Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 4 December 2023                   Pp.283-299
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol14no4.17

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Challenges and Strategies in Workplace English Communication: Undergraduate Accountant
Internship 

Faridah Musa
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia

Zarina Othman
Pusat Pengajian Citra Universiti (School of Liberal Studies)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia
Corresponding Author: zothman@ukm.edu.my

Melor Md Yunus
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia

Taufik Rashid
Pusat Pengajian Citra Universiti (School of Liberal Studies)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia

 

Received:07/06/2023             Accepted:11/22/2023                     Published:12/15/2023

Abstract:
Competency in occupational English is crucial among university graduates in Malaysia. Nevertheless, there have been constant concerns regarding the graduates’ need for English communication skills. In order to overcome the challenges and become competent, they need to employ strategies that would assist them to remain relevant and sustainable during their internship. This paper presents the challenges and strategies in workplace English Communication among undergraduate accountant internships. Attempts undertaken by the accounting interns in overcoming the challenges in English language communication during their six-month internship experiences at respective companies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are also discussed. The study employed a qualitative research method using face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with five (5) interns from the Faculty of Economics and Management of a public university in Malaysia. Interviews with two managers and a supervisor who were the persons in charge of the interns were also carried out. The interview data was transcribed verbatim and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s six-step thematic analysis. The interns’ data was triangulated with the supervisor and managers’ views and later validated by three independent coders using Cohen’s Kappa Reliability Test. The strategies employed by the accounting interns in overcoming the English language communication challenges included speaking English with non-Malay colleagues, seeking help from the supervisor, consulting colleagues or seniors’ expertise, and reading work-related documents. The implications of the findings focus on university administrators to strengthen the teaching and learning of the English language and help undergraduates improve their communication skills in English are also discussed in this paper.
Keywords: accounting interns, communication skills, communication challenges, English,
strategies, experiences, accountant internship

Cite as:  Musa, F., Zarina Othman, Z., Md Yunus, M., &   Rashid, T. (2023).  Challenges and Strategies in Workplace English Communication: Undergraduate Accountant Internship.  Arab World English Journal, 14 (4): 283-299.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol14no4.17

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Received: 07/06/2023
Accepted: 11/22/2023  
Published: 12/15/2023
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0552-2900
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol14no4.17

Dr.Faridah Musa is an EDD holder from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She has over 20 years of experience teaching English as a Second Language. Her research interest includes language communication skills in the workplace. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0552-2900

 Dr. Zarina Othman is an Associate Professor at Pusat Pengajian Citra Universiti (School of Liberal Studies) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She has more than 30 years of teaching at tertiary institutions. Her expertise is in Language, Linguistics and Professional Communication. Her research areas of interest include interdisciplinary fields on Water Information Access, Voices of Flood Disaster Victims, Doctor-Patient Communication and Gender studies. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3218-0395

Dr. Melor Md Yunus is a Professor at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She is best known for establishing the integration of ICT in teaching and learning English as a Second Language research. She is active in scholarly journal writing and publishing and has published over 100 papers in SCOPUS.https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7504-7143.

Taufik Rashid is a senior language instructor at Pusat Pengajian Citra Universiti (School of Liberal Studies) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Malaysia. He has more than 30 years of teaching English in tertiary institutions. His expertise is in English Language Teaching, specifically in Reading and article referencing.  https://orcid.org/0009-0001-2631-6682