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Language Issues in Universiti Brunei Darussalam

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Title: Language Issues in Universiti Brunei Darussalam


1
Language Issues in Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • Dr Gary M Jones
  • Faculty of Arts Social Sciences
  • Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • (gmjones_at_fass.ubd.edu.bn)
  • (Language Issues in English-Medium Universities
    Across Asia
  • Hong Kong University, 8th-9th June 2006)

2
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4
  • NEGARA BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
  • 5,770 sq km
  • 365,251 people (July, 2004)
  • Malays 67, Chinese 15, Indigenous 6, other
    12
  • Muslim 67, Buddhist 13, Christian 10
  • Indigenous beliefs 10
  • Literacy 93.9
  • GDP per capita purchasing power parity -
    23,600 (2003 est.)

5
  • The official language of the State shall be the
    Malay language and shall be in such script as may
    by written law be provided.
  • 1959 State Constitution
  • Article 82(1)

6
  • To make Malay the main medium of instruction in
    National Primary and Secondary schools as soon as
    possible in line with the requirement of the
    constitution.
  • To raise the standard of the usage of English in
    the primary and secondary schools in the country
  • Report of the Brunei Education Commission, 19724

7
  • 1.2 In accordance with the recommendations of the
    above mentioned Education Commission Report, this
    working paper attempts to establish firmly the
    dominance of the Malay Language, while at the
    same time emphasising the importance of English
    Language in order to achieve the educational
    objective by means of a bilingual system of
    education.
  • Brunei Government Publication, 19843

8
Compulsory examinable subjects in Brunei
primary and secondary schools
  • Lower Primary
  • English Malay
  • English Language Malay language
  • Mathematics
  • General Studies
  • Religious Knowledge
  • Physical Training
  • Arts Handicraft
  • Civics
  • Upper Primary
  • English Malay
  • English Language Malay Language
  • Mathematics Religious Knowledge
  • Science History
  • Geography Physical Training
  • Arts Handicraft
  • Civics
  • Lower Secondary
  • English Malay
  • English Language Malay Language
  • Mathematics Religious Knowledge
  • Science History
  • Geography
  • Upper Secondary
  • English Malay
  • English Language Malay Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science/Art/Technical

9
  • No. of students in schools
  • Primary School Secondary School
  • Male Female Male Female Male Female
  • Pre-School 3927 Form 1 3278 3023 6301
  • Primary 1 4374 Form 2 3378 2963 6341
  • Primary 2 4405 Form 3 3554 3006 6560
  • Primary 3 4518 Form 4 2426 2548 4974
  • Primary 4 4834 Form 5 3101 3363 6464
  • Primary 5 4898 Form 6 251 198 449
  • Primary 6 5222 Pre-U1 802 1238 2040
  • Pre-U2 660 1106 1366
  • Total 32,178 Total 17,690
    17,654 35,344

10
  • No. of teachers in schools
  • Primary School Secondary School
  • Male Female Male Female Male Female
  • English-medium 1381 Locals 885
    1697 2582
  • Malay-medium 1024 Contract 209
    174 383
  • Total 2405 Total 1094
    1871 2965

11
Universiti Brunei Darussalam
  • No. of faculties at UBD 7
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS)
  • Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies
    (FBEPS)
  • Faculty of Science (FOS)
  • Institute of Medicine (IM)
  • Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Institute of
    Islamic Studies (SHOASIS)
  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education
    (SHBIE)
  • Academy of Brunei Studies

12
  • No. of students at UBD 3611
  • Male Female
  • Year 1 427 904
  • Year 2 248 649
  • Year 3 187 503
  • Year 4 254 439
  • Total 1116 2495

