Upcoming workshops to make bilingual learning fun for pre-school pupils

SINGAPORE - Parents will be able to get tips on making learning languages fun for their pre-school children, through a series of community workshops made possible by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

The workshops, which will be held in English and the three official Mother Tongue languages - Malay, Chinese and Tamil, will teach parents how to usefinger puppets, songs and games to help their children listen and speak better, for instance.

The first workshop this year will be held on Saturday afternoon at Tampines Central Community Club. Children's book author Rila Melati Bahri will talk about how to help children develop a love for Malay.

On May 9, Dr Connie Lum, head of Chinese Language Curriculum at NTUC First Campus, and Mr Jeyarajadas Pandian, principal master teacher at the Ministry of Education (MOE), will conduct workshops on learning Chinese and Tamil respectively.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said: "Bilingualism is the cornerstone of our education system, and what better way than for our children to start early and learn in ways that are fun and meaningful."

The community series to help parents nurture a love for languages in pre-schoolers was started last September. About 200 participants attended the two workshops held that month and picked up tips on using songs and daily interactions to help children, aged between five and seven, learn languages.

The Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism was set up in 2011 to support MOE's efforts in teaching and learning languages. It will be organising more community workshops across the island this year.

Details will be made available on the fund's website at www.bilingualism.sg/lkyfb/upcoming-events.

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