Dual-Language Programme in Malaysian Secondary Schools: Glancing Through the Students’ Readiness and Unravelling the Unheard Voices

Ashairi Suliman, Mohamed Yusoff Mohd Nor, Melor Md Yunus


Learning Science and Mathematics in English has its own advantages and disadvantages. Since the abolishment of English for Teaching Mathematics and Science policy (PPSMI), the Ministry of Education has introduced an initiative named the Dual-Language Programme (DLP) in 2016. This study aims to identify the level of readiness and confidence among the students in this programme. In tandem, it also aims to discover the difference in the level of readiness between Form One and Form Two DLP students as well as gender influence. Respondents were 145 DLP students comprising 80 Form One and 65 Form Two students. This study employed five-point Likert scale questionnaire as the instrument and open-ended questions to validate the findings. From the data analysis generated by SPSS 19, the level of readiness and confidence among the DLP students was moderate. The findings further revealed that there was no significant difference concerned between the variables, class and gender. English language mastery was found to be one of the main factors influencing the students’ readiness towards this programme. To sum up, the DLP is a positive move put forward by the government aimed at valorising the standard of English among the students via the learning of Science and Mathematics. However, more initiatives and efforts are deemed essential to the execution of the DLP towards progressivism.



Dual-Language Programme; language competency; education; readiness; policy implementation

Full Text:



Ahmad Zamri Khairani. (2016). Assessing Urban and Rural Teachers Competencies in STEM Integrated Education in Malaysia. MATEC Web of Conferences ENCON, Vol. 87.

Amerrudin Abd Manan & Sarimah Shamsudin. (2012). Comparing Form Four Malay and Chinese Students’ Spoken English. The English Teacher, Vol. 1(1).

Ania Lian & Widya Hanum Sari Pertiwi. (2017). Theorising for Innovation: Implications for English Language Teacher Education. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, Vol. 17(3).

Ashairi Suliman (2014). The Interference of Mother Tongue/Native Language in One’s English Language Speech Production. International Journal of English and Education, Vol. 3(3).

Ashairi Suliman, Mohamed Yusoff Mohd Nor & Melor Md Yunus. (2017). Dual-Language Programme in Malaysian Secondary Schools: Are You Ready? Paper presented at Seminar Serantau. Malaysia: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, September.

Borneo Post. (2016, 3 April). Why The Hostility to Dual Language Programme? Retrieved April 5, 2017 from https://www.pressreader.com/malaysia/the-borneo-post-sabah/20160403/281822872941894.

Cone, H. D. (2014). Development and Support of Dual Language Policies. Doctorate Dissertation. Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 1172. Georgia Southern University.

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods

Research (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

Elizabeth John & Aniza Damis. (2008). Teaching of Maths and Science in English: Study Reveals Policy’s Flaws. Retrieved March 16, 2017 from http://www.prihatin.net/keratan-akhbar-terpilih/38-teaching-of-maths-and-science-in-english-study-reveals-policys-flaws.html.

Faizah Mohamad Nor, Marzilah A. Aziz & Kamaruzaman Jusoff. (2011). Should English for Teaching Mathematics and Science (ETeMS) in Malaysia Be Abolished? World Applied Sciences Journal, 36 - 40.

Hand, B., Norton-Meier, L. A., Gunel, M. & Akkus, R. (2016). Aligning Teaching to Learning: A 3-Year Study Examining the Embedding of Language and Argumentation into Elementary Science Classrooms. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Vol. 14(5), 847 – 863.

Hazita Azman. (2016). Implementation and Challenges of English Language Education Reform in Malaysian Primary Schools. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, Vol. 22(3), 65 – 78.

Holmes, R., Dahan, H. M. & Ashari, H. (2008). A Guide to Research in the Social Sciences. Petaling Jaya: Prentice Hall.

Hudson, P. (2009). Learning to Teach Science Using English as The Medium of Instruction. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, Vol. 5(2), 165 – 170.

Isahak Haron, Abdul Latif Gapor, Md Nasir Masran, Abdul Halim Ibrahim dan Mariam Mohamed Nor. (2008). Kesan Dasar Pengajaran Matematik dan Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris di Sekolah Rendah. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from http://profabdullah1.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/11a-kesan-ppsmi-di-sekolah-rendah.

Johari Surif, Nor Hasniza Ibrahim & Meor Ibrahim Kamaruddin. (2006). Masalah Pembelajaran Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris Di Kalangan Pelajar Tingkatan 2 Luar Bandar. Paper presented at Annual Conference on Teacher Education. Malaysia: Kota Kinabalu, September.

Julianus Anggau. (2007). Masalah dan Cabaran Pelaksanaan dan Pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris di sebuah Sekolah Menengah Pedalaman Daerah Ranau. Masters Dissertation. Universiti Malaya.

Kothari, C. R. (2011). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. New Delhi: New Age International.

Lay Ah-Nam & Kamisah Osman. (2017). Developing 21st Century Skills through a Constructivist-Constructionist Learning Environment. K-12 STEM Education, Vol. 3(2).

