throughout the Arab speaking world, classical Arabic, the language that is used in the Quran
is the lingua franca among the educated. In East Africa and Tanzania, Swahili is the lingua
franca.
Chinook Jargon, which was used by American Indians, is a dead language today. It
was a lingua franca in the second half of the nineteenth century at the northwest of the United
States, from British Columbia to Alaska. It was also learned by the French and English, and
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therefore, its vocabulary is based on various Amerindian Languages, English and French.
There are two types of Chinook; one is the lingua franca which is the Plain Signs Language
spoken widely in the mainland areas, and the other is Chinook Jargon, used by speakers along
the coast.

The reasons for these two versions are not known, but it is thought that slavery

may be the most contributing factor.


Lingua franca may have initially developed as a trade language. Swahili was a widely
used trade language and Hausa, which was used as a second language, was also used for
trading. Tok Pisin, which is a lingua franca in New Guinea, was also used as a trade
language.
1.2

The Statement of Declaration


With these reform, my pleasure to draw our honorable Dr. Adi Baizuriamah Bin

Abang Tuah, the Principal of the Teachers Training Institute for Kuching Division (IPGKuching) that I the English panel Head, Puan Noridah Binti Appendi at the this Institute,
would like to draw your attention that I strongly support and believe that we should provide
more alternative instructional training English books or courses both spoken and written at
our institution for the following reasons.
2.0

The Purpose of the Report


The purpose of this report is to arouse the public awareness towards the difficulty

causes in both oral and written communication in English at workplace.

Besides, some

recommendations are made so that more engagement of the quality usage of English
language which will take place in future especially at workplace.
2.1

Some Proven Benefits of the Doubt


No doubt, oral and written skills in English play the fundamental role at workplace

situations. Having a good oral communication skill in English is an important skill for the
managers or field workers to possess in order to carry out tasks efficiently at the workplace.
There are some scenarios and studies proven for the weak achievement of English that
happened at workplace in Malaysia.

2.1.1

From the Perspective of the Media or Press Released


From the New Straits Times online (26 November 2015) commented that there were

handful of English mistakes such as spelling, inappropriate word order, punctuation and
grammatical errors on billboards and signboards elsewhere in Malaysia. Another report from
the Utusan Melayu stated that, ...In 2015, a total of 20000 graduates nationwide stayed
unemployed due to their weak English skills. claimed by Dato Seri Adanam Satem, the
Chief Minister of Sarawak.
The Star online (26 Mac 2015) reported on young doctors using broken English
during their consultation with their patients. Somehow rather the doctors explained in local
Malay language. It was reported that some 1000 medical graduates who were forced to
abandon their dream of becoming doctors upset them.
According to a press release from the New Straits Time Press dated 23 December
2015, based on a studies conducted by our Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamd
Khaled Nordin in 2015 revealed that the causes of unemployment among local graduates was
their poor command of English.

The declining on the usage of English was due to the

contact hours at the learning center such as the schools and higher institutions of learning in
Malaysia. Meanwhile, the minister added that the ministry did not want to burden students
by making it compulsory for them to pass the English papers as that would delay their
graduation in 2015.
The low levels of English proficiency among university students nowadays becoming
a hot issue among the academic thinkers. This is because the students English language
skills are not being developed during their higher education experience.

Thus, reflects

negatively on the quality of higher education and its graduates as reported by Utusan Melayu
dated 13 January 2016. Recently, the Ministry of higher Education of Malaysia commented
that the low proficiency of English among the graduates contributed by two factors; internal
and external factors. Internal factor likes no confident when using English, negative attitude
towards English usage whereas the limited opportunities to use English outside classroom
becomes an external factor.

2.1.2

From the Perspective of the Publics


The Performance Management and Delivery Units recently released public service

videos on the sad state of English in Malaysia proved this. Many fresh Malaysian graduates
failed their interviews.

