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The IUP Journal of English Studies :
Why Can’t Tertiary Learners Write A “Decent” Business Letter?
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Globalization has unlocked thousands of jobs worldwide, which has knit the people of different countries and cultures to work with one accord. The graduates dream to join the global stream of corporate employees as soon as they complete their college education. Be it an engineer or a humanities graduate, everyone desires to enter the corporate world. But the corporate organizations constantly complain about the poor writing skills of the new hires. There could be various reasons as to why students do not write well. The present study focuses on one of the reasons. The study undertook a pilot survey, using a questionnaire, on one hundred second year BCA students (tertiary learners) of an Arts and Science College in Chennai, India, to understand the perception of the tertiary students about their English language and formal writing skills (business letter, report, note taking, summary, presentation, memo, and e-mail). The analysis indicated that the students perceived their formal writing skills to be “good.” Further, the study framed the hypothesis and the Part 2 (Diagnostic test) business letter writing task was administered to the same sample of students. The evaluation of the business letters showed that not even a quarter of the students were able to write “good” business letters. The study concluded with certain suggested solutions to solve the students’ writing predicament.

 
 
 

Globalization has unlocked thousands of jobs worldwide, which has knit the people of different countries and cultures to work with one accord. Graduates from universities and colleges dream to enter the global stream of corporate employees as soon as they complete their education. But the corporate organizations constantly complain about the poor writing skills of the new hires. There could be various reasons as to why students do not write well. The present study aimed to focus on one of the reasons. The study administered a questionnaire on one hundred second year Bachelor in Computer Application (BCA) students (tertiary learners) of an Arts and Science College in Chennai, India, to understand the perception of the tertiary students about their English language and formal writing skills (business letter, report, memo, and e-mail). The analysis indicated that the students perceived their formal writing skills to be “good.” Further, the study framed the hypothesis and the Part 2 (Diagnostic test) business letter writing task was administered to the same sample of students. The evaluation of the business letters showed that not even a quarter of the students were able to write “good” business letters.

 
 
 

Tertiary Learners, Decent Business Letter