Advancing Intercultural Competence among National Secondary School Students through Malaysian English Literary Texts (MELT)

Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh, Fatin Najwa Amelia Marsani


The aims of English literature component in the Malaysian English Language curriculum as outlined by the Ministry of Education (MoE) (2009) are to improve the students’ proficiency through reading, respond to texts, understand and appreciate other cultures and relate events and characters to one’s own life. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to assess the intercultural elements in a short story titled Tanjung Rhu used as the Form Four English literature component text and another Malaysian English literary text (MELT) titled Deep Fried Devils. The assessment of intercultural elements in the two MELTs will provide opportunity for a MELT that can better advance intercultural competence among national secondary school students. Qualitative data comparing two MELTs is collected using a checklist for selecting and evaluating multicultural MELT by Harper and Brand (2010). Content analysis comparison of the story, characters, plot and settings was conducted using Atlas.ti 7.0 version software. Findings indicate Deep Fried Devils has better intercultural elements to promote intercultural competence among Malaysian national secondary school students of diverse ethnicity. This research recommends Deep Fried Devils to be considered as part of the English literature component in next text selection cycle by the Malaysian MoE or as extensive reading material for Form Four students to develop their intercultural competence. The findings provide insights to guide policy makers, curriculum designers and literature text selection committee in recognizing cultural diversity elements in MELT and choosing suitable MELT for promoting intercultural competence among Malaysian national school students.


English Literature; Intercultural Competence; Intercultural Elements; Malaysian English Literary Text (MELT)

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