UUM Electronic Theses and Dissertation
UUM ETD | Universiti Utara Malaysian Electronic Theses and Dissertation
FAQs | Feedback | Search Tips | Sitemap

A Comparative Study of the Criteria Employed by Academic and Workplace Professionals in Evaluating Business Correspondence

Puvenesvary, Muthiah (2003) A Comparative Study of the Criteria Employed by Academic and Workplace Professionals in Evaluating Business Correspondence. PhD. thesis, University of Melbourne.

[thumbnail of Puvenesvary__Muthiah.pdf] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (3MB) | Request a copy
[thumbnail of 1.Puvenesvary__Muthiah.pdf]

Download (354kB) | Preview


The study was motivated by dissatisfaction expressed by employers in the private sector in Malaysia about recent graduates' ability to write in English. In the light of these complaints, the study aimed to investigate the potential gaps between the criteria applied by workplace professionals and academics in the evaluation of business correspondence in an ESL context. Despite the extensive literature in the area of English for Specific Purposes, there is limited research that investigates the criteria of good writing as viewed by workplace professionals and by ESL teachers. Three conceptual frameworks were used to inform the study: New Rhetoric genre theory, Systemic
Functional genre theory and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) genre theory. The theme of the study is that context determines the evaluation of the texts produced in a particular environment, and that this has implications
for the teaching of ESP. The study was carried out in the context of an English for Business course in a tertiary institution in Malaysia. The subjects of the study were ESL
teachers teaching the English for Business course and bank officers in Kuala Lumpur. Two types of business correspondence were used in the study: memoranda and replies to letters of complaint. The data for the study were
collected using the verbal protocol methodology, and interviews. In the study, both bankers and teachers were trained to provide verbal protocols in their respective contexts. They both evaluated memoranda and replies to letters of complaint generated under test conditions by
undergraduates pursuing the English for Business course. The bankers and teachers were also interviewed in order to establish the link between their working contexts and the views they had about the texts they evaluated. The findings of the study revealed that context is integral to text production and evaluation. The bankers' judgements of the texts they evaluated were largely influenced by their banking context. Similarly, the teachers' judgements of the texts were influenced by their academic context. The
findings are discussed in light of their implications for the teaching and assessment of ESP courses. The thesis also provides a critical review of the methodology used and gives suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Supervisor : UNSPECIFIED
Item ID: 1676
Uncontrolled Keywords: English Language, Writing Skills, Business Writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty and School System > Faculty of Communication and Modern Languages
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2010 07:43
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 12:12
Department: Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
URI: https://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/1676

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item