Bidayuh as a subject at pre-school and primary levels

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This chapter focuses on the Dayak Bidayuh people of western Borneo and their efforts to develop initial literacy in their language(s) in the wider context of the Malaysian education system, in which Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) is currently the main medium of instruction. Informal narratives by teachers illustrate the stigmatisation of Bidayuh in school, and resistance to this. Whilst rural Bidayuh growing up in their traditional home areas still acquire the local variety as a first language, those in urban centres may acquire Sarawak Malay or English as their first language. Bidayuh parents and teachers distinguish between the introduction of Bidayuh as a subject of study in schools, and as a medium of instruction through which other school subjects are taught.


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