English Language In Rural Malaysia: Situating Global Literacies In Local Practices

Hazita Azman


This paper claims that underlying the naturalisation of teaching and learning of English in the
Malaysian education system are ideological pressures and political dogmas, often emerging from
colonial, urban/rural and even local ethnic conflicts and hierarchies. It suggests therein lie the
inherent difficulties of teaching and learning English in rural communities in Malaysia. Three
paradigms frame this view in the paper: the overarching view of literacy as a situated and
variable social process; the use of an ethnographic perspective in investigating English language
and literacy education in Malaysia; the stance on the need for Malaysians to acquire English as
an additive rather than as a deficit philosophy

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