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English language reform and the process of democratic change

Campbell, James 2009, English language reform and the process of democratic change, 3L : language, linguistics, literature : the Southeast Asian journal of English language studies, vol. 15, pp. 143-170.

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Title English language reform and the process of democratic change
Author(s) Campbell, James
Journal name 3L : language, linguistics, literature : the Southeast Asian journal of English language studies
Volume number 15
Start page 143
End page 170
Total pages 28
Publisher National University of Malaysia
Place of publication Selangor, Malaysia
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0128-5157
Keyword(s) public sphere
recognition
overlapping consensus
language policy
Summary Malaysian society has and is undergoing considerable social, political, economic and educational change. Scholars point to the forces of globalization and the needs to be able to meet the challenges of globalization as the central driver of language policy. Commentators, academics and many in the general public have focused on the need for Malaysia to adapt to globalization and the importance of English to this process given the needs and characteristic of the knowledge economy. However, there appears to be less recognition of the way such a change in Malaysian language policy needs to be engaged in a dynamically shifting knowledge society and developing public sphere. Language is a social act and the debate over language and its place and role in society is therefore a debate over the nature and quality of social interaction. Debate over language is thus inherently political. Due to the growth and development of an interactive and engaged public sphere and knowledge society in Malaysia, there is a need to approach to the idea of engaging English that grasps the plurality and complexity of its role in the world. The political approach to engaging English in Malaysia needs to engage democratic deliberation in a society that is increasingly fragmented but also showing signs of developing an active public sphere not beholden to top down authority. Disagreement over language and the way the debate is theorized hides from view the possibility of points of consensus on the issue of English language and Malaysian education. Establishing overlapping consensus through public deliberation and consultation is a necessary precondition to effective language policy in contemporary Malaysia. Failure to understand this only leads to policy paralysis.
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, The Author
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022889

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.