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Alternative assessment and the teaching of mother tongue languages in Singapore schools
Issue Date: 
Proceedings of the Redesigning pedagogy: culture, knowledge and understanding conference, Singapore, May 2007.
The mother tongue education component of Singapore’s bilingual policy aims at achieving a dual goal of empowering its citizens with linguistic capital (which they can use in interacting with people from emerging regional powers) and moral capital (which can help maintain their Asian value and identity). Unfortunately, this goal has seldom been adequately achieved. Among the various affecting factors, the unique language learning environment and the exam-oriented language teaching and assessment practices have imposed great constraints on
the attainment of the wonderful intention of policy makers. One piece of evidence is that
daily assessment practices in MT teaching focus too much on factual knowledge and
knowledge reproduction which are characterized by examining discrete linguistic knowledge and practice and drills. To further improve the teaching of Mother Tongue languages in Singapore and better attain the dual goal, we may need to introduce new assessment practices into daily classroom teaching: alternative assessment practices. This paper presents an
overview about the necessity, feasibility, advantages, how the use of alternative assessments can improve the quality of MT teaching and learning in the actual classroom context, and the practical constraints of introducing alternative assessment into MT education.
Project number: 
CRP 25/05 KKH
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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