Witchuda Thakadkul*, Ruedeerath Chusanachoti
Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Bangkok, Thailand
English oral communication in the automotive and repair workplace is particularly necessary for automotive mechanics due to the frequent usage in regular nature of work. Since the integration of ASEAN Economic Community in Thailand, the number of foreign customers has increased remarkably. Regardless of this change, automotive mechanics cannot speak English with foreign customers effectively, even after they have completed four full English courses in their vocational education. After reviewing widespread oral communication courses taught in vocational schools, we have found that they only cover grammars and basic everyday conversation, leaving out specific contents for the automotive maintenance and repair industry. Based on perspectives from 119 automotive mechanical students and five stakeholders, this survey research determined the actual needs of English oral communication for the automotive maintenance and repair industry. The researchers employed a needs analysis in ESP framework of Brown (2016) in this study. The results from the questionnaire revealed that the automotive mechanical students and stakeholders agreed that grammatical structures are least required in the linguistic aspects. Additionally, the interview reported that five out of five stakeholders have similar views that suitable uses of technical terms and relevant phrases were adequately compelled to produce meaningful messages. Contrastingly, automotive mechanical students and stakeholders clearly had contradictions on the language functions that were the most important based on the questionnaire. Regarding the sociocultural aspects, four out of five believed that cultural sensitivities were one of the keys to prevent communication breakdowns.
ESP, Needs Analysis, English Oral Communication, Automotive Industry