SOUTH-EAST ASIAN ENGLISH
In formal situations, the English of educated Singaporeans is distinguishable mainly by ACCENT, but in more informal situations an innovative use of words is noticeable, such as loans from Chinese and Malay and modifications in the meaning of English words. Grammatical structure shows the influence of local languages, especially varieties of Chinese. In Malaysia, a similar type of English developed. In colonial times, most of the students at English-medium schools were Chinese, but since independence in the 1950s Malay-medium education has increased and Malay has become by far the main medium in primary schools and the only medium in secondary schools. English remains an important compulsory subject but its functions have greatly diminished. Brunei has a bilingual Malay and English education policy, earlier primary school classes beginning with Malay alone, then an increasing use of English until in the senior secondary school English is the medium for 80% of class time.
English-medium education began in the Philippines in 1901 after the arrival of some 540 American teachers, not long after the defeat by the US of the former colonial power, Spain. English was made the language of education and with wider use became indigenized by the inclusion of vocabulary from local languages, the adaptation of English words to suit local needs, and the modification of pronunciation and grammar to produce a distinctively PHILIPPINE ENGLISH. English was adopted for newspapers and magazines the media, and literary purposes. After independence in 1946, the national language Tagalog (later called Pilipino) was made an official language along with English and Spanish. With increasing nationalism, the role of English diminished and in 1974 a bilingual education policy was implemented, with English as a school subject at primary level but as the medium for science and mathematics at secondary level. At tertiary institutions it remains the main medium of instruction. In the foreign-language countries, English has great importance as an Asian and international lingua franca, in tourism, a reading language for technical subjects, and a token of modernity. See MALAYSIAN ENGLISH.
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