The Influence of Cultural Capital and Initiatives towards Improving the Indigenous Pupils’ English Literacy Performance

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Literacy among the indigenous pupils (orang asli) is often understood in cultural terms within the education system not only in Malaysia but also across the world. Literacy is a significant issue for all nations (National Literacy Trust, 2012). This study focuses on the performance of the orang asli under the Malaysian LINUS (Literacy and Numeracy Screening) programme, which is an early intervention program to improve literacy and numeracy. Amongst the educational issues, the orang asli have a rather disproportionate percentage of primary pupils who face challenges in English language literacy acquisition. The main objective of the study is to find out the relationship between selected aspects of cultural capital and orang asli pupils’ performance in the LINUS program. Additionally, the study intends to find out initiatives taken by teachers to improve the orang asli pupils’ performance in the LINUS Programme. Questionnaires and interviews were administered to collect data from 106 orang asli pupils and ten teachers from a selected region in Malaysia, based on purposive sampling. Generally, the findings suggest that there is a lack of cultural capital among the orang asli parents and this poses challenges to pupils’ literacy levels in English. In classrooms, there must be a move towards a culturally responsive pedagogy which recognizes the orang asli pupils’ cultural knowledge, their prior experiences, values and beliefs. The pupils are more inclined to engage in classroom activities that are fun and relate to their environment. Pupils enjoy positive learning experiences as they engage in playing, singing, drawing and colouring. Most teachers noted that by encouraging their children to attend school, the parents had demonstrated that they valued literacy. During the presentation, the audience will experience hands-on the pedagogical initiatives for the orang asli pupils and discuss cultural capital and equity issues based on videos or pictures taken. // Paper ID 191

Literacy,Language Education,Pedagogy,Computer Science