The Impact of English on Educational Policies and Practices in Malaysia

  • Ria HanewaldEmail author
Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 11)


This chapter will report on Malaysia’s turbulent changes in its past, present and projected future language education policies while examining their cultural, economic and political context.

It will move from a general description of Malaysian education policies to the specifics of the education system including various school types, curriculum and daily teaching practices. Observations regarding the acquisition of the country’s major languages (English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil) will be made, illuminating the key issue of balancing various ethnic communities and their language heritage in a multilingual population.

Furthermore, the division of languages, religions, cultures and ethnic backgrounds are described as well as the desire for national unity and social harmony, and the complications which arise in the need for English as a lingua franca in an increasing global world.


Malaysia Bahasa Melayu English Education policy Education practice 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CfBT Education TrustReading, BerkshireUK

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