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EDC 3212 ISSUES IN TESL

INSTRUCTOR: PROF DR. RATNAWATI MOHD ASRAF

MEMBERS OF GROUP 2
AMANEE AYA (1312190)
FAKITA PHAYAYAM (1316460)
HANNAN SOPHIA AZMAN (1311564)
SYAHIRAH AHMAD (1416698)

The Attitude of Muslim Students


Towards English
PRESENTATION OVERVIEW

INTRODUCTION
DISCUSSION
MALAYSIAN MUSLIMS PERCEPTIONS OF ENGLISH
THE SPREAD OF ENGLISH IN MALAYSIA
PRESENT MALAY/MUSLIM ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENGLISH
LANGUAGE, WORLDVIEW, AND IDENTITY
CONCLUSION
PART ONE

MALAYSIAN MUSLIMS
PERCEPTIONS OF
ENGLISH
BELIEFS ABOUT LEARNING ENGLISH

There is always the opinion that


learning another language will turn the learner
into something else,
that is,
after acquiring another language he will not be
the same individual that he was when he had not
acquired that language (Asmah Hj. Omar, 1992)
BELIEFS ABOUT LEARNING ENGLISH

English has been perceived by the rural


Malays to be a Western language with little or no
place in their lives
A view expressed by many
is that English is a kafir (non-Islamic) language
(Ozg, 1989)
BELIEFS ABOUT LEARNING ENGLISH

Previously only the elite, the educated speak


English so the rest of the
Malays, you know, felt inferior. (Fazira, 2003)

Those (Malays) who use English are trying to be


like the Whites (Lee Su Kim, 2003)
BELIEFS ABOUT LEARNING ENGLISH

Among some Malays,


they always associate English
as not being Muslim. they associate English
with religion (Azrina, 2003)

I heard in Kelantan, from my friends, they


associate it (English) with Christianity (Azrina,
Lee Su Kim, 2003)
PART TWO

THE SPREAD OF
ENGLISH IN MALAYSIA
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE
Asmah Haji Omar (1992) states,
It came as a colonial and remained, until after
Independence, a prestige language accessible
only to the privileged few. It was one of the
factors that assisted in drawing the line between
the haves and the have-nots, the urban and the
rural, the modern and the traditionally educated,
and so on.
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE

According to Asmah Haji Omar (1992) also,


Keeping the Malays away from the towns and the
English schools was part and parcel of British
colonial policy. Its aim was to make the son of
the fisherman or peasant a more intelligent
fisherman or peasant than his father had been. It
did not open the doors to a wider world
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE
Vernacular education was intended to inculcate
habits of industry, obedience and punctuality, to
prevent students from entertaining any ambitions
above their humble station in life, and to
encourage them to feel thankful rather than
resentful towards their colonizers.
The purpose of vernacular education was to
maintain this way of life. (Pennycook, 1994)
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE
English was introduced to a selected few to
help fill the clerical positions that they needed for
a smooth running of their administration. The
British felt that teaching English on a large scale
would lead the Malayan children to develop an
inflated sense of their own importance which
would consequently make them look upon
manual labor with disdain. (Gaudart, 1987)
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE
Conversion to Christianity was mainly done
through English. This was a major reason why
many Malay and Muslim parents, who hold
deeply to Islamic teachings, did not, at the time,
want to send their children to English-medium
schools, which were practically synonymous
with missionary schools. Many feared that their
children might be Christianized.
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE

Many Muslim parents were concerned that


learning English might lead to their children
becoming more westernized, which is seen as
something negative if it contradicts Islamic
teachings or principles.
ENGLISH AS A COLONIAL
LANGUAGE

Asmah Haji Omar (1992) states that,


the fact that English was available only to the
urban and the more privileged during the colonial
period, as well as to the upper crust of the Malay
society had, to some extent, implanted an
attitude of resentment among the rural people
toward the language at the time.
PART THREE

PRESENT
MALAY/MUSLIM
ATTITUDES TOWARDS
ENGLISH
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

Based on an administered research


questionnaire, Ratnawati (2004) found that all the
students disagreed with the statement,
Learning English is a waste of
time, while all but one disagreed with the
statement, It is not important to learn
English.
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

