We all learn our mother tongue because it is a necessary requirement for communication. We learned to speak because we needed to tell our families that we were hungry, thirsty, tired etc. Motivation, if you like, comes from the fact that we worked out what everyone was doing and knew we had to follow suit to get what we wanted. Grammar, reading and writing come much later, but for similar reasons. Hence why kids are happy to read comic books but are a little less interested in their science textbooks.jpatokal wrote:
Did your parents teach you English with a blackboard, verb conjugations and grammar exercises? I'd presume that they didn't, instead they talked to you at home "normally" and you picked it up as you grew up. Well, surprise surprise, that's also how Singaporeans learn Singlish at home.
We can all debate whether Singlish is a language in its own right till we're blue in the face. It doesn't change the fact that your average Joe Tan still wants to go overseas to study at university, or work as a new graduate, or travel etc. Singapore is not an isolated place so setting the next generation up to have serious communication problems when they do embark on these journeys is not only pointless, but hard to justify. Most people here are not going to make their livings as rappers or Gurmit-style comedians - nor do they want to. The day that schools here teach a grammar lesson on the correct use of "Lah" or "Meh" is the day I hang up my hat.