Bangsa Malaysia and recent Malaysian english language policies

Article


Ridge, Brian. 2004. "Bangsa Malaysia and recent Malaysian english language policies." Current Issues in Language Planning. 5 (4), pp. 407-423.
Article Title

Bangsa Malaysia and recent Malaysian english language policies

ERA Journal ID22151
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorRidge, Brian
Journal TitleCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Journal Citation5 (4), pp. 407-423
Number of Pages17
Year2004
Place of PublicationClevedon, U.K.
ISSN1466-4208
1747-7506
Abstract

This paper analyses Malyasia's English language policies, especially since the mid 1990s, in the light of more recent claims for a United Malaysian nation (under the banner of Bangsa Malaysia) and in the context of English language and its potential for Malaysia to forge more of an externalised identity. It examines the impact of postindependence measures to boost the status of Malay by switching the language medium in schools to Malay (Bahasa Malasia). This had an immediate effect on English medium schools, but the same measure was not carried through to Chinese or Tamil schools. For the latter, students nonetheless had to demonstrate competence in Bahasa Malaysia and so there evolved an effective bilingualism for non-Malays - a bilingualism that was not generally available for the bulk of Malay students. By the 1990s, Malaysia sought to reintroduce English language competence via its schools and tertiary eduction. This measure is part of an overall effort to engage with the globalising world.

Keywordsenglish language; Malaysia; globalisation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440709. Public policy
470210. Globalisation and culture
470306. English as a second language
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Arts
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