Towards a new framework of English language learning in Malaysian preschools
At the preschool level in Malaysia, all preschools, including those from public and private sectors are required to follow the guidelines stated in the National Preschool Standard-based Curriculum (NPSC) issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2017. However, the NPSC is very general and schools are not provided with any further guidance on the program, which leads to some preschools, mainly private ones, to supplement their curriculum by subscribing to various private education franchisors available on the market. There seems to be a need to propose improvements to current curriculum practices. It is proposed that this is best done by investigating the theoretical foundations of language learning. In particular, this paper discusses Pienemann’s Processability Theory (1998, 2005) and elaborates on the Developmentally Moderated Focus-on-Form instruction (DMFonF) (Di Biase, 2002,2008). It proposes the development of a new model of English language learning based on the latter leading towards a new framework aiming to assist teachers, linguists and syllabus-designers to create a developmentally moderated English curriculum.
Aquino, L. N., Mamat, N., & Mustafa, M. C. (2017). Comparing the kindergarten curriculum framework of the Philippines and Malaysia. International Journal of Early Childhood Education Care, 6, 27-40.
Azman, H. (2016). Implementation and challenges of English language education reform in Malaysian primary schools. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 22(3), 65-78.
Bonilla, C. L. (2014). From number agreement to the subjunctive: Evidence for Processability Theory in L2 Spanish. Second Language Research, 31(1), 53-74. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658314537291
Che Musa, N., Khoo, Y. L., & Azman, H. (2012). Exploring English language learning and teaching in Malaysia. Gema Online Journal of Language Studies, 12(1), 35-51.
Department of Statistics Malaysia. (2017). Current population estimates, Malaysia, 2014-2017. https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/cthemeByCat&cat=155&bul_id=OWlxdEVoYlJCS0hUZzJyRUcvZEYxZz09&
Di Biase, B. (2002). Focusing strategies in second language development: a classroom-based study of Italian L2 in primary school. In B. D. Biase (Ed.), Developing a second language, acquisition, processing and pedagogy of Arabic, Chinese, English, Italian, Japanese, Swedish (pp. 95-120). Language Australia.
Di Biase, B. (2008). Focus-on-form and development in L2 learning. In J.-U. Keßler (Ed.), Processability approaches to second language development and second language learning (pp. 197-219). Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
Di Biase, B., & Bettoni, C. (2015). The development of Italian as a second language. In C. Bettoni & B. Di Biase (Eds.), Grammatical development in second languages: Exploring the boundaries of processability theory. (pp. 117-148). Eurosla.
Di Biase, B., & Kawaguchi, S. (2002). Exploring the typological plausibility of Processability Theory: Language development in Italian second language and Japanese second language. Second Language Research, 18(3), 274-302.
Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S., & Yamaguchi, Y. (2015). The development of English as a second language. In Grammatical development in second languages: Exploring the boundaries of processability theory (pp. 85-116). EuroSLA.
Ellis, R. (2016). Focus on form: A critical review. Language Teaching Research, 20(3), 405-428. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168816628627
Gao, X. (2005). Noun phrase morphemes and topic development in L2 Mandarin Chinese : A processability perspective. University of Victoria]. Wellington, New Zealand.
Genesee, F., Nicoladis, E., & Paradis, J. (1995). Language differentiation in early bilingual development. Journal of Child Language, 22(3), 611-631.
Gill, S. K. (2014). Language policy challenges in multi-ethnic Malaysia. Springer.
Goh, P. S. (2019). Preschool teachers’ perspectives on using English language to teach. GEMA Online®Journal of Language Studies, 19(4), 346-362.
Hardini, I., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S., & Reid, C. (2020). The effect of developmentally moderated focus on form instruction in Indonesian kindergarten children learning English as a foreign language. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 4.1, 49-61.
Hardini, I., Kawaguchi, S., Reid, C., & Di Biase, B. (2019). Early Lexical and Grammatical Development of English in Indonesian Kindergarten Children. Asiatic, 13(1), 76-102.
Hashim, A. (2020). Malaysian English. In K. Bolton, W. Botha, & A. Kirkpatrick (Eds.), The handbook of Asian Englishes (pp. 373-398). Wiley Blackwell.
Itani-Adams, Y. (2013). One child and two languages: Acquisition of Japanese and English as bilingual first languages. [Ph.D]. Lincolm.
Kawaguchi, S. (2007). Lexical mapping theory and processability theory : A case study in Japanese. In F. Mansouri (Ed.), Second language acquisition research: Theory-construction and testing (pp. 39-90). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Kawaguchi, S. (2010). Learning Japanese as a second language : A processability perspective. Cambria Press.
Kawaguchi, S. (2015). The development of Japanese as a second language. In C. Bettoni & B. D. Biase (Eds.), Grammatical development in second languages: Exploring the boundaries of processability theory. (pp. 149-172). Eurosla.
Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and practice in second language learning. Pergamon Press.
Leaño, A. J., Mat Rabi, N., & Piragasam, G. A. G. (2019). Speaking difficulties of Philippine indigenous learners in English semantics. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 8(2), 16-27.
Long, M. H. (1991). Focus on form: A design feature in language teaching methodology. In K. D. Bot, C. Kramsh, & R. Ginsberg (Eds.), Foreign language research in cross-cultural perspective (pp. 39-52). John Benjamins.
Mackey, A. (1999). Input, interaction, and second language development: An empirical study of question formation in ESL. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21(4), 557-587.
