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IB JUNIOR YEAR

English LAL SL
Written Task 1
Thar Lun Naing
First Draft

Rationale will be later added.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Thar Lun Naing

Written Task 1

Part 1: Language in cultural context


Topic: Language and Identity, Language and power (Linguistic Imperialism)
Primary Text: Education affects on culture; International school students in Myanmar unable to speak and write
Burmese well (Losing Identity and culture changes, leading to language death)
Text type: Personal blog
Purpose: To express the struggles which a teenager who was exposed to many languages and cultures, felt like
losing his own identities and how it is difficult to keep up with cultural stereotypes)
Audience: International school students who questions themselves where they belong to, Educational expats,
Parents, mixed races. (Burmese)

Friday, 18 December 2015

Thar Lun Naing

Written Task 1

A neglected issue from Myanmar: Cultures DYING due to


Imperialist Education!
18. December. 2015, Yangon, Myanmar
By Thar Lun
What is CULTURE? Is that something that the majority group of people practices in an area? Or, is
that what the origin of people? Today in Myanmar (Burma), a large number of young Burmese are losing their
cultures willingly which is caused by the affects the linguistic imperialism from the Western world. It has been
affecting us more than decades since colonization; however, it is now increasing its rate due to the education
system which some of us follow. The affects can be seen more obviously in the wealthy young generations who
attend those extravagant international schools where the huge imperialist waves killing the original culture which
we should value and follow. So, we are killing our cultures ourselves, arent we?
When I tried to answer my own question, I found out one thing that imperialist education is indirectly
shaping us(international students) to their culture which more often end up with mixed culture where the students
dont have a single idea where and which group they belong to. Im telling all this because I just knew myself that
Im in that big group. Here is just one situation that happened to me to start realising about who I am actually.
I was alone (Nevilles absent) at a small
government funded orphanage secondary (grade 5 to 8) school
for my voluntary internships when I was in grade 8(I
think same age with students there). Most of them were
ethnically Burmese, so that I talked to them in Burmese in
hope that they can talk me back something. But, they
didnt response. Instead, they stay still with unchanged faces. I thought it was due to the
formality rules in state school and told them again that they are free of strict rules during my time. Even now,
most of them remained unchanged and only one student respond back with a question, leaving me with doubtful
thoughts about myself.
She replied WHAT did you just say? Can you repeat it?

Friday, 18 December 2015

Thar Lun Naing

Written Task 1

I nod my head and spoke them with slow, clear and loud voice trying to best sound like Burmese accent.
The class went well for the rest time however, from then on, I got the big self task of defining who I am and where
I do belong.
To know where I belong, I declare who I am; I tell what my culture I gave myself time figuring out the
related factors and the my life context. I used to go to Gov schools till age of 12 one being in Far East of Burma
(till 8 years), Shan state and another one in central Burma, Mandalay. Therere the two places in Burma where
the language and cultures are obviously different. Then, an international school (they just call, mainly full with
Chinese and Singapore curriculum) for 4 years. That was nick named by me Mandalay Chinatown School.
Now, I am in Yangon, attending an international school with different kind of cultural surroundings. So, you can
see that I was raised in diverse communities and you can relate how my original culture and language would
have been influenced from the external cultures and languages. The junior years in schooling were not that much
affected me into today person; however the senior years in imperialist educations shaped me into this mixed
culture and bilingual person. (Junior years might influenced me in certain area: Foods)
Today, sadly, I can see lots of wealthy and middle class kids going to imperialist education schools
despite the fact they notice that they are adapting a new culture with the original culture, leading to the death of
our own culture and language. It is even worse in the case of language. I can see many Burmese kids speaking
English without difficulties whereas their Burmese speaking skills are incorrect and make no sense. This is the
death of Burmese language in this 21 st century as the forth colonization of countrys elite cultural and language
by the imperials. Just like Domino Theory, our invaluable history is forgotten too by the death of language. I can
imagine the next 50 years Burma without the unique identities and a large population of dumb businessmen. This
time, it is not what the imperial actions led to this end; it is rather Burmese who chose to sell their culture with the
cheap price of developments to full fill their greed.
However, our culture is still lucky that the percentage of those trying to be dumb is just like the oil on the
water surface so that we still get enough time to change our attitudes and save from that evil imperial education
system trying to shape our Burmese communities, cultures and languages.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Thar Lun Naing

Written Task 1

Burmese, lets save our ancestors heritages and pass on to our next generations with fruitful beautiful
independent culture and language. Let them not make the same mistakes those we had made and let them know
where they belong to, unlike us who even need to question ourselves with simple question. Despite that, I still
cant define my CULTURE that I have asked myself. How about you, friends?
(Note: Check the word culture in OED if you want to know what OEDs meaning of it.)
Likes 22 Comments 36
Ye Yint

: Ur jz being nationalist. We need those kinds of educations in rural areas in order to


improve their life standard and many other necessaries things.
Like 3

Shwe Yupar Myo : @Thar Lun, I agree with your point that we have to conserve our heritage and

cultures.

However, your article is extreme and offensive to the English volunteer teachers.
Like 7 Reply 2
Thar Lun:@Shwe Yupar Myo, Thanks for pointing out a perspective that I didnt think during
my writing.
John K. Taylor: That given situation happened to me 2! I was shocked when tht happened. BTW,
How is life goin?
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