Mother Tongue Languages


research education


Our Approach
Bilingual education in English and Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) is a cornerstone of Singapore’s education system. In the Ministry of Education’s latest review of MTL teaching and learning, the call was made to “nurture active learners and proficient users” (2010 MTL Review Committee Report, MOE, 2011). At Raffles Institution, the learning of MTL is aligned to the national focus, with consideration for the unique profile of our students.


Learner Outcomes
Effective communicators who are rooted in their cultural identity and confident in engaging the region and beyond. 

Extensive Reading Programme: Extensive reading is extremely important for the development of language proficiency. It is also the foundation for developing discerning readers able to engage texts critically. Students will be exposed to a wide array of different text types, with structured exercises to develop their reading skills. 

Performance Tasks to develop real world language proficiency: Students will be engaged in performance tasks such as making presentations, conducting interviews and creating brochures and videos. These activities aim to help students apply their textbook knowledge to real world situations. 

Cultural exposure programmes: Students are provided with cultural exposure activities, such as theatre experiences and learning journeys. The experiences anchor the learning of Mother Tongue Language in authentic settings, and also provide students with greater understanding of their cultural roots. 

Mother Tongue Language Fortnight: The Mother Tongue Language Fortnight is a yearly event spanning two weeks. Students can expect to participate in an array of activities that encourages use of their Mother Tongue Languages in authentic situations.

Talent Development

Bicultural (China) Programme
Comprising talks, modules and an immersion trip in Year 3–4, the Raffles Bicultural Programme (China) equips students with the skills and competencies needed to operate in China, an emerging global power. Guest speakers from organisations such as Singapore Press Holdings and the universities are invited to conduct talks and modules for the students, focusing on an in-depth understanding of the culture and history of China and the contemporary issues she faces.

Malay Special Programme
Malay Special Programme (MSP) is one of the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s 3rd language programme which is offered in Raffles Institution. Through MSP, students will learn to communicate in Malay language, in both speech and writing. They will also understand the culture and traditions of the Malay community in the context of a multicultural society in Singapore. Students who have not offered Malay Language as a subject in primary school and are interested in the programme may apply for it online upon the release of their PSLE results. MSP students will attend a 3-hour lesson once a week in the afternoon. Apart from weekly lessons, students will also be engaged in enrichment programmes and learning journeys. The programme will prepare students for the MSP examination at GCE ‘O’ Level at the end of Year 4.