National Language Campaigns
Language connects people from different walks of life and strengthens community bonding. The Language Councils Secretariat's mission is to ensure that our official languages and our culture continue to be key unifying elements in our multi-language, multi-racial and multi-religious society.
The Language Councils Secretariat provides secretariat support for the Speak Good English Movement, the Promote Mandarin Council, the Tamil Language Council and Malay Language Council of Singapore. This includes strategy development and execution of the four official national language campaigns.
Speak Good English Movement
The Speak Good English Movement, started in April 2000, encourages the use of Standard English among Singaporeans. Being able to speak and write Standard English helps Singaporeans to express themselves well and communicate better so that they can be understood. Speaking English well is also necessary in order for us to maintain our competitive edge both locally and globally.
The Movement shares English language resources on its website including a grammar guidebook titled Grammar Rules. Partners support the Movement with programmes to help people experience English in fun and interesting ways.
The Inspiring Teacher of English Award is presented by the Speak Good English Movement and The Straits Times, with the support of the Ministry of Education. This national award acknowledges teachers of English in Singapore schools who have been instrumental in igniting a love for the English Language, and are effective in helping their students speak and write better.
Speak Mandarin Campaign
Started in 1979, the Speak Mandarin Campaign (讲华语运动), led by the Promote Mandarin Council (推广华语理事会), encourages all Singaporean Chinese to embrace the use of Mandarin and enjoy an appreciation of the Chinese language and culture. The Campaign also works with partners in the community to engage the public and provide them with an immersive environment to speak and use Mandarin in their daily lives. Signature initiatives of the Speak Mandarin Campaign include the annual Family Talent Competition (讲华语运动亲子才艺比赛) and the “My Story” Public Speaking Competition (《我的故事》华语演说比赛).
Malay Language Council, Singapore
The Malay Language Council, Singapore (Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura) was originally established in 1981 to standardise Malay spelling in Singapore, and its strategic role expanded to encompass the promotion and development of the Malay language. Present day objectives of the Council focus on promoting the use of the Malay language in the community, to build a community of Singaporean Malays with a strong command of the Malay language and an appreciation of Malay heritage and culture.
The Malay Language Council, Singapore has organised Bulan Bahasa (Malay Language Month) since 1988 and this has become an annual celebration since 2011. The Council has also organised the biennial Anugerah Persuratan (Malay Literary Awards) since 1993, and co-organises the Anugerah Guru Arif Budiman (Arif Budiman Malay Language Teacher Awards) with the Persatuan Guru Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language Teachers Association), Berita Harian and the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee.
Tamil Language Council
The Tamil Language Council (வளர்தமிழ் இயக்கம்) was first formed in 2000, with aims to promote the development of Tamil in Singapore, and to encourage the use of the language within the community, especially among the youths. The Council works closely with government agencies, educational institutions, community organisations and partners to achieve these goals.
The Tamil Language Council also spearheads the annual Tamil Language Festival (தமிழ் மொழி விழா), which started in 2007, and features a calendar of programmes conducted by partners to ignite interest in the use of Tamil.