2015/05/24 Stefanie Pillai

The Recolonization of English Language Education
Speaker: Dr. Stefanie Pillai

English language education in Malaysia has gone through various changes in post-independent Malaysia due to ever-changing education policies. I will start by talking about the major policies and their impact on (i) English language education in schools and higher education, and (ii) the status of English in present-day Malaysia. My focus will be on recent policies, which, I argue, is creating an elite group of English language speakers in a context where English remains a gatekeeping tool among employers. I will also show how these policies largely ignore the (i) existing pool of English language educators and researchers, (ii) multilingual context of Malaysia, and (iii) Malaysian variety of English. I will then discuss how these education policies and practices are bringing us back to our pre-independent period, where (i) there were different education pathways at the school level, (ii) English language education was mainly for the socially advantaged from urban areas. I will end by looking at whether there is hope for English language education in Malaysia to be “de-colonised”, and for the acrolectal variety of Malaysian English to be accepted as a teaching model. Although, the English language context in Malaysia is different from Japan, some of the issues brought up in this talk will be familiar to English educators in Japan.

Dr. Pillai
Dr. Stefanie Pillai
is the Deputy Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Malaya in Malaysia.  She is also the Chief Editor of the Malaysian Journal of ELT Research.


Maebashi Institute of Technology


Location:
Maebashi Institute of Technology
460-1 Kamisadorimachi
Maebashi, Gunma 371-0816
http://www.maebashi-it.ac.jp/access.html
Room #133 on the 3rd floor of the No.1 Building

Time:
May 24, 2015
2:00pm ~ 4:30pm

Attendance:
Members, students, and first-timers: FREE
One-day Members: ¥1,000