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Unformatted text preview: Joseph Song FSEM 1404 Task #4: News Article July 10, 2009 I n Malaysia, English Ban Raises Fears for Future By L IZ GOOCH KUALA LUMPUR — P.S. Han, a teacher in Kuala Lumpur, has been using English to teach math and physics to 17-year-olds for the past six years. From 2012, he will be forced to return to using the national language, Bahasa Malaysia, after the government decided to abandon English for the two subjects in a decision some consider to be motivated by politics rather than education. “English has been used as the language of science for 300 years,” said Mr. Han, a teacher at St. John’s Institution. “You cannot really convey the scientific concepts to the students in Bahasa Malaysia at a very high level.” “We have to face the fact that science knowledge is in English.” The announcement on Wednesday, which came after months of lobbying by Malay nationalists, has raised concerns about whether English standards in the former British colony will slide and whether Malaysia’s competitiveness as a destination for multinational companies may suffer. English has been the language of instruction for math and science in Malaysia since 2003, when former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad introduced the policy amid concerns that poor English skills were hindering students’ job opportunities. Mr. Mahathir expressed sadness over the decision to revert to Bahasa Malaysia, saying that the decision would adversely affect children and make it difficult for them to keep abreast of scientific developments, the national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying. The government cited a decline in students’ math and science grades, particularly in rural areas, as one of the reasons behind the switch....
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- Spring '11
- BAHASA MALAYSIA, English standards