Exploring International Student Orientation and Attitude towards Learning English in Malaysia

Ayesha Abdullah Najieb Badib, Subhatra Guru


The Malaysian government is rigorously drawing up strategies to increase the already existing 60,000 foreign students currently studying in the country (The Star, 2009). With the influx of more foreign students and with English as the medium of instruction in local higher aspects that drive and/or deter them in learning English would be beneficial. The sample for this study (N=115) comprised of international students from China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Maldives and the Middle East undertaking an Intensive English course at a local private college. Data collection was done via questionnaire which was designed based on a review of existing instruments in the field. Results show that orientation towards learning English does not vary according to nationality and gender; however, students from China and Korea tend to be more inclined towards instrumental orientation, while students from Kazakhstan and Iran are more inclined towards integrative orientation. Based on the findings, this paper also proffers recommendations for local higher education institutions to enhance ELT practices for incoming international students.

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