The English language is the lingua franca for communication throughout the world. While most of us today are competent in using and understanding English, yet only some of us have mastered grammatical structures to elevate our writing skills.
When I first joined Gamuda, I was amazed to know that our company has a dedicated English Language Unit (ELU) to support the language development of Gamudians. The ELU is tasked to diagnose our English language ability through the Gamuda English Test (GET) and tailor the training modules of the English Language Programme (ELP) to specific learning needs. The ELP is designed to raise participants’ awareness of language use, grammar errors and their communication intent.
Gamudians who participate in the ELP are generally motivated by their desire to communicate more effectively for work purposes. During the ELP, the participants learn the fundamentals of grammar and language use in conveying messages more effectively. This makes them realise that sustaining interest in learning English is essential to avoid miscommunications in their daily email, letter and contract writing.
The ELP has successfully raised more awareness to the participants of their shortcomings in the language, whether English is their first language or not. It has helped to sharpen their communication skills, resulting in improved work quality and productivity. Having benefited from the training modules, they strongly encourage Gamudians to brush up their language skills through the ELP and be open to learning.
Gamudians on ELP and their learning gains.
Gamudians with managerial roles regard the ability to comprehend and communicate in English with multiple stakeholders as crucial for the workplace. English facilitates the faster acquisition of knowledge and new technology. Based on their observations, the ELP has also improved the employees’ confidence and team communication.
Managers have witnessed improvements in their subordinates who attended the ELP.
Our commitment to creating a culture of sustained learning and development of our people is demonstrated in the key anchors of the Gamuda Green Plan: Pillar 2 (People Development) and Pillar 4 (Enabling Sustainability via Digitalisation). As much as the company can provide the learning platform, sustained learning is ultimately a self-motivated and life-long journey.
In these interviews, I have come to appreciate that although the interviewees have busy work schedules, they have taken the time to continually reflect on their language gaps and make time for development. While the Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably disrupted classroom training, it should not stop our pursuit of learning and development.
The ELU provides more flexibility in learning English through virtual classes and the eRELL (e-Resources for English Language Learning), an online platform with language learning tips and exercises and a reading library.