Bilingualism in Malaysia, Brunei & Singapore

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Bilingualism in Malaysia, Brunei & Singapore

  1. 1. MALAYSIA, BRUNEI AND SINGAPOREMALAYSIA, BRUNEI AND SINGAPORE BILINGUALISM : POLICYVERSUS REALITYBILINGUALISM : POLICYVERSUS REALITY By:By: Angeline Chong Suet KeeAngeline Chong Suet Kee Gurminderjeet KaurGurminderjeet Kaur Lee Pui HarLee Pui Har
  2. 2. OverviewOverview Linguistic situation Bilingual education Issues in bilingualism Implications Bilingualism – Pro & Con Conclusion
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION  Language policy and planning decisions arise in response to sociopolitical needs.  Language planning decisions typically attempt to meet the needs of the population by reducing linguistic diversity, as in instances where a single language is declared a national language in a multilingual country (such as Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia) or where a single variety of a language is declared "standard" to promote linguistic unity in a country where divergent dialects exist.  For example, although many dialects of Chinese exist, the promotion of a single variety as the national language contributes to a sense of national unity.(Robinson, 1988)
  4. 4. MalaysiaMalaysia Bahasa Malaysia is the language of communication and fulfills the function of trade The impact of British rule and influence of the English language in Malaysia began with the acquisition of Penang Island in 1786 English is widely used in business sector Bahasa Malaysia is the national and official language and also the medium of instruction in most public schools.
  5. 5. Linguistic Situation English is the second most language (Asmah, 1982) and serves as a tool of getting technological information . It is a compulsory subject and taught as a subject. Chinese and Tamil schools use Mandarin and Tamil as the mediums of instructions respectively.
  6. 6. Bilingual EducationBilingual Education Bilingualism is a language policy which is implicitly sanctioned (Asmah, 1982). Bilingual education is mirrored in the Malaysian constitution which says that Bahasa Malaysia is a national and official language and no one is to prevent anybody from speaking and teaching other languages. The main emphasis in the Malaysian education system is more on the acquisition of Bahasa Malaysia and English as the languages of education.
  7. 7. The acquisition of the mother tongue of the people is more geared toward maintenance of native languages and cultural heritage. The mainstream schools (Malay medium) provide language instruction in Bahasa Malaysia. English is a compulsory subject and is introduced in the first grade. It is also used as a medium of instruction in the teaching of Maths and Science effective January 2003.
  8. 8. As for students whose mother tongue is not Bahasa Malaysia , they can opt to take Pupils’ Own Language, Mandarin or Tamil. In the Chinese and Tamil medium schools, the language of instruction is either Mandarin or Tamil. Bahasa Malaysia and English are the compulsory subjects that students must learn and are introduced in the third grade. Students who attend Chinese and Tamil schools are at the elementary level, before going to secondary schools will have to attend a year of transition classes which is specifically called ‘remove class’ Chinese and Tamil schools at secondary level are not given attention to in Malaysia.
  9. 9. SingaporeSingapore Singapore is a multilingual island nation Has four official language. The languages are English, Malay (national language), Chinese and Tamil. The purposes of these languages is to serve pragmatic roles (Pakir,1994) English is the medium of all content-area English – neutral language,to promote unity, lingua franca,MOI Bilingualism – started in 1956
  10. 10. Linguistic situationLinguistic situation  Education in Singapore is built on the five pillars of literacy, numeracy, bilingualism, physical education, and moral education (Parkir,1999).  Standard English taught in school (Singapore Colloquial English, Standard Singapore English) are used in larger society.  Assumptions underlying Singapore’s policy (Dixon,2005): ◦ Beginning a second language early leads to higher proficiency ◦ Home language development is not academically helpful to development of English language skills ◦ More time devoted to learning a language will result in greater proficiency in the language ◦ Learning to read both an alphabetic and a logographic writing system is more difficult than learning to read in two alphabetic languages ◦ Ability to learn more than one language is related to general education achievement ◦ Maintaining the ethnic language will protect ethnic identity, a sense of “rootedness” and cultural values
  11. 11. Bilingual EducationBilingual Education  Reasons for bilingual education - English language would bring Singapore the international trade,investment and access to Western science and technology (Dixon, 2005)  Tertiary institutions adapted English as MOI. New Education system. Enable above average and average pupils to be proficient in English and least literate in Malay, Chinese & Tamil(1980)  In 1987 , English-for-all-year. National stream of education introduced. Primary One pupils taught in English as first language and mother tongues as L2  Emphasis on both English and Mandarin – Targeting a wider market  Pakir (1998) and Gopinathan (1980) point out that there had been not only rising literacy rate in Singapore but biliteracy among the major ethnicities with the trend more evident among
  12. 12. BruneiBrunei An Islamic Sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo Relatively linguistically homogeneous, with the majority of inhabitants having one form of Malay as a mother tongue. However, the country has long been ethnically plural (Brown 1971). The standard form, Bahasa Melayu, has been the official language of the country since 1959. English was first introduced to Bruneian sociolinguistic ecology during the British Residency Period. It was once governed by the British thus the existence of English Language is passed down into the society
  13. 13. Linguistic situationLinguistic situation  Brunei Malay, is one of five varieties of Malay in general use in Brunei.  Apart from the Malay varieties, there are at least eight other Aus- ] tronesian languages spoken in Brunei (Nothofer 1991).  Of these, Tutong, Bêlait, Dusun, Bisaya, and Murut are considered to be indigenous to the country  Iban, Penan, and Mukah are regarded as immigrant languages. The five indigenous groups, along with the two Malay-speaking groups,  the Kedayan and Brunei, are, constitution- ally, classed as "indigenous groups of the Malay race" (Government of Brunei 1961: 118-120), referred to locally as the seven puakjati (indigenous groups) of Brunei.  With the increase in mobility and the general movement of peoples away from the interior to the coastal towns, the effects of intermarriage, and the influence of the supraregional languages on the states that make up Borneo, new patterns of com- munication are emerging and an increasing number of indigenous languages are in danger of being lost.
