Mother Tongue Fortnight 2017
The month of August is an exciting and awesome one for WGS students. This year, the Mother Tongue Languages (MT) department had designated two consecutive weeks from 11 August to 18 August for MTL Fortnight Programme, during which, a wide range of activities related to Mother Tongue languages and their cultures were carried out.
To create an immersive environment for the learning of MTL, there were targeted activities for different groups and levels of students as well as activities which involved mass participation. We allowed authentic usage of their own mother tongue languages and hoped that these arrangement had enhanced the learning experience of each Woodgrovers to actively use their Mother Tongue and experience its culture. At the end, our fortnight programme have integrated cultural rediscovery and environment education into a fun, challenging, and comprehensive education programme.
For the Secondary One students, a one-day cultural camp was conducted on the 15th August 2017. The Chinese students put their crafty hands to work as they got actively involved in the Chinese Beans Art, Clay Art, Paper Art and Chapteh making activities. On top of these, the students enjoyed Sichuan Opera Face Changing performance and Cross-Talk, a traditional Chinese comedy performance in the form of dialogues. The fruitful day ended with a great display of their master pieces and a Chapteh competition by the boys.
As Malay wedding remains an integral part in the Malay society, the Secondary One Malay Language students heightened their knowledge of the Malay culture through stationed activities encompassing the theme ‘Malay Wedding’. They started by learning the art of traditional silat to be presented to the bride and groom.
Next, they each had an opportunity to learn how to play the kompang, a traditional Malay percussion instrument, to the lively beat of welcoming the bride and groom in a Malay wedding. They also learnt how to make two essential items in a Malay wedding – the bunga manggar and the bunga rampai. The highlight of the event was when the students had WGS’s own rendition of a traditional Malay wedding. The students proudly presented their newly learnt silat and kompang skills to Ahmad Dary and Rabiatul who were the groom and bride respectively for the day.
They also showcased their bunga maggar and bunga rampai to the audience. It was an eventful and memorable day for the Sec 1 ML students as they picked up many new skills and learnt the cultural aspects of a Malay weddings.
The Secondary Two Chinese students embarked on a learning journey to Chinatown. Amazing race was planned at Nanyang Old Coffee, Thian Hock Keng Temple and Tea Chapter. Unfortunately there was a sudden downpour and this had affected the race. The students’ mood were not deepened as there were great stories sharing by the various instructors while waiting for the rain to stop. After the wait, the students went to Tea Chapter to learn the art of Chinese tea appreciation. The activity was a meaningful one as the students had a thorough experience of Chinese culture.
Another group of Secondary Two Chinese students had their Aesthetic Appreciation activities in school compound. They had a Xin Yao Appreciation Workshop (Singapore Song) where they were 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. At the end of the session, they put up awesome performance for their classmates. In addition, they also participated in a Chinese Bean Art activity where they used a mixture of beans to do up a marvellous art piece.
This year, the Secondary Two ML students learnt the art of Khat Calligraphy. Khat Calligraphy has its deep traditions and roots in the Malay Language. Before it was written in Roman script, the traditional Malay Language was written using the Arabic script, which was localised to the Malay context. The script was referred to as Jawi script. Learning the Jawi script was not an easy task for the Secondary Two students, however, they were not hampered by the difficulty of this task. Not only did the students manage to write the Jawi alphabets, they went further to write the school values on the canvas that was given to them. They also decorated the canvas beautifully using the calligraphy pen that was provided, hence resulting in well-done Khat calligraphy.
The enthusiastic Secondary Three students undergone Broadcast Journalism Workshop within and outside school compound. After an hour of training, they went on with their job trainings at Toa Payoh Central, Marina Barrage and WGS compound. Prior to this session, they were given the broadcast scripts to memorize. On 18th August 2017, the students embarked on their journey to showcase their guts and display their great teamwork by actively engaged in their respective roles, namely journalists, editor, Audio and Video recorder.
It was definitely a memorable and authentic experience for most students as it was their first experience interviewing managers ranging from Chinese restaurant, pawn shop, jewellery shop, Marina Barrage Center, canteen vendors, bookshop vendors and etc. After the recording session, they had to make use of their prior knowledge of video editing to produce a digital video broadcast to be shown and evaluate by their fellow classmates during curriculum time.
The Secondary Three ML students were actively involved in the learning of Wayang Kulit, a traditional Malay drama puppetry. They also learned to play the Gamelan, the musical instruments that accompanies the Wayang Kulit. The students saw and learnt about the wayang kulit for the first time during this year’s MT Fortnight and were given the opportunity to puppet play the characters in accordance to the story that is being told. On top of that, they also learnt to play they different instruments of Gamelan. It was not an easy task for the Secondary Three students because each instrument are played differently. However, the end product was indeed a splendid performance for the teachers. It was not perfect but it truly reflects the amount of effort the students put in to synchronise and play a single piece of music harmoniously. It was indeed a proud moment for the Secondary Three students.
In addition to the fun and excitement through the cultural activities, the students gained a deeper insight into their own culture and learned to appreciate them better. The students are also able to partake in the use of their MTL in activities that raised the students’ awareness on values and practicality of conversing in their own MTL in a real world context.