Mother Tongue language review will build on strengths of what's been put in place

Mother Tongue language review will build on strengths of what's been put in place

Wednesday, 02 June 2010

Media Type
Channel NewsAsia

Singapore: The Mother Tongue Language review will build on the strengths of what has been put in place.

Making her first public comments on the review, the Director-General of Education, Ho Peng, said there won't be much change to the teaching and learning of the Mother Tongue.

Some of the changes introduced to the teaching and learning of Mother Tongue languages over the last few years include using gadgets such as hand-held tablet PCs in class, and having a greater emphasis on speaking and listening.

"What we've implemented in 2007 is beginning to show good results. So going forward, it's about building on the strengths that we have, and the good things that's been put in place," said Ho, who is the chairperson of the MTL Review Committee.

Ms Ho's committee has been tasked to look into how Mother Tongue languages can be taught to cater to different proficiencies.

But she said discussions on the review are on-going, and she is not ready to make any announcements.

Said Ho: "We've looked at the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi. We've also gone to USA just to look at ideas, not so much the learning and teaching parts, (but to) look at ideas, and also to Australia.

"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."

And one thing is clear - 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 in fact connect very readily and easily with ICT. So I think in terms of teaching and learning in the classroom, we really need to use ICT in order to engage the next generation," said Ho.

The committee is expected to come up with a revised Mother Tongue language curriculum for lower primary levels by year's end.

And further changes will be fully implemented over 5 to 10 years.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, sph