Abstract: School language policy has been at the heart of language management in Singapore since the 19th century. The choice of which languages to support as languages of education is linked to the politics of racial management. The language policy of Singapore has been a major driver of language shift, with languages of education gaining speakers, and other languages losing speakers. English and Mandarin have been the big winners since independence. Like the rest of Anglophony, Singapore participates in a discourse of purism in language, especially noticeable in public prescriptions about English. This discourse wrongly gives the impression that Singaporeans' standard of English has declined. In assessing what factors are currently impacting on language shift, and to enhance understanding of the discourse of purism, recent trends in immigration need to be taken into account.
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