CJC > Education > Mother Tongue Languages

Mother Tongue Languages

The Mother Tongue Language (MTL) policy requires all students (including foreign students) to offer an MTL in addition to English. In general, students who are Chinese/Malay/Indian in ethnicity are required to study their respective MTL. There is, however, flexibility in the implementation of the MTL policy. Students who are Eurasians or of mixed parentage may apply to offer any of the 3 official MTL. For SC students with double-barrelled race, MTL class will be assigned based on the first component race. Non-Tamil Indian students may apply to offer one of the 5 approved NTIL i.e. Non-Tamil Indian Languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu). In addition, a non-Chinese/non-Malay student may apply to offer CL/ML as his/her MTL if there are valid grounds to do so. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students need not take the H1 MTL examination if they have obtained a D7 or better in Higher MTL at ‘O’ level as they would have been deemed to have fulfilled the MTL requirement. However, as MTL is an integral part of the 'A' level curriculum, H1 MTL cannot be replaced with another subject. All students will need to meet minimum threshold grade of S (sub pass) in H1 MTL or D7 in 'O' level HMTL for local university admission.

For university admission, students who score well may submit their MTL grades (as an H1) on top of other subjects required towards their University Admission Score, which will be re-based. ‘O’ level HMTL grades can take the place of H1 MTL in the computation of the University Admission Score. ‘O’ level HMTL cannot be counted together with H1 MTL. The better grade of the two subjects may be used.

For students who have previously obtained official approval to offer non-MTL (i.e. Chinese, Malay or Tamil) or Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTIL), it is not necessary to submit a new application. These students will continue to offer the approved non-MTL or NTIL at pre-university level, if applicable. Students offering an approved H1 Foreign Language/Asian Language/ Non-Tamil Indian Language in lieu of MTLs will have to register their FL/MTL in their own language centre (eg. MOELC).

Prerequisites: Students who obtained a D7 or better for CL/ML/TL or a E8 or below for HCL/HML/HTL in the GCE 'O' examination must offer H1CL/ML/TL and sit for H1MTL examination in JC1. 


Mother Tongue B is not a H1 or H2-Level subject. Performance in the Chinese B / Malay B / Tamil B is indicated as Merit, Pass or Ungraded. Students who pass MTL B will be deemed to have met the Mother Tongue requirement for admission to University. However, no consideration will be given in the computation of university admission score.

Prerequisites: Students who already offered CLB/MLB/TLB in their secondary schools will continue to offer the approved MTL B in JC. 

General Studies in Chinese (H1)

General Studies in Chinese aims to develop in students the ability to think critically, to construct cogent arguments and to communicate their ideas using clear, accurate and effective language. General Studies in Chinese encourages students to explore a range of key local issues including political, economic, education and social issues. In addition, the syllabus will also cover Chinese culture and values.  At the end of the course, students should have a broader understanding of Singapore’s multicultural society, as well as her growth and development from the past, present and future.

Prerequisite: Students who wish to take General Studies in Chinese must pass ‘O’ Level Higher Chinese Language (C6), but it is strongly advised to have obtained at least A2 for HCL at ‘O’ Level.