Asian Festival of Children's Content 2014
The Lee Kuan Yew Fund
for Bilingualism (Fund) has sponsored a
series of eight language programmes for parents and children, held in Chinese,
Malay and Tamil Languages, as part of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2014 organised by the National Book Development
Council of Singapore (NBDCS). The free language programmes are a new initiative that NBDCS has introduced for this year's AFCC. The programmes cover a range of topics related to language learning, such as selecting picture books, storytelling and creating stories.
Playground Media Pte Ltd
Playground Media Pte Ltd is a design, animation and content production company
based in Singapore. It believes in the importance of good storytelling, design
and presentation in creating content that is meaningful and relevant in today’s
society. They have previously worked with established companies such as
Mediacorp, OSIM, Samsung, as well as government agencies such as the Media
Development Authority and the People’s Association.
Media Pte Ltd will develop a digital storybook cum learning application for
young children that promotes bilingualism and early reading. The stories,
centred on the adventures of a robot which learns languages through interacting
with other characters in social settings, will be set in the Singapore context and
feature our local culture and identity. The application will be available in
English and all three official Mother Tongue Languages.
Singapore Press Holdings
Ltd (Tamil Murasu)
Tamil Murasu (TM) is the
only Tamil language daily in Singapore published by the Singapore Press
Holdings Ltd. It has been the main information source for the Tamil-speaking
Indian community with its wide coverage of news, from current affairs to local
and foreign news. It has been promoting Tamil language among students, by
publishing Maanavar Murasu (Student’s Supplement) since 1953 and ‘Illyar
Murasu’ (Youth Page) since 1999.
To nurture the love of
Tamil language in our children, TM will introduce a free weekly publication
‘Balar Murasu’ (Children’s Supplement) targeting pre-school children and lower
primary pupils. Each publication will contain theme-based pictures,
stories and games. It will also feature children’s artwork and
writings. The publication will serve as a rich resource for teachers and
parents in promoting the Tamil language in pre-school centres and homes.
Brainchild Pictures Pte Ltd
Pictures Pte Ltd is a media production company that creates educational content
to showcase Asia’s cultural diversity to a global audience. Their maiden
project “Wa is for Wayang”, a short film about an Indian boy, Raja, who aspires
to learn Chinese opera, is currently being screened at the Singapore Discovery
Centre. The company is also publishing a bilingual picture book, adapted from
the film which is sponsored by the Fund.
Brainchild Pictures Pte Ltd will develop a sequel full length movie, of the same title, “Wa is for
Wayang” in collaboration with mm2 Entertainment. It follows the adventures of
Raja, who teams up with two other friends, to represent Singapore at an
international Chinese Opera competition. The movie intends to expose young children
to the different cultures in Singapore and the official Mother Tongue
Languages. It also serves to promote social values, such as resilience, strong
family ties and racial harmony.
The Young Men’s
Christian Association (YMCA) of Singapore is a volunteer-based organisation
that is established since 1902. It seeks to serve and impact members of the
community, regardless of race, language or religion, through community service,
volunteer development and youth development programmes.
The annual YMCA
Speaking Awards which comprise the Mandarin Speaking Award (MSA) and Plain
English Speaking Award (PESA), are part of the organisation’s youth development
efforts. YMCA believes that training and exposing youths to competitive public
speaking at a young age will help them to build self-confidence and develop
critical thinking and good communication skills which will last them a
This year, the 8th
MSA will feature an English language component in the Impromptu Speech segment to
further challenge the participants. The 28th PESA will feature a
pre-school story-telling category to promote pre-school children’s interest in
languages and develop their confidence in public speaking.
Saintly Education Centre
Saintly Education Centre
specialises in the teaching and learning of Chinese, English and Japanese
Saintly Education Centre
will develop 30 Chinese Language nursery rhymes that focus on themes with a
Singapore flavour. The rhymes aim to help children learn the Chinese Language
and develop good habits that support their growth and development. The rhymes will be compiled into
a book which will be accompanied by a CD.
