Does it matter in whatever language a student acquires generic skills? The answer is, YES it matters a lot. The reality is that other than the content area or the hard skill, competence in generic skills AND communication in the English language among undergraduates are also of utmost importance, if they are to achieve academic excellence and more importantly secure employment upon graduation. Stakeholders including parents, sponsoring bodies, the community and especially the employers have high expectations on the university to produce graduates who not only excel in the content matter but equally important possess mastery of communication skills in English and generic skills. Unfortunately, the current scenario in Malaysia is not so encouraging. The lack of competence in English and generic skills among graduates in Malaysia have been the two major contributing factors for their unemployment (Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, 2015) so much so that almost half of Malaysian graduates were unemployed (The Star Online, 2013) and 400 thousand Malaysian graduates were unemployed in 2015 (Bernama, 2015 cited in The Malaysian Insider, 2015). The nation has long been asking WHY? Despite the 17 years of education from kindergarten to university level, Malaysia is still grappling with producing graduates who are not only proficient in the English language but basic generic skills like citizenship, honesty, passion, knowledge transfer, critical thinking, perseverance, IT and problem-solving. This paper reveals the findings of a study on the use of Electronic-Problem-Based Learning (ePBL) towards enhancing learning of communication and generic skills in the English Language among Malaysian undergraduates. Using purposeful sampling, the samples involved 223 undergraduates and 12 lecturers from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. The samples were treated with ePBL in their semester long studies; Effective Communication in English (UTHM) and Health Science (UNIMAS). Data was collected using a questionnaire set administered online and interview with both the students and lecturers. The findings show that the use of ePBL has a very positive effect in enhancing learning of the English Language and generic skills among the undergraduates. On the part of the lecturers, the approach has also open up new and more interesting ways of training future graduates who are both competent in the hard and soft skills areas much to the expectations of the nation in general. As a conclusion, ePBL has proven to be very instrumental towards improving learning and there is great potential for the approach to be adopted in other disciplines and the education system at all levels.
Keywords: E-learning, Communication, English, Foreign Language Education, ESL/TESL, PBL, Generic, Soft, Higher Education, New Technologies in Education
Publication Date : August 26, 2016
|EndNote||%0 International E-Journal of Advances in Education HOW TO MASTER GENERIC SKILLS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? AN ELECTRONIC-PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING WAY: A MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCE %A Berhannudin Mohd Salleh , Ashley Edward Soosay , Hussain Othman , Ahmad Esa , Asri Selamat , Khairul Azman Mohamad , Zulida Abdul Kadir , Elizabeth Anthony , Robijah Kamarolzaman , Zainal Abidin Sayadi , Mohammad Talha Mohamed Idris , Abdullah Sulaiman , Farhana Hamin %T HOW TO MASTER GENERIC SKILLS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? AN ELECTRONIC-PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING WAY: A MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCE %D 2016 %J IJAEDU- International E-Journal of Advances in Education %P 2411-1821-2411-1821 %V 2 %N 5 %R doi: 10.18768/ijaedu.22068 %U 10.18768/ijaedu.22068|