CML in the News

Gen Polyglot: Gen Z, the generation of self-taught multilinguals

THE SUNDAY TIMES – LIFE, C4 | Sunday, July 16, 2023

 In this article, our colleague Cristina González Ruiz, Senior Lecturer and Spanish Language Coordinator in CML, NTU Singapore, provides her observations and thoughts on the benefits of multilingualism amongst youth. She concludes that learning a new language is a valuable investment for young people that not only offers practical benefits in terms of career opportunities and communication but also, and more importantly, fosters personal growth, cultural understanding, cognitive development, and a broader perspective on the world. For all its benefits, she encourages students and young people to unlock new horizons and embrace diverse cultures by embarking on the exciting journey of learning a new language.

Resized_Gen polyglot_The Straits Times 16 July 2023

May 2023 update:

Our colleague Abel Pérez Abad, Lecturer and Spanish coordinator at CML, has participated in the NTU InsPIRE blog. In his blog entry, he shares about a didactic experience that implies the use of authentic tangible objects – postcards- in the class. He aims at creating memorable experiences for his students, combining technologically enhanced activities with more traditional ones, keeping an innovative and refreshing touch on his lessons. Read more about this experience here by clicking on here.  

Link to NTU InsPIRE social networks: inspirentu | Instagram, Facebook | Linktree

Spanish Website Update 11 May 2023

February 2023 update:

An NTU student who participated in the first edition of the France Excellence Summer School Program promoted by the French Embassy in Singapore enjoyed his experience in France! Here is the article with details:

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December 2022 update on LIP:

(TITLE IF ANY) 46 French students attended a Language Immersion Programme with NTU partner university, CLA – Université de Franche-Comté, in December 2022.

Congratulations to 46 French students from CML-NTU- French Department who spent a few weeks in December 2022 with NTU partner university – CLA Université de Franche-Comté -  to perfect their French.

The partnership between NTU and CLA has been launched since 2019 and aims at promoting French language learning and French culture discovering in an immersive environment.

November 2022 update: Language and Culture Assistant Programme in Spain in HEY! magazine 

The latest HEY! magazine Oct-Dec 2022 issue features Han Guang, an NTU undergrad who took our LS5002-Spanish Language Level 2 and decided to take a GAP year from his studies to live and work as a Language and Culture Assistant in La Rioja, Spain. After one-year stint, he was offered the possibility to extend his teaching experience in the same school for one more year, and so he did. All in all, he will be spending 2 years in Spain and he is ecstatic about it.

Together with Han Guang, nine other NTU graduate and non-graduate students will be joining the Language and Culture Assistants Programme for Singaporeans this 2022-2023 academic year, an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain to provide Singaporean university students (majoring in any subject) and graduates to assist teachers in their English programs in elementary, secondary or language schools (12-16 hours/week) for a full academic year in Spain. Some knowledge of Spanish is convenient, but not compulsory. If you are interested in this programme or would like to know more about it, please contact us at [email protected]


LS5002 student in 2-year gap with the Language and Culture Assistant Programme
Articles & Chapters/Centre for Modern Languages

Jun 2021 in NTU Humanities Research Bulletin, Issue 3

CML research was featured in the latest issue of the NTU Humanities Research Bulletin with Cristina González Ruiz' article “The Effect of Integrating Kahoot! And Peer Instruction in the Spanish Flipped Classroom: The Student Perspective" published in the Journal of Spanish Language Teaching. Her article explores students’ perceptions of integrating the Game-based Student Response System (GSRS) Kahoot! in two Spanish flipped classrooms.

Hey! Magazine
My French Romance

March 2021 in Hey! Magazin

Three years ago, in NTU as a freshman, I decided to learn a new language after hitting it off with my Francophone friends on campus, many of whom were Swiss exchange students. With the window for the mandatory engineering internship coming up, I decided to go on an adventure. I carried through my plan, and locked in a contract with the HR disruptor CodinGame, a dynamic company focused on assessing IT competencies of tech recruits in a novel, gamified format. Getting the contract and visa was a breeze, and took less than a week on the French side. In mid-October, I received all of the papers I needed. I was going to France.

