Academic Profile : Faculty

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Assoc Prof Mohd Mukhlis Bin Abu Bakar
Associate Professor, National Institute of Education - Asian Languages & Cultures
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Mukhlis Abu Bakar is an Associate Professor at the Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) Academic Group, National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He is currently Assistant Head (Malay) and Programme Leader (BA (Ed) (Malay Language)) at ALC. He is also NIE representative on the NTU Board of Discipline.

Mukhlis was trained in speech perception at Bangor and Edinburgh universities in the UK for his graduate studies, a field that crosses the disciplines of phonetics and cognitive science. He went on to work on Malay linguistics at the National University of Singapore, his first academic appointment. His interest in education brought him to NIE where he developed an expertise in literacy practices in preschoolers before expanding into bilingualism and biliteracy. In recent years, he picked up phonetics again, specifically socio-phonetics, researching on pronunciation and standards in the Malay language. In between, he ventured into madrasah education.

Mukhlis has secured several research grants as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator and Collaborator for projects on literacy, bilingualism and socio-phonetics. Among his recent publications include an edited volume by Routledge entitled Rethinking Madrasah Education in a Globalised World (2018) and a volume edited with R. Wills, M. de Souza, J. Mata-McMahon, and C. Roux, entitled The Bloomsbury Handbook of Culture and Identity from Early Childhood to Early Adulthood (2021).

Mukhlis teaches in the areas of linguistics, critical discourse analysis, sociocultural approaches to literacy, and bilingualism and bilingual education, for which he has received several teaching awards. He also conducts workshops for teachers on Bilingual Teaching Methods.

Mukhlis supervises MA and PhD students and has served as Higher Degree Internal Examiner at NIE as well as External Examiner for universities in Singapore and Malaysia. He sits on the Editorial Board of Jurnal Bahasa, a publication of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Malaysia, and has previously served as Associate Editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Education and Co-editor of Journal Pendidikan Awal Kanak-kanak. He also serves as reviewer for internationally refereed journals.

Mukhlis’s current public service roles include: Member of the Malay Language Council and Co-Chairman of the Anugerah Guru Arif Budiman (an award for Malay Language teachers), MCCY; Member of the Singapore National Translation Committee and Head of the Malay Resource Panel, MCI; Member of the Advisory Panel on Parenting, MSF; Member of the Research Panel of the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism (LKYFB), MOE. Mukhlis has previously served in MOE’s Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee, LKYFB Project Evaluation Committee, 2005 Malay Language Curriculum and Pedagogy Review Committee, and 2010 Malay Language Review Committee. He has also served as Member of the Board of Directors of Mercy Relief, a local disaster relief agency, and currently sits on its Advisory Council.
Mukhlis's current research interests are in the fields of childhood bilingualism and biliteracy, teachers' beliefs and practices, literacy learning in the home, school and faith settings, and socio-phonetics (pronunciation issues in the Malay language).
  • Leisure Reading in Two Languages: Reading Habits and Preferences of Bilingual Children in Singapore
  • CORE 3 Research Programme: Baseline Investigation of Mother Tongue Pedagogies in Singapore's Primary and Secondary Classrooms (C3MT)
  • Biliterate Shared Book Intervention with Disadvantaged Preschoolers
  • An Evaluative Study on the Mother Tongue Support Programme for Mid-Primary Students
  • Growth in Bilingual & Biliteracy Proficiency: Environmental, Individual & Experiential Factors (GIBBER)
• 2022 The Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat), National Day Awards
• 2021 NIE NEXUS Award (Research Team Award), National Institute of Education
• 2021 Nanyang Education Award, Nanyang Technological University
• 2021 Excellence in Service Award, National Institute of Education
• 2020 Excellence in Teaching Commendation, National Institute of Education
• 2020 20 Years Long Service Award, Nanyang Technological University
• 2018 Excellence in Teaching Commendation, National Institute of Education
• 2017 Excellence in Service Award, National Institute of Education
• 2015 15 Years Long Service Award, Nanyang Technological University
• 2011 Excellence in Teaching Commendation, National Institute of Education
• 2003 Fulbright American Studies Institute Program, Boston College, USA
Courses Taught
AAD10D Malay Phonetics and Phonology
AAD20A Malay Morphology
AAD30D Readings in Language Education
AAD40B Bilingual Learners and Bilingual Education
QCJ52G Sociocultural Context of Literacy
MML910 Bilingualism and Multilingualism
MML913 Critical Approaches to Language
Supervision of PhD Students
Nurul Taqiah Yussof (on-going) - Singaporean Malay language teachers’ beliefs, factors influencing beliefs, and the relationship between beliefs and actual practices
Suryani Atan (completed 2012) - Classroom critical discourse analysis: interactions in the teaching and learning of Malay language at secondary school
Koh Guat Hua (completed 2010) - Preparing for school: an ethnographic study of young Chinese children's literacy learning