myth 24

'The Ministry worked under the misguided belief that native languages and mother tongues are determined by descent, and that languages are monolithic rather than variable in nature.' by Yvonne Lim of Today Paper. Now let me try to grasp the meaning and implications of this statement, or myth. The Ministry, must be the Ministry of Education, the authority in pedagogy, in the education of the nation's future, could not understand the difference or meaning of 'native speakers' and believes that native speakers are by descent? If this is true, indeed we have a serious problem. And now every man and woman in the street is saying so, that the definition adopted by the Ministry is questionable and nobody agrees to it. And the teachers and would be teachers are very sore. No lah, I don't think the Ministry really misinterpreted the meaning of native speakers lah. Shall we call this a misplaced myth? And for trainee teacher Meenakshi Narayanan, don't feel slighted just because she does not come from England or North America or white by birth. Incidentally, the bumiputras of those countries speak English and not Malay. Language is a living instrument and should not be used in a rigid way. And words like bumiputra, son of the soil, means different native of the soil in different land.

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