Mohd Mukhlis Bin ABU BAKAR

Associate Professor

Asian Languages & Cultures (ALC)

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  • Mukhlis Abu Bakar is an Associate Professor at the Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group, NIE. He has an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK. He taught at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore, for six years prior to joining the Institute in 2002. He is currently the AG’s Programme Leader (Bachelor of Arts) and Convenor (Jalinan Budi Seminar Series).

    Mukhlis teaches courses in Malay linguistics, discourse analysis, and language and literacy at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He also supervises graduate students (MA and PhD) in these areas. His research interest spans a number of inter-related fields: language and literacy learning of young children in the home, school and faith settings. Research is central to the courses that Mukhlis teaches and in shaping his teaching style. Employing a sociocultural perspective, his work in language, literacy, culture and bilingual learning supports and gives a local dimension to the idea that literacy skills are always embedded in social practice. The work has important implications on curriculum, instructional resource and programme development at both the preschool and early primary levels for children. His foray into Islamic religious education, with a particular interest in Malay children’s religious literacy, acknowledges the religious significance in children’s lived experience of literacy irrespective of the type of schools they attend. His long-term aim is to elucidate a holistic approach to education that not only focuses on the development of complex cognitive skills but also affirms the roles of feeling (affective) and inner reflecting/intuiting (spiritual) in the learning dynamics, and the importance of drawing from children’s diverse out-of-school cultural experiences, knowledge and language practices.

    Mukhlis has served as Higher Degree Internal Examiner of the Institute as well as External Examiner of the National University of Singapore and the University of Malaya. He has also served as Reviewer for a number of internationally refereed journals including Pedagogies: An International Journal, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Language in Society, The International Journal of Learning, and Gema Online Journal of Language Studies.

    His public service roles include serving on the Singapore National Translation Committee as Head of the Malay Resource Panel, on the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism as a member of the Project Evaluation Committee, and on the Board of Mercy Relief, a home-grown humanitarian relief organisation. He has previously served in the Ministry of Education’s Malay Language Curriculum and Pedagogy Review Committee in 2005 and again in the Malay Language Review Committee in 2010. He also served as Consultant in Action Research for Malay Language teachers in a number of school clusters.

  • Excellence in Teaching Commendation, National Institute of Education, 2011.

    Fulbright American Studies Institute Program on 'Religion in Contemporary America: Church, State and Society' at the Centre for Religion and American Public Life, Boston College, USA, 2003.

  • Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2016). Transmission and development of literacy values and practices: An ethnographic study of a Malay family in Singapore. In R. E. Silver, & W. D. Bokhorst-Heng (Eds.), Quadrilingual Education in Singapore: Pedagogical Innovation in Language Education (pp. 33-64). Singapore: Springer.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2015). Malay, English and religion: Language maintenance in multilingual Singapore. Issues in Language Studies, 4(1), 46-62.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar & Pang, E. (2015). Learning to be biliterate in English and Malay using dual language books. NIE Research Brief Series, No. 15-013, 1-4.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar & Nurul Taqiah Yussof (2014). Employing bilingual practices and developing bilingualism and biliteracy through reading dual-language books. In Ting, S. H., Kayad, F. G., Jerome, C., & Rethinasamy, S. (Eds.) Proceedings of International Conference on Language Studies 2014 (iCLS 2014) (pp. 161-167). Kota Samarahan, Malaysia: Centre for Language Studies.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2012). Struktur dan Makna dalam Bahasa [Structure and Meaning in Language] (2nd Ed). Singapore: Pustaka Nasional Pte Ltd.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2012). Learning and spirituality in young Muslim children. Journal of Religious Education, 60(3), 25-34.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2012). Cognitive, affective, spiritual: Transformative learning in an Islamic education programme. In M. C. Fowler, M. Weiss, & J. L. Hochheimer (Eds.), Spirituality: New Reflections on Theory, Praxis and Pedagogy (pp. 101-112). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2009). Islamic religious education and Muslim religiosity in Singapore. In Banks, J. A. (Ed.), The Routledge International Companion to Multicultural Education (pp. 437-448). New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar & Koh, G. H. (2009). Home and school: Children's lived experience of literacy. E-Utama, 2, 119-134.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2008). Sanah in Singapore: Early biliteracy at home. In Gregory, E. (Ed.), Learning to Read in a New Language: Making Sense of Words and Worlds (pp. 29-34). London: Sage Publications Ltd.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2008). Pengalaman literasi, wacana bilik darjah dan pencapaian akademik: Suatu perspektif sosiobudaya [Literacy experience, classroom discourse and academic achievement: A sociocultural perspective]. E-Utama, 1, 43-59.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2007). "One size can't fit all": A story of Malay children learning literacy. In Liu, Y.B., Vaish, V. & Gopinathan, S. (Eds.), Language, Capital, Culture: Critical Studies of Language and Education in Singapore (pp. 175-205). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

    Mukhlis Abu Bakar (2006). Between state interests and citizen rights: Whither the madrasah. In Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman & Lai, A. E. (Eds.), Secularism and Spirituality: Seeking Integrated Knowledge and Success in Madrasah Education in Singapore (pp. 29-57). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies & Marshall Cavendish Academic.

  • NIE ERFP: Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Preschoolers: a Longitudinal Home-School Transition Study (Co-Principal Investigator, $235,129). Jan 2016 - Dec 2018

    NIE ERFP: Learning to be Biliterate in English and Malay Using Dual Language Books (Principal Investigator, $96,238). Jan 2013 - Dec 2014

    MUIS: Kids aL.I.V.E Research Study: The Socio-cognitive Impact of Kids aL.I.V.E Programme on Young Learners (Principal Investigator, $16,040). Feb - Dec 2011

    NIE CRPP: Chinese Children’s Lived Experience of Literacy (Principal Investigator, $47,950). Nov 2006 - Apr 2009

    NIE CRPP: Malay Children’s Lived Experience of Literacy – Main Study (Principal Investigator, $170,650). Jan 2005 - Apr 2009

    NIE CRPP: Malay Children’s Lived Experience of Literacy (Principal Investigator, $25,020). Jan 2004 - Dec 2004