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ERIC Number: EJ1254390
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1747-7506
Beyond Economy and Culture: Language-in-Education Preferences of Malaysian Youth
John Albury, Nathan
Current Issues in Language Planning, v21 n3 p301-319 2020
This paper revisits the tension in sociolinguistics between the linguistic capital associated with languages of socioeconomic mobility, and the cultural and identity value of local languages. With Malaysia as a case study, the paper shows that although this economy-versus-culture tension may be a go-to ideological paradigm in sociolinguistics for exploring and analyzing ideologies and beliefs vis-à-vis- language acquisition and language policy, it may not necessarily feature as saliently in grassroots perspectives. A series of group interviews was held with Malaysian youths who have experienced their government's policy backflips on whether mathematics and science are taught in English (or in Bahasa Malaysia or in another medium-of-instruction) in primary and secondary schools. By asking these youths to reflect on their experiences, policy, and what language they would prefer for mathematics and science, the research reveals perspectives that more often fell outside the critical economy-versus-culture ideological continuum. Instead, the youths were sooner concerned with monolingual education facilitating expedited learning, with cognitive ease, and with fostering a consistent policy approach. The findings caution against assuming that economy-versus-culture is a key interest in the community regarding language policy, and encourage us to apply alternate, non-critical theoretical lenses to understand a broader range of bottom-up concerns.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A