English Reading Proficiency of Engineering Undergraduates in Malaysia: Implications on Professional Training and Career Development

  • Hui Min Low School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Minden 11800, Malaysia
  • Abdul Rashid Mohamed Albukhary International University
  • Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail Universiti Sains Malaysia
Keywords: english reading proficiency, engineering undergraduate, Malaysia, english language education


This paper reports the English reading proficiency of a sample of engineering undergraduates in a public university of Malaysia. A standardized online reading comprehension assessment, called Reading Evaluation and Decoding System (READS) was administered with 189 first year engineering students during their enrolment into six different engineering faculties in the university. The results showed that only 7.9% of the engineering students were able to perform above secondary school level of English reading comprehension proficiency. Specifically, the students were found to perform poorer in questions related to critical thinking than those related to literal comprehension and reorganization. The implications of the findings on the English language education and the professional training of future engineers in Malaysia were discussed.