INTRODUCTION The world today is divided into various nation states, most whose citizens are linguistically diverse

. There are more than 20 states with more than one official language, such as India, who has 19, but most nation states tend to use only one official language, mainly for legal and governmental purposes but also for unifying its people (UNESCO, 2003). Language planning and policy for these countries are essential, and the best way for its implementation starts at schools. Multilingual education involves the teaching of school subjects in more than two languages. Typically, it involves schooling in the child¶s mother tongue, and then transits to additional languages (Wikipedia). Multilingual education brings forward more complexities compared to bilingual education as it deals with more advanced cognitive issues in learning. It also intimately plays with the political, economical and social issues of a country. This paper is divided into two parts. The first part examines the factors that contribute to the use of multiple languages in education. These factors as to why a country would choose to adopt this educational approach will be supported by relevant examples by looking at the current education systems of countries that are concerned. The second part then deals with language policies between two countries. The languages used in these countries and the reasons for their usage will also be explained using current and relevant examples.


2009). In universities. As a result. which is a web and print publication of SIL International. and cultural assimilation between different ethnic communities. These educational programmes are conducted in a regional language-Inuktitut. Basque and Aranese are co-official languages of Spain alongside the official language. all regional schools are fully bilingual in their regional languages alongside Castilian at both the elementary and secondary level of education. strong historical ties with a former coloniser. Subsequently. can affect policy-makers¶ decision regarding on their respective countries policy on the use of what language(s) as the medium of instruction in schools. a brief explanation on how Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory. Fortunately. face the danger of extinction. for ease of explanation. Catalan. many programmes are introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s by academic linguists who fear the death of indigenous languages in the First Nations and Inuit Reservations. one of the reasons for multilingual education is to preserve linguistic diversity. linguistic death is being prevented by some countries through the sharing of the official status of a primary language with its own indigenous languages. Castilian Spanish.The factors that contribute towards the use of multiple languages in education The factors that contribute to the use of multiple languages as means of instruction of subjects in schools. there are currently 6909 identified living languages (SIL International. 2 . However. political and economical reasons. Galician. government or legal. Due to this highly diverse situation. either for purposes of unity. Based on the 2009 online publication of Ethnologue: Languages of the World . many languages. or multilingual education. more appropriately termed as Acquisition of Additional Languages (AAL). especially those indigenous to a nation and belonging to a minority group in terms of number of speakers or a politically lesser powerful group. only three main factors that can contribute to multilingual education will be explained. Such is the case with Spain. preservation of indigenous languages. or in this context.English and/or French. Cree. In Canada. Blackfoot. Academic linguists also play a role in preserving indigenous languages through multilingual education. students are also provided medium of instruction in either one of these four languages. touch on a multitude of aspects regarding social. Thus. However. most countries award the official status to only a sole language.

as well as English. although monolingual instruction in English is still prevalent. Gujarati to name a few. Bengali. English holds precedence in Indian state universities. However.The choice of what language or languages to use as the medium of instruction in schools is also heavily influenced by historical ties. As a result of nearly 400 years of British colonial rule and enhanced by its international prestige.d. namely Hindi and English. Hindi and English. 2003) have emphasised the importance of ³foreign language learning as part of an intercultural education aiming at the promotion of understanding between communities and between nations. as cited in UNESCO. usually forged through colonialisation. official status is given to these many regional languages.´ The Neve Shalom peace village in Israel was jointly founded by Israeli Arabs and Jews to demonstrate that peaceful co-existence between these two communities is possible. various social works to promote peace and understanding between these peoples are actively conducted and together with Hand in Hand: Centre for Jewish Arab Education in Israel. even after years of bloody political and religious disputes. Former British colonies are grouped under the Commonwealth of Nations and include India and 54 other countries (Wikipedia). Here. The International Conference on Education (ICE) (n. The use of multiple languages as the medium of instruction in schools can also be a way to promote cultural assimilation and understanding between different ethnic communities. Assamese. Nevertheless. education and social as well as cultural domains. As Britain speak English as their mother tongue. 3 . classes are conducted in both Hebrew and Arabic. they brought with them their language as they settled into their new colonies and imposed the language to the natives intensively through its use in administration. education in India is held trilingually in the regional language. India has two official federal languages. Dogri.