A logistics manager at an international company once had to switch

to another language when conversing with fresh Malaysian graduates during interviews.
Some even did not know how to write their resumes using correct English. Further, the
manager claimed that looking a fluent English spoken graduate is like looking a needle in a
haystack. It is unbelievable why our graduates cannot take some initiative to enhance their
English proficiency level and prepare themselves to be global players.
Besides, the declining standard of English is not limited to a specific sector but is
rampant in many industries. There were few young doctors who had abandoned their careers
after a two-year houseman-ship in our government hospitals. They claimed that they were
unable to cope with English. Conversely, during my school days, only top students who
scored straight As in the Form Six Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) Science
stream would be allowed to take up medicine courses. Perhaps, the selection was strict and
challenging back then.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has frequently pointed out the issue of
declining standard of English is not isolated to any one sector but prevalent across industries.
The MEF executive director, Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan claimed that it is becoming
increasingly difficult to hire fresh graduates who can communicate effectively in English.
Their level of proficiency does not command the confidence of employers to hire them.
Currently, there are about 200000 unemployed graduates in Malaysia.

Datuk Shamsuddin

believed that the main problem is that such Generation Y graduates are very technologysavvy and are constantly on their gadgets to message one another using short forms
messages, acronyms and slang words. In the end, many fresh graduates failed in their jobs.
Even our Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), the secretary-general, N. Gopal
Kishnam agreed with Datuk Shamsuddin, stressing that it is hampering Malaysias economic
development in a long run if we want to be in control of the economic in Asean.
2.1.3

From the Perspective of University Undergraduates and IPG Batu Lintang


From the perspective at IPG Batu Lintang which I personally observed, nearly 80 per

cents of the students of the Generation Y, occupy their learning time on their cell phones,
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laptops without our knowledge. The just come to the library as a place for them to surf the
internet on other purposes like face-books, WhatsApps messages, WeChats and others.
Furthermore, the voices in the library become silent whereby previously it is full of the noises
of the students discussing, studying, sharing, teasing and laughing over books or printed
materials and resources.
A research was done on the sign languages by Prof. Jonathan Ngui in 2015 upon the
usage of technology by undergraduates at Malaysian higher Institutions.

A total of 900

recipients were taken from 9 universities in Malaysia. They were given questionnaire form to
answers regarding various technology sign languages while doing their SMS, emails or phone
calls and text messages. Table 1 below showed the result:
Table 1: The Usage of Apps Languages by University Undergraduates 2015
Sign Language used
Short Form messages
Sign Language
sign & Short Form
Voice recording
Picture-Sign Language
Complete sentences
Total recipients

UKM
35
20
20
16
5
4
100

USM
41
17
24
10
4
4
100

UPM
37
17
29
8
6
3
100

UTM
42
20
25
8
3
2
100

UUM
38
16
24
11
6
5
100

UNIMAS
36
23
22
17
1
1
100

UNITAR
42
14
25
13
3
3
100

The result also can be presented in the Bar Chart 1 below:


Bar Chart 1: The Usage of Apps Languages by Undergraduates in Malaysia, 2015

UM
39
13
23
15
5
5
100

OUM
32
23
24
13
5
3
100

From the findings, there were a total of 38 percent or 342 recipients of the graduates
like to use short form messages while SMS or messaging their friends. 24 percent or 216
recipients like to use both sign and short form messages at their ease. More than 8 percent or
163 recipients like to use sign languages such as facial, cartoon and so on in their daily apps
function. A number of 12.3 percent or 111 recipients prefer to use voice messages to save
their time to write text messages. There were almost equally the same amount or around 3.5
percent of recipients prefer to use both pictures or sign languages and real sentence structures
to write complete text messages grammatically. The total amount of percentage against the
various Apps languages used by the graduates can be summarized in the Pie Chart 1 below.
Pie Chart 1: The Total number of recipients who Used Apps Languages

Besides, a data report from Mr Johnson Bond, the Senior Head of Staff Development
at this Institution claimed that out of 135 teaching staffs at IPG Batu Lintang, 35, 69 and 31
lecturers are undergraduates, Master Degrees and PhD holders respectively.

Table 2 below

shows about their specialize fields at workplace.


Table 2: The Number of Staffs with their specialized fields of works 2016
Degree Posts
Degree holders

Master

PhD

holders

holders

11

14

12

Specialized Fields

Education in Teaching & Learning


(BM)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(BM-Sastera)
Education in Teaching & Learning
9

Total

(BM-Linguistik)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(English-Phonetics)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(English Methodology)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(English -Linguistics)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(English -Literature)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Sejarah)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Science)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Physic)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Chemistry)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Biology)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Modern Mathematics)
Education in Teaching & Learning
(Additional Mathematics)
Human Resource (Administrative)
Total

10

1
35

6
69

8
31

15
135

Base on the Table 2 list of works in 2016, we can see that all sorts of fields
teaching staffs have acquired at the institution. The nature of work at workplace varies
from Art subjects to Sciences for the trainees to study at IPG-Batu Lintang.

