What’s the Language Elective Programme in Singapore?


Singapore has always been known for its cross-cultural melting pot. It is truly amazing to see how multitudes of people from diverse cultures come together, live and thrive on this tiny island nation. While we wonder how this was possible, given the complexities of such a social conundrum – it becomes evident that communication is key.

We all know that sudden rush when a foreigner surprises us by speaking fluently in our native tongue. Of course, the benefits and applications go beyond just impressing colleagues or neighbours – speaking and writing multiple languages can significantly impact careers and create more opportunities for students.

Learning Languages in Singapore Schools

Naturally, the notion of learning multiple languages has become more prevalent in the Singapore education system. One such programme to encourage that notion is the Language Elective Programme (LEP) which allows secondary school students to deepen their interests in languages studies – a commendable effort by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

In selected secondary schools, LEP is available for Chinese, Tamil and Malay languages. Students on the two-year programme will study literature in their mother tongues and participate in local camps, overseas immersion trips, and school-based activities such as “literary lectures”. LEP is generally open to students who score higher in their Mother Tongue Language (MTL).

What about German?

While the LEP programme is a great way to deepen a child’s interest in his or her MTL, the languages available does not include German. The standard MTL programme in Singapore schools also does not offer German.

However, MOE does see the need for children whose mother tongues are different from what is generally offered and recognises the German Language as an approved MTL.

German as a third language

For students who are considering a third language in their academics, German is a great option. Unlike MTL, this option is also open to students who have no German origin or exposure. There are also added benefits when the student starts young.

How young? – you may ask. At learngerman.com.sg, the German programme starts from 3 years old and they actually have playgroups for the young ones. This approach helps children pick up German at a near-native level and have a strong command of the language as they progress. In turn, such students will also be the key beneficiaries of the various advanced language initiatives that MOE has put in place or planning to implement in the future.

We’ll cover more of this topic in future posts.

Learn more about the German Language in lieu of MTL by getting in touch with us now!

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