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Mother Tongue


Over the years, the Mother Tongue Department has continuously strived to raise the standard of Mother Tongue and Higher Mother Tongue in the school through different strategies. These strategies are aimed at achieving the department’s goals.

This year, the department’s focus is on the following:
  • To develop an in-depth understanding of one’s own culture and cultivate an awareness of the different cultures in Singapore.
  • To sustain IJ’s lead in achieving value added performance at the GCE O level exams for Express and Normal Academic streams

Chinese Language

The Chinese Department seeks to provide a conducive environment for students to develop reading, writing, listening and comprehension skills and to effectively communicate in their Mother Tongue. Through interactive teaching methods, use of ICT and discussion on current affairs, students gain confidences in communicating in their Mother Tongue, and also gain an appreciation for the language. For example, in developing the oral presentation skills of our students, group activities such as interviews and discussions are used as platforms to promote interaction and communication among students. 

The Chinese Language teachers use the adapted Flipped Classroom approach where students engage with the discussion topics prior to the lesson, and students can learn at their own pace. Curriculum time is maximised as students are able to deepen their understanding of concepts through discussions with their peers and group activities facilitated by the teacher.

Mother Tongue Fortnight activities are organised annually to provide opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and heritage through hands-on activities and programmes. Some examples of activities are paper-cutting, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese riddles competition.

The department firmly believes in the importance of keeping the language alive and complements classroom learning with experiential learning approaches and learning journeys. 

Teaching Resources
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Tamil Language
The Tamil Department aims to provide a holistic learning environment for our students, working towards moulding our students’ hearts and mind through various pedagogies and activities. Our girls learn and experience speaking and writing Tamil Language in fun and interactive ways, enabling our students to learn the language beyond the curriculum.
1. ICT – we use extensive ICT tools and approaches enabling our students to enjoy the language beyond classroom and textbooks. 

2. Language and Culture – enables students to experience Tamil Language and culture beyond the school and curriculum. Students are exposed to our culture, tradition and history and are able to learn more about Tamil Language. Our Mother Tongue fortnight activities and learning Journeys are aimed to develop a love for the language and instil a sense of belonging in our students.

Tamil Language Competitions

We focus on the individual learning needs of our students and apply differentiated teaching strategies to cater to each student. We also send our students for external competitions organised by community centres and expose them to the community outside, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

Our Tamil Language students are encouraged to speak in Tamil increasing their vocabulary content and using them effectively. Proper intonation, expression and pronunciation are emphasised for reading at all levels. To help the students to sharpen their listening skills, they are exposed to various recordings of different genres like advertisement, conversation and news reading in class
Focused revision on each examination component is given to students for all levels. This exposes them to various question types, thus giving them confidence to tackle such questions. Students are also given revision papers to help them prepare for examination and time-management is emphasised in the process.

Teaching Resources
Tamil Touch-typing Practice
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Malay Language

The Malay Language Unit of the Mother Tongue Department at CHIJ aims to develop the language as a Living Language - one that is used on a day to day basis, in various environments, by students who are articulate, confident and passionate about their mother tongue. 


Malay Language lessons provide the best opportunity and platform for the students to learn and inculcate the love for the Malay Language. Leveraging on the usage of innovative pedagogies and tools, we strive to engage our students effectively. Also recognising the challenges faced by students in learning the language, we aim to inculcate, to the best of our ability, the usage of the language in an authentic learning environment. These will ensure that our students are articulate in the language.

Mother Tongue Activities

Through the students participation in activities organised such as the Mother Tongue Fortnight and Learning Journeys, students develop a greater understanding of the Malay culture and norms. Activities such as the Malay Language & Cultural Quiz and theatre or drama performances viewing also provide a platform for the students to explore deeper. These will develop the confidence in our students in using the language.


Throughout the school year, our students are encouraged to participate in a myriad of Malay Language competitions and activities organised by MOE and various organisations. Through their participation in these competitions, students develop their passion and love for the language. With this, we hope that our students will also learn to realise the language roles and importance in the society, country and regional world.