© 2016

Quadrilingual Education in Singapore

Pedagogical Innovation in Language Education

  • Rita Elaine Silver
  • Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng


  • Focuses on empirical classroom research on the four official languages, showcasing the overarching quadrilingual education system in Singapore

  • Also brings in insights on early years / primary level language-in-education settings and issues

  • Highlights past successes, current concerns and future directions for language education in Singapore

  • Examines the dialectical relationship between policy and practice

  • Provides in-depth knowledge on Singapore’s language education system that allows readers to understand the system as well as gain insights into their own educational systems, issues, concerns and pedagogies

  • Provides a basis for international comparison – especially for those who are interested in fostering English proficiency while maintaining one or more national languages


Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Transitions

  4. Competencies

  5. Practices

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Viniti Vaish
      Pages 135-151
    3. Rita Elaine Silver, Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen, Roksana Bibi Binte Abdullah, Seetha Lakshmi, Yanning Yang
      Pages 153-180
    4. Andy Hancock
      Pages 219-225
  6. Reforms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 227-227

About this book


This book explores Singapore’s language education system. Unlike previous volumes, which discuss the bilingual requirement for learning, it focuses on Singapore’s quadrilingual system, bringing together articles on each of the four languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil – as well as articles that examine more than one language. It highlights past successes, current concerns, and future directions for language education. The book focuses on classroom pedagogy in all four official languages, showcasing how languages are taught and learned in Singapore as a basis for better understanding the system “from the inside out.” The authors present empirical, classroom-based studies on language pedagogy in all four languages, as well as updated information on the current socio-political context and how it has influenced attempts at pedagogical innovation. Consideration is given to the dialectical relationship between policy and practice.  The chapters also include discussions of pre-school-age learning, influences of language policy, home literacy practices, and commentaries by international language-in-education scholars. This approach also provides a basis for international comparison – especially for those who are interested in fostering English proficiency while maintaining one or more national languages. The volume is particularly important in light of the continuing international efforts to integrate English into national educational systems where it is not the dominant language.


English Proficiency English Proficiency pedagogy Quadrilingual Education Singapore language education language education pedagogy multilingua language literacy language pedagogy in Singapore multilingual education

Editors and affiliations

  • Rita Elaine Silver
    • 1
  • Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng
    • 2
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversityNational Institute of EducationSingapore
  2. 2.Crandall UniversityMonctonCanada

About the editors

Rita Elaine Silver is an Associate Professor in English Language and Literature, National Institute of Education, Singapore. Her specialisation is language-in-education with an emphasis on policy-classroom pedagogy-professional development connections.  Her work has appeared in Language Policy, TESOL Quarterly, System,Language Teaching Research, Language in Education, Cambridge Journal of Education, and Journal of Educational Change. Previous monographs includeLanguage in Education: Social Implications (with M. Lwin, 2014); Language Learning in New English Contexts (with L. Alsagoff & C. C. M. Goh, 2009) andLanguage Learning: Home, School and Society (with C. C. M. Goh, 2007). She is co-editor of Language and Education.

Wendy Bokhorst-Heng is an Associate Professor in Education at Crandall University, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Prior to her current position, she has also held positions in Singapore at the National Institute of Education, in Washington, D.C. at American University, and has directed a language program at the British Council in Beijing, China. Her research involves a focus on language policy and ideology, English as an international language, multiculturalism and diversity, and comparative education. Her work has appeared in World Englishes

Multilingua, TESOL Quarterly, Journal of Current Issues in Language Planning. She has also contributed chapters to a number of books. She has a co-authored volume with S. McKay, International English in its Sociolinguistic Contexts.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Quadrilingual Education in Singapore
  • Book Subtitle Pedagogical Innovation in Language Education
  • Editors Rita Elaine Silver
    Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng
  • Series Title Education Innovation Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Education Innovation
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-287-965-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-287-967-7
  • Series ISSN 2211-4874
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-4882
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 326
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Policy and Politics
    Language Education
    Curriculum Studies
    Learning & Instruction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site