CJC > Education > Mother Tongue Languages (MTL)

Mother Tongue Languages (MTL)


The MTL policy requires all students (including foreign students) to offer an MTL. 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 Singapore Citizen 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 at A-Level 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. MOE Language Centres).


Students who obtained a D7 or better for CL/ML/TL or a E8 or below for HCL/HML/HTL in the GCE O-Level examination must offer H1CL/ML/TL and sit for GCE A-Level H1 MTL 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.

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