Singapore Centre for Chinese Language
The Singapore Centre for
Chinese Language (SCCL) is conducting a research titled “An Investigation of
Singapore Chinese Pre-schoolers’ Language Use and Exposure” (新加坡华族儿童语言调查). The research aims
to obtain a detailed understanding of local pre-school children’s Chinese
Language proficiency and language exposure in their out-of-school language
environment, such as at home and other environments.
The study, led by Dr Tan
Chee Lay, Deputy Executive Director of SCCL, will also examine the relationship
between key environmental factors and the child’s language proficiency.
Brainchild Pictures Pte Ltd
Brainchild Pictures Pte Ltd is a media
production company that creates educational content to showcase Asia’s cultural
diversity to a global audience. Their maiden project “Wa is For Wayang”, a
short film about an Indian boy who aspires to learn Chinese opera, is currently
being screened at the Singapore Discovery Centre. Brainchild Pictures Pte Ltd will develop a bilingual picture book (English
and Chinese) based on the story of “Wa is For Wayang” to motivate children in
learning Chinese through promoting the traditional cultural art of Chinese
Ms Lim Annie
Ms Lim Annie has many years of experience in the media and education industry. She was involved in setting up kindergartens and language centres locally and overseas, and conducting speech and drama programmes for children. She has also written and composed many children’s songs and books to help children improve their learning and language skills. She was the composer for two songs featured for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Ms Lim Annie will be developing a series of 15 songs (English and Chinese) that pre-school children could relate to. Each song will be accompanied by a music video that will be uploaded online for free access by parents and educators.
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (Berita Harian/Berita Minggu)
Berita Harian and Berita Minggu are papers published by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd that cover a wide variety of topics catering to the Malay community.
Berita Harian/Berita Minggu will publish a free monthly bilingual magazine in English and Malay for pre-school children and their parents. The magazine, titled “Cilik Cerdik/Kids Smart” will feature local stories, bite-sized news for children, tips on parenting skills and a listing of community activities for pre-school children. It will also showcase artwork and writings by pre-school children.
To complement the magazine, Berita Harian/Berita Minggu will produce a mobile application that hosts multimedia and interactive content for young children, such as videos of celebrity reading sessions with children, word games and puzzles.
Monthly reading sessions, bilingual educational programmes and fun-filled activities for pre-school children and their parents will be organised by Berita Harian/Berita Minggu and its network of community partners.
Thumbs Up Little Junior
Thumbs Up Little Junior 《小小拇指》 is a 12-page full colour bi-weekly publication developed by the Singapore Press Holdings that targets K1 and K2
children. The publication covers a wide range of
content, including picture stories, local and foreign news, nursery rhymes and comics.
Interesting games and activities would also be used to enliven young children’s
The 4th Asian Festival of Children's Content and the 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism
The Asian Festival of Children’s Content, organised by the NBDCS, will feature children’s education and entertainment materials with Asian content. The festival aims to develop the writing and illustration of children’s stories, promote the publishing of Asian content, and provide participants with access to these materials. Themed “An Early Start for an Early Lead”, this year’s festival focuses on nurturing bilingualism in young children from birth to age eight. Over 1,000 writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, and parents, as well as 5,000 to 8,000 members of the public are expected to participate in conferences, workshops and master classes organised as part of the festival.
The International Symposium
on Bilingualism is held biennially for researchers in the field of bilingualism
and multilingualism. The 2013 symposium in Singapore will be the first time
that it will be held in Asia. Organised by the Division of Linguistics and
Multilingual Studies at NTU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the theme of ISB9 is “Multilingualism” which reflects Singapore’s status as a thriving language hub.
Doby Studio Pte Ltd
Doby Studio Pte Ltd is a comics publishing and training company that focuses on research and development of comics to enhance learning. The company has published over 40 comics on Chinese culture and language which have been featured in the news.
Doby Studio will develop and publish bilingual (English-Chinese) picture books that are set in the local context (e.g. featuring scenes of Singapore) for pre-school children.
