MOE language programmes remain popular as Govt urges youth to seek global opportunities

Enterprise Singapore deputy director Yap Cheng Boon took Japanese as a third language when he was a teenager.
Enterprise Singapore deputy director Yap Cheng Boon took Japanese as a third language when he was a teenager.PHOTO: COURTESY OF YAP CHENG BOON
Deputy principal private secretary Kwek Poh Heok took the Chinese Language Elective Programme (LEP) and Mr Syakir Hashim, regional head of a financial technology firm, took the Malay LEP. Both have found the programme useful in their work.
Deputy principal private secretary Kwek Poh Heok (above) took the Chinese Language Elective Programme (LEP) and Mr Syakir Hashim, regional head of a financial technology firm, took the Malay LEP. Both have found the programme useful in their work.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS FILE
Enterprise Singapore deputy director Yap Cheng Boon took Japanese as a third language when he was a teenager.
Deputy principal private secretary Kwek Poh Heok took the Chinese Language Elective Programme (LEP) and Mr Syakir Hashim (above), regional head of a financial technology firm, took the Malay LEP. Both have found the programme useful in their work.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SYAKIR HASHIM

With English increasingly being the language spoken at home, teenagers who are eager to immerse themselves in Chinese philosophy or Malay literature may seem to be few and far between.

But special language programmes that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has put in place over the years continue to draw students and have quietly expanded to more schools.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Language: A window to other worlds'. Print Edition | Subscribe