Arts activities will ignite kids' interest in mother tongue

It is heartening to know that there are now many avenues for children to embrace their mother tongue. (Learn your mother tongue through the arts, June 18).

Through activities such as theatre plays, storytelling, poetry competitions and musicals, children get to immerse themselves in their mother tongue - be it Chinese, Malay or Indian - in a fun and engaging manner, and will naturally take a liking to it.

This definitely beats tuition-centre cramming sessions, where rote learning is emphasised and children are taught to memorise proverbs and useful phrases simply to regurgitate them during written examinations in order to score well.

Many people, including myself, applaud the Ministry of Education's new policies to reduce the emphasis on grades, reduce the number of major examinations for students and introduce subject-based banding to make the joy of learning the main focus.

Perhaps parents should stop being so fixated on grades and instead be good role models themselves by conversing with their children in their mother tongue regularly.

There are multiple pathways to success, and academic achievement is but one.

Grace Peh Tzu Zhen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2019, with the headline 'Arts activities will ignite kids' interest in mother tongue'. Print Edition | Subscribe