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Policies addressing multilingualism promoting English in Malaysia

2020-05-19 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

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下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文-Policies addressing multilingualism promoting English in Malaysia。约书亚·A·菲什曼在《新语言秩序》一书中写道,人类社会在一种语言(除了半口语之外)被如此广泛和如此众多的人使用之前,从未发生过这种情况。

 Policies addressing multilingualism promoting English in Malaysia

Joshua A. Fishman wrote in The New Linguistic Order that it has never happened in human society before that one language (besides semi-spoken) is spoken “so widely and by so many.”[ Fishman, J. A. “The New Linguistic Order.” Foreign Policy. Washington: Newsweek Interactive, LLC 1998-1999: No. 113. 26-32, 34-40. Accessed March 26, 2015. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1149230 .

]Here, this language refers to English, which is the mother tongue of around 380 million people and is the language of the lion share of academic and books, news, and magazines in the world. Moreover, it is also estimated that English-speaking countries produce 40% of the world’s GDP. Though its influence is still at its peak, some linguists already warn that this predominant language will be finally fell from the top back to an ordinary dialect at the corner of the world. What causes a language’s rise and fall is the economy and politics. The expansion of the use of English is closely linked with the colonization of Britain. After the colonization period, many countries started supporting their own nations’ language to grow. However, the transition of the dominant language takes a long time, which is best exempted by the situation of Malaysia. Despite the fact that now Malay is the official language in Malaysia, some policies promoted by the government affect the spread of English positively in multicultural society, education, and tourism.

The overwhelming status of English originated from the policies the British rulers adopted in colonial Malaysia where is a melting pot of cultures including Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Malaysia was ruled by the British rule since the 1980s till the twentieth centuries. The British administration, as Bailey, Platt, and Weber revealed in their book, English in Singapore and Malaysia, had doubts with Malaysian’s working efficiency and used policies to create a “network of multi-ethnic, multilingual speech communities, introducing Indian and Chinese into Malaysia.[ Bailey R W. John Platt and Heidi Weber. “English in Singapore and Malaysia: Status, Features, Functions.” English World-Wide, 1982. Vol. 3. No.2: 260-262.] According to professor Anthony Reid of Australian National University, there were in total around 10 million Chinese and 3 million of Indians arriving in Malaysia during 1880 - 1939.[ Reid, A. 2010. Malaysia/Singapore as Immigrant Societies. P17] In an sociolinguistic context, Lowenberg[ Lowenberg, P. H. 1986. “Sociolinguistic Context and Second-Language Acquisition: Acculturation and Creativity in Malaysian English.” World Englishes, 5(1), 71-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.] recorded his observation in the article Acculturation and Creativity in Malaysian English, and pointed out that since at the time, English language enjoys prestige status and since in the multi-cultural society, it is ethnically neutral, the colonial administrators saw English, this language’s potential and created an education system in Malaysia where at the beginning private and mission schools began taking English as medium, and later on the local teachers started teaching the language. The policy laid the foundation of later education design. In the survey of Thirusanku and Yunus in 2014 on the status of English in Malaysia, they find that as this system evolved, English was continually used by the mixed society (Indians, Malays, and Chinese) and became the primary language in transportation, commerce, the mass media, and entertainments.[ Thirusanku, J and Yunus, M. 2014. Status of English in Malaysia. Asian Social Science; Vol. 10, No. 14: 23-29

] Therefore, this background has laid the foundation for English’s continuous usage in this country.

The education system of Malaysia conveniences the continuity of English in Malaysia as although Malay was adopted as the national language, English was not discarded because of practical concerns. Start with the background, the Federation Malaysia attained its independence from Britain in 1957, and since then it has gone through vast changes in various fields, among which were the implementation of a new education system. The 3rd Malaysia Plan (1976-1980) states that “Bshasa Malaysia (Malay)” is the base for national integration, but the plan also underlines English’s usage, stressing that measures must be taken to ensure its status as second language.[ Thirusanku, J and Yunus, M. 2014. “Status of English in Malaysia.” Asian Social Science. Vol. 10, No. 14: 23-29] From 1970 till 1983, Malaysia educational policies were implemented gradually in primary and secondary level of education. It was until 1983, all English medium schools were replaced by Malay medium schools, and before it, there are three teaching syllabus separately for primary schools, secondary schools, and upper secondary schools. The Malaysian education system consists of primary schools, secondary schools, upper secondary schools, Chinese schools, and Tamil schools, whose development is too complex to be declared in one article, but the different teaching strategies adopted showed Malaysian authority’s practical concern for certain practical reason. For example, firstly, the secondary school syllabus was developed accordingly to the country’s immediate needs—providing “united, disciplined and well-trained workforce.”[ Darus, S. 2010. “The Current Situation and Issues of the Teaching of English in Malaysia.” Ritsumeikan linguistic and culture studies. Vol. 22, No. 1: 19-27] Secondly, the Malay language has a problem of relating to modern science, because it has never been associated with this field before.[ Z Zaabaand K Umemoto. 2009. “Teaching Science and Technology in English: Language-in-Education Policy in Malaysia.” Recent Technological Advances in Education. 131-135

 

]

Both as the result of the language education system which lasts for two centuries, and as the medium of further influence, Malaysia tourism employs English and still relies on this language. Tourism industry is projected as a major source of income to Malaysia. Every year, increasing tourists come to visit Malaysia, and consequently, more jobs are created, especially in service sector where one of the most important components is the frontline work where workers serve and interact continuously with the tourists. As tourists do not just come for the facilities and attractions, what they want is also to be treated right and well. Since they do not speak Bahasa Melayu, the national language, a good command of English is viewed as an asset for human resources. According to a statistic done by Rao and Abdullah on the origin of tourists visiting Malaysia, 45.2% tourists are Europeans, and following are Australia (including New Zealand), 11.9%[ R Rao, S Abdullah . 2007. The Role of the English Language in the Tourism Industry. Accessed March 28, 2015. http://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/12118608.pdf

]. Furthermore, though those advertisements for tourism produced in English, one can also see the emphasis of this overwhelming language. Just as what is written above, English enjoys its status in Malaysia due to pragmatism concerns, and tourism is one example of it.  

All in all, language is a tool and so is English. Therefore, policies addressing multilingualism in Malaysia at the end help promote English since Malaysia has a multi-cultural society, education systems closely connected to English, and the tourism heavily relying on English.

 

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