1 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. BACKGROUND 1.1.1. Mother tongue First language (also mother tongue, native language, arterial language, or L1) is the language a human being learns from birth. A person's first language is a basis for sociolinguistic identity1. These terms are all related to this same idea, and refer to the language a child is first exposed to, particularly from birth to 9 months. Children growing up in bilingual homes can have more than one mother tongue, provided that two languages were introduced at birth and equally developed through childhood2. 1.1.2. more effective Adequate to accomplish a purpose3 of impart knowledge using mother tongue. It determines the effect of using mother tongue for learning. In our report, we will discuss the impact of using mother tongue for learning that give student more understanding. 1.1.3. impart knowledge Impart mean to give a share or portion of4 knowledge using mother tongue for learning. Knowledge means expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject5. In our report, the impart knowledge will be determine as sharing the knowledge in learning using mother tongue 1.1.4. learning Part of education or personal development. It may be goal-oriented and may be aided by motivation. The study of how learning occurs is part of neuropsychology, educational psychology, learning theory, and pedagogy6. 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_language 2 http://mother-tongue-development.wikispaces.com/#toc1 3 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/effective 4 http://www.yourdictionary.com/impart 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning 2 1.2. AIM AND OBJECTIVE 1.2.1. To investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of using mother tongue while learning 1.2.2. To provide understanding on the importance of using mother tongue for learning 1.2.3. To better understand the effect of using mother tongue for learning. 1.2.4. To present case studies of other countries which use their mother tongue as an effective means of obtaining knowledge. 1.3. SCOPE 1.3.1. Our scope is learning in school and university using mother tongue. 1.3.2. The interview was conducted with Ms Liau Lay San (Mandarin lecturer, Academy of Language Studies, UiTM). 1.3.3. Informal interview are made to 3 people. Mr. Suhaimi Suraidi (primary school‟s teacher), Mr. Hafiz (a proponent of Malay language as medium of instruction) and Mr. Wan Ya (UiTM‟s assistant lecturer) 1.4. LIMITATION 1.4.1. Time Interviewee (Ms. Liau Lay San) time is packed same to us. We hard to manage time to set the interview. The interview done during lunch hour. Abundant of information give advantage to us but because of time limitation, we can‟t read more articles, journals and blogs. Commitment as a student. Other courses assignments have to done too and it put us to work as priority. Which have to be submitted first will be done first. 1.4.2. Money Printed of the articles, journals and blogs that cost lots because there have too many to be printed. But then, we just print which is we think give more information. Sometimes we have to go to cyber café to access through internet because to go to library, it was transportation constraint. 3 1.5. METHOD 1.5.1. Primary data Interview Formal informal 1.5.2. Secondary data Journals Articles Blogs 1.6. DATA ANALYSIS 1.6.1. We read and understand the secondary data and the interview feedback. 1.6.2. We make own analysis based on our reading and understanding 4 2. THE EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY OF USING MOTHER TONGUE WHILE LEARNING 2.1. MINIMISE HURDLES IN LEARNING Student find hard when study in other language. Based on data provided by Ms Liau Lay San, research done by The Chinese University of Hong Kong‟ study about 65% of respondent found that using of mother tongue is more effective for learning. United nation (UN) also state that based on their study, student feel more comfortable and confident when learning in the language that are usually been used, that is their own mother tongue. Sometimes, it was not mean that they don‟t understand what been ask. But they do not know how to speak. It limits them to give their idea. The consequences from it, they don‟t feel free and it will make them uncomfortable. It starts to skip class or school and they will have no intention to study because they think that if they came and they can‟t understand then what for they came to school or classes. While learning in own mother tongue, it will help them to reduce burden as a student where they have to learn so many subject at same time throughout the semester or year. The reason is when they can understand in classes then they won‟t found hard to revise what have been taught in classes. So they can just try to remember the information been given by the teacher or lecturer during the revision. 