Mansouri, F. (2005). Agreement morphology in Arabic as a second language: Typological features and their processing implications. In M. Pienemann (Ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of processability theory (pp. 117-153). John Benjamins.
Mansouri, F., & Håkansson, G. (2007). Conceptualising intra-stage sequencing in the learner language. In F. Mansouri (Ed.), Second language acquisition research: theory-construction and testing (pp. 95-119). Cambridge University Press.
Medojevic, L. (2014). The effect of the first year of schooling on bilingual language development: A study of second and third generation Serbian-Australian 5-year-old bilingual children from a processability perspective. [PhD dissertation, Western Sydney University].
Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2015). English Language education reform in Malaysia: The Roadmap 2015-2025.
Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2016). National Preschool Standard-based Curriculum. Author.
Mohamed Salleh, R. T. A. (2017). Bilingual first language acquisition in Malay and English: A morphological and suprasegmental study in the development of plural expressions in a bilingual child. Western Sydney University, Australia]. http://18.104.22.168/proxy.pac/docview/2034359984?accountid=44024
Mohamed Salleh, R. T. A., Di Biase, B., & Ramlan, W. N. M. (2020). The acquisition of English grammar among Malay-English bilingual primary school children. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 20(4), 166-185.
Mohamed Salleh, R. T. A., Kawaguchi, S., & Di Biase, b. (2019). a case study on the acquisition of plurality in a bilingual malay-english Context-bound Child. GEMA Online®Journal of Language Studies, 19(3), 22-42.
Mohamed Salleh, R. T. A., Kawaguchi, S., Jones, C., & Biase, B. D. (2016). The development of plural expressions in a Malay-English bilingual child. Asiatic, 10(2), 60-81.
Nachiappan, S., Damahuri, A. A., Ganaprakasam, C., & Suffian, S. (2018). Application of Higher Order Thinking Skills (Hots) In teaching and learning through communication component and spiritual, attitudes and values component in preschool. International Journal of Early Childhood Education Care, 7, 24-32.
Nunan, D. (1991). Communicative task and the language curriculum. TESOL Quarterly, 25(2), 279-295.
Omar, A. (2016). Read-aloud technique to enhance pre-school children’s vocabulary in a rural school in Malaysia. International Journal of Early Childhood Education Care, 5, 17-27.
Pallotti, G. (2007). An operational definition of the emergence criterion. Applied Linguistics, 28, 361-382.
Paradis, J. (2007). Early bilingual and multilingual acquisition. In P. Auer & Li Wei (Eds.), Handbook of multilingualism and multilingual communication (pp. 15-44). Mouton De Gruyter.
Pienemann, M. (1984). Psychological constraints on the teachability of languages. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 6, 186-214. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100005015
Pienemann, M. (1998). Language processing and second language development: Processability theory. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Pienemann, M. (2005). Discussing PT. In M. Pienemann (Ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of processability theory (pp. 61-83). John Benjamins.
Pienemann, M., & Hakansson, G. (1999). A unified approach towards the development of Swedish as L2: Processability account. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21, 383-420.
Razak, R. A. (2014). Studies on the acquisition of morphology and syntax among Malay children in Malaysia: issues, challenges and needs. In H. Winskel & P. Padakannaya (Eds.), South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press.
Razak, R. A., Aziz, M. A., Lim, H. Y., & Jin, L. (2011). Determining milestones in developmental syntax among Malay children towards the construction of a Malay syntactic assessment tool 44th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), Bristol, UK.
Saidi, S. B., Kurniawan, Y., & Yin Yin, J. T. (2013). The Malaysian preschool syllabus: An analysis on reading component. AJELP: Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 1, 160-175.
San, P. H., & Abdullah, A. C. (2014). Oral vocabulary as a predictor of English language proficiency among Malaysian Chinese preschool children. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 20(1), 143-156.
Soh, O.-K., Azman, H., & Ho, S. M. (2020). A systematic review on bilingualism and language processing from 2015-2019. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 26(1), 18-31.
Sulaiman, T., Mohd. Ayub, A. F., & Sulaiman, S. (2015). Curriculum change in English language curriculum advocates higher order thinking skills and standards-based assessments in Malaysian Primary schools. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(2), 494-500.
Widdowson, H. J. (1978). Teaching language as communication. Oxford University Press.
Wilkins, D. (1976). Notional syllabuses. Oxford University Press.
Wisniewski, K. (2017). Empirical learner language and the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference. Language Learning, 67(1), 232-253.
Yamat, H., Fisher, R., & Rich, S. (2014). Revisiting English language learning among Malaysian children. Asian Social Science, 10(3), 174-180.
Ying, H. S., Heng, C. S., & Abdullah, A. N. (2015). Language vitality of Malaysian languages and its relation to identity. GEMA Online®Journal of Language Studies, 15(2), 119-136.
Zhang, Y. (2002). Describing the L2 acquisition process: The genitive and attributive markers of Mandarin Chinese. Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 37(2), 75-112.
Zhang, Y. (2005). Processing and formal instruction in the L2 acquisition of five Chinese grammatical morphemes. In M. Pienemann (Ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of processability theory. (pp. 155-177).
Zhang, Y., & Widyastuti, I. (2010). Acquisition of L2 English morphology: A family case study. Australian Review of Applied linguistics, 33(3), 29.21-29.17.
Copyright (c) 2020 UPSI Press
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.