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In Malaysia we have the Bahasa Malaysia as the national language but because of Malaysia is a multiethnic country, we have a variety type of language and dialect in the community (Eg : the Chinese community speaks Cantonese or mandarin and the Indian community speaks Hindi). People and student will tends to use their own dialect / language to speak among with their classmate due to they are more comfortable and fluency in speaking the respective language. It is also a fact that majority of the parent will talk to their children by using their own language instead of English (Hentan, 2011).
As we are aware, practice makes perfect and therefore, English will need to be part of our life in order to be more fluent in the language.
In the 1970s, teaching medium in national-type primary and secondary school was changed from English to Bahasa Malaysia. Due to this changes, Malaysian who studied in national-type school were less exposed to the English language as all important subject were being thought in Bahasa Malaysia except for the English language itself. Some students who continue their tertiary education in private institution only started to get full exposure of the English language as English is being used to teach in all subjects. Unfortunately, the sudden switch in teaching medium creates fear among the student who are weak in the language and therefore these students are afraid to communicate and interact during classes. While in public institutions, Bahasa Malaysia was continue as a medium of instruction and unluckily, these group of students did not even get any chance to expose themselves in the English Language. According to Teoh (2011), academicians are not surprise that proficiency in English among local graduates are at a declining stage as students were less exposed and lack of foundation in English language.
The awareness of English importance.
Many of the students do not know the important role of English language in today society and student study and memorize English just to pass the exam in education. Hence, students self developed a bad attitude towards learning the language and makes them not interested to explore and obsess in the language. It was mentioned by Teoh (2011) that
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“the status of English decreased to such a level that it became simply a subject of study like other subjects such as history, geography, and physics and another reason is the lack of emphasis on English as it now not a compulsory subject to pass”
Students need to understand that most of the sources or information related to science, business, technology and medicine are mostly written in English. Therefore, before a student can grasp hold of the related industry’s information, they will need to have powerful command in English. Gooch (2009) mentioned that student does not aware the importance of English until the enter the working world and these lead to student unwillingness to lean proper English language. We need to face the fact that many important knowledges is in English and we cannot really convey certain concept in other languages.
Lack of well trained English tutor.
Quality old teachers who have a lot of exposure to the English language is retiring gradually. These teachers is being replaced by new and younger teacher which have less exposure to the language and experience. This is certainly true as we are aware that many young graduates could not get hold to a good command in English. Apart from that, there will be young graduates enter the education industry and become and English teach. Therefore, It is not a surprise that most local English teacher now are not equip with the proper skill and knowledge to teach English language. Nowadays, local English tutor often use bilingual methods while teaching in English classes. A English teacher will try to explain in mother language when a student is confused or do not understand during classes. This is a wrong attempt and methodology used as view by English Language Teacher (ELT) specialist, said Kannan (2009). A English teacher has to encourage students to speak in English only during classes. With this, the student will only start to learn while making mistakes and student will be more confident in using the language
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It is also mentioned by Dr. Khalid (2012) that Teaching languages require skills, competence, training, and thorough knowledge. Thus, it seems foolish to assume that just because someone speaks English he can teach it effectively.
Languages is very important in terms of accent, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. A teacher without these knowledge might lead to student having the wrong understanding in the language.
Language influenced by nowadays trend
it is inevitable that English language is part of the modernization process where nowadays students tend to make changes to the grammars while sending messages through mobile phone, computer or using other communication hardware. These changes basically involve shortening of words by conveniently leaving out vowels and leaving out conjunctions as reported by quicksand (2012). In addition, some words even replaced with digit when the pronunciation of the particular word spell or sound similar to the numbers. Below is an example of nowadays trend in messaging
Immediately, the trend of shortening messages is widely influenced and accepted by people around the world due to it would save up individual time having to spell out every single word or letter. As this have been adopted by most student, mastering English in grammar and spelling will become a problem for these students as they are used to write in such a way.
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