The Use of English as a Social Practice: A study of Malaysian ESL Students

Renganathan, Sumathi (2005) The Use of English as a Social Practice: A study of Malaysian ESL Students. In: Language and Global Communication (LGC 2005) Conference, 7-9 July 2005, Cardiff University.

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Malaysia is a multiracial and multilingual country. During the British rule, English language played a dominant role in Malaysia. However, after independence (1957), English was gradually replaced by the national language, Malay. English was regarded as not only the language of colonization but also an obstacle for the progress of the majority of Malays (the dominant ethnic group) in educational, social and economic aspects (Chai, 1971).

However, recently there has been a resurgent role of English as a Second Language (ESL) in the Malaysian education system:
… whether we like it or not, English has become the global lingua franca. … Through better proficiency and mastery of English, we will have citizens who can lead Malaysia’s development in the future, and ensure that our country can remain an important player on the global scene.
Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2003

This paper reports on a study which investigated the current role and status of English among Malay ESL students in Malaysia. The study aims to explore these students’ use of ESL as a social practice in their daily lives. Two theoretical frameworks underpinning this study are Wenger’s (1998) notion of communities of practice and Norton Peirce’s (1995, 2000) social theory of identity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
L Education > L Education (General)
Departments / MOR / COE: Departments > Management & Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Sumathi Renganathan
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2010 03:12
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2010 03:12

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