Malaysian students compose a large student group coming to the U.S. for higher education. Despite these numbers, however, there has been little attention given to their culture shock in the classroom. The present study investigates the concerns of Malaysian students in the basic communication course. Through interviews with Malaysian students, this study concludes that Malaysian students perceive having three major problems in presenting speeches in basic communication courses.

The first problem is the language barrier. Another is that certain nonverbal behaviors such as gesturing and talking in a loud tone are seen as disrespectful in their culture. Third, they have not had opportunities to speak in their classrooms in their culture, thus this is a novel and distressing situation for them. In light of these findings, several suggestions for instructors of the basic communication course are made.