Owing to all these benefits, language classes for Higher Malay and Higher Tamil are being introduced into the school curriculum, starting next year. They will be offered to both Primary 3 and Primary 4 students in all schools.
Both of these higher language subjects are already being offered to Primary 5 and 6 students. But they will soon be an option for younger pupils as well. This is to foster deeper knowledge and appreciation of these languages and their cultures as well as highlight learning a new language benefits.
Higher Malay And Higher Tamil Subjects To Be Offered To Primary 3 And 4 Students
Image source: Facebook / Lawrence Wong
Higher Malay and Higher Tamil will be offered to Primary 3 students from next year. Meanwhile, they will be offered to Primary 4 pupils from 2023.
This is due to the successful feedback from the pilot programme last year. The programme began with 35 schools in 2020 and currently has 54 this year.
The announcement was made by Second Minister for Education, Maliki Osman, on 9 April during his visit to Westwood Primary School while observing Higher Malay lessons. Westwood Primary School itself was one of the schools in the pilot programme.
“From the pilot, we have seen that there is value in creating more opportunities to learn mother tongue at a higher level at an early age,” said Dr Maliki, according to The Straits Times.
He added, “Based on the classes I observed, the pupils’ interest has been sparked and their language proficiency is quite high. It speaks volumes for their confidence.”
Students Will Get To Learn Literary Works And Different Cultures Through New Curriculum
Image source: iStock
Dr Maliki said that this new curriculum will enable students to read more literary works of the respective languages. They will also get to learn more about their value systems and cultures through these subjects.
Reacting to the news, Malay language teacher at Westwood Primary Madam, Khaizuran Supa’at shared that the Higher Malay classes will allow teachers to help students reach their fullest potential in the language. She also added that it will expose pupils to more literature and activities “that instil critical thinking.”
One of her students also expressed how learning a new language benefited her.
She shared that she enjoys the Higher Malay subject as it exposes her to the culture and extensive group work. She told ST that this has made learning more exciting for her.
Learning A New Language Benefits Kids: Higher Chinese Already Offered In All Primary Schools
Image source: iStock
The Ministry of Education (MOE) understands that learning a new language benefits children in more ways than one. This is why, the new curriculum complements existing offering of Higher Chinese to students in both Primary 3 and 4.
If you recall, all primary schools already have Higher Chinese for students. In fact, many primary schools even offer Higher Chinese from Primary 3 up till Primary 5. And, over a quarter of Chinese students have also taken up Higher Chinese at PSLE in the past five years.
This has allowed schools to determine whether a child has the interest and ability to take up Higher Chinese from Primary 3, by using the two years of Chinese Language instruction at Primary 1 and 2.
“We feel that we should develop [an] interest in the learning of language among our pupils as early as possible, to develop greater interest, understanding and appreciation of their cultures and heritage. Language is really a door that opens us up to our identities, cultures and heritage,” says Dr Maliki.
Lead image source from Facebook / Ministry of Education, Singapore.