2.2. BENEFIT TO TEACHER OR LECTURER When used mother tongue as a medium of instruction, it may use for teacher or lecturer to detect which part are their student weak. It may allow teacher or lecturer to explain deeper and use other method to make their student better understanding. How can teacher know their student understanding? Actually, when student can respond for what they been taught and they are understood. When student are keep silence, it does mean that they are understand but they don‟t even know what have been taught at that time. When teacher can interact with their student in classroom, student feel motivated to learn that subject. It may increase the performance of the student. That‟s why the used of mother tongue is effective for learning process. It not just for student, it also gave the teacher some idea that their student is aware what have been taught. 5 3. EFFECT OF USE OF MOTHER TONGUE 3.1. GENERAL PERCEPTION The growing importance of English has generally been well accepted towards a stronger emphasis of English in schools as a right step in language education. However, there are some strong reservations on the proposed use of English in teaching and learning. First, there was concern whether there are sufficient teachers fluent in English to teach these subjects within such a short notice of policy implementation. The issue of insufficient teachers to teach English as a subject, especially in rural schools and at the same time it burden by shortage of teachers capable to teaching in Mathematics and Science in English. Secondly the children were not ready to learn in a new language. It is because the children is more comfortable to speak and learn in first language that the language that they being learns from birth. For example Bahasa Melayu for Malay races. At the end the class is quiet, nobody ask a questions, it is like the teacher is talking to a wall, students did not get the idea and finally they lost interest in education. Thirdly, the effect is they are not interested to learn in English especially among rural students. This would be worse by the policy that introduced by a Ministry of education. The grade of student will be decrease and affect their percentage of school. Lastly lack of social acceptance for English language use and practice as well as in their previous schools. Some students find that are very difficult to be in a group that discuss in English because they do not feel comfortable, shyness and not confidence with the word that they want to say. 3.2. CHINESE PERCEPTION The Chinese community formed the most vocal group, objecting strongly to the new policy. Influential associations see themselves as custodians of Chinese education; Dong Zhong (The United Chinese School Committees‟ Association of Malaysia) and Jiao Zhong (The United Chinese Teachers‟ Association of Malaysia), opposed the policy to use English for teaching Science in Mathematics categorically. They claimed that Mandarin as a medium of instruction, as well as a vehicle for the teaching of ethnic 6 Chinese culture in the Chinese schools, have resulted in better grades for their students. They believe that there is much strong evidence that students are performing well in their studies if they learned in mother tongue that is mandarin. They also find that “…a student must first established a basic command in his/her language and use it to learn basic concepts in particular subjects before effectively making transition to learning Science and Mathematics or other subjects in a second language..”(Malay Mail, August 5, 2003) In addition, they afraid about the majority from the coming generations would be able to use their mother tongue to perform arithmetic operations, logical reasoning or understand and relate to their environment. They also would not be able to speak their mother tongue fluently because they are comfortable with their second language that is English. It also will affect their culture and nobody will protect their own cultures that make them different from other cultures. Finally, the Chinese educationists felt that student performance especially in Mathematics and Science is not in satisfied level and by introducing of a foreign language to these particular subjects could be worse. Table 1. Students attaining Marginal Pass or Fail Grades for English, Mathematics and Science Subjects in UPSR, PMR, and SPM Examinations in 1998 Serial Exam level Sekolah Kebangsaan Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (cina) national – type (national school) Chinese school Poor & fail candidate Fail/ % candidate Fail/ % grades poor poor 1 UPSR/ D&E 1.1 English 355,667 158,272 44.5 91,243 32,939 36.1 1.2 Maths 356.301 80,168 22.5 91,161 8,022 8.8 1.3 Science 358,194 85,487 24.0 91,145 18,229 20.0 2 PMR/ D& F 7 2.1 English 236,044 154,373 65.4 146,359 61,032 41.7 2.2 Maths 236,027 11,541 48.9 146,263 44,463 30.4 2.3 Science 236,001 138,768 58.8 146,197 71,490 48.9 3 SPM/ 7-9 3.1 English 187,121 143,522 76.7 92,239 49,256 53.4 3.2 Maths 187,121 122,378 65.4 92,239 36,619 39.7 3.3 Physics 38,881 23,562 60.6 31,295 9,326 29.8 3.4 Chemistry 39,758 25.732 64.7 31,460 10,540 33.5 3.5 Biology 26,578 14,858 55.9 