Parents can help nurture a love of Mandarin in their children by reading Chinese storybooks to them, said Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.
Mr Chan was guest of honour at the launch of a new year-long reading programme by Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao at Toa Payoh Public Library on Saturday.
The newspaper's journalists and volunteers will read Chinese storybooks to children at the library every Saturday at noon, as part of the paper's 90th anniversary celebrations this year.
"English is more common in Singapore, so if we can nurture a love of Mandarin in our children when they are younger, they may enjoy it and not resist learning the language when they grow older," said Mr Chan.
He said that he alternates reading English and Mandarin storybooks to his own three children, who are aged 1, 3 and 11, before they go to bed.