23 Jan '11, 11pm

Return of the amah? #LearnChinese

FROM the lucrative tuition industry -where an average household spends about $800 per month - to the recent changes in the syllabus of Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) that would cost the Ministry of Education about $45 million, Singapore invests substantially in the learning of second languages, especially Mandarin. With English being increasingly the dominant language of many Singaporean Chinese households, the Chinese language becomes more foreign to many such students who have little opportunity to use the language meaningfully outside the classroom and the tuition centre. As the Government has acknowledged in shifting the emphasis of MTL towards more practical usage rather than that of rote learning, language is essentially part of the broader process of social and cultural interaction, as much as it is a pedagogical tool. In this respect, to create a more conducive and ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Voices/EDC110124-0000079/Retur...

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