At-risk students' response to learning mathematics and science in a second language

Arshad A. Samad, Rohani Ahmad Tarmizi, Sharifah Md Nor, Kamariah Abu Bakar, Wan Zah Wan Ali, Ramlah Hamzah, Abd Rasid Jamian, Norhayat Marzuki, Siti Suria Salim, Othman Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Malaysian government recently reverted to the English language as the medium of instruction in its education system for important content subjects such as Mathematics and the Sciences. This policy decision was made in the midst of widespread concern over the perceived falling standards of English language proficiency after the country had used Malay, the native language of the majority Malays, as the medium of instruction for almost two decades. This year marks the first year high school students will sit for the national standardized examinations in English. Dissenters to this policy shift in the language of instruction fear that many will suffer as a result of this change. In this study, the self reports of academically high and low performing students are compared in terms of their ability to perform language related tasks in Malay and the English language. Using the Chi-square statistic, the results of the yes-no responses given by the students indicate that while high performing students report no major difficulties in either language, responses from the low performing students indicate otherwise. Additionally open-ended responses to learning Science and Mathematics in a second language are also qualitatively analysed in order to obtain a more comprehensive view of the challenges these students may face. Several implications based on these results are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-348
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Volume2
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

mathematics
language
science
learning
English language
student
instruction
language of instruction
education system
statistics
anxiety
examination
ability
school

Keywords

  • At-Risk Students
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching English as a Second Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Samad, A. A., Tarmizi, R. A., Md Nor, S., Abu Bakar, K., Wan Ali, W. Z., Hamzah, R., ... Mohamed, O. (2007). At-risk students' response to learning mathematics and science in a second language. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 2(4), 341-348.

At-risk students' response to learning mathematics and science in a second language. / Samad, Arshad A.; Tarmizi, Rohani Ahmad; Md Nor, Sharifah; Abu Bakar, Kamariah; Wan Ali, Wan Zah; Hamzah, Ramlah; Jamian, Abd Rasid; Marzuki, Norhayat; Salim, Siti Suria; Mohamed, Othman.

In: International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2007, p. 341-348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Samad, AA, Tarmizi, RA, Md Nor, S, Abu Bakar, K, Wan Ali, WZ, Hamzah, R, Jamian, AR, Marzuki, N, Salim, SS & Mohamed, O 2007, 'At-risk students' response to learning mathematics and science in a second language', International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 341-348.
Samad, Arshad A. ; Tarmizi, Rohani Ahmad ; Md Nor, Sharifah ; Abu Bakar, Kamariah ; Wan Ali, Wan Zah ; Hamzah, Ramlah ; Jamian, Abd Rasid ; Marzuki, Norhayat ; Salim, Siti Suria ; Mohamed, Othman. / At-risk students' response to learning mathematics and science in a second language. In: International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. 2007 ; Vol. 2, No. 4. pp. 341-348.
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