28,486 13,656 35.3 Source: Extracted and adapted from professor Dato’ Isahak Haron, Laporan Kongres Pendidikan Melayu, 2001,pp. 103,105, & 107 based on data provided by Lembaga Peperiksaan, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. This table shows the Students attaining Marginal Pass or Fail Grades for English, Mathematics and Science Subjects in UPSR, PMR, and SPM Examinations in 1998 before introduce the policy of PPSMI. The table shows an increasing percentage of students who are doing very poorly and even failing in those subjects at national schools and national type Chinese schools. In this table we can see that students in the national type Chinese schools are performing somewhat better that their counterparts in the national schools. In national schools usually are mix with other races like Malay, Chinese and Indian. It is because in national schools although they are using Bahasa melayu it is only mother tongue to Malay races. Perhaps Chinese and Indian use their mother tongue or English at home. It will affect their performance in doing well. 8 Table 2. Students attaining Excellent Grades for English, Mathematics and Science Subjects in UPSR, PMR, and SPM Examinations in 1998. Serial Exam level Sekolah Kebangsaan Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (cina) National – Type Chinese School (National School) Excellent/ candidate Excellent % candidate Excellent % Grade 1 UPSR/ D&E 1.1 English 355,667 41,613 11.7 91,243 18,705 20.5 1.2 Maths 356.301 90,144 25.3 91,161 49,318 54.1 1.3 Science 358,194 46,661 13.1 91,145 17,318 19.0 2 PMR/D& F 2.1 English 236,044 19,356 8.2 146,359 29,711 20.3 2.2 Maths 236,027 37,764 16.0 146,263 59.259 40.7 2.3 Science 236,001 27,376 11.6 146,197 36,403 24.9 3 SPM/ 7-9 3.1 English 187,121 6,362 3.4 92,239 13,744 14.9 3.2 Maths 187,121 30,500 16.3 92,239 38,022 41.2 3.3 Physics 38,881 1,010 2.6 31,295 5,414 17.3 3.4 Chemistry 39,758 1.669 4.2 31,460 7,235 23.0 3.5 Biology 26,578 1,142 4.3 28,486 4,928 17.3 Source: Extracted and adapted from professor Dato’ Isahak Haron, Laporan Kongres Pendidikan Melayu, 2001,pp. 103,105, & 107 based on data provided by Lembaga Peperiksaan, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. In this table shows students attaining excellent grades for English, Mathematics and Science Subjects in UPSR, PMR, and SPM Examinations in 1998. . In this table also we can see that students in the national type Chinese schools are performing somewhat better that their counterparts in the national schools. They are doing well compare to national school students. It is because they use a mother tongue that is mandarin as a medium of instruction that is more closely to students. The number of excellent grade is also high compare to national schools. 9 4. IMPORTANT OF USED OF MOTHER TONGUE. It is through language that we develop our thought, shape our experience, explore our customs, structure our community, construct our laws, articulate our values and give expression to our hopes and ideas. Mother tongue is common languages that are spoken by adult generation both in home and outside the home. People usually used mother tongue language because they more comfortable in speaking and giving their opinion what are their feelings and they can discuss each other whether in current issues or the community problems. Encouraging young children to learn their mother tongue would them to develop confidence, self-esteem and their unique identity within a multicultural society. Children nowadays had many question that they will ask their parents like „why I cannot do this‟ , why I must do that and from the learning in mother tongue language it also provide an answer such as „why I have a brown skin?‟. In an increasingly multi cultural society, the teaching of migrant languages in school cannot be isolated from the study of the culture of migrant groups. Culture and traditions essentially go hand in hand with language. Actually, language is the background becomes a visible ingredient of one‟s cultural heritage and ethnicity. 4.1. COMMUNICATION There are many factors involved in delivering quality basic education one of them is language. Languages is the clearly is the key of communication and the level of understanding in the classroom. Two ways communication are very important in learning method. Two ways communication means teachers and students in the classroom can communicate with each other. When two ways communication exist in learning process, teachers can expect the understanding of their students and explain more details. Students also can ask question for their teachers and they will more understand what are they learn about. By participation in the society or organization in curriculum, students can increase their communication skill in presenting their work. It also enable them widen their networks in interpersonal relation. At the same time, children can have stronger relation with their families because usually relatives tend to speaks in mother language. 