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Saturday, December 9, 2023


As a parent, there is no greater joy than being able to instill your mother-tongue in your children. For generations, language has been a key part of our cultural identity and a powerful way to connect with our roots.


Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly difficult for many Singaporean parents, as it appears that more and more of our youngsters are unable to speak their mother-tongue properly.

It has been a source of embarrassment for many of us as we witness our children speaking the language with mistakes, making us doubt ourselves as parents and leaving us feeling helpless. It is a growing problem in Singapore and one that needs to be addressed urgently.

The first thing that needs to be done is to figure out why our children are having difficulty in learning the language. It could be due to the fact that English is the main language of instruction in schools and English is also used in most of the conversations at home. This has resulted in a lack of exposure to our mother-tongue, leading to our children being unable to pick up the language properly.

It could also be due to the fact that our children are growing up in a highly digitised world with an ever-growing reliance on technology. With so much of their time spent in front of screens, it is no wonder that they are not able to pick up the proper pronunciation and inflection of their mother-tongue.


This has led to a situation where many Singaporean parents are now worried that their children will not be able to communicate properly in their mother-tongue. This is not only a source of embarrassment for us, but it is also a loss of a key part of our culture and heritage.

To address this issue, we need to start by creating more opportunities for our children to be exposed to their mother-tongue. This can be done by introducing more mother-tongue classes in schools, as well as encouraging parents to speak their language at home.

We also need to make sure that our children have access to materials and resources that can help them learn the language. This can include books, online resources, and even apps that can help them practice and gain a better understanding of their mother-tongue.

Finally, we need to lead by example. We need to make sure that we are speaking our mother-tongue properly and setting a good example for our children to follow. This can be done by regularly engaging in conversations with our children in our mother-tongue and actively correcting any mistakes they make.

It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that our children are able to speak their mother-tongue properly. As parents, we have a responsibility to ensure that our children are able to communicate in their mother-tongue, as it is a key part of our cultural identity. We must take steps to ensure that our youngsters are able to speak our language with confidence and without embarrassment.

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