Status of English in Malaysia

Topics: English language, Second language, Malaysia Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: April 11, 2013
What is the present status of english in malaysia? Is it ESL, EFL or EIL (or is it all of the above) depending on which state or area you come from. Before I go any further, let me explain on what is ESL, EFL and EIL. English as a second language (ESL) is the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) indicates the teaching of English in a non–English speaking region. Meanwhile English as an International Language (EIL) is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movement towards an international standard for the language. Back to the question above, at times it's rather hard to determine whether English is the second language or foreign language or international language. Due to education or government policy, English could also be taught as a second language when the fact is it should be a learner's foreign language. For instance, Malaysia. English is a foreign language for many children in Malaysia. Let me quote myself as an example. Malay is my mother tongue and my second language is English language. But it is totally different if I compare myself to Xie Ah where Mandarin is her mother tongue and her second language is Hokkien. Malay language is her third language and obviously English is a foreign language to her when she learnt it in school. However, English is the second major language used in the goverment sector and also by most of Malaysians. Consequently, English is not considered as a foreign language and it's taught as a second language under Malaysia Education System. English language may not necessarily be the second language of Malaysian students. It can be the first, second, or even a foreign language depending on among other things, the locality they live in. In the urban areas such as Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya and etc., students are more exposed to English. They speak more English either during school session or at...
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