Download The Step Tongue: Children's English in Singapore by Anthea Fraser Gupta PDF

By Anthea Fraser Gupta

In Singapore, multilingualism is the norm, and English (often the neighborhood kind) is extensively received and used. This booklet examines the social and ancient context of kid's English in Singapore, and strains the advance of 4 Singaporean young children who've English as a local language. the consequences for schooling and speech remedy are mentioned.

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Extra info for The Step Tongue: Children's English in Singapore (Multilingual Matters, 101)

Sample text

As late as 1969 the Cantonese in Singapore were still taking up English-speaking with more enthusiasm than the Hokkiens (Chia 1977:160). The Straits settlements also housed (especially Malacca, and to some extent Singapore) an ethnically Chinese group who had adopted certain Malay cultural habits, including the use of the Malay language. This group, variously called the Straits Chinese, the Peranakan, or Baba Chinese, were among the leaders in English-medium education, and were often employed in the service of the British colonial government, giving them at one point the soubriquet, 'King's Chinese'.

Previous page page_37 next page > < previous page page_38 next page > Page 38 Platt and Weber (1980:19) say that it was "unusual for British children to attend" the schools of the Straits Settlements. However, in the nineteenth century the number of 'European children' who remained with their families and went to day schools locally was higher than it later became. As communications with Europe improved, especially after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, and as boarding schools improved, parents were more likely to send their children to boarding school.

What look like major changes in ethnic groups in fact resulted from the forced categorization of the population in 1990, who had been free to allocate themselves to an ethnic group in 1980. For the Indians the "dialect groups" appear have changed rather radically, from 1980's Tamil, Malayali, Punjabi, Gujerati and Others, to 1990's Tamil, Malayalee, Sikh, Hindustani, Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Sinhalese, Hindi, and Others. Not surprisingly the number of Punjabis dropped. The Census Superintendent described the 1990 method as "more accurate".

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