Moreover,

from the data we can see that there are 37 BM lecturers as compared to only 27 English
lecturers. The rest of the lecturers are teaching Science and Mathematics subjects.
Comparatively, most of the lecturers have to teach the subjects like Psikologi
Pendidikan, Pendidikan di Malaysia, Pendidikan Jasmani dan Kesihatan, Pedagogical
aspect on teaching and learning in Bahasa Malaysia. Only a handful of the lecturers are
teaching English subjects.
There is a scenario that mostly the lecturers will communicate in mix-languages both
Bahasa Malaysia and some words in English. Some of the communication will be in English
sorely by the English lecturers while the rest of the lecturers will communicate in Malay
language or their local dialects.

As far as the meaning is understood, they prefer the

atmosphere in mix-languages.

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This year, we have 350 and 250 new intake both PKLI English teachers and Degree
English trainees. On top of that, we have nearly 680 Senior English trainees for Semester 2,
4 and final year with a total numbers of 221 trainees, 224 trainees and 235 trainees
respectively.
Among the 930 English trainees, according to their racial populations, nearly 50 per
cent of the English trainees are Malays, 35 per cent are either Ibans or Bidayuh and 15 per
cent are Chinese trainees.

When they communicate, they prefer to talk in their mother

tongues such as Hokkien, Teo Chiew, Ibans, Bidayuh, Malays and other dialects.

Proper

English communication around the IPG is rare.


In short, there is still room for improvement for the students either at IPG or
Universities regarding the command of English at workplace.
3.0

Problems Faced by Employees with Poor Command of English At Workplace


The honorable Principal, after reviewing many issues and scenarios regarding the

weak performances of employees at workplace, let me present you the problems the
employees will face with their poor command of English at workplace.
I would like to present four areas of the weaknesses encountered by employees if they
cannot command good English at workplace. The four areas are the job requirement, mutual
misunderstanding, the time consuming and low productivity.
3.1

The Job Requirement


A good command of English definitely will deserve a good job at workplace. It is

quite hard to choose an employee with good command English at workplace due to various
reasons. First and fourth most, the foreign companies will hire an employee who has good
command of English so that they can understand each other better. Furthermore, most of the
written articles and spoken language will help the companies to grow or serve the clients
better. Besides, the customers will feel like as free as air while dealing, buying or shopping
with the companies whom the employees are rapport and fluent in English.

Sometimes,

things might go wrong somewhere and we need some employees who can come up smelling
like a rose to settle the issue just because of the misunderstanding in languages.

Hence, a

good command of English has a potential to earn a higher wages at foreign companies.
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3.2

Mutual Misunderstanding
Most of the time, the customers or our clients have doubts over our misunderstanding

in our thoughts. For instance, a doctor in the hospital who cannot prescribe correctly all the
name of the medicine will cause a flea in ones ear if the receiver receives the written notes or
spoken pieces wrongly.

In the end, his or her patients will be in a hard line.

In a more

complex situation, the issue will turn into public gossiping master pieces. The doctor will be
in a bad odour with someone.

The hospital or the institution may get a bad reputation just

because of our weak command of English.


3.3

Time Consuming
A poor command in English sometimes will delay anyones time including our

customers, clients, consumers or even our own staffs. A practical nurse in any hospital who
cannot command good English for example will delay the time of cure for the patients if the
team doctors want the medical history urgently. Likewise, waiters or waitresses at the
counter service who speak poor English will delay the time of queue during pick seasons.
When the companies or the institutions receive complaints and get the bad reputation from
the publics, the employees will be tarred and feathered or lose their jobs in the end.
3.4

Low Productivity
Productivity always comes with good and efficient employees who have equipped

themselves better at workplace. Productivity at workplace always refers to the good qualities
and higher achievement, target or performance for the companies, industries or even schools
results.

