Assignment 2 - The Importance of English Language in Malaysia


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Assignment 2 - The Importance of English Language in Malaysia

  1. 1. Assignment 2 – The Importance of English Language in Malahysia. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates from England and is also spoken as a native language in the other home countries of the United Kingdom, in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and numerous other countries. English is now the third most spoken native language worldwide (after Chinese and Hindi), with some 380 million speakers. It has lingua franca status in many parts of the world, due to the military, economic, scientific, political and cultural influence of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries and that of the United States from the mid 20th century to the present. Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema, airlines, broadcasting, science, and the Internet in recent decades, English is now the most widely learned second language in the world. Many students worldwide are required to learn some English, and a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations.
  2. 2. The chart above showed the wide spread English users in the world. English is the second- or third- most widely spoken language in the world today; a total of 600-700 million people use English regularly. About 377 million people use English as their mother-tongue and an equal number of people use it as their second or foreign language. It is used widely in either the public or private sphere in more than 100 countries all over the world. In addition, the language has occupied a primary place in international academic and business communities. The current status of the English language compares with that of Latin in the past. English is the most widely learned and used foreign language in the world, and, as such, many linguists believe it is no longer the exclusive cultural emblem of "native English speakers," but rather a language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it grows in use. Others believe that there are limits to how far English can go in suiting everyone for communication purposes. It is the language most often studied as a foreign language in Europe (32.6 percent)., followed by French, German, and Spanish. It is also the most studied in Japan, South Korea and in the Republic of China (Taiwan), where it is compulsory for most high school students. As English is so widely spoken, it has been referred to as a "global language." While English is not the official language in many countries, it is the language most often taught as a second language around the world, such as the Republic of Singapore and Malaysia. It is also, by international treaty, the official language for aircraft/airport communication. Its widespread acceptance as a first or second language is the main indication of its global status. Many countries in the world rely on English to communicate and to sell their products as what I had mentioned above. Those countries are such as India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. In Asia, our country Malaysia and our neighboring countries become the target for supplying goods and skills at a cheaper rate than countries in the west. Former prime minister of Malaysia , Dr Mahathir Mohamed, who gave two lectures at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina said that English is important to the capital growth in the country. It is not only the changes of individual cultural and tradition languages. Mahathir explained how Malaysia turned from a poor, rice-cultivating country into one of the most competitive industrial giants in Asia . He said that in Malaysia his government struck a balance
  3. 3. between its role as a watchdog over the private sector without choking the free market economy. He added that Malaysia did not adhere to any rigid ideology, whether communists or capitalist, but followed management and production styles appropriate to enhancing his countries capabilities. Mahathir emphasized the importance of tolerating other views and cultures, while preserving one's own identity. By achieving this leaning a second language which will benefit our country is a must. English, the de facto global language, is turning from a mere useful skill into a prerequisite for access to the best jobs and the highest incomes. Nowhere is the growing dominance of English clearer than in information technology. Highlighting the challenge is the Internet, where 80% of Web pages are in English. Since the biggest companies, the hottest startups and the best research institutions are in the U.S., the industry and the technology dance to English lyrics. Beyond its importance in day-to-day business, English is now the prime language of learning - perhaps even of thought. For Asians, especially Malaysia the importance of English in winning promotions is obvious. To make English as an important subject in Malaysia and to enhance the usage of the targeted language many gigantic steps have been carried out by the Malaysian government, such as the about the policy of teaching Mathematics and Science in English in our primary and secondary schools. To support the government’s movement in introducing and implementation of English in Science and Mathematics , Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has even invested over RM1mil to train lecturers to teach in English as long as 3 years ago. Other than the changes in the teaching syllabus, Parliament should allow debate in English for one sitting every week to promote the mastery of English by Malaysians as well as overcome the hangover attitude that speaking English is being anti-national or un-Malaysian. It is a good example for the nation too. According to our Prime Minister, that as a country, Malaysia would stand a better chance of succeeding and safeguarding its interests if its people excelled in the language. So, speaking at the a pre-Budget 2005 consultation at the Finance Ministry, the Prime Minister cited as an example that to be active and effective in negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), it was not enough just to be knowledgeable about its rules and regulations but more important to have the strength in negotiation and this required competency in the English language. Dramatic efforts must be made to convey the message effectively to all Malaysians that it is in the national interest to enhance the country’s international competitiveness in the era of globalization and information and communications technology for Malaysians to master the English language. Therefore, Parliament allow debate in English for one sitting every week to promote the mastery of English by Malaysians . This will give a powerful demonstration effect and send a clear and unequivocal message to all Malaysians of the seriousness and importance of the campaign to get Malaysians of all age groups to master the English language to ensure that the nation can take her rightful place in the international arena – whether the global market place or the world of diplomacy.