Singapore

Children's TV show, online videos and picture books to promote bilingual learning

Ten new proposals to promote the learning of English and mother tongue among young children have received grants from the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

The projects include a bilingual children's television programme produced by Mediacorp; a YouTube edutainment series run by ex-TV host Diana Ser; and the translation of English picture books into Chinese, Malay and Tamil by publisher Epigram Books, The Straits Times reported.

This brings the total number of proposals which the fund has supported to 45, with $10.3 million in grants awarded, the Education Ministry said yesterday.

The Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism was launched in 2011 by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to promote bilingual teaching and learning.

To date, it has received over 220 proposals.

Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who is the fund's chairman, said: "The fund will continue to enhance the pool of locally developed and culturally relevant resources that support bilingual teaching and learning.

"We are now exploring new frontiers with novel projects like a bilingual television programme and an online video series.

"We hope such new initiatives will provide more interesting and interactive experiences for our children's learning of mother tongue languages," he added.

The fund is also looking to develop a reading series for children aged between five and 10.

Yesterday, it launched a call for proposals to develop a "systematic set of mother tongue language graded readers for pre-school to primary school children".

The content of the readers should be set in the Singapore context and feature local elements that will allow children to better relate to the story, it said.

Details can be found at www.bilingualism.sg/call-for-proposals/call-for-proposals.