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Why Employers Reject Fresh Grads? MEF: Because Of Poor English Command!

Wong Shu Lee  


  January 05, 2021

Studies show that the Malaysian workforce will need to master English given the fact that “more than 50% of (our) workforce will need English ability. Although Malaysia is considered to have “high” non-native command of English, according to a report by international education firm EF Education First, the firm acknowledged that those who took the online test would tend to be younger adults and those interested in pursuing language courses. That said, the real scenario may not be as good as reported by EF. 


According to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), poor command of English is the main reason for fresh graduates employment in Malaysia. Most of the jobs available in the market require knowledge of English as you need to communicate with your clients or customers. If you’re not confident to speak or are unable to speak fluently in English, employers may look for other candidates who can communicate better in English. 


Therefore, in the beginning of the new year, we would like to stress the importance of mastering English skills. In this article, we would suggest a few ways that may help you to improve your English. 


Identify your learning goals


Before you start learning anything, you must always identify what is your learning objective. Are you practising English to sit for a test or to increase your speaking proficiency in daily life? If you’re taking some serious tests such as IELTS or TOEFL, you should look for proper English classes that cater to these tests. However, if you want to improve your English to increase your chances of getting hired, there are plenty of ways to try. We’ll run you through some in the following paragraphs. 


Immerse yourself in English language news



As you’re entering adulthood, you should pay more attention to important news happening around the world. Subscribing a mainstream English newspaper or magazines not only will expand your vocabulary but will also help you keep up to date with current affairs. 


Start a vocabulary book of useful words


Either in a notebook or on your computer, start making a list of useful words and phrases. Every time you hear or see a word you’re not familiar with, note it down. Don’t only note down the word with its translation in your first language, but search for synonyms and phrases (or even sentences) in which it’s used. 


Watch movies or videos in English



One of the most effective ways to get yourself more comfortable to speak English in the working environment is through watching series that have similar settings with your working environment. These series can help you to understand the language better, get used to colloquial, conversational forms of English and implicitly get a feeling for the language. Studies also show that after being exposed to the language for the length of a movie, you might actually start thinking in English. 


Don’t be shy to talk



As helpful as listening and reading tasks may be, you also need to use English interactively and practice your own speaking skills. If you’re lucky, you’ll be friends with a few native speakers who can help you out, but if not then try to practice with friends who also want to improve their English speaking skills. If you felt awkward to speak English around your closed friends, you can join a Toastmasters club to practice in a supportive environment. In light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many Toastmasters clubs are no longer able to meet in person and are now meeting online, this may be more convenient for you to join a club. 


Practice Makes Perfect


If the lack of English proficiency is blocking you in pursuing your career goals, now is the time for you to step out from your comfort zone. Let’s try ways that are effective for you to enhance your English skills to unlock more opportunities and possibilities. 


We hope more people are getting better job opportunities in the year 2021. 



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