A majority of office workers feel they speak English poorly, which is compounded by their fear of speaking the language, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.
In a recent online survey of office workers and their English proficiency and language study plans, the 1111 Job Bank found that 57 percent of respondents felt they do not speak English well. Among those 57 percent, a quarter described their spoken English as “very poor.”
The respondents said the “scariest” thing was to speak in English to foreigners, whether face-to-face or over the telephone, the poll found.
Meanwhile, 83 percent of those polled said they would or have already attended classes to improve their English proficiency because they felt improving their language ability would make them more competitive in the job market and make it easier to communicate with English speakers.
1111 Job Bank chief executive Liao Chun-chieh (廖俊傑) said being able to speak English was key to being competitive in the business world.
However, Liao said his company found that not all Taiwanese office workers are poor English speakers and many have actually spent years honing their English abilities.
Where they fell short, he said, was their lack of confidence in speaking the language.
Liao told office workers not to sell themselves or their abilities short and to try as much as possible to continually expose themselves to English-speaking environments.
The poll, conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 24, collected 706 valid responses. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.