Language Elective Programmes
The Language Elective Programme (LEP), more commonly known as Third Language, is a programme where students are allowed to learn another language other than English and Mother Tongue, which are compulsory. The Programme is split into two different sections, Malay (Special Programme)/Chinese (Special Programme) and Foreign Language.
Details of Third Languages
In the M(SP)/C(SP), students who wish to take up either Malay or Chinese but did not do so at Primary school level can choose to study Malay or Chinese at Secondary school level, after which they would take their GCE ‘O’ Level paper for either Chinese or Malay. This programme is open to all students.
The Foreign Languages Programme, however, is only open to those who are within the top 10% in their PSLE scores. Furthermore, they are required to be identified as having a special affinity to languages in order to take up the four-year language course. This is because the workload and relative difficulty of the courses can put a severe strain on the students’ academic abilities. This has also led to high number of students that quit due to too much pressure. Students that are not of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent, or have at least one parent that is not of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent may also opt to take Foreign Languages as their 2nd Language.
Foreign Languages are taught at the Ministry of Education’s Language Centre in Bishan. Currently only three languages are offered: French, German and Japanese. French and German are offered to all applicants but Japanese is only offered to those who took Chinese or Higher Chinese for their PSLE as Japanese requires the knowledge of Chinese character forms. The classes are taught twice a week for two hours a session.
Students that take Foreign Language also sit for their respective international qualification examinations. Students that take French may sit for their Diplôme élémentaire de langue française (DELF), while Japanese students have to take their Japanese Language Proficiency tests. German students do not sit for any international qualification examinations.