Student Response to "Can English be a Singaporean mother tongue?"
Student Name: Fan Xinyu
Student ID: A0112819H
06 Sep 2014
"Can English be a Singaporean mother tongue?"
Luke Lu’s article, "Can English be a Singaporean mother tongue?" raise one issue that has been existed for quite a long time in Singapore.
The article author uses a name of one MRT station as a simple example seemingly points out the complementarily and compatibility of the language and culture issues of the current Singapore, but actually it points out the conflicts of the cultural and ideological between different races.
As the author says, English has occupied an important role in Singapore's society and economy. In order to pursue convergence with the world and to strengthen national capacity, the Singapore government must be developed ...view middle of the document...
It is well known that, human will being affected by environment, and the language development especially need a unique environment. So a large portion of the local residences would rather to seek a "long-term development" by using English, than to use their mother tongue, which directly lead the current bilingual or even multilingual systems to face a nominal position.
Moreover, with the support of government policy, the MOM introduces a large number of immigrants recent years, it "might have a substantial impact on our linguistic and cultural ecology". And most of them are Chinese-speaking users, so that indirectly promote the portion of Mandarin in this multi-language system, but "avoid the development of linguistic enclaves, and prevent segregation between new immigrants and other Singaporeans", with proficiency in English being of utmost importance. With an unchanged fact, local residents will not change their language habits with the immigrants, but instead, the immigrants can actively change their language habits in order to be more integrated with the local people.
There are some other arguments in the article, and I only express my own opinions base on the above two points. As a student who come from China, as well as a potential new immigrants, I sincerely hope that Singapore government can handle the compatibility issues of language and culture well under all these races, just as the author has says:"Any prospect of developing a Singaporean “core” cannot be realized without the acknowledgement of English as one of our mother tongues. A step forward may be for Singapore’s own language policies and official stance to reflect our sociolinguistic reality. It is only then that we may expect international acceptance".
Luke Lu. “English be a Singaporean mother tongue?”
Luke Lu is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, King’s College London