Factors that Influence the Sustainability Usage of Three Endangered Indigenous Languages in Malaysia

By Noriah Mohamed, Nor Hashimah Hashim and Yahya Che Lah.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This write-up explores the sustainability and factors influencing the sustainability usage of three endangered indigenous languages in Sarawak, Malaysia namely Sihan, Tanjong and Ukit. The level of sustainability usage of these three languages was examined by reviewing the usage of these languages in specific domain. This analysis would determine whether these languages were still dominant amongst their native speakers and whether these languages were in the endangered language category. Apart from the language usage in its domain, other independent variables such as the number of native speakers, language heritage among its generation, materials for education and literacy, government policy and language policy, community attitude towards their languages and documentation of language were also explored. The study on the sustainability of language usage in this write-up was executed through the techniques of observation, interview and questionnaires. The findings reveal that the languages under study had the probability of being endangered even though they were being used extensively in the traditional domain.

Keywords: Sustainability, Endangered Language, Domain

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.169-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.562MB).

Dr. Noriah Mohamed

Lecturer, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Noriah Mohamed, born in 1960 received her PhD from the University of Malaya in 1992. Noriah was earlier awarded with Masters in Modern Languages Studies from the same university in 1989 and a Bachelor of Arts from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1984. Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor degree, Noriah Mohamed worked as a school teacher in Sarawak, Malaysia from 1984 to 1985. Noriah Mohamed is currently a lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia specialising in Sociolinguistic, Malay Language History and Historical and Comparative Linguistic. Married with two children, Noriah has published several books in her area of specialisation and has written a number of articles for journals and conferences, locally and internationally.

Prof. Dr. Nor Hashimah Hashim

Lecturer and Program Chairperson for BEd. Preschool Education, School Of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Nor Hashimah Hashim is an Associate Professor in the Early Childhood Edcuation at School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She received her MEd. and PhD at University of Leeds, United Kingdom focusing on primary education. Earlier she worked in primary and secondary schools for six and three years respectively. Currently, she is a program chairperson for BEd. Preschool Education) and teaches undergraduate programs in early childhood curriculum. Her research interests revolve around teaching and learning at preschool and primary level. Two of her current research projects funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) and Department of National Unity and Integration, focuses on learning environment and instruction quality at the preschool level. She had also conducted research on reading comprehension at primary school at the national level. She has published a number of research papers and articles in national and international journals, and produced three teaching and learning modules for preschool and primary school children.

Assoc. Prof. Yahya Che Lah

Lecturer, School of Distant Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Yahya Che Lah is a senior lecturer at School of Distance Learning in the area of teaching and learning of language. Most of his students are school teachers undertaking their undergraduate courses. Methodology and pedagogy of language teaching is his main subject. In addition, he also taught language proficiency. He was a language teacher, before he became a lecturer. He had taught in primary and secondary school. Moreover, he had an experience for about 3 years in the secondary school as an academic administrator. His experiences enhance his knowledge about the needs and the problems in the teaching and learning language either to the teachers or to the pupils. In the tertiary level, besides teaching, he was involved in research. His research focuses on the teaching of writing and reading comprehension at the primary and lower secondary school. His recent research focus teaching process of writing. The aim of this study was to observe what transpire during the classroom teaching and learning process of writing.

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