Early exposure to mother tongue crucial: Study

Research scientist Sun He is part of a study by the National Institute of Education which involves 805 children and looks at how differently pre-schoolers acquire language.
Research scientist Sun He is part of a study by the National Institute of Education which involves 805 children and looks at how differently pre-schoolers acquire language.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

A first-of-its-kind study of about 800 children by the National Institute of Education has found that the amount of exposure a child has to his mother tongue plays the biggest role in how much of it he picks up. But how good the same child is in English depends more on his own cognitive intelligence.

The results are part of the first wave of data collection from the Singapore Kindergarten Impact Project, a study of pre-school children here. One of the project's areas of focus is mother tongue development at an early age.

SEE HOME: Exposure at home key to kids picking up mother tongue

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2019, with the headline 'Early exposure to mother tongue crucial: Study'. Print Edition | Subscribe