Keeping the mother tongues alive: Singapore's bilingual challenge

Pragmatic concerns underlie language attitudes. Using the mother tongue at home and attracting youth are key, observers tell Insight

ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
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Ironically, at the heart of the bilingual challenge today is the language made dominant by the very same practical motivations: English.

There were two main intentions behind the bilingual policy of making English the "first" and working language of the nation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 03, 2019, with the headline Keeping the mother tongues alive: Singapore's bilingual challenge. Subscribe