For instance, when the schools achieved low results in their public exams such as

SPM, PT3 or UPSR, one of the factors might be the weak achievement in English papers. In
conjunction, the core business might be from the low productivity of the staffs in the area of
contact hours for English subject, lack of guidance and technique from the expertise teams.
Hence, contribute to the poor result shown.
The same thing goes to any company when the staffs or the employees are
communicating broken English or poor in writing. When the staffs type or write broken
English in their emails, letters or postage articles may results low trust upon the consumers or
customers resulting low productivity to the companies.

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Therefore, productivity is always

concerned with good command of language by itself whereby it will bring trust and good
name for the respective companies, schools or industries in business building. Moreover, the
sell production also decreases due to weak engagement between staffs and customers
relationship.
4.0

Conclusions
As a Senior English Head Department at Teachers Training Institute in Kuching, I

strongly agreed that we should provide more courses and buy more English books or invest in
new technology such as electronic English books and electronic journals for the following
reasons.
As English books are better than computer because we can carry books anywhere we
like. Students or publics can just borrow or read more English books they like and get start to
do their sharing or discussions elsewhere. On top of that, we do not have to waste money or
electricity to charge books.
English books such as novels or storybooks can be affordable. They are available to
us at an affordable rate and price at the library. We can get information at a lower rate while
the use of information technology at libraries is very costly and expensive. Not all libraries
can afford to set up an information technology library.

Besides, most books are moveable

and portable in the sense that we can take them to whichever place we want for discussion
English books are big but they are simpler and can be carried almost everywhere. As
the wise saying goes Papers greatest strength due to its simplicity. Some people would
rather have the actual physical thing to read on and also people get more satisfaction when
they have finished reading them.
concentration and attention.

We can train our effective reading skills full of

Moreover, English books also teach people grammar, spelling

and punctuation through reading them.


To conclude, reading English books are better for all means including education
especially for the teachers and students at the institution of learning to foreseen better
command of English.

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4.1

Recommandations
I would like to recommand some points for the IPG Batu Lintang and library to

function properly for the betterment of the trainees towards the command of English.
4.1.1

Within the English Department


First and foremost, I would like to suggest more open English forums for the lecturers

and trainees to expose themselves for the lattest trend in English teaching and learning. No
doubt, joining some organisation such as Malaysian English Teachers Association (Melta),
Tofel, British Council Members and so on is also a way to upgrade your proficiency in
English.
Furthermore, I would like to urge our Principal to send more English lecturers or
trainees to attend theProElt programme (Pre-Orientation of English learning and teaching
programme) by our Malaysian Government through coordinator-the British Council to serve
as a way of training English coursewares at various primary and secondary schools.
Besides, some potential speakers from Malaysia such as Associate Prof. Edwin Malachi
Venthemani is a senior professor at University Putra Malaysia who has many years of
experience teaching literature in Malaysian English. He is also the author form many books,
novels and articles for English teachers resources and so on. Thus, the IPG Batu Lintang can
organise a course on English Teaching Methods to all English teachers in Sarawak with prof.
Edwin Malachi.
Nontheless, our own English lecturers need to have their own initiative to come out
with creative coursewares for the trainees to master especially the 21st learning style. Some
of the suggstions of the 21st learning styles in English are as follow:
The Partnerships Framework Model in Chart 2 below is unified, collective vision for
the 21st century learning style for students and teachers.

Among its elements are the

standards, curriculum, environment and assessments that districts must implement.


Furthermore, 21st century classroom design, the teachers are facilitators of students learning
and the crators od productive classroom environments in which students can develop their
own skills they will need in the workplace.

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Chart 2: The Partnerships Framework Model

The 21st century interdisciplinary themes classroom (Appendix 1) focuses on the


students experiences to cope with the 21st century workers. Rather than shallow knowledge.
It emphasizes on deep understanding rather than shallow knowledge. It also engages students
with the real world data, tools and experts they will encounter on the jobs and in life at
workplace.

The collaborative English project-based curriculum must be used more often in

the classrooms to develop the higher order thinking skills, effective communication skills and
knowledge based technology learning at workplace. The students are actively engaged in
solving meaningful problems. They are allowed for multiple measures of mastery learning.
Hence, future teachers need to embrace with new teaching strategies in English taht
are radically differnet from those employed in the 20th century classroom.
4.1.2

Within the IPG Batu Lintang (Teacher Training Kuching Centre)


As the library is the heart of the institution, we must equip more variety of English

reading materials such as books in every field of studies. Reference books must fulfil both
Science and Art students.

