Linguistic ideology and practice

Language, literacy and communication in a localized workplace context in relation to the globalized

Shanta Nair-Venugopal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Linguistic ideologies that operate in the Malaysian workplace have been fuelled by previous and current language policies that have upheld the sovereignty of Malay, the national language while seeking to strengthen the use of English with regard to its perceived role as the language of global economic competitiveness. The dominant ideology in the Malaysian workplace is the role of English as a determinant of economic success. However, while competence in an idealized 'standard' English is highly valued for employability, the localized variety, Malaysian English (ME), Malay, and other local languages all contribute to literacy practices in the Malaysian workplace. The disconnect between ideology and practice has implications for student employment and consequences for the linguistic and cultural diversity of the workforce. A longitudinal and holistic perspective of the problem is presented by reporting on interview and observation-based research carried out at different points in time separated by slightly more than a decade, firstly at a finance company and later at its restructured entity, a commercial bank. Trainers from both entities reported that they valued job-related workplace competency more than English language ability despite the prevailing linguistic ideology. The study indicates that competitiveness in the globalized economy depends ultimately on education in a range of critical skills and strategies as workplace competencies rather than on linguistic abilities as individual skills.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)454-465
    Number of pages12
    JournalLinguistics and Education
    Volume24
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

    Fingerprint

    ideology
    workplace
    literacy
    linguistics
    communication
    language
    competitiveness
    economic success
    employability
    language policy
    ability
    cultural diversity
    Ideologies
    sovereignty
    English language
    bank
    finance
    Communication
    Work Place
    Literacy

    Keywords

    • Cultural diversity
    • Globalized economy
    • Language policy
    • Linguistic ideology
    • Literacy practice

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Education
    • Linguistics and Language

    Cite this

    Linguistic ideology and practice : Language, literacy and communication in a localized workplace context in relation to the globalized. / Nair-Venugopal, Shanta.

    In: Linguistics and Education, Vol. 24, No. 4, 12.2013, p. 454-465.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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