English, mother tongue and the Singapore identity

English has become a mother tongue of many Singaporeans and is a part of what it means to be Singaporean. This is the culmination of a historical vision for Singapore the nation.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew would have been pleased.

From 1999 to 2019, the number of Singapore households with Primary 1 children who speak mostly English at home grew from 42 per cent to 71 per cent, 55 per cent to 70 per cent, and 18 per cent to 67 per cent for Chinese, Indian and Malay households, respectively.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2020, with the headline 'English, mother tongue and the S'pore identity'. Subscribe