13
Number of International Students at UBD 151
(4.18)
  • PhD Applied Linguistics 1
  • MA Applied Linguistics 2
  • MA Economics 3
  • BA Economics 3
  • BA programme 11
  • BA Accounting 5
  • Diploma in Primary Education 4
  • PhD Computer Science 1
  • BBA 5
  • BSc/BA Education 23
  • BSc Computer Science 2
  • MBBS 3
  • BSc Biological Science 3
  • BSc Biotechnology 3
  • Sarjana Muda Sastera Education 8
  • PhD Petroleum Geoscience 7
  • MSc Petroleum Geoscience 10
  • MBA 2
  • Med Educational Mgmt 3
  • MPP 2
  • BA PP 2
  • MSc Primary Healthcare 2
  • PhD Biology 1
  • PhD Malay Literature 1
  • PhD Maths 1
  • BSc Maths 3
  • BEng Electronic and Electrical Eng 1
  • PGCE 1
  • BA Syariah 16
  • BA Usuluddin 6
  • BA Arabic Language 2
  • MEd Mathematics Education 1
  • Cert. in Lower Sec Edu 1
  • BA Primary Education 2
  • Non-Graduating 8

14
Number of graduates from UBD (2005)625
  • Number of Students with 21/1st degree
  • 220 (44 males 176 females)
  • Number of Students with 3rd/pass degree
  • 121 (63 males 58 females)

15
Number of Academic Staff at UBD Local
Contract 379 (240 local 139 contract)
  • Faculty of Education
  • 88 local 27 contract
  • Faculty of Arts Social Sciences
  • 38 local 30 contract
  • Academy of Brunei Studies
  • 10 local 0 contract
  • Institute of Medicine
  • 4 local 3 contract
  • Faculty of Business, Economics Public Policy
    Studies
  • 36 local 22 contract
  • Faculty ofScience
  • 26 local 27 contract
  • Institute of Islamic Studies
  • 34 local 21 contract
  • Language Centre
  • 4 local 9 contract

16
Language Centre
  • Offers courses in a variety of different
    languages Malay, Arabic, Mandarin, Thai, French,
    Japanese, Spanish
  • No. of English Courses offered by Language Centre
    64

17
Language Centre
  • English language is a university required
    course (and therefore has to be passed or a
    student cannot graduate) for all UBD students.
  • Most students receive 8 units of English over a
    two year period, which amounts to 112 hours of
    teaching.

18
  • LE0104 English I
  • LE0106 English II
  • LE0111 English I
  • LE0204 English III
  • LE0206 English IV
  • LE0212 English IIB
  • LE0218 Developing Oral Communication Skills
  • LE0419 English for Technical Education Subjects
  • LE0444 English in Technical and Vocational
    Teaching

19
  • LE0602 English for Beginners I
  • LE0603 English for Beginners II
  • LE0604 English for Beginners III
  • LE0605 English for Beginners IV
  • LE0701 English for Beginners I
  • LE0702 English for Beginners II
  • LE0703 English for Beginners III
  • LE0704 English for Beginners IV
  • LE1203 Language Development I
  • LE1206 Language Development II

20
  • LE1211 English I
  • LE1216 English II
  • LE1503 English for Science Education I
  • LE1506 English for Science Education II
  • LE1507 English for Arts Education I
  • LE1508 English for Arts Education II
  • LE1513 Communication Skills for Engineering I
  • LE1514 Communication Skills for Engineering II

21
  • LE1515 English for Computer Science Mathematics
    I
  • LE1516 English for Computer Science Mathematics
    I
  • LE1520 English for Arts Brunei Studies I
  • LE1521 English for Arts Brunei Studies II
  • LE1524 English for Business I
  • LE1525 English for Business II
  • LE1528 English for Biomedical Science I
  • LE1529 English for Biomedical Science II
  • LE1531 English for Malay Arabic Medium I
  • LE1532 English for Malay Arabic Medium II

22
  • LE1533/2533 English for Malay Arabic Medium III
  • LE1534/2534 English for Malay Arabic Medium IV
  • LE1535/2535 English for Malay Arabic Medium V
  • LE1536/2536 English for Malay Arabic Medium VI
  • LE2204 Language Development III
  • LE2206 Language Development IV
  • LE2209 English II
  • LE2503 English for Science Education III
  • LE2506 English for Science Education IV

