English as a Second Language in Malay-Speaking Countries: Similarities and Differences

Pairote Bennui


English is used as a second language (ESL) in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, the so-called Malay-speaking countries. Dimensions of the ESL use in these former British colonies share outstanding features and provide some dissimilar aspects. To understand these ESL varieties, this paper aims to describe their similarities and differences by discussing through three roles of English – administration or official language, intra-national communicative use, and educational language policy. This comparison is vital for comprehending the importance of English in Malaysia and Brunei in relation to English in Thailand. Some implications grounded in Malaysian English and Brunei English can be useful for Thai users and learners of English.

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