GOH Yeng Seng 吴英成


Office of Education Research (OER), Asian Languages & Cultures (ALC)

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Prof Goh received his Bachelor of Arts in Chinese language and literature from National Taiwan University and a Doctor of Philosophy in linguistics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He also obtained his Diploma in Education from the National University of Singapore in 1986 and Postgraduate Diploma of Teaching in Higher Education from the Nanyang Technological University in 1998.


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Research Interests
Bilingualism and Multilingual Societies, Chinese Diaspora, Chinese lexicography, Chinese linguistics, Chinese-English Language Policies and Language Education, Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies, Global Mandarin and Varieties of Mandarin, Phonological Theory, Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

  • Current Appointments
    Previous Appointments
    • Head, Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group, NIE ( 2006 to 2014)
    • Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University (since 2004)
    • Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, NIE (1999 to 2003)
    • Lecturer, Division of Chinese Language and Culture, School of Arts, NIE (1996 to 1998)
    Professional Contributions

    Prof Goh is a bilingual and bicultural scholar, specialising in the field of bilingualism, an area of great relevance and importance to a multi-racial society such as Singapore. He made significant contributions to the system of bilingual education in Singapore when he was appointed academic advisor to the Ministry of Education in 2001 to pioneer a novel experiment of Bilingual Approach to Teaching Chinese. The unprecedented pilot project was implemented in 11 primary schools whereby teachers were empowered to make full use of English as a supplementary tool to facilitate the teaching of Chinese at the initial stage.

    He was also a Chinese tutor to three top Singapore government leaders and a two-time member of the sub-committee on pedagogy and examinations of the Chinese Language Curriculum and Pedagogy Review Committee. Going beyond the field of bilingual education, Prof Goh crossed over to make his own contribution to industry and the private sector when, recognising his unique expertise in bilingualism, the Ministry of Trade and Industry specially invited him in 2003 to sit as a member of the Translation and Interpretation Steering Committee to seek his advice on the promotion of Singapore as a global multilingual translation and interpretation hub.

    Prof Goh's academic achievements are numerous: he served as a Visiting Scholar to the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research of Harvard University in 2005, an External Evaluator of University of Stellenbosh, Higher Degree External Examiners of University of Malaya, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and National University of Singapore, Executive Committee Member for International Association For Chinese Teaching, Chinese Language Society (Singapore) and Singapore Association For Applied Linguistics, Reviewer for numerous internationally refereed journals. He has also published several academic papers in leading journals and edited books by established publishers from USA, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany and South Korea.

  • His teaching and research interests have been concerned primarily with phonological theory, Chinese linguistics, Chinese lexicography, teaching Chinese as a second language, global Mandarin and varieties of Mandarin, bilingualism and multilingual societies, contrastive linguistics and translation studies, Chinese-English language policies and language education, and Chinese diaspora.

  • Prof Goh is the recipient of numerous awards, notably Public Service Commission Undergraduate Scholarship tenable in Taiwan (1981 to 1985), the Sino-British Fellowship Trust Award (1994), UK Overseas Research Student Award (1993 to 1996), NIE Excellence in Teaching Award (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006) and the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) (2006).