Lindholm-Leary, K., & Howard, E. (2008). Language and academic achievement in two-way-immersion programs. In T. Fortune & D. Tedick (Eds.), Path-ways to bilingualism: Evolving perspectives on immersion education. England: Multilingual Matters.

Lindholm-Leary, K. (2012). Success and Challenges in Dual Language Education. Theory Into Practice, Vol. 51(4).

Malay Mail. (2016, 29 December). Ramasamy tells Education Ministry to abolish Dual Language Programme. Retrieved April 9, 2017 from http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ramasamy-tells-education-ministry-to-abolish-dual-languageprogramme#tIbVYFo0G0VwFAOY.97.

Melor Md Yunus & Saiful Islam Ahmad Sukri (2017). The Use of English in Teaching Mathematics and Science: The PPSMI Policy vis-a-vis The DLP. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, Vol. 8(1).

Ministry of Education. (2013). Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025. Putrajaya.

Mohamed Yusoff Mohd Nor. (2014). Potential of Contextual Value-Added Measures in Assisting Schools Become More Effective. International Education Studies, 7(13).

Mohd Fadhili Yahaya, Mohd Asri Mohd Noor, Ahmad Azman Mokhtar, Rafizah Mohd Rawian, Mahmod Othman & Kamaruzaman Jusoff. (2009). Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English: The Teachers’ Voices. English Language Teaching, Vol. 2(2).

Nair, M. A. (2000). Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publication.

Noriza Majid, Saiful Hafizah Jaaman, Maslina Darus, Roslinda Mohd Nazar, Siti Norafidah Mohd Ramli, Nur Riza Mohd Suradi, Azmin Sham Rambely, Rokiah@Rozita Ahmad, Ummul Khair Salma Din, Faridatulazna Ahmad Shahabuddin, Zalina Mohd Ali, Najib Mahmood Rafee, Wan Rosmanira Ismail, Nur Jumaadzan Zaleha Mamat, Nora Muda, Norkisme Zainal Abidin, Mohd Salmi Md. Noorani, Abdul Malek Zakaria, Zaidi Isa, Hamizun Ismail, Zainol Mustafa, Abdul Ghafur Ahmad, Muhammad Ikhwan Azlan, Ishak Hashim. (2011). The Readiness of Mathematics and Science Lecturers to Teach in English from Students’ Perspective. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 18, 342 - 347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.05.048

Ong, C. L. (2009). Impak Bahasa Pengantar Ke Atas Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik Pelajar. Masters Dissertation. Universiti Malaya.

Ong, S. L. & Tan, M. (2008). Mathematics and Science in English: Teachers Experience Inside The Classroom. Jurnal Pendidik dan Pendidikan. 23, 141 – 150.

Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books.

Setati, M., & Adler, J. (2000). Between Languages and Discourses: Language Practices in Primary Multilingual Mathematics Classrooms in South Africa. Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 43(3), 243-269.

Siti Salina Mustakim, Ramlee Mustapha & Othman Lebar. (2014). Teachers’ Approaches in Teaching Literature: Observation of ESL Classroom. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Science, Vol. 2(4).

Steele, J. L., Slater, R. O., Zamarro, G.,Miller, T., Li, J., Burkhauser, S. & Bacon, M. (2017). Effects of Dual-Language Immersion Programs on Student Achievement: Evidence from Lottery Data, American Educational Research Journal. Vol. 54(1), 282 – 306.

Thang Siew Ming, Ting Siew Ling & Nurjanah Mohd Jaafar. (2011). Attitudes and Motivation of Malaysian Secondary Students towards Learning English as a Second Language. 3L: Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, Vol. 17(1).

Thang Siew Ming, Lee Kean Wah, Puvaneswary Murugaiah, Nurjanah Mohd Jaafar, Choon Keong Tan & Nurul Iman Ahmad Bukhari. (2016). ICT Tools Patterns of Use among Malaysian ESL Undergraduates. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, Vol. 16(1).

The Star. (2017, 3 January). Indian NGOs Protest Dual Language Programme. Retrieved April 2, 2017 from http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/01/03/indian-ngos-protest-dual-language-programme/.

Tran, N. A., Behseta, S., Ellis, M., Martinez-Cruz, A. & Contreras, J. (2015). The Effects of Spanish English Dual Language Immersion on Student Achievement in Science and Mathematics. E-Journal of Education Policy, 2015 Special Issue.

Turnbull, J., Lea, D., Parkinson, D., Philips, P., Francis, B., Webb, S., Bull, B., & Ashby, M. (2010). Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. UK: Oxford University Press.

Tuah Ishak & Mohini Mohamed. (2010). Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI): Suatu Isu Berulang. Jurnal Teknologi, 53.

Yamamoto, B. A., Saito, T., Shibuya, M., Ishikura, Y., Gyenes, A., Kim, V., Mawer, K., Kitano, C. (2016, June 16). Final Report on Implementation and Impact of the Dual Language IB DP Programme in Japanese Secondary Schools.

Zuraini Ramli. (2014). Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science in a Second or Third Language. Doctorate Dissertation. Deakin University.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17576/gema-2017-1704-09


  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2131

ISSN : 1675-8021