Malaysia is well known for its diversity in race and culture which has never failed to attract thousands to millions of tourists from all around the world. The nation is represented by its multiple ethnic groups that live harmoniously in the country. According to Wikipedia, the population of Malaysia as in year 2010 is estimated to be 28, 334,000. The major ethnic groups which are Malays, Chinese and Indians enable the exposure of children to Multilanguage and bilingual environment. This will definitely leave an impact on children’s social, cognitive and linguistic development. Children in Malaysia are exposed to Malay language generally because of its curriculum requirement. As to second language, English language has also been a focus being the International language. This type of bilingualism was put forward by some researchers thus far. Apart from these two languages children do share languages of other ethnics when come to communicate effectively. Though they may have to direct translate other language to the one they comfortable sometimes, it is undeniable that this practice will definitely enhance their linguistic skills. Talking about profound impact on children’s social, they surely get to mingle and learning a second language will open the door for communication with people not from own ethnic group. The ability to understand two languages enable children to work along with peers and teachers and appreciate diversity. In multilingual Malaysia, children learn various term of different ethnic and play along well and live harmoniously. Children in Malaysia get to mix with Malay, Chinese and Indian children and also children from other ethnic and learn to communicate with them. This is the greatest impact that a multilingual nation can bring to our children. Cognitive development is greater when come to Malaysia. This is true because the more exposure one gets the more knowledge he gains. Living in a multilingual nation certainly opens the door of knowledge to our children rather than living in monolingual society which sometimes dull and boring. Multilingualism enables the exploration of different culture and customs which may interest children and give them a helping hand for substantial growth and cognitive development.
The language development of bilinguals goes through the same basic steps as monolingual. This begins with mixing up languages to relay messages. That is assembling vocabulary of both languages. Later, they separate the words using equivalent terms in each language but using combination of grammatical rules of both languages. This is the point where children learn that language is the vehicle for interaction and communication. At some point of time, lingua learners will find that learning multiple languages happened smoothly and realised that they have acquired the ability to communicate using more than one language. While the majority children learn to speak mother tongue at an early age, the second language is taught in school or in the environment outside home like playground, shop, neighbourhood etc. This is just the way they acquire the language. Also Multilingualism and multicultural can clearly be seen in Malaysia’s classroom. Not only that, translation from one language to another does improve the level of the language itself. Students will develop certain fundamental skills in simple translation in order to improve their command in languages more effectively. Variety of strategies and different models of bilingual emphasize a child’s native language in varying degrees too. Some common barriers were prevented when come to living in a multilingual society. It is not a surprise that a child who comes from a multilingual society does better in education. Learning a second language at an instant’s age is much easier than learning at any other time and Malaysia opened a door of opportunity for that, surely. These children already come to know the structure, grammar and vocabulary of...
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