23
  • LE2511 Communication Skills for Engineering III
  • LE2512 Communication Skills for Engineering IV
  • LE2513 English for Computer Science Mathematics
    III
  • LE2514 English for Computer Science Mathematics
    IV
  • LE2519 English for Arts and Brunei Studies III
  • LE2520 English for Arts and Brunei Studies IV
  • LE2524 English for Business III
  • LE2525 English for Business IV
  • LE2537 English for Malay Arabic Medium VII
  • LE2538 English for Malay Arabic Medium VIII
  • LE4211 English III

24
  • LE4403 English for Technical Education Subjects
  • LE4405 Developing Oral Communication Skills
  • LE5101 Report Writing for Petroleum Geoscience
  • LE5102 Preparation for Report Writing Petroleum
    Geoscience
  • LE5103 Academic Writing Skills
  • LE6601 Preparatory English for the Postgraduate
    Diploma in Entrepreneurship
  • LE6602 English for Professional
    Communication/Diplomacy

25
Problems?
  • On the whole, I am pleased to note that
    English Language Results in PCE (PSR) and PMB
    have steadily improved over the last five years
    However, these results are not reflected in GCE
    O level results
  • Pehin Dato Hj Awg Abd Rahman, Minister of
    Education, 26th Aug 2005

26
  • General Certificate of Education
  • Ordinary Level
  • (GCE O Level)
  • Designed in the United Kingdom for native English
    speaking children.
  • An academic examination, meant for only the best
    pupils.
  • Weaker pupils studied for the Certificate in
    Secondary Education (CSE).
  • Today, children in the UK take the General
    Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

27
Responses from pupils to questions about English
language teaching in schools
  • lessons are boring
  • no home support
  • O level too difficult
  • too shy
  • lazy
  • exam too tough
  • nobody reads
  • lousy teachers
  • no guidelines
  • no interest
  • no practice
  • no motivation

28
  • Despite these criticisms, pupils and students
    responded that they usually prefer their English
    classes to other lessons because English is more
    vibrant and less boring!

29
  • The most frequent observation
  • do not use the language
  • lack of practice
  • limited daily use

30
  • The second most frequent comment
  • poor teaching
  • lousy teachers
  • lazy teachers

31
  • The third most frequent comment
  • emphasis on Malay
  • not encouraged to use English
  • English users frowned upon

32
  • Various comments were made about the nature and
    validity of GCE O level, including degrees of
    difficulty of the various papers, but the most
    pertinent comment is that the examination is
    meant for native speakers whereas for virtually
    all local pupils English is a second, third,
    fourth or even fifth language.

33
General Certificate of Education Ordinary level
(GCE O level)
  • Inevitably teachers teach towards an examination.
    If the examination reflects the needs of the
    pupils then there shouldnt be a problem. O
    level does not reflect these needs.
  • At the moment we have a native speaker
    examination being taught to non-native speakers
    by teachers who, for the most part, have been
    trained as TESL teachers.

34
  • A more conducive learning environment?
  • One of the causes for inattentiveness and a lack
    of motivation among pupils is the environment in
    which they learn.
  • For instance, very few classrooms have
    air-conditioning.

35
Outside the Classroom
  • MTV VTV Cartoon Network HBO
  • Star Movies ESPN Star Sport CNN BBC
  • Copy DVDs and music CDs
  • A recent development English has become cool
  • At the same time, East Asian culture has become
    very popular among young Bruneians, particularly
    Korean films and music,

36
Problems at UBD?
  • Lack of suitable staff to teach Language Centre
    English courses
  • Lack of motivation among students to improve
    their own English (all English medium students
    already have a credit in GCE O level or IELTS 6.5)

37
To conclude on a positive noteAdvantages at UBD
  • A multinational, multilingual staff
  • English language classes compulsory and fully
    supported
  • As previously mentioned, all English medium
    students must have a credit in GCE O level or
    IELTS 6.5
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