Based on the research findings of Ratnawati


(2004)

To help us increase our knowledge

(When we learn English), we will be rewarded by


Allah
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

(English) is useful, and for a Muslim,


mastering English is something to be proud of
Imams (religious leaders)who can use English
can communicate with imams from other
countries
(Washima, Harshita, and Naysmith, 1996)
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

By seeking knowledge through English we are


using it in the same
way that they (the Westerners) used Arabic.
(Washima, Harshita, and Naysmith, 1996)
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

Western culture does not necessarily mean


negative culture. We can learn English but not
copy the Western way of life

Learning the language doesnt mean adopting


the culture
(Washima, Harshita, and Naysmith, 1996)
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

We wont develop if we reject a language


because of its culture.
A language is just a tool
Thats why we learn English.
(Washima, Harshita, and Naysmith, 1996)
PRESENT STUDENTS BELIEFS

The Malays are changing from having negative


attitudes towards a more positive attitude.
We realize that English is no longer the language
of non-Muslims but is necessary for the
development of self (individuals), race, religion,
and nation.
(Washima, 1996)
PART THREE

LANGUAGE,
WORLDVIEW, AND
IDENTITY
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

1. How language and worldview impact upon the


identities of Muslims.
2. How Islam looks at (and its belief towards)
the learning of other languages.
3. Evidences/Sources are from the Quran and
Muslim scholars.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

Al Attas, in The Concept of Education in Islam


(1980), and in Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of
Islam (1995), argues that;
Language reflects Ontology Nature of truth and
reality as understood by a religion, culture, and
civilization.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

Language = Knowledge.

Includes not only the sensory and intelligible


realms, but more importantly, the realm of the
spirit (spiritual)
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

Even though there are conflicts regarding the issue of


Islamic values and some of the Western values, Islam
believes in learning other languages and to know and
appreciate the differences among various communities.
Oh mankind: We created you from a single pair of a
male and a female, and made you into nations and
tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may
despise each other). Verily the most honoured among
you is the most God-conscious of you (49:13).
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

The sayings of Prophet Muhammad, Wisdom is the lost


property of the Muslims, which means that Muslims
should benefit from the wisdom that is obtained from
other civilizations
AND
Seek knowledge even until China portrays the
importance of learning other languages for the purpose
of acquiring knowledge, which is considered as an act of
divine worship.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE & ISLAM

Muslim jurists, such as Al Uthaymeen, 1997 have also


expressed the concern that, English should not be
learnt at the expense of the Arabic or their native
languages.
Muslims should not have a notion that learning other
languages will cause harm to their identity and value.
In contrast, they should firmly believe that by learning
other languages it provides room for the betterment in
all aspects of living.
EVIDENCE FROM OTHER SOURCES

Teaching English in the Arab World: A Future in Turmoil Ali Ahmad Al Rabai
Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

o Islam was the power that had led millions of Arabs and
Muslims to learn Latin, Roman, Hebrew, Turkish and
Farsi in ancient times.
o It is also Islam that made people in many present Arab
countries learn English, French, Japanese, German etc.
and pursue their higher education in many universities
all over the globe.
EVIDENCE FROM OTHER SOURCES

Dr. Anke Iman Bouzenita Assistant Professor Dep. of Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh IIUM

Whoever learns the language of a people is safe from


their evil.

It implies the objective of learning foreign languages from


an Islamic perspective.
EVIDENCE FROM OTHER SOURCES

It has been narrated in the Sunnah that the Prophet


(p.b.u.h.) asked Zayd b. Thabit, who acted as his
secretary and is therefore also known to be the scribe
of wahy (revelation), to learn Hebrew, the writing of
the Jews, because the Prophet did not trust the Jews
and their translation.
To make sure that the message that is to be conveyed,
is encoded in the foreign language without any
distortion.
MAIN REFERENCE

Ratnawati Mohd-Asraf, (2005). English and Islam: A


Clash of Civilizations?. Journal of Language, Identity,
and Education, 4(2), 103118, International Islamic
University Malaysia.

Q & A SESSION