The English books on Science like Psychology in Teaching,

Metacognitive skills towards learning, Motivations, Multiple intelligents, Councelling,


Mathematics and Science as well. In addition, the books on Art stream are namely Teaching
and reading Methodology, Teaching Methods for English lecturers, Synthetic rules, English

15

Grammatical rules, Now read on, Morphology, Communication skills, English Language
skills and so on.
Other than these, I suggest buy atleast 5 sets of the same books for the students to
borrow or share in the library. More book shelves should place in the library to sustain the
quantities of books. I would like to suggest some insentives for those students who borrow
English books from the library as in Table 3 bellow:
Table 3: The Insentive Award in the Library for Trainees and staffs

Insentives For Students Who Read English Books Per Month


Englsih Books Read /month

1st

2nd

3rd

25 books /month

RM 35

RM 30

RM 25

30 books/ month

RM 40

RM 35

RM 30

35 books/month

RM 50

RM 45

RM 40

From the Table 3 above, those students who have acheived the targetted numbers of
English books read will award the insentive listed. Each month, the library will give out 9
prizes for the for the students to compite and serve as to arouse their interest towards reading
books. Besides, this can be done to encourage more frequent use of the library as a resource
centre rather they use online services at their hostels. By so doing, they can inculcate Englsih
communication skills, cooperative and patriotism among students.
Among other things, I would like to recommand the following book lists in English
for 2016 as references in the library as in Table 4 below:
Table 4: A list of New Books Proposed in English for 2016

No

Title of books

Price / unit

No. Of Copies

Total Cost (RM)

35.20

176.00

45.50

227.50

(RM)
1

Psychology in Teaching

Metacognitive

skills

towards

16

learning
3

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations

55.50

277.50

towards study
4

Multiple intelligents in Teaching

43.10

215.50

Councelling as a teacher

43.20

216.00

21st

54.00

270.00

century

Mathematics

in

Teaching
7

21st century in teaching of Science

45.50

227.50

Teaching and reading Methodology

55.30

276.50

in English
9

Teaching Methods for teachers

45.70

228.50

10

Synthetic rules in English

35.70

178.50

11 English Grammatical rules

50.50

252.50

12

Now read on for literature

56.70

283.50

13

Morphology,

45.50

227.50

45.50

227.50

54.20

271.00

Communication

skills, English Language skills


14

Communication skills in English

15

English

Language

skills

for

Teachers
16

21st century Physical Education

35.40

177.00

17

21st century Music Lessons

35.40

177.00

18

21st century Art lessons

45.40

227.00

19

21st century Learning styles

45.40

227.00

20

21st century classroom

45.40

227.00

918.10

100

4590.50

TOTAL

17

Inaddition, the above English books recommanded are currently the most needed and
useful for the students to work as references in the Institution which only cost a total amount
of RM 4590.50 which worth a 100 sets of English books.
In short, I, Noridah Binti Appendi, the English Head Department of the Teachers
Training Institution of Kuching strongly supports that new instructional in communication
English teaching methods and learning or reading more English books should the first
concern at IPG and in the school libray. All these proposals truely can upgrade the standard
of English either in spoken or written pieces for the students especially and nurture the future
widely spoken English human capital for Malaysia generally towards the strong productive
nation buildings.

Reported by:
Noridah Binti Appendi
(Noridah Bt Appendi)
The Englsih Head Department
Teachers Training Institution of Kuching, Sarawak
(IPG-BATU LINTANG, KUCHING,SARAWAK)
29th February, 2016

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APPENDIX:
Appendix 1: 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM

19

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12.Internet sources:
i)
International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) guidelines of
Usage
of
web-based
indexed
May
30
2011,
http//www.library.yale.edu/consortia/webstats.html
ii)
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http://www.christophereteh.com/blog/2011/11/emglish-inmalaysia/

iv)

http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Declin-In-TheProficiency-Of-1467716.html

v)

www.abc-canada.org/workplace education/success.asp

vi)

www.literacynet.org/eslwp/home.html

vii)

http://welkerswwikinomics.com/blog/2012/01/30/models-foreconomic-growth-ib-economics/

viii) http://englishlive.ef.com/blog/10-top-tips-improving-spokenenglish/
ix)

http://www.english-at-home.com/speaking/better-english-speakingskills/
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