Learning Mandarin in Singapore Preschools: Laying the Foundation for Multilingualism

Learning Mandarin in Singapore Preschools: Laying the Foundation for Multilingualism Abstract Singapore’s multilingual and multicultural sociolinguistic ecology probably makes it one of the best places in the world to nurture strong bilingualism. However, English is fast becoming the mother tongue of Singapore Chinese children. This is due to the fact that over the years of building the country’s economy, English has taken over as the medium of instruction in schools and the working language of the society, as well as the main language spoken in the homes. This paper examines the Chinese language education in Singapore preschools and explains how a change in preschool education policy can help children lay a better foundation for bilingualism, giving them a higher chance of success in later years (Yip and Matthews 2007. The bilingual child: early development and language contact . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). This paper will address the issue of Mandarin in particular, although it is true for other ‘mother tongues’ (Malay and Tamil) as well. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Chinese de Gruyter

Learning Mandarin in Singapore Preschools: Laying the Foundation for Multilingualism

Global Chinese, Volume 2 (2) – Sep 1, 2016

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by the
ISSN
2199-4374
eISSN
2199-4382
DOI
10.1515/glochi-2016-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Singapore’s multilingual and multicultural sociolinguistic ecology probably makes it one of the best places in the world to nurture strong bilingualism. However, English is fast becoming the mother tongue of Singapore Chinese children. This is due to the fact that over the years of building the country’s economy, English has taken over as the medium of instruction in schools and the working language of the society, as well as the main language spoken in the homes. This paper examines the Chinese language education in Singapore preschools and explains how a change in preschool education policy can help children lay a better foundation for bilingualism, giving them a higher chance of success in later years (Yip and Matthews 2007. The bilingual child: early development and language contact . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). This paper will address the issue of Mandarin in particular, although it is true for other ‘mother tongues’ (Malay and Tamil) as well.

Journal

Global Chinesede Gruyter

Published: Sep 1, 2016

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