Voices Of Youth

Forum: Why bilingualism is necessary

Resources provided by the Ministry of Education to support teaching in the Chinese Language Support Program.
Resources provided by the Ministry of Education to support teaching in the Chinese Language Support Program.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

I agree with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that there is a need to place greater emphasis on bilingualism (S'pore must guard against losing its bilingual edge: PM Lee, Oct 23).

During a school exchange programme in China, I was surprised that many students there could converse fluently in English and Mandarin. Singapore's competitive edge in bilingualism may no longer hold true in the coming years.

It is worrying that some of my peers even take pride in their inability to speak their mother tongue fluently.

Mother tongue languages not only help us stay rooted to our heritage, but also play a pivotal role in fostering Singapore's diplomatic ties.

Kuo Pei Yu, 18

JC2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2019, with the headline 'Why bilingualism is necessary'. Print Edition | Subscribe