Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2018

The Role of English Language in the Career of a Malaysian Armed Force Officer

Surjeet Singh a/l Peara Singh*, Belinda Balraj

National Defence University of Malaysia


The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), are entrusted with the responsibility of national security and also to project a positive image of Malaysia in the international arena as the officers are entrusted in peace-keeping and relief operations from various other countries. In the current globalisation era, the MAF also puts in emphasis on the K-Force and significant importance in constantly engaging its officers to upgrade themselves especially those related to equipping themselves with the necessary knowledge and expertise required to meet the demand for better services to the country and the people. The paper looks at the role of the English language in relation to the career of the three Services (Army, Navy and Air Force). The purpose of the study is to identify the communicative skills needed by these officers to fulfil the requirements of both the samples that are the Staff College and the Defence College. The total number of samples used was 138 students. This qualitative finding consisting of a questionnaire and ethnographic study which was conducted for one year shows that the MAF places importance that all four language skills, namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing are important elements to the career of the MAF officers. Furthermore, there were some differences on the command of the language based on the different Services.


Malaysian Armed Forces, Second Language Acquisition, Language Needs, Career Development