Encyclopedia of Language and Education

Type Book Section - Bilingual Education in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
Title Encyclopedia of Language and Education
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1997
Publisher Springer
URL http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-011-4531-2_18
Bilingual education, viewed as language planning through the process of education, is broadly defined in this chapter as the formal learning of two or more languages in the school system. As Fishman (1979) has stated, ‘in very general terms, bilingual education implies some use of two (or more) languages of instruction in connection with teaching other than language per se.... However, within this broad definition, it is obvious that vastly different types of programs and program goals can be and are being pursued.’ Indeed, the bilingual education programs in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia differ in many ways, but it is possible to argue that they are all bilingual to the extent that there are clear societal roles for the languages taught at school. While Singapore has had a declared bilingual education policy, those of Malaysia and Indonesia are not explicitly stated as being bilingual. It is the purpose of this chapter to describe the different strategies and structures that allow students in the formal education system in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to develop in each case a competence in two or more languages (see the review by Pakir in Volume 4).

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