Enhancing the Teaching and Testing of Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) to Nurture Active Learners and Proficient Users – MTL Review Committee Releases Its Recommendations

From MOE Press Releases:

MOE will align school-based assessments and national examinations to the desired language proficiencies and test language use in authentic contexts. While new items are added or existing items are modified, there will also be reduction in certain existing items, in order to maintain the current overall difficulty level. The following changes will take place:

  • New examination items to test interaction skills will be introduced.
  • The use of dictionaries and e-dictionaries2 will be extended to new interactive writing items (e.g., writing an email response to a stimulus) in examinations. This is in addition to, and not replacing, essay-writing.
  • Video clips, instead of line drawings, will be used as stimuli for oral examinations. This will provide a more engaging and realistic context to stimulate conversation.
  • Computer-based writing will be introduced for secondary and junior college students in selected sections of the national examinations, starting with groups which have smaller candidature. Once assured of the technical and examination administration aspects, this can be progressively expanded to other groups over time.
  • Oral examinations will be introduced for O-Level Higher MTL (HMTL) to signal the importance of good oral communication skills for our HMTL students.

Big news for Mother Tongue teachers in Singapore. As usual I’m more interested in the assessment part than the teaching part. All I can say for now is ICT will continue to drive the shift in assessment. However mindset is something trickier to change. Baby steps at a time 🙂


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