OPINIONS

Much ado about PPSMI

Fa Abdul

Published
Modified 3 Feb 2020, 11:40 pm
6

COMMENT | The first language I learned as a child was Tamil. Before I was even fluent in my mother tongue, my dad started teaching me simple English at the age of four. When I was enrolled in a church-based kindergarten a year later, the basic English I learnt at home became handy.

Until I turned seven, I was never trained nor given lessons on mastering our national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Everyone at home only spoke either Tamil or English - after all, my dad was English educated and my mom, Tamil. Dad taught mom a bit of English while mom taught dad to read and write in Tamil.

Although no one at home used Bahasa Malaysia as a language to communicate with one another at the time, we religiously watched local news in Bahasa Malaysia and were big fans of P Ramlee movies. Being exposed to Bahasa Malaysia indirectly, somehow I understood it - it wasn't a foreign language to me.

When I attended primary school, I began picking up on my Bahasa Malaysia. It wasn't difficult to learn my third language because everyone at school was using Bahasa anyway - most textbooks and...

Share this story

By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.

REPORT VIOLATORS

Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.