find that bilingualism supports the acquisition of third languages. Effect of bilingualism on third language acquisition compares how bilingual learners acquire additional language than monolingual learners. However.d) In the study of early multilingualism. Cross-linguistic influence in third language acquisition will give guidelines to policy makers on which additional languages that should be used as the medium of 4 .The aim of multilingual education should have in it the element of being µadditive¶ rather than µsubtractive. and how it is effectively implemented in schools to promote successful learning. as stated in the Psycholinguistic Perspectives on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education by Jasone Cenoz and Fred Genesee. y Academic: students will achieve grade-level academic competency in each subject and will be prepared to move successfully into and through the mainstream education system. policy makers will be able to pinpoint the suitable age or level to first implement multilingual education. Jaspaert and Lemmens (1990) and Zobl (1993) reported that there are no significant differences between bilinguals and monolinguals acquiring additional languages. (Cenoz. 2006): y Language: students will develop fluency and confidence using their first language (L1) and the official language (L2) for communication and for learning in school. n. as there is a general perception that children go through the language learning process better than their adolescent and adult counterparts. Some researches done by academics such as Cenoz and Valencia in 1994. which may be all or mostly in the dominant language. there are studies that report the contrary. 1998) Policy makers and educators should then look at in what environment or setting multilingualism works best in. y Socio-cultural: students will maintain their love and respect for their heritage.¶ (Cenoz & Genesee. Referring to the same publication. language and culture and be prepared to contribute to the development of their own community and the nation Acquisition of Additional Languages (AAL) theory can give insight into issues dealing with multilingualism and multilingual education. Multilingual Education (MLE) have three general goals (Malone.

one that is typologically closer to the learner¶s L1 or one that may have further typological distance. the hours in class designated for the use of the target language as well as its continued or discontinued exposure outside the classroom also plays vital roles in ensuring successful learning of knowledge and language.instruction in schools. but is spoken by a considerably sized minority in the country. 5 . Under the age and third language acquisition theory.

Bahasa Malaysia was made the official language under the Constitution of Malaysia. the Constitution safeguards the freedom of learning and using of other languages. Based on the Constitution of Malaysia. have influenced the making of the Malaysian and Philippines¶ national language policies. This nationalistic mindset soon spread and gained footing in areas such as education. Secrion 4 highlights that the continued use of English may be permitted. where Bahasa Malaysia gradually displaced English as the medium of instruction in schools. Language Policy: Malaysia Language Policy and Language Planning (LPLP) have always been a complex issue in Malaysia as it mainly deals with the issues presented in the standardisation of Bahasa Malaysia. These two countries are not only located in the same Asian region (South-East Asia) and may share similar cultural roots. whether Federal or State. It is to be noted that official purposes means any purpose made by and under the Government. there was an upsurge in nationalism.Language policies of Malaysia and the Philippines: What are the languages used and why are they being used? In this section. and for mainly this reason. ³The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may permit the continued use of the English language for such official purposes as may be 6 . In 1959. Since the nation gained its independence in 1957. Although Bahasa Malaysia is the official language. the national language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia. what languages are used and the reasons for the use of the languages. I will highlight the language policies used in both Malaysia and the Philippines. and thus. the Spanish and later Americans for the Philippines. Article 152(1). both had also been under foreign rule-the British for Malaysia. as well as purposes of public authorities. Nationalistic ideals also took great concerns on issues of unity. a government body responsible for the management and use of Bahasa Malaysia in the country was formed. it is an interesting case to see how two different colonial powers along with the cultural diversity of each countries¶ inhabitants. the use of English as a result from British colonialisation and as a language for globalisation. However. English still holds certain precedence. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP). It explains that. as well as the preservation of the country¶s many vernacular languages. Referring to the National Language Acts 1963/1967. Therefore.

Point 2 discusses language. However. supported by the less-than-satisfactory results in both subjects shown by majority of students during the course of its implementation (although this fact can be a result of many other factors. 7 . One recent issue is in the future discontinued use of English as the medium of instruction for the subjects Science and Mathematics in schools. In 2002. (b). the Government announced that the teaching of Science and Mathematics will be in English as of 2003. the actual language use in Sabah now may not reflect what is stated in this agreement. (c).deemed fit. English should continue to be used for a period of 10 years after Malaysia Day. However. Under the 20point Memorandum. This move. many Malay linguists and activists feel that by doing so. without limitation of time. the Government announced that the policy will be reversed in 2012. especially in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. English should be an official language of North Borneo for all purposes. such as inadequate English language skills of teachers in those subjects). and politicians alike. Their constant criticisms. Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) should be the national language of the Federation (Peninsula Malaysia). It is to be noted however. due to mainly political agendas and pressure from the Federal Peninsula government to enforce Bahasa Malaysia as the sole national and official language. Section 5 that states the use of English language may be permitted in Parliament and Legislative Assembly. activists. and it states three situations regarding the use of Bahasa Malaysia and English in Sabah: (a). Throughout history.´ This fact is further enhanced in the next section. a list of demands which is written by North Borneo (now Sabah) during the negotiations prior to the formation of Malaysia on September 16th 1963. the national language may be jeopardised. that English may be used instead of Bahasa Malaysia in official contexts. called Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) was a move to set Malaysia in the path of globalisation. the relationship between Bahasa Malaysia and English has sparked interests among linguists. heightening in a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur on 7 March 2009. State or Federal.

