A survey by SCCL says that Singaporean kids are still well versed in Chinese language amidst the strong influence of English in the country. The survey reports have been released by Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) after its two-year study on the language influence in the nation. The survey may give hope to the parents trying to make their children learn mother tongue.
The report further says that a major percentage of kids have been using English to communicate with their siblings and near and dear ones. Nearly 32% of the respondents communicate in English with their siblings while 25% with their parents. On the other hand, nearly 9% and 6% of the kids speak Mandarin with parents and siblings respectively.
Nearly 1,300 parents with children from 74 pre-schools participated in the survey to tell their language usage in both written and oral forms of English and Chinese. The survey was made on the basis of reading habits, T.V. programs and songs. Besides, the study was done on the 380 pre-scholars to determine their ability to recognise Chinese alphabets and to speak Chinese.
However, vernacular languages in Singapore are on the verge of being sidelined as they lack wide exposure as English has. According to the survey, Chinese T.V. programs are watched for nearly 15 hours in a week while English shows gain 25 hours. Similarly, English print materials have 10 times more exposure rate a week than Chinese.
On the other hand, parents participating in the survey can speak both languages as they grew up in the bilingual education system.
Prior to the survey by SCCL, a government study published in March this year said that English has become the common home language in Singapore.
On the basis of the facts revealed in a survey, it can be said that Chinese and other native languages are struggling in their homeland and need special attention from parents and government as well.
- Parents must use Mandarin with their children at the very young age.
- Building of more bi-lingual schools across the nations.
- Encourage children to take interest in Mandarin T.V. programs and books.