Nurture a new generation of trilingual Singaporeans

Students taking an examination at a school hall.
Students taking an examination at a school hall.PHOTO: ST FILE

I am happy to note that some schools are offering a third language to students, though only up to a conversational level.

Trilingualism is important.

Learning a third language up to a conversational level is practical and achievable.

Knowing a language will open the door to knowing a culture and race.

This is a perfect way to interracial tolerance and understanding.

Think of the advantage to Singaporeans who can relate to people in neighbouring countries in their own language in doing business and other activities.

Think of the advantage to non-Chinese language speaking Singaporeans when they do business in China.

It would be good if the Ministry of Education will go one step further and make the learning of a third language available to all schools.

At the same time, gradually make trilingualism the norm in all pre-schools.

The next generation of Singaporeans will feel at home in many countries.

Singapore will not only be multiracial, but will be multilingual as well, with truly deep racial understanding and harmony.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2019, with the headline 'Nurture a new generation of trilingual Singaporeans'. Print Edition | Subscribe