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An Overview Of the Curriculum

The Mother Tongue & Foreign Languages Department of NUS High School offers core, elective and enrichment language modules to our students. These modules serve to cater to the varying learning needs of our students from different cultural backgrounds. The department aims to provide our students with the language foundation required for tertiary education, and to develop in them the aptitude for language learning. 

The core modules offered are Higher Mother Tongue and Mother Tongue for Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Third Languages (French, Japanese, Malay and Chinese), Basic Translation Skills, Topics on Chinese Culture and Topics on Chinese Literature are offered as elective modules. The enrichment modules offered are the Mother Tongue Syllabus B for Chinese and Malay.

Modules are offered to students in accordance to their language abilities and interests, and with strict adherence to the national Mother Tongue Policy.

Mother Tongue Modules (Chinese/ Malay/ Tamil)

The Department of Mother Tongue & Foreign Languages offers core, elective and enrichment modules to students taking Chinese, Malay and Tamil as their Mother Tongue. 

These modules are offered to students as Core Modules, which progressively equip students with Mother Tongue proficiency in four main aspects, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. At the end of four years of the Higher Mother Tongue Course and five years of Mother Tongue Course, students would have acquired oral presentation skills, listening skills, reading and comprehension skills, as well as essay and summary writing skills at the intermediate level. 

On top of these core modules, Elective Modules are offered to students taking MTL or HMTL. Basic Translation Skills, Topics on Chinese Culture and Topics on Chinese Literature aim to strengthen the language acquisition of students and develop in them the ability to appreciate the language in a cultural context. 

For students who cannot cope with MTL modules, they can opt to take MTL Syllabus B which is offered as an enrichment module. They will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, but at a lower level of proficiency as compared to those taking MTL or HMTL.

Foreign/ Third Language Modules (French/ Japanese/ Chinese/ Malay)

French and Japanese are Elective Modules.  They are offered to students who have the interest to do a Third Language, on top of their Mother Tongue. For students who do not take Chinese, Malay or Tamil as their Mother Tongue, they can opt to take French or Japanese as MTL-in-lieu, upon approval from MOE. There are 4 levels of French or Japanese. 

Chinese/ Malay as Third Language are Elective Modules. They are offered to non-Chinese/ Malay students, who have the interest to learn Chinese or Malay at the elementary level. There are 4 levels of Chinese/ Malay as Third Language.  

At the 4th level, students are expected to achieve communicative competence in simple everyday situations and personal interaction in French, Japanese, Chinese or Malay.  Having attained this level of learning would indicate that students have acquired the language foundation necessary for the next level of language learning.