Workplace perceptions and attitudes toward standard English use
The case of Malaysia
This study investigated the perceptions and attitudes of Malaysian civil sector and private sector workers toward the use and acceptance of Malaysian English, a variety of nonstandard English. A survey using a 20-item Likert Scale questionnaire highlighted some language issues: current perceptions and attitudes about and use of standard English, international intelligibility, public models of language use, and behavioral intentions of civil sector and private sector Malaysians toward standard English. The major findings for the combined sectors were 1) a recognition of the importance of attaining international intelligibility of English in their interactions with foreigners and 2) mixed reactions toward the use of standard English language within their Malaysian society. Differences were found for some items between the civil sector and private sector workers as well as for the factors of age, gender and ethnicity. Studies like this one can be used as a model for replication to find out more about language perceptions and attitudes in other countries and are significant for raising the language awareness needed by educators to better help their students succeed in finding employment, by employers to gain insight into employees’ perceptions and attitudes toward and use of English in order to enhance communication. In addition, the study raises important questions and issues such as about the growth and acceptance of non-native varieties of English in Malaysia and other countries.
Published online: 06 January 2004
Cited by 1 other publications
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