Strengthening Learning of Mother Tongue Languages

Published Date: 09 April 2021 05:00 PM

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The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be offering Higher Malay Language (HML) and Higher Tamil Language (HTL) to Primary 3 (P3) and Primary 4 (P4) students from 2022 and 2023 respectively. This will allow more students to deepen their knowledge and appreciation for these languages and their cultures from an early age.

2. Second Minister for Education, Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, announced the move at a visit to Westwood Primary School today, one of the pilot schools for the new curriculum, which will expose students to ethnic literature, help them develop higher-order thinking skills, and learn grammar and syntax through creative activities and games.

3. 35 primary schools were involved in the pilot in 2020 and 54 primary schools are involved in the pilot in 2021. Feedback from the pilot has been positive, with students finding the lessons interesting and enjoying the activities and games. Teachers also observed that the lessons were able to pique students' interest in the languages. For the list of pilot schools in 2020 and 2021, please refer to the Annex.

4. The new offering of HML and HTL to P3 and P4 students will complement the existing offering of Higher Chinese Language (HCL) to P3 and P4 students, as well as the offering of HCL, HML and HTL to Primary 5 (P5) and Primary 6 (P6) students. Together, these offerings encourage students with strong interest and aptitude in mother tongue languages to learn to as high a level as they can.

Launch of Primary 5 and Primary 6 Nabil Nabilah Reader Series

5. At the visit to Westwood Primary, Dr Maliki Osman, who is Chairperson of the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee (MLLPC) also launched the Nabil Nabilah Reader Series for P5 and P6 students, which has been distributed to all primary schools in the first week of Term 2 this year.

6. Written by primary school ML teachers, the Reader Series aims to promote a love for reading among students during and beyond their ML lessons, and support the development of literacy skills from an early age. The Reader Series is made up of two books with a total of 20 short stories. Each story has a relatable storyline that is set in local context.

7. The new Reader Series for P5 and P6 students complements the Reader Series for P1 and P2 students, as well as the Reader Series for P3 and P4 students, which were introduced in 2015 and 2018 respectively. In total, the three Reader Series will comprise 42 books, which can be accessed online by students, parents and teachers. For more information on the Reader Series, please visit the MLLPC website at

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