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        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
                 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.


 1.2.1. 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)

  1.4.1. 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
             Sometimes we have to go to cyber café to access through internet because to
              go to library, it was transportation constraint.

  1.5.1. Primary data

       Interview
               Formal
               informal
  1.5.2.   Secondary data
       Journals
       Articles
       Blogs

  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

    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.

         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.

          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
          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.

          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

          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

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/

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

 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

        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.

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    %

  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.

     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.

            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.

            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.

         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.

         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.

         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

5. CASE        STUDY:                COUNTRIES                       THAT             USES
 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).

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.

Table 2. First and second grade mathematics and French test scores, 1996.

 Grade              Pedagogie convergence schools          Monolingual French Schools
                    Mathematics         National           Mathematics           French
 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


         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.

       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.

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