Academic journal article English Language Teaching

English Presentation Skills of Thai Graduate Students

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

English Presentation Skills of Thai Graduate Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study addresses the English Presentation skills of graduate students and explores the ways to improve their skills. A cross-sectional research survey study was conducted among 26 students of the Master of Arts Program in English for Careers at Thammasat University, Thailand. The results showed that there are some statistically significant difference between English presentation skills of the students who studied Effective Presentations (the CR 752 students) and those who did not (the non-CR 752 students). The respondents suggested that the CR 752 students should improve their delivery most, while the non-CR 752 students should improve their organization/content and delivery most. It can be concluded from the findings that Effective Presentations (CR 752) should be a required course for all graduates studying in the Master Program in English for Careers. Students who take this course will develop their presentation skills which are viewed as professional competence required by employers. The respondents also thought that other graduate programs should also provide Effective Presentations course for their students.

Keywords: effective presentation, presentation skill, English presentation skills

1. Introduction

English can be regarded as an international or global language that bridges the gap between people from all over the world with different cultures. Additionally, with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, English will be utilized to a greater extent. In light of this, English competence will be necessary to encourage mutual understanding among users around the globe (Phoocharoensil, 2012).

To equip graduate students with English proficiency to be effectively applied to their careers, the MA Program in English for Careers (MEC) of the Language Institute of Thammasat University (LITU) provides a variety of elective courses for their students, including general career courses, language development courses, interpersonal skills courses and professional development courses. Among these elective courses, Effective Presentations (CR 752) is a professional development course that aims to enable learners to make clear, well-designed, and professional business presentations in English.

As cited by Reynolds (2012), Kawasaki (2008) said that 95 percent of presentations are poor. The following problems are commonly found at The First LITU International Graduate Conference: unclear openings, contents delivered too quickly, presenters reading from the screen, and too much text on slides. In contrast, one presenter had taken this course and his presentation had the following positive qualities: clear opening, making good use of visuals, and engaging the audience. Studying Effective Presentations (CR 752) makes students aware of what it takes to be an effective presenter. The study will investigate whether the CR 752 students and the non-CR 752 students perform differently at their research paper presentations.

2. Literature Review

The issue of the role of communication abilities in making a presentation in public has implications for business communication and career success. While other courses are mainly aimed at improving four language skills for career development, effective presentations will help students understand how to deliver their knowledge to the public successfully.

2.1 Presentation Skills in a Foreign Language

During the first decade of the current millennium, there have beem an increasing number of discussions regarding how individuals communicate with each other in multicultural environments and the need to understand different cultures (Jameson, 2007; Louhiala-Salminen, Charles, & Kankaanranta, 2005; Peltokorpi, 2007). Meanwhile, cultural knowledge is becoming an important asset to global employees; effective knowledge sharing and creation issues have become vital at the same time (Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000; Holden, 2001; Leonard & Sensiper, 1998). …

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