More Resources to Inspire the Teaching and Learning Of Mother Tongue Languages in the Early Years

Published Date: 25 September 2015 12:00 AM

News Press Releases

1. From today, early childhood educators will benefit from additional resources developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to support the teaching and learning of the three Mother Tongue Languages in Singapore. The Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Educators’ Guides for Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) in Chinese, Malay and Tamil were launched today by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, at the Early Childhood Conference and Carnival on Friday, 25 September 2015.

2. As part of MOE’s continuous efforts to support early childhood educators, MOE is developing the NEL Curriculum Toolkit, a comprehensive range of kindergarten curriculum resources to support early childhood educators in creating quality learning experiences for children. The NEL Framework was launched in 2012 and the NEL Educators’ Guide and NEL Framework for MTLs in 2013. In 2014, the Chinese, Malay and Tamil versions for the NEL Framework for MTLs were shared with the pre-school sector. The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs in Chinese, Malay and Tamil, launched today will serve as a significant resource for early childhood educators in the following ways:

  • The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs, will provide practical lesson ideas and strategies that specifically cater to each of the Mother Tongue Languages. These lesson ideas and strategies are set in our local context and support educators in igniting children’s love for MTLs and interest in their local ethnic culture by using local terms that children are familiar with in their daily experiences. An example of this in the Educators’ Guide for Chinese Language is the use of the local term巴刹 to describe wet markets in Singapore.
  • Another feature of the NEL Educators’ Guide for MTLs is the use of strategies to customise learning for children with varying language abilities. Singapore’s evolving home language environment will be an important consideration in supporting our children in the learning of their MTLs. An example in the Educators’ Guide for Malay Language is the inclusion of tips for teachers to consider when teaching children with relatively less exposure to the Malay Language.
  • The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs introduce the concept of Professional Learning Communities, enable the seeding of professional peer support networks and emphasise the focus on teachers’ professional development. A common set of professional terms for various teaching and learning practices is also provided in the Educators’ Guide in the respective MTLs. An example of this can be seen in the Educators’ Guide for Tamil Language where the professional term “brainstorm” is offered in Tamil Language and the process of brainstorming is explained.
  • To help educators put into practice the principles in the NEL Framework for MTLs, MOE has partnered the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to organise training sessions. These sessions started in August 2015 and will run till December 2016. Parents and educators can also access the NEL Educators’ Guide in each of the MTLs at Hard copies of the NEL Educators’ Guide in all three MTLs will be distributed in phases to all pre-school centres.
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