“Language Prejudice”

I have attended session for learning (Bengkel Bercerita) in year 2013. It had gathered a group of teachers and parents to discuss further on the importance of using stories as one of the most important tools for communication.

A session full of energy with Puan Ainon Mohd.

As the discussion went on, our speaker hit the button on an interesting topic ‘language prejudice’ which in fact all of us had.

A child who can speak bubbly enough and using words with proper sentences are always associated as smart. A child who shows language mastery always in a position to be seen smart and always given good grades for their work.

Many teachers (and parents) are bias towards those children who can speak and write in proper language. Sometimes, as they speak and writes, one can’t find the real answer and content which concrete and definite.

While some children who have better content and structured in their answer are not given fair attention as they lack in language usage, choice of words and delivering it differently.

As children’s ability to store structures and vocabulary highly depends on their environment, teacher in schools pay the most significant role to provide such strong and enriched surroundings for language acquisition.

Regardless of the language used, either Malay, English, Mandarin or Tamil, it must be used with an international standard. Our role to ensure our children NOT to be judge and misjudge for being ‘stupid’, because of language factor usage is crucial.

Just because our child can’t answer 1+1 = 2 in English, they are labelled ‘slow’.
Just because we focus on language strength and wanted them to speak confidently, they are not able to think creatively, analyze actively, read in between lines and comprehend.

Dear friends, we have a great role to play to ensure our children not to miss their life opportunity in result of ‘language prejudice’.

What we can do:

– speak full sentences (regardless of the language that we use)
– use the right conjunctives and particles with
– speak with the correct grammar
– use polite and respectful words

We will be able to help our children to store strong vocabulary and structure.

If we really wanted our children to master a language, do support them with the right environment for it. If otherwise, the result will not be as good as what we expected them to be.

And we, as parents need to be the strongest alliance for our children, and for their development for a better future.

“people learn their place in the world by virtue of the language codes they employ”
is part of the article of Basil Bernstein, a sociologist in education.


A research on sociolinguistic which correlates between language and social position.
NOTE of reference can be found here:
in http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~johnca/spch100/3-3-bernstein.htm.

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