Bilingualism and How it Accounts for Educational Success


Major racial groups that occupy Singapore include, Chinese, Malays, Indians and a few other Eurasian groups. But, all these different people learn English as a common language for communication and also because it was the language of the Commonwealth, and of science and technology.

Simultaneously, the government has also implemented a Bilingual Policy for people to get an opportunity to preserve their ethnicity. It is compulsory for schools to teach a second language, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, all of which are now national languages of Singapore.

How Bilingualism Impacts Singapore Education?

For all we know bilingualism has played a major role in the success of the Singapore education system.


The Government’s bilingual education policy gave educationists, policy makers and teachers access to different education systems of the world to extract their essence.

From the teaching methodologies, curricula, leadership, to school administration, they could bring home what’s good and based on that developed a holistic educational system that has evolved as a model for most other nations of the globe to follow.

Adopting English without Losing Cultural Ties

In most countries of the world, where education systems are rapidly adopting to English language, children are losing a bond with their own heritage and losing their cultural ties too. Governments are not paying much attention to language preservation.

Contrary to this, the Singapore education system is making consistent efforts through proper policy implementation to incorporate all the national languages as integral part of learning from a young age.

The importance of Bilingualism in nation building

A nation where several ethnicities reside together, nation building could not have come easy in the absence of a common connecting cord. Within Singapore, such barriers have been bridged with the help English. Schools use it for teaching all the main subjects, people in offices and business also communicate with each other in English.

Why then does Singapore need to preserve other languages – what’s the incentive?

The biggest reasons for this apart from the sentimentalities of its citizens, is trade. Singaporean economy gets plenty of business from neighboring Malay speaking nations. Its bond with China is also strong, and these are nations where local traders may not always have much fluency in the English language.

In Conclusion

  • Singapore makes competent use of English as an international language, without losing cultural ties
  • The country celebrates lingual diversity, without being biased towards any ethnic group residing in Singapore
  • Bi lingual language competency allows information transfer at the breakneck speed on the global front.

And, at last the root of all this lies at the basics – at the Educational level, where Singapore has rightly nurtured it.

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