A study of Malaysians’ attitudes towards the English language

Author: Eberth Zagallo Lobo (Kolej Yayasan UEM)
Speaker: Eberth Zagallo Lobo
Topic: Language, community, ethnicity
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


Today there are over 75 countries which have English as their official language (Crystal, in Long & Doughty 2011: 10) and many other countries use English in the business and education sectors, particularly in private, international schools. In addition, about 85% of international organizations use English as an official language (Crystal, in Talbot 2008). As a result of globalization English has become dominant in the world today as a means of communication, particularly with the advance of technology and the linking of countries through the internet. It is commonly viewed as ‘…a means of fostering international understanding and bridging the world together.’ (Talbot, 2008: 259). This prominence of English as a world language affects individual countries in different ways.

In Malaysia, English is used not only in higher education, but also in business and in everyday life. How do Malaysian nationals feel about this? Do they see this as having a positive or a negative effect on their society and their language? While many appreciate the benefits that English and this development can bring them and recognize the need for their children to become proficient in English in order to gain a better career, their own traditions and customs are often in opposition to western beliefs and practice.
In this presentation I will show the results of a survey which was carried out to analyze the attitudes of Malaysian nationals towards the use of the English language in their country. The study was administered to students and teachers at Kolej Yayasan UEM, in March, 2018.


Long, M. & Doughty, C. (2011). The Handbook of Language Teaching. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Talbot, M., Atkinson, D. & Atkinson K. (2008). Language and Power in the Modern World. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Keywords: Eberth Zagallo Lobo, MA Tesol, I will need early notification of acceptance or otherwise.