Unit 5: multilingualism

Dear all,
Thanks to dr. Kim,s this morning lectures. Though Malaysia is proud of our multilingualism, our rich heritage of dialects is going to extinct. Importance is focus on the education of the three main languages [ b. malaysia, mandarin and English). Chinese dialects like Hokkien, Cantonese , Hakka etc are alien to children nowadays. Nowadays many Indian children are unable to speak Tamil! Another few generations down the road...is it possible that a day will come when Malaysians know just the three main languages.???.Still consider multilingualism compare to other countries but what a waste of our rich culture of various mother tongues. Please share your thoughts of this .


Dear Mrs. Balan,

Good day.
I think most of the young generation of Chinese still know the dialects. I am not very sure about Tamil teenager. The issue may not so serious for Chinese Malaysian.

It is am important role for the parent and family members to communicate with the children in dialect in additional to 3 main languages in Malaysia. This will help to keep the unique culture and multi languages for Malaysia. Children can pick-up the language very fast in early childhood.

Your sister in the dharma,
gaik yen


Dear sis Gaikyen,

Nowadays, most parents don't communicate to their children with their own dialects except in rural poverty areas where education is still beyond their reach. To me, most chinese parents spoke Mandarin and English to their children in daily routine. What about Bahasa Melayu?
I came across a parent who blame the Malay teacher when her child failed in Bahasa Melayu Paper. She told me that the teacher should explained the meaning of the Malay words in Mandarin so she find a chinese tutor for her son. With this tutor, her son still didn't improve,
So, dear sis, who is to be blame for this poor child Bahasa Melayu paper?
As for the mother tongue languages,(dialects), are our coming up generations able to maintain it and how?


Dear Sis Celine,
Personally I think that both parent and teachers play an important role in the language development of the children. Most of my friends who is strong in language are also having children excel in language. Hence parent teaching is very important as well, not limited to teachers only.

As for the mother tongue, it is parent role in communicating with them in additional to society surrounding them.

Just my thoughts.

With metta,
gaik yen


Amituofo and hi to all,

I 100% agree with sis Gaik Yen that the language development of a child needs the help from both parties, that is teachers and parents.

Besides that, the child has to be gifted in this subject, too. From my observation, gifted child tend to pick-up just any languages faster than non-gifted child. Be it mother tongue or any other languages. Sometimes failing the subject doesn't mean the child is not able to converse or speak the language.

There are two ways whereby children learn languages at a faster speed.
Firstly, thru songs and watching movies. Like my two daughters, now they are interested in Korean and Japanese. They sort of able to understand part of the movies without having to read the subtitles(just by listening).
Secondly, is the environment. I.e. Children from non-English speaking families will start speaking English when they go to British Council after several months as everyone there speaks only English.