Press Releases

January 04, 2018

Connecting Communities & Bridging Generations Through Our Mother Tongue Languages

1. The Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism has launched a series of short videos in its continuous drive to encourage the use of Mother Tongue languages among Singaporeans, especially young children. Building on the Fund’s efforts over the past six years in promoting the teaching and learning of Mother Tongue languages, the video series highlights the importance of our Mother Tongue in connecting users’ hearts and minds, by bringing people closer to one another.

2. The series of five videos comprises:

  1. A short story on how the use of Mother Tongue breaks down the language barrier between a grandfather and his granddaughter; and

  2. Four testimonial videos featuring Minister for Education (Schools) Mr Ng Chee Meng, and Singapore artistes, Ms Olivia Ong, Mr Shabir Alam and Mr Taufik Batisah.1 They talk about their experience in learning their Mother Tongue language, and how it has helped them appreciate the language and connect better with others.

3. The series of videos will be aired on local free-to-air television channels and can also be viewed online at the Ministry of Education’s Facebook and YouTube pages at www.facebook.com/moesingapore and www.youtube.com/MOESpore.

4. Mr Ng Chee Meng, who is also Chairman of the Fund, said: “Through this series, we can clearly see the importance of our Mother Tongue languages in connecting hearts and minds. Bilingualism forms an important part of our national identity. Proficiency in our mother tongue will enable all of us to communicate effectively in a variety of settings, to understand our cultural heritage and to connect with communities across Asia and the world which speak that same language or share the same culture. As the Fund continues our efforts in promoting bilingualism, we urge parents to nurture in their children a lifelong love for all languages, especially their Mother Tongue.”

Supported Proposals

5. In 2017, The Fund supported 23 new proposals submitted by individuals and entities. More details on some of these proposals can be found in the Annex.

6. The Fund has also been working with partners like the National Library Board, the Mother Tongue Language Promotion Committees and South West Community Development Council (CDC) to bring resources closer to the heartlands, through initiatives like the Love Our Languages! Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism Community Series on Language Learning and Teaching and Reading Together @ South-West CDC2.

ABOUT THE LEE KUAN YEW FUND FOR BILINGUALISM

The Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism was first announced at the launch of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s book “My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey” on 28 November 2011. The Fund is set up as a company limited by guarantee, with Charity and Institution of Public Character status.


Footnotes
  1. Six community workshops were conducted in 2017 to share with the public, especially parents, useful strategies to engage children in speaking Mother Tongue Languages.

  2. LKYFB curated a collection of over 3,000 bilingual books to reflect Singapore’s multicultural diversity and values. This collection was made available through specially set-up corners at 17 Residents’ Committee centres in the South-West District, designed for families with young children to read together.