English-as-an-Additional-Language Employees’ Perspectives on Writing in the Workplace

  • Jim Hu Thompson Rivers University
  • Lachlan Gonzales Thompson Rivers University
Keywords: Writing in the Workplace, EAL Employee Perspectives, Writing Accuracy, Post-Secondary Writing, Career Preparation

Abstract

This article presents study results on workplace writing from English-as-an-additional-language (EAL) employees’ perspectives, and shares findings about how educational institutions in British Columbia can better prepare EAL students to write in the workplace. In post-secondary academic writing, content rather than writing accuracy is often emphasized, yet most employers consider writing accuracy important as it reflects a company’s image (Hu & Hoare, 2017), and how EAL employees perceive their writing preparedness, workplace writing accuracy, and language challenges remains unexplored. Thus, we inquired: 1) How do EAL employees graduated from English-speaking universities and working in English-medium environments perceive workplace writing accuracy? 2) To what extent are they prepared for workplace writing? 3) What writing challenges do they encounter? 4) What do they think universities can do to better prepare EAL students for workplace writing? The study employed qualitative interviews with nine EAL employees who graduated from British Columbia universities and were working at English-medium companies in Canada. Data analysis suggests that the participants highly valued writing accuracy; however, their education did not prepare them adequately. In addition, the participants suggested that universities offer more communication, business, and professional writing courses; enhance support services; invite employers and EAL employees as guest speakers; and incorporate real-life scenarios in the curriculum.

Author Biography

Jim Hu, Thompson Rivers University

Associate Professor

TESL and EAP Programs

Department of English as a Second Language

Published
2020-12-11
How to Cite
Hu, J., & Gonzales, L. (2020). English-as-an-Additional-Language Employees’ Perspectives on Writing in the Workplace. BC TEAL Journal, 5(1), 91-108. https://doi.org/10.14288/bctj.v5i1.343
Section
Articles