crocss22: The concept of "mother tongue" has been warped by Singapore. In Singapore schools, it is actually used by the MOE to describe the second language not the first.
This is quite true, but very difficult to enforce, when natural ability is mother tongue.
You are so correct about many of the problems, that's why I sympathise with you. It isn't very positive to let things slip, and many parents are not good enough in English themselves, to recognise the problems...
Also my Singapore friends children in their 40's suffer the same fate if the parents cannot correct them.
Laziness in a language is a major issue, I know because i often have the same problem when speaking Danish, I have to be constantly aware of the correct pronunciation, or i get severely criticised, that I have been in the Country over a year and I'm butchering the language... It was a big problem because the Danes, English spoken language was so much better, than me speaking Danish, so naturally the strength of the conversation would end up in English.
I also do not pronounce my H's, after i have spent time in my own City in the UK, I am aware of it, so can correct it....its more localised slang talking, at working class level, when i go home these days, I am criticized for talking like a posh puff, and i can imagine i do, next to a Lancastrian of working class.
My accent is close to neutral because of all my travelling and communication with foreigners, that I had to realise to speak clearly and at a pace in which a foreigner can understand me.
I was asked in China to record for their English speaking program, because of my clear pronunciation....Though I would be the first to admit my English skills are only average.
I certainly want my daughter to speak correct English, and i don't mind if she speaks Singlish, as long as it is not in my home.
Singaporean parents do strive to teach their kids English as there first language, and my friends speak good English to me, though admit they cannot correct their daughters home work, and have insufficient money for extra tuition, so the problems are real, it will take generations, not just one or two generations before English becomes first language.
I also meet very often with Chinese business people, and when they meet, they find it easier to communicate in Chinese rather than English, so I am the weakest link, though i do have a very good understanding of Chinese, the wife being Taiwanese.
It doesn't help the Country if these professional business men keep conversing in Chinese, because this is their natural mother tongue language., I can imagine if the meeting was to include more foreigners, the conversation would have to be in English.
But generally speaking mother tongue takes over, it's only natural, until it fades out all together, though at grass roots level Singlish will remain for a very long time to come.
People have to recognise the fact they speak Singlish and make an effort to improve to English like yourself and your friends for progress to take place, to actually laugh at a person attempting to speak another language isn't is very very rude. So etiquette also needs to be part of the program, wouldn't you agree?