language was never their main concern as much as in their interests in taking power from the hands of the Spanish. Filipino was seen as a tool that can unite the Philippines¶ linguistically diverse communities. In 1974 the Department of Education. and until today. one of the major local languages. under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos the Constitution of the Republic of Phillipines had adapted a national language. would be the language of instruction in all other subjects taught in the elementary and secondary level. a language native to Manila. when the sixties came.Language Policy: Philippines Similar to Malaysia. A shift in language consciousness started in 1935. In 1943. the Americans took over. the Philippines is made up of a hugely multilingual community with over 100 languages spoken. However. When the Spanish era ended in 1898. it still prospered. mainly when it came to converting the local people to Christianity. Language policy in this country was never really taken seriously during its colonial eras. English and Filipino were made the official languages. unlike the situation in Malaysia. as there was no explicit mention of a common language in the country¶s Constitution. preferring instead to learn the people¶s own local languages. During the Spanish colonisation era between the years 1521-1898. Culture and Sports ordered a bilingual education scheme to be set up under Article XIV Sections 6-9 in the Constitution. initially by implementing it as a subject in secondary curriculum. was beginning to be developed. 8 . called Filipino-actually Tagalog. the National Language Wars did make the government realise the need to further inspect the country¶s language phenomena. However. a law called Martial Law was approved in 1972 as a way to silence most of the propagators of these riots. it is still being implemented in schools. Consequently. mostly non-Tagalogs such as the Cebuano Bisayans. in which the policy will be reverted in 2012. Tagalog. In 1973. the colonisers never actively spread the Spanish language. and again. a period of National Language Wars began. However. to make English the medium of instruction for subjects Science and Mathematics. as the public. English and Spanish were maintained as official languages. Similar to Bahasa Malaysia.that is a result of several Philippine local languages. still had not warmed to the idea of a national language. Filipino or Tagalog. Yet. Growing AntiWestern sentiment and the dissatisfaction with English medium instruction as well as nationalistic ideals lead to student unrest. Although this scheme received mixed feelings among the general public.

this language policy is still being used in the modern Philippines¶ nation state.but it is also seen as way to create unity among its multiracial people. and the main vernacular languages. but also as a medium of communication among Malays speaking with other Non-Malays. 2007) English is known as Malaysia¶s second language. It is widely used in areas concerning international transactions and interactions. This fact is proven by a study conducted by Lim Chin Chye on a group of Malaysian school boys in an elite secondary mission school. It is not only the lingua franca of the Malays. and the Philippines were under the leadership of its first female president. Bahasa Malaysia is chosen as the official language not only because it is spoken as a mother tongue by the largest ethnic group in Malaysia-the Malays. (David. Many local varieties of English exist. Corazon Aquino. English. This is the main reason why the language is still being continuously used. To include all languages and the reasons for their usage in this paper would be an overwhelming task. when the government made English the language 9 . These varieties are generally grouped under the terms µeducated subvariety¶ and µcolloquial sub-variety. 7. spoken among Malays themselves. Languages used and reasons for their usage: Malaysia Malaysia is a country whose citizens are multiracial. English is very intimately linked to the notions of globalisation and advancement. The importance of English in preparing for a globalised Malaysia was seen in 2003. For purposes of communication and instruction. She reinforced the roles of English and Filipino as languages of instruction in the 1987 Constitution: y Sec. so I would concentrate on Bahasa Malaysia. mainly through its localisation with Malaysian culture. and thus. Today. The results show that Malay is widely employed as a lingua franca for in-group and inter-ethnic interactions. multilingual. It helped Filipino flourish as a lingua franca among the nation¶s multilingual speakers and maintained English as the medium of communication for government and international business. the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and.¶ or µManglish¶.The 1986 EDSA Revolution ended President Marcos¶ reign. until otherwise provided by law. English.

Such Chinese schools are known by the abbreviation SJK(C) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina) while its Indian counterparts are known as SJK(T) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil). Both languages are spoken by the second and third largest ethnic community in Malaysia. and vice versa. The vernacular languages in Malaysia consist of many languages. English is also used as a lingua franca in interactions among Non-Malays. known as µManglish¶) when they interacted with their Indian peers. namely Mandarin and Tamil. However. as a result of immense pressure from Malay linguists and activists. These two languages along with other languages spoken by the ethnics in East Malaysia are usually used at home for intra-group interactions between members of the same race.of instruction in both Science and Mathematics in schools at the elementary and secondary levels. In the field of education. vernacular languages are used as mediums of instruction in vernacular schools. the Chinese and Indians respectively. The results of Lim Chin Chye¶s research show that Chinese youths use English (although it is commonly the colloquial version. Although Bahasa Malaysia is the national language of Malaysia. especially in the case of Chinese and Indians. this policy is to be reverted in 2012. the usage of these vernacular languages is still encouraged as to retain the respective ethnic groups¶ cultural and linguistic identity. 10 .