4.2. CULTURAL IDENTITY Understanding more about the culture in mother tongue language and they can use it with other cultures. From there people especially children have a proud feeling in appreciating the cultural that they are practicing. From there they will not look down with their own values and beliefs. Through mother tongue, children can learn the life pattern, cultural traditional identity, relationship with other r have cultural identity learn to stand the pressure from peer group of different cultures in school and in work place as well in the society. 10 4.3. CULTURAL HERITAGE Languages means of transmitting cultural traditions of ethnic groups from one generation the other generations. Children that have learn mother tongue language will stand with own principle and they will not disown their cultural identity and at the same time it will prevent total disappearance of language and culture in the world. Children will gain more knowledge and understanding of a subject matter that are related to their needs, interest as well in their formal learning. 4.4. INCREASE THE DEVELOPMENT With a solid foundation in their mother tongue language, children who had come to school will develop stronger literacy abilities in the school language. Parents and also members of the families should practices more in speaking in their mother tongue languages so children have more confident when they are faces with their friends and the important things they will have enough supporter in their future life. When the mother tongue is promoted in school learning, the concepts, languages and the literacy skills that children are learning in the majority language can transfer to the home language. 4.5. SHAPING DYNAMIC IDENTITY FOR THE FUTURE When educators within a develop language policies and organize their curriculum and instruction in such way that the linguistic and cultural capital of children and communities is strongly affirmed an all the interactions of the school then the school is rejecting the negative attitudes and ignorance about diversity that exist in the wider society. 11 5. CASE STUDY: COUNTRIES THAT USES MOTHER TOUGUE TO IMPART KNOWLEGDE 5.1. MALI Mali consists of eight regions and one district. Each region has its own governor. The regions and distrincts are Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikor, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Tombouctou (Timbuktu) and Bamako which is the capital district. Mali was one of many former French colonies in African and the challenges that they faced in education and development of African languages can be largely attributed to the legacy of the French colonial policy. Based on the history, French became the dominant language which has been imposed in formal education system despite lack of French fluency of most of the people. This has led to poor learning outcome, teaching strategies that do not promote comprehension as well as preventing student‟s natural abilities in learning. In 1979, the government of Mali made a major decision to introduce the use of national language in formal education. The government hope that it will overcome the problem of student abandonment, failure and grade repetitions. The journey starts with bilingual education which is on experimental basis and it was introduced from grade 1 until 6 as the medium of instruction which means that both the official and local language are taught. In 1987, Convergente Pedagogie or also known as Pedagogy Convergent was introduced on experimental basis. This model have been developed Belgian Centre International Audiovisual (CIAVER). The term convergence describe a pedagogy or a study of teaching method that emphasizes interactive learning and links teaching methods method of first and second language .This method aims to improve the school access and learning outcome for students, integrate the school into the social and cultural environment of students as well as to produce functionally bilingual learners. The students first learn to read and write in the first language (i.e. mother tongue). In 5 th and 6th grade the teaching time will be divided into two whereby half for French language and national language. This model was first tested in a town called Segou which is situated in Mali for six years. The results shows that it is in favour of mother tongue which proves that the use of national language is more effective compare to other language (in this case, French). 