Bahasa Malaysia, the national language has been the medium of instruction for about 20 years; however in January 2003 Malaysia re-adopted the English language as a medium of instruction for science and mathematics in a move to keep abreast with scientific and technological development that is mostly recorded in the English language. At the same time, this move is envisaged to provide opportunities for students to use the English language and therefore increase their proficiency in the language. This change in policy is congruent to significant developments and understandings in second language acquisition that emphasize the role of meaningful, understandable input. As a former school student, I totally disagree with this policy because with the changes of a medium of instruction to English, some students do have problems in learning mathematics. The problems arise from this policy includes challenges to the teachers to promote better efficiency of teaching, difficulties experienced by student due complication of these two subjects and also problem faced by the student due to sudden change of learning medium.
Firstly, this move will challenge the science and mathematics teachers to work wisely in teaching and learning. Teachers who were resistant to the idea initially were ‘rushing’ to be trained in order to qualify for the incentive. Many of these were senior teachers who were skeptical of the change. They felt that the idea had little chance of success. Normally, students’ conceptions of prior experience and knowledge influence students’ learning in science and mathematics. For an example, a teacher from Kuala Lumpur whose about to retire in 3 years felt insulted because he is being force to attend training course for teaching these subjects in English, which is time consuming. As a matter of fact, I believe the teacher should be given a chance to share their own reflection towards this policy, because the teacher is more influencing in a student’s...
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