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Mother Tongue Languages



Through the learning of Mother Tongue languages, students will gain insight into the history and culture of their ethnicity which will shape their self and cultural identity, heighten their self-awareness and give them a full appreciation of their life situation.

The department also believes that Mother Tongue language serves to impart personal and societal values to the students. Through appreciation of texts rich in ethics and values, students learn to be upright and responsible individuals. Through discussions of current affairs, students learn to think critically and form their own opinions, at the same time, learn to tolerate and understand people from different walks of life. It will also sharpen their cognitive and life skills.

Desired outcomes:
  • YTzens who are confident in communicating no need ideas as communicating includes ideas through speaking and writing of Mother Tongue
  • YTzens who can think creatively, critically and reflectively
  • YTzens with values and ethics that are crucial for them to tackle the challenges posed by the increasing globalised world and innovation-based economy

Department Overview

The YTSS Mother Tongue department believes that Mother Tongue education serves an important role in bringing the joy of learning and helping students understand their own culture and heritage. Each year, YTzens participate in various cultural experiences like traditional food appreciation, martial arts and learning about traditional medicine.

It is also the belief of the department that we nurture every student to be proficient in the use of Mother Tongue Languages. The department also organises differentiated learner-centred activities, which aim to improve the students' language skills and mould them to be confident, independent and lifelong learners of the Mother Tongue Languages.

Mission & Vision

  • To build a team of competent and passionate teachers
  • To impart the love of learning and appreciation of our Mother Tongue languages and culture
  • To develop confident and proficient users of Mother Tongue languages
A community of passionate learners and proficient users who take pride in their cultural heritage

Key Programs / Enrichment for Students

Through the provision of a rich curriculum, the Mother Tongue Department is committed to nurture every student to be proficient in the use of Mother Tongue languages, to appreciate and respect cultures associated with their Mother Tongue languages. The department stretches students through differentiated activities that are learner centred. These activities aim to improve the students’ language skills and mould them to be confident, independent and lifelong learners of the Mother Tongue languages.

Mother Tongue Fortnight and Cultural Camp

YTzens from Secondary One to Three were exposed to many meaningful activities, such as cultural-related workshops, talks by authors and news broadcasters, traditional food making and appreciation workshops, a movie and music appreciation workshop, poetry recital, skit or cross talk competition, book review exhibition and visits to the Malay Heritage Centre. Through these fun and innovative activities, YTzens have learnt to appreciate and gain deeper insight into their Mother Tongue Languages and culture.

             Mother Tongue Fortnight Day Camp 2019 (2nd March, Saturday)
Chinese TCM Appreciation
Sec 1HC/E/N CL
Martial Arts Programme
Sec 2HC/E/N CL
Movie Appreciation cum Interaction with Movie Director
Mr Royston Tan
Sec 3HC/E/N CL
Malay Cultural AppreciationAll Sec 1 ML
Journalism All Sec 3 ML
Tamil Skit & Pot Painting & Uri adithalTamil Skit & Pot Painting & Uri adithal
Tamil Skit & Indian Herbs Appreciation & Kabadi All Sec 2 TL
Tamil skit & Music FiestaAll Sec 3 TL

Mother Tongue Enrichment Activities and Intra-School Competitions 2019
Programme  Date Time Participants  Venue  
Learning Journey to Lorong Buangkok
Term 2 TBC
All Sec 2 ML
Lorong Buangkok
Chinese Poetry Recital Competition
17 Apr, 
3pm – 5pm
Selected Sec 2 CL students
Trivia Bahasa Competition
17 Apr, 
3pm – 5pm
Sec 2E/N ML Shakespeare Room 
Tamil Poetry Writing & Recital Competition 17 Apr, Wednesday
3pm – 5pm Selected Sec 2 TL students
I’ Create
Chinese Cross Talk Competition22 August, Thursday 3pm – 5pm
Selected Sec 1 CL students
Malay Skit Competition22 August, Thursday 3pm – 5pm Sec 1E/N ML

Shakespeare Room
Tamil Inter-Level Debate Competition22 August, Thursday 3pm – 5pm Selected Sec 1- 2 TL students
I’ Create 

Movie Appreciation cum Interaction with Movie Director Mr Royston Tan
Movie Appreciation cum Interaction with Movie Director Mr Royston Tan.jpg

Secondary 2 Martial Arts Program
Sec 2 Martial Arts Program.jpg

Reading Program

Reading plays a very important part to develop students thinking skills. Students are encouraged to read regularly through the activities in the various Reading Programme:

Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) - Time is set aside during the morning assembly on even weeks to get students in the habit of reading Mother Tongue materials
Newspaper Reading – Everything odd week, students will receive newspaper from SPH and do reading during lesson time. They will also do discussion or share their point of views for some hot topic news reported in the newspaper
Book Recommendation – Teachers will selected books for different level and stream of students to do more reading after lesson time. The books will be reflected in students’ booklist or will be available by school library
Book Review Writing – During June and December school holidays, students will read the books recommended by teachers, then come out with a structured book review writing to share their insights of the book 
Book Review Exhibition – Teachers will select the presentable book review products to exhibit at library or canteen, for other students to learn from the good examples. Prizes will be given to the winner who receive the most vote of their reading review products
Book Review Exhibition 2019 (V2).jpg
Book Review Exhibition 2019.jpg
Reading Club - Reading lessons are structured in the SOW so that there is a time and space for students to discuss ideas and themes related to a given book. Through thought provoking questions and class discussions, teachers connect literature to the world we live in and extrapolate life lessons to make the texts more relevant to the students 

Talent Development Programme

Students who have a keen interest and aptitude towards Mother Tongue languages were given the opportunity for greater exposure and learning. They were selected to represent the school in various competitions, such as debate competitions, writing competitions, crosstalk competitions etc. These inter-school competitions gave students the avenue to further develop their writing or oral communication skills and the opportunity to learn from students from other schools.

Authentic Learning Experiences

Every year, the department embarked on rendering YTzens authentic learning experiences through Lenspeak and News Video Production projects. These projects aim to inject the element of fun and creativity into the learning of Mother Tongue languages by making our Teaching and Learning come “alive”.

Guidance was given in the form of feedback on a regular basis where teachers adopted the conscientious use of the 4 levels of feedback, varied the type of feedback for respective students at different points of time to level up their projects systematically. Teachers ensured that guidance and feedback given catered to the students’ learning pace and needs, making their authentic learning experience not just doable but a rich and enjoyable process.

For Lenspeak, students were introduced to the concept of telling a story through the lens (photographs) and words. Various writing skills were reinforced and students applied these skills to enhance the narration of their stories through the use of Similes, Metaphors and symbolism. Students also learnt how to present their thoughts and ideas in the form of photographs and the use of different angles to look at their surroundings.

Through News Video Production, the department aims to develop in students various skills such as language skills, computer skills, organising, information processing, critical thinking, and teamwork via broadcasting. The project created a real-life context for learning through which students’ confidence, autonomy, and sense of responsibility were enhanced.

Picture Highlights - Mother Tongue Fortnight 2019

Picture Highlights - Book Review Exhibition 2019