  14. 14. Bilingual EducationBilingual Education  Dwibahasa Education Policy was introduced in 1985  Edwards (1985: 93) is of the opinion that most historical changes in language use are due to economic factors such as social access and material advancement, and that these are of central importance.  English is greatly emphasised in the education system for those subjects that can be pursued further in the core English-speaking countries.  During the first three years of schooling, it is taught only as a subject. After that, for the rest of the schooling years, it replaces Malay as the language of instruction for Mathematics, Science and Geography. However, Civics, Brunei History and Religious Knowledge (Islam) continue to be taught in Malay.  Perceives itself as part of the global economic and political system and strives to diversify its economy.Learning and use of English essential for modernization and internationalization.  Both Malay and English are taught and employed as medium of instruction in the country’s bilingual education system. Learning Arabic is also being integrated into the education system.
  15. 15. Implications on MalaysiaImplications on Malaysia  Linguistic perception – the perception of Malaysian society towards the use of particular language other than mother tongue is mixed  Availability of teachers – shortage of language teachers who can speak fluent English and Bahasa Malaysia  Availability of materials- shortage of materials in the area of science and technology materials  Availability of funds- allocation of funds are not equal
  16. 16. Implications on SingaporeImplications on Singapore  Over westernization  Risk of losing set of core values and absorbing other elements (de-asianization)  Formation of Singlish result in shortcoming especially in education, where Eng. skills are relevant for academic achievement.  Argument of policy-makers, no single ethnic group is advantaged or disadvantaged in terms of access to an economy that is largely based on English.  Parliamentary business and government websites is overwhelmingly carried out in English  “The Speak Good English Movement”, being an ongoing campaign, has not succeeded in replacing Singlish with good English
  17. 17. Implications on BruneiImplications on Brunei  The actual motivation to shift to the use of a different language can, on the one hand, be due to economic or pragmatic factors and, on the other, to social psychological factors such as attitudes and identity. Edwards (1985: 93) is of the opinion that most historical changes in language use are due to economic factors such as social access and material advancement, and that these are of central importance.  With the increase in mobility and the general movement of peoples away from the interior to the coastal towns, the effects of intermarriage, and the influence of the supraregional languages on the states that make up Borneo, new patterns of com- munication are emerging and an increasing number of indigenous languages are in danger of being lost.
