ERIC Number: ED361069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Values about Languages in the Multilingual Preschools of Malaysia.
Banks, Ellen C.
In multilingual nations, young children learn early about the social and educational importance that adults attribute to different languages. In Malaysia, parents express their values about languages by choosing specific kindergartens. Preschools' language values are reflected in the amount of time devoted and the seriousness of approach to each language, and in teachers' language proficiency. A study explored the environmental contexts of learning values about language in multilingual Malaysian kindergartens. Observational data were collected on five kindergartens. Four of the schools were suburban, most had multiethnic student populations, and each had a different balance of language instruction. Observations focused on the proportion of time each language was used; languages used by children and staff outside of formal instruction; visual classroom materials; and methods of language instruction. At one school, each language was learned by integration, in its own style, by adults who were reasonably confident speakers. At the second school, English was integrated with most of the day's activities, while Bahasa Malaysia was learned in translation. At the third school, both English and Bahasa Malaysia were learned by substitution, more as an academic requirement than as a means of communication. At the final two (predominantly Malay) preschools, the main language was also the language of the home. Descriptions of education and language policies in Malaysia and of each school and its language values are included. (AC)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Institutional Characteristics, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Children, Language Attitudes, Language of Instruction, Multilingualism, Native Speakers, Preschool Education, Private Schools, Program Descriptions, Religious Factors, School Choice, Second Language Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (60th, New Orleans, LA, March 25-28, 1993).