WORRYING TREND: Informal English, Bahasa widely used among students
Ahad, Oktober 21, 2012
Teachers and lecturers say the use of non-formal language, such as short forms and short messaging service (SMS) slang, begins in secondary school and continues when students pursue their tertiary education.
The trend has not reared its ugly head at primary schools yet, but as children get their hands on smart phones and frequent social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, it is only a matter of time before they, too, become “infected”.
National Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan said teachers must play a role in tackling the problem.
The number of students who were using SMS language was alarmingly high and should be a cause for concern, he said.
Hashim said students were so accustomed to using SMS language in their daily lives that it affected their language in school.
“If we allow this to go on, they will use short forms or short cuts in everything they do.
“Not just in answering examination papers but also in the way they talk and solve everyday problems,” he said, adding that in a classroom, more than 20 per cent of students would use abbreviations.
Hashim, a teacher at SM Sungai Ramai in Perak, said students sometimes wrote without noticing that they used short forms like "u" instead of "you" because they were too used to it. The trend was especially noticeable among secondary school and university students, who had adopted the spelling short cuts as a habit, he said.
University students were also guilty of butchering their spelling as they were the ones that had most access to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where using shortened words was the norm, said university lecturers.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Associate Professor Dr Gideon Khoo said teachers and lecturers must constantly remind students that SMS language was only for online conversations and was the equivalent of bahasa pasar.
"It will cause the degeneration of how languages are written and spoken. Take a look at Facebook and Twitter and one can see how badly our national language has been mangled by the users. It is really quite shameful.
"Educationists and educators must play their roles in ensuring that students are taught the fundamentals of using the national language, English and their mother tongue from a young age so that they know when, where and how to use proper language."
Jalilah Jaafar Sidek, 32, a public university lecturer, said the state of students' language was, at times, appalling. She said no matter how many times students were reminded, they would still continue to use shortened words in their assignments, tests and examinations due to the habit of constantly conversing online with their friends.
Professor Dr Teo Kok Seong, deputy director of the Institute of Malay World and Civilisation, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said the proper language could be upheld and improved if students were made aware of its use during formal and informal situations.
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka language and literature department director Rusli Abd Ghani said the authorities were working to elevate and encourage the proper usage of Bahasa Malaysia.
He said DBP was organising the Kembara Bahasa in light of the National Language Month, this month.
The event would see linguists and academicians travelling to schools throughout the country to promote the language through lectures and fun activities.
source: NST - http://www.nst.com.my/mobile/top-news/mind-your-language-1.159440