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Fun with Mother Tongue

2021 Mother Tongue Fortnight

For two weeks, student-athletes’ learning ventured beyond the textbooks as they were exposed to traditions related to their culture and mother tongue. As part of Mother Tongue Fortnight held from 8 to 19 February 2021, Singapore Sports School’s secondary student-athletes engaged in art forms and games such as seal carving, batik painting, rakhi-making, congkak and capteh.

To promote language and culture appreciation, the Mother Tongue Fortnight is organised in schools and adopts novel and interesting ways to encourage students’ learning.

This year’s Mother Tongue Fortnight at the Sports School also featured an exhibition on Malay proverbs in the Starting Block, the school’s library. Through interactive games such as Sahibba (Malay scrabble) and online games, student-athletes gained a deeper understanding of festivals such as Qingming (tomb-sweeping day) and Dragon Boat.

One word that seemed synonymous with the Fortnight was “fun”. “It is fun that we are learning the language outside of the normal classroom activities,” said Secondary 2’s Aiman Zayani Yazid from the Football Academy. Tamil student-athlete Navitha d/o Yovan (Track and Field Academy, Secondary 2) also shared how she had “fun while learning something new”. She and her peers from the Tamil Language class learn how to make rangoli with coloured rice, usually made during Deepavali and other Hindu festivals, and also how to tie a rakhi, a traditional North Indian custom. The rakhi is bracelet which girls tie on a male’s wrist as a sign of protection and courage, and symbolises their acceptance of that man as their brother.

For Mohamad Hyder Anarqi Mohamad Rohaizad (Track and Field Academy, Secondary 3), the games, Sahibba in particular, was a “fun” way to improve his command of the language. “I had fun playing Sahibba. It was a chance for me to widen my vocabulary and, at the same time, strengthen the friendship with my peers,” said Anarqi.

The hands-on activities during the two weeks not only taught student-athletes about history and culture, but also created an opportunity for personal development. “During the seal carving lesson, I learnt the importance of patience because that it is not something where you can rush the process and get a good result,” shared Anna Fong Bao Yi (Bowling Academy, Secondary 3).

The highlight for Secondary 1 footballer Ahmad Martin Roslan was the batik painting activity as he was able to “show appreciation to my parents by writing a note on the batik card I made.”