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Bilingual Education System In Singapore Essay

1024 words - 5 pages

“Bilingual education is a form of education in which information is presented to the students in two or more languages” (Michigan University 2013) .Nowadays bilingual education is extremely prevalent in the world. “. . .if we were monolingual in our mother tongues, we would not make a living. Becoming monolingual in English would have been a setback. We would have lost our cultural identity, that quiet confidence about ourselves and our place in the world.” (Lee Kuan Yew, 2000). One of the countries which represents bilingual educational system is Singapore. Bilingual education gives students an opportunity to be biliteracy. Bilingual education policy started in Singapore in 1966 just after Singapore became fully independent. It has been practicing for more than 45 years in Singapore already. This essay is going to show that bilingual education in Singapore is mostly beneficial and describe 3 beneficial aspects namely, enabling learners to study abroad, biliteracy, more choices in resources and literature.
Singapore consists of 3 major ethic groups: 77% Chinese, 14% Malay and 8% Indian (Singapore Department of Statistics, 2002); According to the department the interdependence hypothesis of the second language suggests that a strong first language is the best foundation for the second one. The policy of bilingual education was implemented to unify the different ethnic groups. In addition, this policy gives teachers and educational leaders the ability and access to learn from other educational systems. All students are required to learn 2 of the official languages English and Chinese (mandarin accent). English was not a native language for none of Singapore population in 1965. However, then English started to become a native language in 1996 there were registered 36% of English native speakers.
All students who have the opportunity to get bilingual education can study or work abroad much easier and it opens a new set of opportunities. Due to being able to speak both languages, Singapore students can work as a dealer with different nations. As a consequence infrastructure of Singapore is developing. Also students don’t depend on translators and interprets while traveling. According to Ocito and Guo(2001) students in Singaporean universities were asked to rate their use of English and Chinese(mandarin accent) and the use of Chinese was a bit more 3.82 than English 3.10 however there was reported that 23% of population spoke English as their predominant home language. The figures for teenagers are more stacking and 40% of teenagers use English as their predominant home language. The usage of English is mostly increasing among student community. English is becoming more popular and many students want to speak it as their native language.
Biliteracy is another positive effect of bilingual education. Since 1996, all Singaporean primary school students have been taking their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE) this exam includes basic skills in...

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