Launch of 1st Symposium on Innovative Teaching and Learning of Three Mother-Tongue Language

Launch of 1st Symposium on Innovative Teaching and Learning of Three Mother-Tongue Language

Wednesday, 07 March 2018




It will be the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore’s first-ever symposium focused on research, teaching and learning of three Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) -- Chinese, Malay and Tamil. 

The Symposium on Innovative Teaching and Learning of Mother Tongue Languages 2018 is a one-day event organised by NIE’s Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group (ALC) and the Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning. The event is also in collaboration with the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language, Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee, Tamil Language Learning and Promotion Committee and supported by the Society of Chinese Education Singapore and The Malay Language Centre.  Held at NIE on 8 March 2018, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education, will launch the event.

This aims to encourage amongst experts of the three MTL education fraternities to look at how MTL curricula can better cater to the needs of Singapore schools and learners’ needs. Through these, they hope to promote research and application of MTL Teaching in addition to a platform for scholars and practitioners to exchange expertise, research findings and new ideas. An expected 500 participants consisting of local academics, teaching professionals and policy officers specialised in mother tongue languages will attend.

Highlights of the Symposium

The theme of the symposium is Innovative Practice, Practice Innovation: Revisioning Mother Tongue Languages Education in Singapore”. Participants will also hear from prominent scholars who have contributed outstanding work in MTL. Professor Stephen D. Krashen from University of Southern California and Dr Soh Kay Cheng from the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language are the Keynote Speakers of the Symposium. A Forum and concurrent sharing sessions in the three MTL lined up for the participants.

The following notable research projects led by NIE researchers in each language:

Chinese Language

  • Dr Tan Ah Hong, a lecturer of Chinese Language Division, Priscillia Shen Peixin, Assistant Head of DAS Academy, Ms Kong Yun Rui, Programme Manager, Ms See Lay Yen and Ms Sha Lan from Dyslexia Association of Singapore, will present their findings on the reliability and validity of a Chinese Literacy Assessment tool. The assessing tool could be standardised in future to ascertain a learner’s language ability and learning difficulties.

Malay Language

  • Dr Sa’eda Buang, assistant head of Malay Language Division of ALC, discusses critically theories of multiculturalism and showing its importance in the teaching and learning of literature.

Tamil Language

  • Associate Professor A Ra Sivakumaran, assistant head of Tamil Language Division of ALC will share on the strategies that can foster the Joy of Learning while increasing their intrinsic motivation to learn mother tongue languages.

Highlights of the Forum

Themed as “Innovative Practice, Practice Innovation: Revisioning Mother Tongue Languages Education in Singapore”, the Forum will be chaired by Associate Professor Hadijah Rahmat, Head, NIE Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group. Conducted in English from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm, the panellist speakers are Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, Associate Professor Mohd Mukhlis Abu Bakar, Associate Professor A Ra Sivakumaran, Dr Chan Chiu Ming, Mr Yatiman Yusof, Mr Anbarasu s/o Rajendran.

The panel will focus on past, present and future of MTL curriculum in Singapore meainstream schools: Thoughts and Observations; innovative practices and pedagogies of MTL in Singapore mainstream schools; and innovative research on MTL education in Singapore.


Conference Strands

The event will feature more than 40 presentations in paper sessions and workshops. Presentations divided into three mother tongue languages; comprising of 25 in Chinese language, 13 in Malay language and 6 in Tamil language. These expound on the current and future landscapes for teaching tools and resources and classroom learning in these languages. There are also case studies that focus on critical analysis, pedagogies and learning outcomes as well as family and cultural values.

Name: Alan Ho
Phone: 63161498

Name: Monica Khoo
Phone: 67903616