Chinese Language

This tag is associated with 9 posts

12 Years A SAP Student, And Nothing (Chinese) To Show For It

What, in other words, is the value of an SAP education today? And how do the experiences vary? Even before a broader discourse on changes to SAP schools – whether they should be abolished, or they should cater to mother tongues of Bahasa Melayu and Tamil – do we know enough about the effectiveness of an SAP education, especially from the perspective of students? For the overwhelming assumption seems to be that an SAP education, with the focus on bilingualism and cultural immersion, necessarily confers lifelong benefits. Continue reading

Assessing Chinese-Language Proficiency More Rigorously

The study by a team from the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) – which found that “more than half of [Chinese Singaporean pre-schoolers] are still bilingual, although they use English more often with their peers and siblings” (ST, Jul. 11) – is useful progress in the assessment of language education and bilingualism in Singapore. In particular, the researchers also tested 380 five- and six-year-old pre-schoolers on their proficiency in character recognition and oral Chinese, and if such tests are conducted longitudinally or extended to more students, there could be a better understanding of the status quo. Continue reading

Is The Idea Of A “Mother Tongue” Still Relevant?

Not only have initiatives such as immersion programmes, internships in Asia, and the use of digital technologies or even differentiated approaches in the classroom – so that Singaporeans will continue “to understand that bilingualism is part of the country’s national identity and their cultural heritage” (TODAY, Jul. 5) – been mooted before, but unless there are more concrete ways to quantify their effectiveness, and by extension how students have benefited from these initiatives, little progress will be made. After all, despite attempts to raise standards of second-language education, anecdotes seem to show that many Singaporeans continue to struggle in school, and at the workplace. Continue reading


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