Languages in the Malaysian Education System : Monolingual strands in multilingual settings book cover
1st Edition

Languages in the Malaysian Education System
Monolingual strands in multilingual settings

Edited By

Asmah Haji Omar

ISBN 9781138575974
Published October 12, 2017 by Routledge
170 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book provides an overview of language education in Malaysia, covering topics such as the evolution of the education system from pre-independence days to the present time, to the typology of schools, and the public philosophy behind every policy made in the teaching of languages. The book consists of chapters devoted to the teaching of languages that form separate strands but are at the same time connected to each other within the education system. These chapters discuss:

  • Implementing the national language policy in education institutions
  • English in language education policies and planning in Malaysia
  • Chinese and Tamil language education in Malaysia
  • Teaching of indigenous Malaysian languages
  • The role of translation in education in Malaysia


It also discusses the development of language which enables the national language, Malay, to fulfil its role as the main medium of education up to the tertiary level. This book will be of interest to researchers studying language planning, teacher education and the sociology of education, particularly, within the Malaysian context.

Table of Contents

1. Positioning  Languages in the Malaysian Education  System  2. Implementing the National Language Policy in Educational Institutions 3. English in Language Education Policies and Planning in Malaysia 4. Arabic in Malaysia: A Special Status Language 5. Evolution of Chinese Language Education in Malaysia 6. Tamil Education in Malaysia: A Survival Against the Odds 7. Teaching Iban in Schools and Universities 8. Teaching of Kadazandusun as mother tongue 9. The Role of Translation in Education in Malaysia 10. The Development of Malay: A Supranational Collaboration

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Asmah Haji Omar is Professor Emeritus at the Academy of Malay Studies (AMS), University of Malaya (UM). She was formerly Professor of Malay Linguistics, Director of the Language Centre, and Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics of the university. After retiring, she was invited by the University of Education Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim, Perak, to occupy the Za’ba Chair of Malay Civilization, and established the Institute of Malay Civilization (2001 – 2005). As a member of the Language Council of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia (MABBIM) from its inception in 1972 until today, she has been involved in the development of Malay/bahasa Indonesia, specifically in the standardization of the spelling system, formulation of rules for the coining of scientific terminology, and the method of compiling dictionaries of scientific terms.