Language in Education Planning --

Moses Samuel mosess at
Tue Dec 10 06:18:23 UTC 2002

The government of Malaysia has recently announced that beginning 2003, mathematics and Science in national schools will be taught in English.  In the 1960s as part of nation building/ language planning efforts, the Malaysian education system opted to make Malay, the national language, the medium of instruction for all subjects at school, hoping that instruction in a  common national language would promote national unity among its ethnically diverse population.

Now almost 20 years later, a language policy reversal back to English  is underway for Mathematics and Science subjects, partly because of globalization and because translation efforts have not kept pace in fields that are developing rapidly.

I'm wondering if anyone is aware of language planning/ language policy research done elsewhere in other countries on a similar circumstances -- policy reversal back to English in postcolonial contexts, and language in education planning for Mathematics and Science at the school level?

Moses Samuel
University of Malaya, Malaysia


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