Monolingual Essay

1028 words - 5 pages

“Bilingual Education looks pretty on the surface but it’s cracking up underneath,” Jill smirked as she took a spoonful of the salmon brioche. Seated at the corner of a quaint café, Jill was dressed formally as she was from her workplace. Being one of the few Eurasians who interns at an international law firm, she has definitely proven herself to be an outstanding candidate for the firm due to her impeccable command of English. However, on that day, Jill reverted to speaking conversational English as she recollected her thoughts and unveiled her experiences during her ten years of Bilingual Education.
As a monolingual child, Jill was exposed to speaking English language at home. Both her ...view middle of the document...

As a result, it translated to the letter grade F on her PSLE transcript for Mother Tongue which had an adverse effect on her final aggregate and her morale.
Being an eloquent English speaker, Jill was able to communicate with others in English in every other domain. Particularly in the domain of religion, Jill uses predominantly English as a common language to communicate to her cell mates from different ethnicities. Even during festivals, her extended family conversed in English. However, these were regarded as a setback for her as it leaves minimal exposure to the use of Malay. Seeing her struggles in Malay, her parents opted that her younger sister took Tamil as a Mother Tongue and that increases the depreciation of Malay language in Jill’s daily interactions.
The lack of opportunity to express herself in Malay Language at home and in the important domains of her life has stifled Jill’s practice of reading, writing and even speaking in Malay. In secondary school, Jill was transferred to Basic Malay class which immediately identified her as a low-progressive student. She encountered curious peers who constantly questioned her choice of Mother Tongue and she found herself constantly defending her parents’ choice of Mother Tongue even as her peers continued ranting about the social and economical benefits of taking Mandarin and they even claimed that her parents had made a wrong choice. Her schoolmates constantly made condescending jokes out of her choice of Mother Tongue and bragged about the advantages of taking Mandarin which they deemed as a ‘better’ language as compared to Malay, due to the strong emphasis the government had on the ‘Speak Good Mandarin’ campaign, the requirement to speak Mandarin when applying for jobs as well as the future potential to tap into China’s market. Throughout her secondary school years, she recalled countless incidents where others stigmatized her to the stereotypes that were usually directed to the Malays such as ‘taking the easy way out’, lazy and some went to the extent of labelling her a...

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