Residents turn wildlife observers during Circuit breaker Period 

July 2020 in The Straits Times

With many people staying home during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to June 1, some used their spare time to act as lookouts for nature projects. This has not only made them appreciate the environment more, but also given them the chance to contribute valuable data on wildlife in Singapore. One project that members of the public have been able to take part in is Singapore Nature Sightings, by the Nature Society Singapore (NSS).
One of the project's contributors was Ms Patricia Lorenz, a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University.

Residents became wildlife observers during Circuit breaker Period

July 2020 in The New Paper 

One of the project’s contributors was Patricia Lorenz, a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) [...]. She contributed more than 500 wildlife observations during the circuit breaker on a variety of animals such as birds, insects and even reptiles. She goes for daily walks around her neighbourhood in the Fengshan constituency in Tanah Merah to watch for and take photos of wildlife and posts them on the iNaturalist app. She told The New Paper: “This project helped me to cope with loneliness and being cooped up at home during the circuit breaker because it gave me a purpose and I learnt a lot.”

Singapore students came to TSU in the winter to learn Russian

January 2020 in Tomsk State University News

Nanyang Technological University students came to TSU for the fourth time for intensive Russian language learning at the Faculty of Philology. This time they visited Siberia in the winter and studied the Russian language and culture for three weeks. "The Russian language is difficult but interesting. Most of all I liked the topic 'Gender of Nouns' because in English there is no such category, so I wonder why some items are feminine and others are masculine," Natasha D/O Ramesh shared her impressions. "The teachers are very friendly, they always helped."

What makes young Singaporeans want to learn French?

November 2019 in Singapour

Each year, there are more than 600 students in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and more than 900 students in National University of Singapore (NUS) that sit for French classes. Why did they decide to learn French? Which impacts has French on their life? All these questions have been asked to 4 students: Shi Min and Wee Lyn, beginner students in French at NTU, and Sarah and Ern-min, advanced learners in French at NUS. Shi min is a second year student in Linguistics and Wee Lyn is a second year student in Business.
They bring forward answers full of enthusiasm and freshness.

Malay Family that speaks German

May 2019 in Berita Harian

Three generations in Mr Misrudin Anwar’s family have mastered the German language. His granddaughter Lydia Yasmin Taufiq is following the family’s ‘tradition’ and currently taking German as her third language in NTU. She shared that her family regularly conversed in German and she wanted to be part of it. Although it was difficult at first, Lydia has progressed to the fourth level of the German language elective with help from her mother. Lydia’s mother studied the language during her GCE A levels, and her auntie is teaching German language at the MOE Language Center. Lydia is planning to pursue the language until level five.

More NTU exchange students opt for European languages

February 2019 in The Straites Times

While most NTU exchange students pick up local languages such as Chinese and Malay, a growing number from Western countries have over the past few years opted for European languages. Assoc Prof Francesco Paolo Cavallaro, director of the NTU Centre for Modern Languages, said there are those who want to continue learning certain languages that they started on back home so that they do not lose touch with them. Ms Fionnuala Joseph, 20, an exchange student from Britain who is learning Russian at NTU, said, “I thought of learning a language like Chinese, but I felt that if I chose Russian, I could continue learning it back home, and it would be far more likely for me to go to Russia, whether for work or travel.” Mr Martin Kucera, 21, from Czech Technical University in Prague, decided to take German at an intermediate level when he started his exchange programme last month, so as to improve his German. Ms Patricia Lorenz, the centre’s German language coordinator, said, “Students realise that if they want to work in Europe, knowing the languages opens up career opportunities. German is attractive because it is linked to big industries like technology and automative companies.”

