The Monumental Importance of Malay Language
Bilingualism is an important chapter in the history of Singapore’s education curriculum. Learning a second language, such as Malay, has proven beneficial to a student’s learning, as supported by a UNESCO study. The Ministry of Education (MOE) offers the Malay language as one of three mandatory mother tongue subjects in schools. This means that it is a compulsory subject for national examinations like PSLE and O-Levels. While the subject is mainly taken by Malay students, there has been growing interest among non-Malay students. These students study Malay as a third language under MOE’s Malay Special Programme (MSP). The popular uptake of the language can be attributed to its usefulness in Singapore. To this end, many parents rely on private Malay tuition to ensure that their child masters the language with ease. Private Malay language tutor ensure that that language fundamentals, such as grammar and vocabulary, are given sufficient attention. This will stoke fervent interest in the language as students become confident and expressive lifelong users of the language. As such, investing in good private tuition for Malay is highly advantageous.
Language subjects like Malay, however, are quite different from qualitative subjects like Mathematics and Science. Unlike the latter, there are no facts or formulae to remember for Malay. For your child to excel in Malay language, constant usage and a growing arsenal of vocabulary is imperative. These fundamentals can be hard to achieve in school which typically do not allocate more than 2 hours for the subject. This problem is further compounded by the fact that Singapore is an English-speaking nation and opportunity to converse fruitfully in Malay may be sparse. As such, private Malay tuition ensures that your child has extra hours to practice with a well-seasoned Malay language professional. This is also the best way to help your child familiarise themselves with the examination format and demands.
In 2019, the Education Minister delivered a speech entitled “Learning Languages for Life” in which he pointed out the several benefits of bilingualism. Languages are the means by which we comprehend and express intentions. Mastery over languages provides access to other knowledge and improves cognitive function. If a student is bilingual, these benefits are further pronounced. Another benefit of bilingualism is its significant economic value. For example, the Malay language is spoken in four ASEAN countries and is a language of business and commerce. Students with a good oral and written proficiency in the Malay language stand to benefit economically from these rising powerhouses.
Thus, it is crucial that students fall into the habit of learning and maintaining their prowess in various languages learned in school. These will prove helpful in the learning process as well as improve their career prospect within the Southeast Asian region.
Manifold Benefits of Private Malay Tuition
There are a number of practical advantages to mastering mother tongue languages like Malay.
Sparking Language Flair
Like all languages, Malay is highly colourful, replete with its own bank of words and phrases. Knowing some of these higher-level idioms and phrasal verbs can help polish their essays and compositions, particularly in Paper 1. Through Malay tuition, your child will have all the opportunity to express and write creatively in the Malay language, gaining fluency along the way.
Qualified tutors have a wealth of experience with the latest Malay syllabus and examination formats. They will be able to provide useful tips and strategies to ensure that they perform well within the format and the allotted time. Proper time management and answering techniques should definitely not be overlooked If you want your child to do well.
With English as the lingua franca in Singapore, students are hard-pressed for opportunities to practice the language. Parents who spend the day mainly conversing in English with their colleagues may also find it hard to tutor their child. Even if parents are still well-versed in Malay, they may not be able to devote sufficient time and attention. As such, a private Malay tutor can ensure that your child has ample practice to master the language. Speaking and writing is absolutely fundamental and if students neglect these skills, they will fall far behind their peers and become unmotivated. Additional practice builds their confidence and competence, making them proud learners of the language.
In schools, there are about 20 students in a Malay class. This means that your child does not receive individual attention if they happen to fall behind. Our private Malay tutors will be able to identify the weak areas and help your child to improve on them early. This is important because languages are best learned in the formative years. By providing dedicated attention, tutors can ensure that your child has impeccable reading, writing and comprehending skills!
Primary School Malay: Making the Grade
The Primary School Malay Syllabus focuses on essential language skills such as listening, comprehending, speech and writing. Students have to develop proficiency through constant use and practice of the language. Students will take Malay at the Standard level from Primary 1 to 4.
