The marginalisation of Malaysian texts in the English language curriculum and its impact on social cohesion in Malaysian classrooms

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Abstract

In this paper, we seek to investigate the place that local literature has been given in Malaysian Education in the English Language Subject for Secondary Schools in Malaysia. We argue that literature engenders a space for the nation to share in the experiences and feelings of groups and situations that might never be encountered directly. It often engages with the realities of a nation through diverse constructions of its history, its realities and communal relations. As such we posit that literature can be a significant tool to study the realities of Malaysian nationhood and its constructions of inter-ethnic relationships, and ultimately, an effective tool to forge nation building. The discussion focuses on investigating the role that literature has played in Malaysian education in the context of engaging with ethnically diverse Malaysian learners and whether text selection has prioritised ethnic diversity in its Malaysian context. Samples used for discussion centre on literature in English in Malaysian Education. The paper concludes that more attention needs to be paid to the inclusion of local literature as it can be an important communicator of signifiers of ethnic identity and subsequently play an important role in facilitating inter-ethnic engagement and understanding in Malaysian schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-58
Number of pages34
JournalKajian Malaysia
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

social cohesion
English language
curriculum
classroom
education
communicator
state formation
ethnic identity
Malaysia
literature
Language Curriculum
Marginalization
Social Cohesion
secondary school
inclusion
history
school
Education
experience
Group

Keywords

  • Inter-ethnic engagement
  • Literature text selection
  • Malaysian literature in English
  • Role of literature
  • Social cohesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "In this paper, we seek to investigate the place that local literature has been given in Malaysian Education in the English Language Subject for Secondary Schools in Malaysia. We argue that literature engenders a space for the nation to share in the experiences and feelings of groups and situations that might never be encountered directly. It often engages with the realities of a nation through diverse constructions of its history, its realities and communal relations. As such we posit that literature can be a significant tool to study the realities of Malaysian nationhood and its constructions of inter-ethnic relationships, and ultimately, an effective tool to forge nation building. The discussion focuses on investigating the role that literature has played in Malaysian education in the context of engaging with ethnically diverse Malaysian learners and whether text selection has prioritised ethnic diversity in its Malaysian context. Samples used for discussion centre on literature in English in Malaysian Education. The paper concludes that more attention needs to be paid to the inclusion of local literature as it can be an important communicator of signifiers of ethnic identity and subsequently play an important role in facilitating inter-ethnic engagement and understanding in Malaysian schools.",
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N2 - In this paper, we seek to investigate the place that local literature has been given in Malaysian Education in the English Language Subject for Secondary Schools in Malaysia. We argue that literature engenders a space for the nation to share in the experiences and feelings of groups and situations that might never be encountered directly. It often engages with the realities of a nation through diverse constructions of its history, its realities and communal relations. As such we posit that literature can be a significant tool to study the realities of Malaysian nationhood and its constructions of inter-ethnic relationships, and ultimately, an effective tool to forge nation building. The discussion focuses on investigating the role that literature has played in Malaysian education in the context of engaging with ethnically diverse Malaysian learners and whether text selection has prioritised ethnic diversity in its Malaysian context. Samples used for discussion centre on literature in English in Malaysian Education. The paper concludes that more attention needs to be paid to the inclusion of local literature as it can be an important communicator of signifiers of ethnic identity and subsequently play an important role in facilitating inter-ethnic engagement and understanding in Malaysian schools.

AB - In this paper, we seek to investigate the place that local literature has been given in Malaysian Education in the English Language Subject for Secondary Schools in Malaysia. We argue that literature engenders a space for the nation to share in the experiences and feelings of groups and situations that might never be encountered directly. It often engages with the realities of a nation through diverse constructions of its history, its realities and communal relations. As such we posit that literature can be a significant tool to study the realities of Malaysian nationhood and its constructions of inter-ethnic relationships, and ultimately, an effective tool to forge nation building. The discussion focuses on investigating the role that literature has played in Malaysian education in the context of engaging with ethnically diverse Malaysian learners and whether text selection has prioritised ethnic diversity in its Malaysian context. Samples used for discussion centre on literature in English in Malaysian Education. The paper concludes that more attention needs to be paid to the inclusion of local literature as it can be an important communicator of signifiers of ethnic identity and subsequently play an important role in facilitating inter-ethnic engagement and understanding in Malaysian schools.

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