Mother Tongue Language Policy
- The Ministry of Education’s Mother Tongue Language (MTL) policy requires all students who are Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Residents to study their respective official MTL: Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
- Students will offer their respective MTLs at the GCE ‘O’, ‘A’ and IBDP examinations. Please note that local publicly funded universities require minimum grades for MTL to be eligible for admission.
MTL at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
- ACS (Independent) offers the following MTL / Language Acquisition subjects:
For Years 1 – 4
- CHINESE, HIGHER CHINESE, CHINESE B* (Chinese B is only conducted in school for Year 4 and otherwise conducted outside of school and in designated MOE centres)
- MALAY, HIGHER MALAY, MALAY B*
- TAMIL, HIGHER TAMIL, LITERATURE IN TAMIL*, TAMIL B*
*Conducted outside school in designated MOE centres
Please refer to http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/syllabuses/mother-tongue-languages/ for subject syllabuses.
MTL Policy_updated 24 July 2015
For Years 5 – 6
Under MOE’s Bilingual Policy,
- Higher MT students who obtained at least a D7 for GCE ‘O’ Level Higher MT need not pursue MT language at ‘A’ level.
- MT students must continue to study GCE ‘A’ Level H1 MT and take the exams at JC1 or JC2.
- MT Syllabus B students must continue to study GCE ‘A’ Level MT Syllabus B and take the exam at JC1or JC2.
IBDP students must take 3 Higher Level subjects and 3 Standard Level subjects. They must select 1 subject each from Groups 1 to 5.In selecting a subject from Group 2: Language Acquisition, the student may choose:
Chinese B, English B, Malay B, Tamil B, Hindi B at Standard Level
Spanish ab initio*
French ab initio*
Mandarin ab initio*
Malay ab initio*
* To offer Language ab initio, students must have obtained a D7 grade or better for the GCE ‘O’ Level Higher MT exam. Otherwise they will be required to sit for the GCE ‘A’ Level H1 MT exam.
Entry Criteria for Group 2 subjects
- Students who obtained at least a D7 for GCE ‘O’ Level Higher MT
- Allowed to study any Group 2 subject
- Students who did not meet the criteria of at least D7 for GCE ‘O’ Level Higher MT
- Must study Group 2 Language B (Mother Tongue Languages)
- If students wish to offer Group 2 Language Ab Initio subject, they must sit for the GCE ‘A’ Level H1 MT subject in Year 5 or Year 6.
- Students who studied MT Syllabus B at the Secondary School
- Allowed to study any Group 2 subject.
- If students wish to offer Group 2 Language Ab Initio, must sit for the GCE ‘A’ Level MT Syllabus B exam in Year 5 or Year 6.
- Students who are exempted from the official MT languages
Allowed to study any Group 2 subject.
MTL Policy updated 24 July 2015
HIGHER MOTHER TONGUE LANGUAGE (HMTL)
- Pupils who offer Mother Tongue Language (MTL)(i.e. Chinese/ Malay/ Tamil) or HMTL (i.e. Higher Chinese/ Higher Malay/ Higher Tamil) at the PSLE and
- are ranked among the top 10% of the PSLE; or
- are in the top 11% – 30% band who meet the language criteria (i.e. an A* grade in the MTL or at least a Merit in the HMTL)
may opt to study MTL or HMTL at secondary level.
- Schools also have the flexibility to allow pupils who do not meet the above criteria to offer HMTL, if they are assessed to have exceptional ability in MTL and are able to do HMTL without affecting their performance in other subjects.
- Pupils eligible for HMTL will be invited to apply for these programmes immediately after the release of the PSLE results.
- Pupils taking HMTL are eligible for the following incentives. These measures are put in place to give pupils more flexibility in the study of two languages and thus help to produce a greater number of effectively bilingual pupils in the future.
- A pupil who passes both English and HMTL at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examination and who qualifies for admission to a Junior College (JC)/Millennia Institute (MI) will be given a concession of two points in his application to the JC/MI of his choice. Priority for admission to a JC/MI will be given to a pupil with English and HMTL who scores the same number of points as one with English and MTL.
- For entry to a JC/MI, a grade of E8 in HMTL is considered to be equivalent to a grade of D7 in MTL. Therefore, a pupil who scores at least C6 in English Language and E8 in HMTL will be considered to have satisfied the language requirements for admission to a JC/MI.
