Early Years Montessori

Active Learner, Proficient User


Chinese Language

While learning one's mother tongue has been the cornerstone of our education system, debates about what bilingualism really means in today's Singapore and the effectiveness of our bilingual education system continue.

We have long advocated the importance of making the Chinese language a "living language" and not merely as an examinable subject. To be effective, it must go beyond the physical walls of the "Chinese classrooms" in non-threatening settings where learners feel free to take chances and make mistakes.

EYM sees our school community as a miniature society, where early friendships are made, childhood memories are formed and social skills are taught and practised. Hence, to support our children in the acquisition of their mother tongue, special attention has been given to create an environment that encourages language learning in natural settings for genuine communication

As language is arguably the most important component of a culture, we are convinced that the inclusion of activities that help promote an early awareness of the Chinese culture, traditions, literature and history must be embedded in the children's learning process. This approach also serves to complement EYM's wider practice of celebrating diversity amongst our children.

Our Mother Tongue Language (MTL) curriculum has a balanced perspective. There is a careful selection of best theories and effective strategies to match the evolving nature of our learning community:
  • The children's interests and needs serve as the basis for learning activities.
  • There is an emphasis in the use of language as a tool to get things done. The provision of a variety of real-life purposes makes learning Mandarin a more meaningful and authentic experience.
  • We practice differentiated learning to accommodate the different abilities and home language environments of our children.
  • There is a focus in developing the children's proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, writing, interacting in spoken and written forms.
  • Activities related to the Chinese culture, traditions, literature and history are integrated into our children's learning.
  • The use of different teaching methods and aids, such as ICT-enabled platforms to enhance and engage the children.
  • The use of authentic assessment.

How Children Learn Language: Some Observations.