Dua M Pte Ltd
Dua M Pte Ltd is a production house that has produced children's programmes for Suria and OKTO channels such as “Tahu Nahu” and “Cerita Kita”. Mini Monsters is the educational arm of Dua M Pte Ltd. It is co-founded by Mr Najip Ali and Ms Rilla Melati Bahri. Mini Monsters promotes the learning of the Malay language through its school programmes and publications.
Dua M and Mini Monsters will collaborate with authors Ms Sharon Ismail and Ms Rilla Melati Bahri to develop and publish bilingual (English-Malay) picture books and accompanying read-along CDs featuring narration of both books in English and Malay for pre-school children.
EyePower Games Pte Ltd
EyePower Games Pte Ltd is a software development company specializing in teaching and learning tools that support language skills acquisition.
EyePower Games will develop and produce a series of bilingual digital storybooks (English-Malay and English-Tamil) using immersive video technologies that it has developed. These advanced features motivate and engage children as they digitally immerse themselves as characters in the stories they have read.
Institute of Technical Education
Students from the Institute of Technical Education’s Higher Nitec in Early Childhood Education course will be guided by their lecturers to develop and produce a series of age-appropriate and bilingual teaching aids such as board and card games with localised content for pre-school children.
Ms Loh Lik Lin
Ms Loh Lik Lin, who writes under her pen name Shekinah Linn, had received the "First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative" Award from the Media Development Authority in 2008 with her book "The Watchtower Warrior". Ms Loh was also commissioned by The Preservation of Monuments Board to write a children's picture book, "The Fearless Twins And The Magical Kaleido: A Narrow Escape", which was launched in Aug 2012.
Ms Loh will develop and publish a series of bilingual (English-Chinese and English-Malay) picture books using the theme of Asian spices for pre-school children. Her stories will focus on contemporary narratives to enable children to appreciate our rich Asian culture and heritage. The books also aim to inculcate values and concepts such as respect, patience, perseverance, teamwork, honesty and kindness.
National Book Development Council of Singapore
The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) is a non-profit charitable organisation that has the objective of developing Singapore into the Asian centre for publishing and literary arts.
NBDCS will publish a series of bilingual picture books for pre-school children based on the best manuscripts developed from a workshop it has conducted to build the capacity of local writers and teachers on writing bilingual picture books for children.
National Library Board
The funding will enable National Library Board to roll out a comprehensive early literacy programme which will benefit more than 90,000 children. NLB will produce reading toolkits comprising storybooks, audio-visual resources, teachers’ guide and activity booklets. These materials are specially designed for children six years and below to build a strong foundation in English and their mother tongue languages.
Mr Richard Wan Kum Wah
Mr Richard Wan Kum Wah has worked with the Ministry of Education in developing educational songs for children. He has also written and produced more than 40 television theme songs including songs for children’s series (e.g. “我们这一班”). In 2005, Mr Wan wrote the multi-language official racial harmony song, “Sing Our Wishes” and the National Day Parade theme song, “Reach Out for the Skies”.
Mr Wan will develop and produce a series of bilingual (English-Chinese) songs with accompanying video graphics that are set in the local context. These songs will have simple melodies and easy-to-remember lyrics for children to sing-along.
SEED Institute provides Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) training in Singapore and in the region. The institution collaborates with a network of affiliated unions, associations, social enterprises, staff, members and partners to provide ECCE services for workers and professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in Singapore.
SEED Institute is partnering the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language and Singapore National Co-operative Federation to translate an existing series of English Language picture books written by a local author for children’s books, Ms Emily Lim, into bilingual (English-Chinese) picture books for pre-school children. The stories also aim to inculcate positive values such as co-operation, gratitude and caring for the community.
Singapore Centre for Chinese Language
Through the provision of quality training, the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) seeks to enhance the teaching of literacy, competency and professionalism of Chinese Language teachers.
SCCL will develop and produce a series of teaching aids specially designed to support Chinese Language learning in Singapore (e.g. board and card games). SCCL will also be conducting workshops for the training of teachers on the use of these resources in classrooms.