Employers’ Viewpoints on Strategic Competence for Workplace Communication

Maisarah Ahmad Kamil, Nadia Anuar


Strategic competence refers to the use of both verbal and nonverbal communication to (1) compensate for breakdowns in communication, (2) manage insufficient competence in communication, or (3) enhance the effectiveness of communication (Canale, 1983). In the teaching and learning of English as a second or foreign language, such strategies are useful to ensure that messages are communicated accurately despite limitations in vocabulary or grammatical competence. In the context of higher education, these strategies are especially useful for fresh graduates who wish to seek employment in an English-medium workplace. However, very little research has examined the acceptable strategies that can be used by fresh graduates to minimize breakdowns in communication that result from existing language barriers. Hence, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 employers in Malaysia to uncover different strategies that are used in the workplace to avoid breakdowns in communication. The findings show that metacognitive strategies through observing others to improve communication as well as cognitive strategies such as obtaining direct feedback on specific terminologies, formats or wordings are among the strategies that fresh graduates could utilize to improve their competence in communicating at the workplace. Thus, the findings of this research are especially valuable for educators and fresh graduates to develop communicative competence to communicate effectively in the workplace.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v14i3.19998

Copyright (c) 2022 Maisarah Ahmad Kamil

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