The linguistic practices of aspiring bilinguals in the Malay community
This paper reports on a study of Malay learners of English in Malaysia as they attempt to extend their use of English outside the classroom and thus participate in new linguistic practices. Using a multiple case study approach, the study examines the narrative accounts of learners generated through student journals and focus group discussions. These are stories of conflict, tension, negotiation, and renewal as these aspiring bilinguals use English to contest language boundaries, transform social and linguistic resources, and express new identities. The analysis offers insights into how the norms of language choice and use are generated, preserved and changed, how language ideologies lend value to particular linguistic practices and stigmatise others, and what the consequences are of these practices in the lives and identities of people and the community as a whole.
Keywords: linguistic practices, second language, English, identities, ideologies, Malay
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