The Mother Tongue Department seeks to offer a range of student learning experiences for purposeful and meaningful student engagement, with the aim to spark interest in the learning of their mother tongue languages, and support student learning for deep subject mastery.
Chinese Language Unit
Through the use of suitable innovative pedagogical approaches such as the Inquiry-based Learning and Questions-based Learning tasks, the Chinese Unit aims to promote authentic learning and ignite the joy of learning, as they grasp the essential knowledge and skills in the mother tongue languages. Apart from the rigorous performance tasks, we also provide timely and instructive feedback to boost our students’ learning, and at the same time, leveraging different ICT tools, such as Student Learning Space (SLS), to enhance their oral communication skills.
Reading is essential for mastering a language. Hence, the Unit places great emphasis on inculcating a reading habit in our students, by having specific reading programmes targeted at the various levels, and providing platforms and time for students to enjoy reading their books.
The Unit’s pedagogical approaches are supplemented with numerous competition platforms to stretch students beyond meeting syllabus requirements. Some of the competitions are “Script It Right” Chinese Radio Drama Script Writing Competition, the National Secondary Schools Translation Competition, “Global Village” Children & Youths Bilingual Speech Competition, the National Chinese Poem-Writing Competition and the National Chinese Challenge.
Apart from the instructional programmes, the Unit aims to promote and strengthen our students’ sense of cultural heritage and identity through a variety of programmes such as the Chinese New Year Celebration, Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration and Cultural Performance Exposure Scheme (CPES).
Across all levels, students will participate in the Mother Tongue Fortnight Programme, where they will learn decorative art such as Chinese calligraphy and painting, Chinese tea appreciation, and martial arts like Wushu and Silat. Another major event is the Mother Tongue Fortnight Cultural Performance where students are exposed to traditional Chinese Opera. For this event, students are invited to participate in the biennial cultural performance, where they will learn the art of Chinese Opera and put up a stimulating performance for the school. Some of the recent performances that the unit has put up are Painted Skin (2016) and the Legend of the White Snake (2018).
Other than learning about the different cultures in school, the Unit organises overseas immersion programmes to broaden our students’ global awareness. To date, overseas immersion trips to China (Chengdu, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen), and Taiwan have been organised.
Malay Language Unit
To ignite their joy of learning, students are given the opportunity to learn and use the Malay language in various contexts and platforms. Students take part in competitions organised at the national level, such as Pesta Pantun organised by NUS Malay Language Society, Sahibba (Scrabble in Malay), Modern Poetry Writing and Recitation, and Pena Emasku Creative Writing.
To promote the use of the language in an authentic setting, students participate in overseas immersion programmes to neighbouring countries. During the programmes, students not only get to interact with the local community in Malay, they also get the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the Malay culture.