12 In September 1993, the first generation of Pedagogie convergente students finished the basic six years of elementary school and 77 per cent passed the national entry exam to seventh grade compared with the national average 66 per cent. (Traore‟, 2001, p.2) Beginning in 1994, Pédagogie convergente was extended beyond the pilot schools and, by 2005, it was being used in 2,050 public schools nationwide and in 11 of the 13 national languages: Bamanankan, Fulfuldé, Songhay, Tamasheq, Dogon, Soninké, Bomu, Syenara, Tyeyaxo, Mamara and Khassonké (UNESCO, 2006, pp. 10-11). Table 1. Average seventh-grade entrance exam score. Segou, 1994-2000. Year Pedagogie French only schools Score convergente schools differential 1994 56.52 40.62 15.90 1995 37.64 42.34 -4.70 1996 75.75 54.26 21.49 1997 50.00 36.89 13.11 1998 71.95 48.30 23.65 1999 78.75 49.13 29.62 2000 46.69 45.12 1.57 Source: Ministry of Education, Mali Based on the table 1 above, it shows that from year 1994 until 2000 the pedagogie convergente students have achieved higher average of seventh-grade entrance exam score as compared to the French only schools. It goes to show that by using the mother tongue in learning or impart knowledge, the students would be able to understand better and improve their learning skills. Another study based on 1996 test results for 24 Pedegogie convergente schools and 21 monolingual French schools compared language (Bamankan and French respectively) and mathemathic scores of 1260 students in first and second grades. Based on the table 2 below, the students in Pedagogie convergence schools have achieved better grades as compared to other students in monolingual French school. 13 Table 2. First and second grade mathematics and French test scores, 1996. Grade Pedagogie convergence schools Monolingual French Schools Mathematics National Mathematics French language (Bamnankan) First 52.80 48.70 35.70 39.50 Second 57.60 48.40 40.00 45.20 Source: Fomba et al., 2003. In 2000, the first student generation in the extended Pedagogie convergente programme reached seventh grade. Based on table 3 below, the regional results for the entrance exam nationwide showed that most of Pedagogie convergente students performed better compared to monolingual French schools. Each of the region adopted their mother tongue or local language in the early learning then transfer it to the official language. This has proven that the students learned better in their own mother tongue and it is easier for them to make the language transition from their mother tongue to French language. Students from the Pedagogie convergente schools might have the advantage in learning both languages as compared to students from French only school. Table 3. Average seventh grade entrance exam score by region, 2000. Region Pedagogie Monolingual Difference in score Convergente schools French schools average Kayes 68.10 49.04 19.06 Koulikoro 92.90 61 31.90 Sikasso 65.10 46.03 19.07 Segou 46.69 45.12 1.57 Mopti 79.22 51.03 28.21 Tombouctou 62.00 62.01 -0.01 Gao 59.56 53.51 6.05 Bamako 75.54 56.75 18.79 National 68.57 52.34 16.23 14 5.2. HONG KONG. The city population of the country is 95 percent is Chinese and 5 percent from other ethnic group and with the population of 7 million people. The official language is mainly Chinese and English. English used to be the major medium of instruction in Hong Kong educational system. An important debate in today‟s Hong Kong's education is on the issue of the continuity of English-medium education. A significant change since 1998 is that the local vernacular Cantonese has replaced English as the medium of instruction in most secondary schools. In 1998, the Education Bureau introduced a policy to promote mother- tongue teaching, studies have shown that teaching in a student's native language help them to "better understand what is taught, analyze problems, express views, develop an enquiring mind and cultivate critical thinking. Students can also have more time to concentrate on the learning of English. The policy aims to nurture biliteracy, that is proficiency in written Chinese and English as well as trilingualism in students so that they can fluent in Cantonese, Putonghua and English. In July 1999, a newspaper paper reported the progress of students after one year made under the new system. Ming Pao, published in Chinese informed that one of the studies which tested ion 56 secondary schools, and was conducted by Education Department of Hong Kong. Researched found that that students in English Medium Instruction (EMI) schools were more passive than those in Chinese medium schools, which limited their verbal responses in class. In contrast, students from Chinese medium school are more active and creative in class discussion. Another study was conducted by Amy Tsui, professor and head of Curiculum Studies, university of Hong Kong. Professor Tsui surveyed 189 medium schools and reported that 80 percent of the principals and 70 percent of the teachers believe that mother tongue teaching facilitate higher-level learning for students. (Lao, Christy Ying, Krashen, Stephen, 1999). Based on the research by the Chinese University of Hong Kong regarding the teaching in mother tongue policy shows that more than half of the respondents that they interviewed agreed and fully support that policy. Whereas, almost 65 percent agreed that learning and impart knowledge in one‟s own mother tongue is more effective. 15 In 2004, the examination results for secondary school in Hong Kong prove the success of students in secondary school by using their mother tongue while learning and do not hinder the growth of English language.