Revisiting English language learning among Malaysian children

Hamidah Yamat @ Ahmad, Ross Fisher, Sarah Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite learning English language for six years at elementary and five years at secondary levels, Malaysian students' English language competency has always been the obstacle in securing success at university level as well as in job opportunities. Hence, various interventions have been taken in the teaching and learning process as well as changes in language policy. This paper calls for a revisit on Malaysia's policy on teaching English English at primary schools. It discusses the findings of English language acquisition as experienced by Azlan, Hazwan and Aida's (pseudonyms), aged six, and explored through an ethnographic case study. The children's, their mother's and teacher's voices were gathered through interviews. The children's behaviours in and outside of school and at home were also captured through observations. A grounded theory data analysis approach was employed in analysing the data. Findings illuminated that for these children, the second language was acquired through play and use; and that developing children's confidence should be the starting point. The implication of this finding is discussed in the light of the English language policy for teaching English to Malaysian primary school children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-180
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Social Science
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2014

Fingerprint

English language
language policy
learning
primary school
Teaching
language acquisition
grounded theory
schoolchild
Malaysia
learning process
data analysis
confidence
Language Acquisition
university
teacher
interview
language
school
student
Teaching English

Keywords

  • Children
  • Ethnography SLA
  • Language learning
  • Malaysia
  • Malaysian language policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

Revisiting English language learning among Malaysian children. / Yamat @ Ahmad, Hamidah; Fisher, Ross; Rich, Sarah.

In: Asian Social Science, Vol. 10, No. 3, 27.01.2014, p. 174-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yamat @ Ahmad, Hamidah ; Fisher, Ross ; Rich, Sarah. / Revisiting English language learning among Malaysian children. In: Asian Social Science. 2014 ; Vol. 10, No. 3. pp. 174-180.
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