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Language Education for Orang Asli Children in Malaysia

Hema Letchamanan, Nur Surayyah Madhubala Abdullah and Kamal Solhaimi Fadzil

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue S3, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.s3.23

Keywords: Environment, indigenous, language education, literacy, meaning-making

Published on: 30 November 2021

Literacy among Orang Asli children is found to be well below the national average. This paper explores the connection between language learning and meaning-making and its relation to the problem of language education among Orang Asli children. In so doing, the paper shows that language learning should be situated within their environment. This paper uses the findings from the observation made in an exploratory case study of Temuan children aged 7–12 in an Orang Asli village in Selangor and their struggles with language. Taking a critical view of the challenges faced by the children, this study surmised that a proper recognition of the Orang Asli community in language education is needed for effective meaning-making to ensure their genuine participation. The insight adds to the discussion within decolonisation of education on the importance of indigenisation of language education for Orang Asli children.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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