Home Education The growth of love for the native language

The growth of love for the native language

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The growth of love for the native language

Dr. Maliki had the ability to speak his native language until he became a father when he and his wife Sadia (center) sought to evoke a love of language in their children Lydia (left) and Adly (right).

When I grew up, my family spoke Malay at home, and today it remains my native and native language.

However, from my student years until I was a graduate student and started working as a social worker, the operating language was English, as well as any language that allowed me to better communicate with the families I worked with.

One moment I would try hackien, another moment mandarin. And of course, I would use the Malay language when visiting Malay families. Talking in a language convenient to those I worked with has always contributed to a helping relationship.

Around this time I became a parent and started thinking about the language needs of my two children. As the Malay saying goes, Hilang bahas, lazy bugs – Language is the key to a deeper understanding of our roots and culture – and I wanted my daughter Lydia and my son Adly to experience Malay as a rich and vibrant language.

My conversational skills at the time meant that I appreciated what was beautiful in language and its literature. I knew it was there, but couldn’t show the way. Thanks to my wife Sadia, who was a Malay language producer and television presenter and now is the museum coordinator at the Malay Heritage Center, the Malay language has become famous in our home.

To ignite their interest, she drew beautiful pictures to illustrate Malay proverbs, impressing the Malay language teacher Adly, who later asked if these illustrations could be shared with his classmates. Sadia also made Adly appreciate the beauty of the language through traditional Malay songs (we know that boys learn the language differently than girls!).

As for Lydia, she always had the gift of chatter and as a child became acquainted with the Malay language. Her love of reading prompted her to love languages.

I was happy when she took up Malay. Having more language classes meant more work, which was difficult for her schedule, but she enjoyed it as well as learning more about Malay culture and heritage. Her mother helped by researching more difficult peribahasa (proverbs in Malay) for use in her essays.

All this revealed the beauty of my native language, which has the ability to succinctly and subtly articulate a deeper meaning, while conveying the values ​​that value society. The languages ​​of our heritage are thus powerful.

Respect the native language from a young age

This is one of the reasons why I am energetic in my role as Second Minister of Education to support the introduction of higher native language learning in primary grades 3 and 4 in all primary schools from next year.

This will apply to the study of higher Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Students who have such abilities start with elementary school 5; From an early age, this will give them a stronger foundation and enable them to enjoy and enjoy language throughout their lives.

Higher native language deepens the knowledge and gratitude of our children for the language of their culture and heritage and opens them to ethnic literature. At the Ministry, we would like to see students striving for this to level A and beyond, which will allow us to develop the next generations of linguists so that our native language continues to be relevant and alive.

For example, at Westwood Elementary School, one of the pilot schools where higher Malay language is offered at P3 and P4, I saw students also learn Malay music and traditional instruments.

These efforts are complemented by other Malay language programs that serve students with a variety of language skills, such as the Native Language Support Program in elementary school and the Malay Language Choice Program in High School. In general, they celebrate and support Malay as a living language in our homes, schools and society.

My own journey in my native language

How has my Malay language improved? From pure exposure and practice as I became more and more in touch with my Malay-speaking voters. Honestly, the need to appear in the broadcast media became a real catalyst, as I had to give live interviews on radio and television in Malay. I had to consciously improve my Malay vocabulary, read Berita Haryan every day and speak Malay when the opportunity arose.

Of course, I am fortunate to be a great teacher at home – my wife would always help with my Malay speeches and teach me how to pronounce them well!

In a conversation in a common language there is an intimacy that strengthens identity, builds bridges and smoothes relationships.

I found it especially important to explain the policy of the government in the Malay language of our Malay community. The general feedback is that public policy is difficult to understand. When I meet with our Malay residents and explain in schools policies such as CPF Life, Lease Buyback, Medishield or Full Subject-Based Banding, they better understand this in Malay and appreciate the importance of this policy for them. There are nuances that are best articulated in Malay. This is something I have learned and appreciate.

Interestingly and unexpectedly my journey with the Malay language also led me to the fact that I started writing puisi (a form of Malay poetry) for my wife as an expression of my gratitude and love for her. I was always inspired Gurindam Jiva, a famous Malay song that was printed on our wedding invitation almost 30 years ago. I’m still new to this, but practice makes perfect, doesn’t it?

According to the Ministry of Education, we want our students to learn all their lives. Through language we also learn about life!

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