However. This variety is often called a pidgin or a genuine language mixture. Similar to Malaysia. 60 percent of programmes. 1998) out of the hundreds of languages spoken in the country. The emergence of a generation of youths eager to be employed in various international fields such as diplomacy is also helping the spread of English among 11 . The use of Filipino is also boosted due to its thriving media and entertainment industry. The further development of Filipino as a language of literature and academic is headed by the Commission of the Filipino Language. It is the urban language learned and then used by outsiders from other parts of the country who have come to live. Waray (Eastern Bisayan). Hiligaynon Bisayan. founded in August 1991. I will focus my explanation on Filipino. English and the vernacular languages. It is often the preferred language of use. different from Malaysia. like the Limayway use the language. especially ones who call the capital home. Bicol. Internationally. English came to the Philippines through colonialisation. such as live talk shows use Filipino and 16 daily newspapers. and Maguindanao. Filipino is the national language of the Philippines. The usage of English in the country is propelled due to its importance in a globalised era. Out of the 55 percent of the population that speak the language. the Philippines had the Americans as their colonisers. Tagalog (called commonly as Filipino). Nationally. the first is the educated variety which involves code-switching from English to Filipino or a local language. The second variety is used commonly among yayas(caregivers) and barmaids working in military bases.Languages used and reasons for their usage: Philippines According to McFarland (as cited in Gonzalez. or study in the capital city. It can be divided into two varieties. Filipino is widely used as it is a majority language spoken in MetroManila (National Capital Region). all of which in Filipino. the Philippines comes second behind India in the production of movies each year. Pangasinense. Kapampangan. However. Maranao. The success of its television dramas overseas also helps to maintain the popularity of the language among its people. whose English-speaking ruler came from Britain. alongside their own local language from their hometowns. Ilokano. the American English has become localised. Through centuries of use. 25 percent are native speakers. Code-switching is used to display competence both in English and a local Philippine language. work. Cebuano Bisayan. 10 are considered major (having more than one million speakers). especially for international business deals. and is now known as Philippine-American English.

taken from overseas. This group is called the Oversea Filipino Worker (OFW). 12 . most programs that are English in language are cable television programs. Ever since the time of Spanish colonialisation. this policy is still hugely supported by many and does not seem to fall into disuse anytime soon. while the use of the latter depends on whether there is animosity towards the language among the local community. the vernacular languages of the Philippines are mainly used as home languages. as well as technology and management. In printed media. The use of local vernacular languages is apparent mostly in areas of religion. but instead they took the effort to learn the people¶s local languages.the younger generation. and they are employed in fields such as seamanship. Spanish Christian missionaries did not preach to the local people using Spanish. the most common newspapers in two local languages are Bisaya for the Cebuano Bisayans and Bannawag for the Ilokanos. English and Filipino are sometimes used. Even to this day. The Commission of the Filipino Language also helps to promote the preservation and development of these local languages. health sciences. However. the use of the former usually depending on the worshippers¶ preference. Similar to Malaysia. That is. they are used at home or in informal contexts. English is also still being used as the language of instruction in the subjects of Science and Mathematics in schools. In areas of media and entertainment. There are also 21 newspapers that use English as their main medium. churches prefer to conduct sermons and religious rituals in the local language. among family members and friends who share the same native tongue. Different from Malaysia.

then its implementation in the education system must benefit all parties involved in all sectors whether political. but at the same time maintain and preserve its own indigenous or vernacular languages. 13 . Whereas in terms of language policy. economical and social. state that. ³language is a repository and a vehicle of culture. but it has a fundamental role in shaping what those ideas are.´ It is here we can see that not only do people express themselves through language.CONCLUSION To conclude. a country should be sensitive towards the needs of its entire people when designing its language policy. colonialisation and cultural assimilation are three of the main factors that contribute to the use of multiple languages in education. Issues concerning language and education should not be taken lightly by any government. but language in turn helps to shape who they are. Jacob and William R. James E. Beer (n.d). Not only does language convey ideas between people. Once a language policy has been set. And as language is inseparable from culture and ethnicity. it can be said that the preservation of indigenous languages. a country designs its policy based on colonial implications and the need to globalise the nation.

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