IT to play bigger role in teaching of Mother Tongue Languages

IT to play bigger role in teaching of Mother Tongue Languages

Date
Thursday, 03 June 2010

Media Type
Today

The committee tasked to review the teaching of Mother Tongue Languages has been getting ideas from teaching systems around the world.

In her first public comments on the ongoing review, the director-general of education, Ms Ho Peng, who heads the current Mother Tongue Languages Review Committee said: “We’ve looked at the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi.”

This is the standardised test of Mandarin proficiency for non-native speakers developed in Beijing.

But beyond China, the committee has also gone further afield.

“We’ve also gone to the United States to look at ideas, not so much the learning and teaching parts; and also to Australia,” Ms Ho told reporters on the sidelines of the 14th Global Chinese Conference on Computers in Education.

“So we’ve looked at a few systems, for ourselves to be quite clear about the directions we should go in terms of mother tongue instruction,” she added.

However, Ms Ho noted that the review was still in progress and it would be premature to make any announcements.

The committee is expected to come up with a revised Mother Tongue Language curriculum for lower primary by the end of this year. Further changes will be implemented over five to 10 years.

Ms Ho said: “What we implemented in 2007, I think, is beginning to show good results. So going forward, it’s about building on the strengths that we have, and the good things that have been put in place.” But one thing is clear, though: Infocomm technology (ICT) will play an increasingly larger role in the teaching and learning of Mother Tongue Languages.

“You’re talking about digital natives. Children connect very, very readily and easily with ICT. So, I think in terms of teaching and learning in the classroom, we really need to use ICT to engage the next generation,” said Ms Ho.

Source: Today, mediacorp