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Title: Understanding Malay academic underachievement in Singapore through looking at language
Authors: Chin, Chain Yu
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Communities, classes and races
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Due to Singapore’s multi-racial characteristic, our bilingual policy has adopted English as lingua franca and Mandarin, Malay, Tamil as mother tongue for each racial group. This paper employs a deconstructivist approach to study Malay academic underachievement through uncovering the operations underlying the racial stereotypical essentialist claim, specifically focusing on whether a race and its native language (Malay) can possibly account for the educational outcomes for the Malays. Focus group interview was conducted with six Malay undergraduates engaged through personal contacts and snowball sampling. This study shows how language constitutes a grey zone between multiracialism and assimilation on both micro (individual) and macro (societal) levels. Through linking both micro (bilingual policy) and macro levels (“modern Singaporean”) in terms of language, the findings of this study highlight how academic achievement and/or underachievement become(s) simply a “race” issue that develop(s) to a taken-for-granted reality when it could be unearthed as a language issue.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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