Chai Sia has been teaching English language at Swinburne Sarawak for more than eleven years. Her degree was in second language acquisition, if one wonders what she is doing in the English department. Her decade-long career at Swinburne began in the Intensive English program where had she enjoyed teaching English pronunciation enormously, much in the same way that her students had attested. In the last six years or so, her pedagogical focus shifted to academic writing skills, which she taught with no less enjoyment to students at the foundation studies level.
In an effort to stay professionally qualified, she is currently making an endeavor in starting a PhD,. She is thinking of studying subjects close to her Master’s degree thesis, in which she sought to understand how the medium of instruction in schools can be taken advantage of to retain the status quo of the governing race or more (e.g. economic and educational opportunities). Language policy, as she discovered, is a subtle tool which governments can use to convince the mass that they are in fact acting in the interest of every individual’s future. Remember the constant oscillating not so long ago between English and Malay languages as the medium of instruction for the teaching of Science and Mathematics subjects in the Malaysian national school curriculum? That is language policy.
To further understand how political decisions can have long-term seismic impact on the educational trajectory and economic opportunities for every citizen, she is hoping to combine her previous findings from her master’s thesis with her current interest in semilingualism as her PhD focus.