Malaysia: English: An outsider's perspective

Francis Hult francis.hult at
Mon Apr 20 17:38:29 UTC 2009

Via lgpolicy-list at  ...

COMMENT: English: An outsider's perspective
By : James Campbell

The problem with current language policy is not one of denying the
importance of learning English per se in Malaysian educational

IT appears that a final decision on the future of teaching Mathematics
and Science in English in Malaysian schools is close to being made.

The then Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said
that he has completed the cabinet paper on this issue and is
distributing it to the relevant ministries for feedback and opinion.

Clearly, the stakes are high in the debate over English language
curriculum and education in Malaysia.

For some the battle lines are clearly delineated: Linguistic
nationalists versus global internationalists, language nationalism
versus developmental nationalism and, for others, its nationalism
versus nationism.

No matter how we frame the issue it is generally agreed that much heat
has been generated in the debate over the status of Bahasa Malaysia,
English and their respective places in the teaching of Science and
Mathematics and by inference in educational institutions in general.

Full story:

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