Mother Tongue Fortnight 2016
In August this year, the Mother Tongue Department organised the Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) Fortnight Programme for our Secondary One to Secondary Three students. This programme is an MOE initiative to promote the use of Mother Tongue languages in schools. Our students participated in a plethora of engaging activities which aim to:
1) Provide an authentic learning experience for students to understand and appreciate the Chinese and Malay cultures respectively
2) Heighten the use of Mother Tongue languages beyond the classroom
3) Develop students’ interest in the learning of Mother Tongue languages
For the Secondary One students, a one-day cultural camp was conducted. The Chinese students put their crafty hands to work as they got actively involved in the Chinese Face Painting activity. On top of that, the students enjoyed a puppetry show and cross-talk, a traditional Chinese comedy performance in the form of dialogues. The Malay students, on the other hand, learnt the ancient Malay script, Jawi, which is derived from Arabic alphabets and then adapted to write Malay.
They then showed off their Jawi writing skills through Khat Caligraphy. The Malay students also learnt the basics of Silat Bunga, an expressive art form of self-defence and Dikir Barat. Through these activities, the students learnt and understood the significance of their respective customs and traditions.
The Secondary Two Chinese students embarked on a learning journey to Chinatown. The students went to Tea Chapter and Yi Xin Xuan to learn the art of Chinese tea appreciation. The activity was a meaningful one as the students had a thorough experience of Chinese culture. The Malay students had a fruitful hands-on experience learning how to play the Angklung and making the Bunga Rampai.
The history behind the traditional musical instrument and the practice of giving Bunga Rampai during weddings were taught to the students. Despite the short duration, the students were able to serenade the teachers with a complete song with their Angklung. They also managed to bring home their very own Bunga Rampai which they made during the activity.
The Secondary Three Chinese students participated in a clay-making activity and a music seminar. It was not easy to mould the clay into their desired shapes; nevertheless, the students did extremely well in the activity and even managed to impress their instructors. On top of that, they were also encouraged to learn the Chinese Language through song composition, making full use of music and songs to express their feelings, emotions and imagination. The seminar aims to introduce the basic elements of song composition through hands-on activities on lyrics writing, rhythm and melody.
The Malay students, on the other hand visited the Malay Heritage Centre where they learnt about the roots, identity and culture of the Malays. They were actively engaged in their task to complete their activity booklets, which integrated important elements that the students can learn from the exhibits. Besides that, the students went for the appreciation of Nasi Ambeng, a traditional Malay food.
They learnt about the history and the preparation process of the food, besides experiencing the togetherness of eating Nasi Ambeng from the same tray with their friends.
All in all, the students enjoyed these fun-packed activities immensely. Through the programme, they have gained a deeper understanding of their own culture and values and realized the practicality of conversing in their own Mother Tongue.