- A pupil, who obtains at least a grade of D7 in HMTL at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examination, will be considered to have satisfied the MTL requirement for admission to the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University.
- At the end of Secondary Three, a pupil studying HMTL will be allowed to sit for the GCE ‘O’ Level MTL paper. If the pupil is unable to cope with both English and HMTL, he will be allowed to switch to English and MTL.
- IP students who choose to offer MTL will sit for the MTL GCE ‘O’ level Examination at the end of Year 4.
- IP students who choose to offer HMTL will sit for the MTL GCE ‘O’ level Examination at the end of Year 3, and the HMTL GCE ‘O’ Level Examination at the end of Year 4.
- Please note the minimum grades for MT and MTL ‘B’ for entry to IBDP and local universities.
||MT ‘B’ Syllabus
||For entry to IBDP– a D7 in MTL/ MTL in-lieu at the GCE ‘O’ levels- To meet the school promotion criteria for all Y4 IP students.
||For entry to IBDP– a pass in MTL ‘B’ at GCE ‘O’ Levels (for Y1-Y3 Lessons are conducted in MOE MTL’B’ centres outside the school)- To meet the school promotion criteria for all Y4 IP students.
||For entry to local university– a Pass in Language B MTL (SL or HL) or- S grade in H1 MTL at GCE ‘A’ Level for MTL students who wish to offer Languages ab initio (foreign languages at introductory level, eg. French/ Malay/ Spanish) instead of Language B MTL at IBDP. In this case, students are to study H1 MTL by their own as A Level subjects are not offered in our school. The ‘A’ level exam centre will also not be in our school.
||For entry to local university– a Pass in Language B MTL (SL or HL) or- a pass in MTL ‘B’ at GCE ‘A’ level for students who offer Languages ab initio (foreign languages at introductory level, eg. French/ Malay/ Spanish). In this case, students are to study MTL’B’ by their own as A Level subjects are not offered in our school. The ‘A’ level exam centre will also not be in our school.
TRANSFERING FROM HMTL to MTL
- Students who wish to change from HMTL offer MTL instead may only do so at the start of each academic year.
- Change of subject mid-way through term will not be allowed, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
MTL Policy_updated 24 July 2015
Frequently Asked Questions
- My child has been abroad for some time. Is he required to study a Mother Tongue Language?
Returning Singaporeans who join a local school mid-stream can apply to the Ministry of Education through the school for exemption from studying their official Mother Tongue Language or to study a non-official language such as French, German or Japanese in lieu of Mother Tongue Language. The applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
- My child has already been exempted from offering Mother Tongue Language in primary school. Will I have to re-apply for Mother Tongue exemption when he/she is promoted to Secondary 1?
No, you need not re-apply for his Mother Tongue exemption when your child is promoted to Secondary 1. Your child will continue to be exempted from offering Mother Tongue.
- Will a Pre-University student be exempted from the Mother Tongue requirement at the GCE ‘A’ level examinations?
Students exempted from the Mother Tongue Language at the GCE ‘O’ level examination will be exempted from the Mother Tongue Language at the GCE ‘A’ level examination. Those who are allowed to learn a non-official language in lieu of Mother Tongue Language will continue to offer the subject at the GCE ‘A’ level examination.
Students who have been approved for exemption from taking a Mother Tongue Language or another language in place of an official Mother Tongue Language are deemed to have met the Mother Tongue threshold requirements for university admission.
- My child is exempted from Mother Tongue. Will it apply to IBDP programme?
No. IBDP students must take 3 Higher Level subjects and 3 Standard Level subjects.
They must select 1 subject each from Groups 1 to 5. Every student needs to opt for a subject under Group 2: Language Acquisition. The student may choose any subject to study. For ab inito Languages, student should have not previous learning background in the respective subject.
- What are the benefits of taking HMT for IP students?
HMT is offered to the Higher Ability students who will benefit from the subject and become effectively bilingual. It will allow students to opt for ab inito language to study in IBDP once he/she obtains at least a grade of D7 in HMTL at the GCE ‘O’ Level Exam in Year 4.
Updated as of 24 July 2015
Click here for the Chinese Department
Click here for the Malay Department
Click here for the Tamil Department