Abstract: Literacy in the 21st century entails creating and approving knowledge and data. Due to the abundance of information available, users must be able to sort through the uncertainty and be able to verify opinions from several aspects. Those who are pursuing postgraduate studies in particular need to be critical thinkers because simply understanding the material is not enough. Nonetheless, adjusting and transferring digital skills may be difficult for postgraduate overseas students as they have to use their linguistic skills to address issues with online navigation. The current study intends to look into how Malaysian and Chinese English language postgraduate students integrate and apply some 21st-century abilities to their research. One public university in Malaysia received voluntary responses from 207 respondents (96 postgraduate students from Malaysia and 111 overseas students from China) to a series of 21st century skills survey questions that were adapted from Kelly, Knowles, and Euisuk Sung (2019). The survey consists of four relevant 21st century skills that are identified as important to postgraduate students, which are collaborative, critical thinking, communication as well as creativity and innovation. The findings show that Creativity and Innovation has the lowest mean score. This study emphasizes the importance of having a variety of digital abilities for these postgraduate ESL/EFL students to succeed in the digital world. This study offers insights into the difficulties and possibilities for the development of digital skills in various cultural contexts by examining the skills gap between ESL/EFL students of Malaysia and China.

Keywords: 21st century skills; digital literacy; critical thinking; communication; creativity and innovation


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How to Cite
Mohd Ramli, N. F., Tazijan, F., Shaari, A. H., & Wang, N. (2023). IDENTIFYING 21ST-CENTURY SKILLS GAP IN THE ESL/EFL MALAYSIAN POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION SYSTEM . Asian People Journal (APJ), 6(2), 119-135.