Essay Example on Malaysian secondary Education System Study

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This chapter briefly introduces the background of the study After that it moves forward to discuss the problem statement of the study where it aims to fill the gap on the influencing factor of vocabulary size towards students performance in language assessment This chapter is then followed by the research objectives and questions and the significance of study 1 2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY This section will describe the educational setting of where the current research took place by first briefly introduce the Malaysian secondary education system English language in Malaysian education system few explanations regarding MARA education system and lastly the context of the research problem 1 2 1 English Language in Malaysian Education System English has long been recognized as an official second language in Malaysia Edwards 1989 Gill 2005 In Malaysia secondary education system students from all levels of education are required to learn English as one of their main subjects at school In order to strengthen this second language to the Malaysian few policies in were implemented by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia Dual Lingual Programme DLP is the most current policy implemented since 2014 This policy put equal emphasis on both languages Bahasa Malaysia and English and the educational institutions in Malaysia have the options to use which language either Bahasa Malaysia or English or both as the medium of instruction Malaysian Ministry of Education 2013

English also has been included as a compulsory subject in national standardize assessment such as in Primary School Achievement Test UPSR Lower Secondary Evaluation PT3 Malaysian Certificate of Education SPM examination O Level equivalent and Malaysian University English Test MUET Ministry of Education 2013 Since English is the official second language in Malaysia many schools have started to put more emphasis in the usage of English Some schools use English as their language of instruction and communication Darmi Albion 2013 Some educational institutions even go beyond the mainstream by requiring their students to sit for international examinations such as International General Certificate of Secondary Education IGCSE and International English Language Testing Systems IELTS and also participating in international assessments such as Programme for International Assessment PISA

These assessments are increasing in demands since they offer the ESL students more opportunities for better education in their future tertiary education and enables them to enroll in some prestigious high ranking universities abroad Bellingham 1995 Cheng 2008 1 3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM Vocabulary has long been regarded as an essential aspect in language acquisition Nation 2001 Schmitt 2013 Swan Walter 1984 Acquiring adequate vocabulary knowledge is axiomatic for successful communication and language use to take place in activities such as reading writing listening and speaking Previous studies have been done on this area and showed reciprocal relationship of vocabulary knowledge and language proficiency Laufer 1997 Lewis 2002 Nation 2001 Nation Waring 1997 Nguyen Nation 2011 Schmitt 2004 Studies also have identified necessary vocabulary size for effective use of English language Kurgat 2014 Laufer 1989 Liu Nation 1985 Nation 2001 Learners with limited vocabulary size may face problem comprehending the content impairing their learning and thus affecting their academic progress Certainly the recognition of word is essential for comprehension in reading expressing idea in writing and fluency in speaking Since knowing vocabulary size will be helpful for effective language learning teachers may access and measure students vocabulary size in class A practical way to gauge students sizes and knowledge of vocabulary is through assessment

There are different type of vocabulary knowledge tests introduced by previous researchers as a tool to measure vocabulary knowledge such as Vocabulary Size Test by Nation and Beglar 2007 Vocabulary Level Test by Laufer Nation 1995 Schmitt 2000 Nation 2001 and Schmitt Schmitt Clapham 2001 and Vocabulary Knowledge Scale by Paribakht Wesche 1993 Studies illustrated that there is a declining performance in English subject among Malaysian Naginder 2006 Nor Hashimah Norshimah Kesumawati 2008 Nunan 2003 Recent reports from the assessment of National Certificate Examination SPM indicated that the percentage of students who passed the English subject drop from 80 in 2013 to 77 3 in 2015 Kulasagaran 2015 Another statistics for Primary School Achievement Test UPSR 2016 also depicted students low performance in English More than 23 students failed to achieve minimum D grade in their English Language Writing paper while 16 scored lower than D for the Comprehension paper in UPSR 2016 Anon 2016 The statistics showed that the students unable to be competent and proficient in English despite having to learn the language as a compulsory subject within the Malaysian school system for more than 6 years at school

This situation is also becomes a concern with the increasing number of education institutions who enroll their students in international examinations with the intention to provide students more opportunities for their future tertiary education With the declining performance in national examinations the decision to indulge students with extra English assessments on top of that these high stake international exams such as IELTS TOEFL and Cambridge IGCSE might worsening the present situation A school report from the study context reveals that more than half of the students did not perform well in the international examination that they enrolled School Report 2016 Despite having excellent students and allocating a huge sum of money to sit for the international examination majority of these students performed badly and some of them even got Ungraded U The pattern turned out to be the same for other similar education institution counterparts who enroll their students in the same international assessment MRSM Schools Report 2016



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