TOURISM ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY: EXPLORING ITS IMPORTANCE AMONG B40 COMMUNITIES
Ku Nor Syakina Ku Sulong1, *, Faizahani Ab Rahman2* , Masturah Sabri3* , Vincent Wong4
1,2,3School of Education, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, 06010 Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, Malaysia.
4Department of Languages and General Studies, Faculty of Business and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, 01000 Kangar, Perlis, Malaysia.
The objective of this study is to examine the significance of oral communication skills among B40 (low-income) entrepreneurs in the tourism industry on Langkawi Island, Kedah, Malaysia, an area of research that is notably underexplored in the context of B40 communities. A qualitative research methodology was employed in this study, utilizing semi-structured interviews and observational techniques as primary data collection instruments. The research subjects were five local B40 tour guide entrepreneurs working on Langkawi Island. Research findings indicate that the vast majority of B40 tour guide entrepreneurs participating in the study place high importance on strong English oral proficiency. They unanimously agreed that this skill is crucial for effective communication with customers, which in turn plays a pivotal role in enhancing the development of their businesses. This consensus among the participants underscores the fundamental role of English language proficiency in the tourism industry, highlighting its undeniable importance as a tool for fostering improved customer interactions and overall business growth. The outcomes of this study are anticipated to serve as valuable insights for English education institutions to enhance their teaching methods, as well as for B40 tour guide entrepreneurs aiming to further develop their communication abilities, particularly in oral English. By understanding the specific needs, policymakers can develop targeted support programs and initiatives to boost tourism on Langkawi Island, thereby contributing to the local economy and employment opportunities.
Tourism Entrepreneurship. English Language Oral Proficiency Communicative Ability. B40 Communities. Tourism Industry