  18. 18.  All 3 countries are trying to protect the identity of the nation while injecting the use of English language in most of the important education policies.  All 3 countries are aware of the fact that English in education is a crucial point in preparing the nation to face local and international challenges.  Speaking English for survival purposes result in the existence of hybrid English.  Lost status and identity of culture and mother language  Gradual use of English from lower to higher level in education result in positive improvement in the sense of education(enable local students to further their studies) and economic(increase the chances of being employed by local and international companies)  The implementation of bilingualism/multilingualism enable the nation to maintain and preserve their identity and at the same time learning a language which enable them to target a wider market. FINDINGSFINDINGS
  19. 19. ADVANTAGES Mastered > 1 language > facility in acquiring foreign language later. Able to transfer knowledge of 1 language to another. Allows for greater comprehension with grammatical structures & can also serve enhance vocabulary Able to code switch between 2 languages. Have added advantages in education & careers by having an international focus. Make you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age. LEAP (n.d.); Bosemark (n.d.) Bhattacharjee (2012) Bilingualism Pro + Con
  20. 20. DISADVANTAGES Run the risk of not mastering either language. Face speech barrier whether it is of a physical nature or difficulties in the pronunciation of the language becomes more difficult to remedy. Tend to speak a little later than their peers. Often slip back and forth between languages and mixing up their words. Face the risk of being isolated by the host society or of being teased by their peers when speaking in the foreign language. LEAP (n.d.); Bosemark (n.d.) Bhattacharjee (2012)
  21. 21. Education reformation between countries, (MY, SG, Brunei) may be different due to the characteristics of the nation, political and socio-economic establishment within one state. However, any kind of proposals on reforming the education policy has to be justifiable within the national policy so that the policy can be implement effectively and efficiently. CONCLUSIONCONCLUSION
  22. 22. ReferencesReferences  Pakir, A. 1994. The Role of Language Planning in Education in Singapore. Dlm. Hassan, A. (pnyt.). Language Planning in Southeast Asia hlm. 151-171.  Dixon, L. Q. 2005. The Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore:Implications for Second Language Acquisition. 625-635.  Dixon, L. Q. 2005. Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore: An Analysis of Its Sociohistorical Roots and Current Academic Outcomes. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism Vol. 8(No.1): 25-47  Gill, S. K. 2005. Language Policy in Malaysia : Reversing Direction. 241 - 260. http://kamalharmoni.com/uum/IT_Policy/assignemnt-1/journal/Language %20policy%20in%20malaysia.pdf [8 Oct 2012]  Puteh, A. 2011. Education Policy for Globalization and Multicultural Society : The Malaysian Experiences. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS) 2(5): 388-394.  Pakir, A. 1999. Bilingual Education with English as an Official Language:Sociocultural Implications. Georgetown University Round Table On Languages And Linguistics 341-349.
  23. 23.  Brown, Donald E. 1971 Inter-Hierarchical Commissions in a Bornean Plural Society. Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science 1/1:97-116.  Martín, Peter W. 1990a Interlingual and Intralingual Communication in Brunei Darussalam: Some Factors Governing Code Choice. [Paper presented at the 8th International Conference of AS ANAL, on Rules of Speaking, Kuala Lumpur, 28-31 May]  Martín, Peter W. 1992a Linguistic Research in Brunei Darussalam: A Review. In: Awang Haji Abu Bakar Haji Apong (ed.), Sumbang- sih. Essays on Brunei Darussalam; pp. 106-1 17. Brunei: Universiti Brunei Darussalam.  Nothofer, Bernd 1991 The Languages of Brunei Darussalam. In: H. Steinhäu- ser (ed.), Papers in Austronesian Linguistics. No. 1; pp. 151-176. Canberra: The Australian National University. (Pacific Linguistics, Series A, 81)  Edwards, John 1985 Language, Society, and Identity. Oxford: Blackwell. Journal of Multilingual and Multicul- tural Development 11/1-2: 137-151.  Yusof, A. M. 1998. Implementation of Education Policy in Malaysia. http://azman97.tripod.com/essay8.html  Gill, S. K. 2005. Language Policy in Malaysia : Reversing Direction. 241 - 260. http://kamalharmoni.com/uum/IT_Policy/assignemnt-1/journal/Language %20policy%20in%20malaysia.pdf [8 Oct 2012]
  24. 24.  Jones, G.M. (1996) 'The Bilingual Education Policy in Brunei Darussalam', in Martin, Ozog and Poedjosoedarmo (eds.). Language Use and Language Change in Brunei Darussalam: 123-32.  Martin, P.W., and A. Kamsiah (2003) 'English Language Teaching in Brunei Darussalam: Continuity and Change', in Ho and Wong (eds.), English Language Teaching in East Asia Today: Changing Policies and Practices: 95-110.  Omar, A. H. 1985. The Language Policy of Malaysia : A Formula for Balanced Pluralism. 39-49. http://sealang.net/sala/archives/pdf8/asmah1985language.pdf [8 Oct 2012].  Puteh, A. 2011. Education Policy for Globalization and Multicultural Society : The Malaysian Experiences. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies (JETERAPS) 2(5): 388-394.  Zaaba, Z., Ramadan, F.I., Anning, I.N.A., Gunggut, H. & Umemoto, K. 2011 Language- in-Education Policy: A Study of Policy Adjustment Strategy in Malaysia, International Journal of Education and Information Technologies 2(5): 157-165  Bhattacharjee, Y. 2012. Why Bilinguals Are Smarter. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of- bilingualism.html?_r=0 [2nd November].  Bosemark, C. n.d. Raising Bilingual Children: What Are the Drawbacks? http://adoption.about.com/od/parenting/a/drawbackstolang.htm [2nd November].  Leap. n.d. Is Bilingualism a Problem? http://leap.tki.org.nz/Is-bilingualism-a- problem [2nd November].

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