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It is only possible to elucidate, explain and offer new perspectives on a language planning activity if planners and policy-makers have a reasonable understanding of the main issues and concerns of the language community for whom the language is being planned as well as an understanding of the concept of language ecology (Kaplan & Baldauf, 1997; Haugen, 1972/2001), its present relationship to language planning and their relationship historically. By language ecology, we simply mean the interaction of a language with its environment. There is a need for academic research that details the concerns, both perceived and real, of the Malay language community against a background of language shift and changing attitude towards the language, and the current language ecology and to contextualise these against the policy and planning initiatives of the state. This project hopes to document: 1) The history of the policy and planning of the Malay language in education since 1956; 2) The present language ecology of the Malay language in Singapore; and 3) The contemporary issues and concerns of the main stakeholders with regards to the planning of Malay language in education. Besides taking into consideration the diachronic view of how planning can result in a changed language ecology, the project will also provide a context of the exoglossic corpus planning of the Malay language in education in Singapore, given the state-sanctioned impact of the proximate language ecologies of Malaysia and Indonesia. The project will therefore: 1) Gather the responses of stakeholders in the community to provide a documentation of the perceived and actual outcomes of the policy and planning of Malay language in education, as well as 2) Evaluate how the status planning that has been done by the state over the past five decades may have led to the formation of a certain language ecology that may or may not support the current assumptions of planning for Malay language in education.
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CRP 42/03 MS
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