Source: MOE Subject-Based Banding FAQs 2019
With the introduction of Subject-Based Banding (SBB), students will take Malay according to their ability and aptitude. At Primary 4, students sit for an internal school examination for schools to recommend the appropriate band – Higher, Standard or Foundation. Parents can follow the school’s recommendation or opt for a different subject band for their child. Students who have shown consistency and keen interest in Malay can also take the language as a Higher Mother Tongue (HMT) subject. At Primary 5, the student takes the band chosen by the parent. The academic results from Primary 5 should be indicative of the student’s ability and parents can re-evaluate the appropriate band for their child, if necessary. Students have to perform well in order to remain in their preferred band. At the start of Primary 6, students ultimately go with the band decided by school and sit for that respective paper during PSLE. Students taking Higher Malay will sit for 5 subjects. These students, however, will receive special aggregate deductions if they perform well.
PSLE (Standard) Malay Examination Components:
Paper 1: Composition
Paper 2: Language Use and Understanding
Paper 3: Oral and Listening Comprehension
The objective of the assessment is to ensure that students can effectively and creatively communicate in the language. To do well for PSLE Malay, students should familiarise themselves with the syllabus, ensuring that they have sufficient vocabulary and grammar.
Click here for the latest syllabus for (Higher/Foundation) Malay.
Secondary School Malay: Maintaining Momentum
In secondary school, Higher Mother Tongue Language (HTML) will be offered to students who attain a total score of 8 or higher OR between 9 to 14, with AL 1 or AL 2 or Distinction/Merit in Higher Mother Tongue.
Source: MOE Secondary School Overview (Page 8)
Other specialty secondary school programmes include the Malay Special Programme (MSP) for exceptionally performing students. and Chinese as a Third Language for non-Chinese students.
The secondary school syllabus builds on the language skills from primary school. To do well for secondary school Malay, teachers and tutors agree that students must command more vocabulary and must be able to express thoughts and opinions on hot-button issues like the aging-population, climate crisis and other news-grabbing headlines. For this, a private Malay tuition teacher can help students engage in intellectual topics and to present these convincingly.
There are 6 main types of Malay syllabi offered:
- Higher Malay
- O-Level Standard Malay
- N(A)-Level Standard Malay
- Malay Basic
- Malay Special Programme
- Literature in Malay
With the plethora of Malay language programmes, secondary school Malay tuition is more important and necessary than ever! Private Malay home tutors offer their wealth of experience, ensuring that students grasp the language with ease and interest!
O-Level Malay Examination Components
Paper 1: Composition (including formal and informal email writing)
Paper 2: Language Use and Understanding (includes fill-in-the-blanks and comprehension)
Paper 3: Oral and Listening Comprehension
To do well for O-Level Malay, students need to have constant practice. As such, having private Malay tuition will ensure that your child has sufficient practice and revision to excel during national examinations.
Junior College Malay: Mastering Malay
At the Junior College level, students who took Higher Malay and performed well, will not have to sit for GCE ‘A’ Level Malay.
Promotion criteria from JC Year 1 to JC Year 2 is stringent and is usually contingent on the student passing their mother tongue. The GCE ‘A’ Level Malay paper is taken in JC Year 1 and if the student fails, they risk being retained. This delays their candidature for other GCE ‘A’ Level subjects, disrupting their education and prolonging it by a year. Most local JCs only allow their students to retake papers once, and so if students repeatedly fail Malay, they may not take the paper as a candidate under the school.
As such, continuing with Malay tuition in Junior College is imperative so that students can clear the subject. A private Malay tutor would be able to offer diagnostics and strategically formulate a plan to help tertiary students perform well within the tight one year of preparation!
Nanyang Academics: Making Malay Grades Improve
At Nanyang Academics, we provide only seasoned and qualified Malay tutors for primary, secondary and JC students. Our Malay tutors craft their own lesson plans that are unique to your child’s learning needs. They help students overcome learning obstacles in Malay, generating their lifelong interest, love and flair for an important language like Malay.
Request for a Private Malay tutor today!