More Exchange Students are Learning European Languages at NTU

featured in The Nanyang Chronicle

Picking up a European language might not seem like an activity a visitor to Asia would have on their to-do list, but many European students choose to do just that at NTU. According to the Centre for Modern Langages (CML) there has been an increase of European exchange students taking European language modules here, such as Russian, German, and Italian.

Meet the Russian Risk Takers Making Safe Singapore Their Home

March 2018 in SCMP

Conversely, interest in Russia is also growing. Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University introduced Russian as a course in 2017. Elena Ermilova, the course coordinator, says Russian led a recent survey of which languages students wanted to learn. “The university has a lot of engineering students and there are many big IT companies here that are Singapore-based but Russian-owned,” says Ermilova.

"Bringing the World into Our Home"

December 2017 in Mannheimer Morgen

The Carrera family has been hosting exchange students for 25 years and recently two students from Singapore stayed with them while on an NTU Language Immersion Programme in Mannheim (Germany). "Too short" - was the answer the two students gave when asked about their stay in Mannheim. For two weeks Karl Ann Too and Kimberly Wong were learning German at the University of Mannheim - too short to quench their interest in the German language and culture, but long enough to make them want to come back.

Blossoming interest in learning Malay

November 2017 in Berita Harian

The demand for learning Malay language among undergraduates here continue to increase. This trend was noted by NTU, NUS and Unisim, which offered Malay language courses. At NTU, more than 200 students learn Malay each semester and there are many others in the waiting list. The ease of communicating with Malay friends, neighbours and when travelling to Malaysia and Indonesia continue to be the main reason for choosing to learn the language.

Pick up Latin, Swedish at NTU

November 2017 in The Straits Times

Since August, 24 students have been attending weekly Latin classes at NTU. The classes are run by NTU’s Centre for Modern Languages, which introduces a new language course based on student demand and its potential use. It brings the total number of language electives offered at NTU to 16. Assoc Prof Francesco Paolo Cavallaro, the centre’s director, said it was surprised by the demand for Latin. The class – which is taught by Dr Perono Cacciafoco Francesco – has more than 70 students on its waiting list. Third-year linguistics and multilingual studies major Benjamin Goh, 24, took up the Latin class because he wanted to learn a classical language, after picking up Italian and German.

Grab the Opportunity to Learn Latin in NTU
November 2017 in Berita Harian

Farah Syazana Suhaimi, a third-year NTU student, is among 24 students from various fields who are taking a Latin language course at the university. Mr Francesco Cavallaro, Head of NTU’s Centre for Modern Languages, said they introduced Latin classes after finding out that students are interested to learn the language. Over 70 students are on the waiting list for the Latin course. With the Latin courses, NTU now offers 16 languages, including Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Russian, Singapore Sign Language, Spanish, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Students Interested in "Dying Languages"; NTU Starts Latin Language Classes

October 2017 in Lianhe Zaobao

Latin has become a "dead language" because no country or ethnic group use it currently. However, NTU students have expressed an interest in the language, and the University has started language classes in Latin. There are now 24 students registered for the course, with 70 more on the waiting list. NTU now has 16 language classes in total. Assoc Prof Francesco Paolo Cavallaro, head of NTU's Centre for Modern Language said, "The language is not commonly used, which is precisely why students are extra interested in it. Latin also has influenced many modern languages. Students can better appreciate the artefacts left behind by ancient Rome after studying the language."

NTU Starts Russian Language Elective

featured in The Nanyang Chronicle

The university decided to offer Russian after it came up tops in a CML survey of 500 students, who were asked which languages they would most like to study. NTU is the only university in Singapore to offer the Russian language as a module. CML lecturer Patricia Lorenz said expanding CML's language options allows them to accommodate student's demand for more languages, as well as their desire to stay relevant in a globalised world.

Russian Joins List of Language Electives on Offer at NTU

March 2017 in The Strait Times

The Russian Far East and Siberia, "endowed with huge energy and natural resources", present an economic mine for those willing to take the plunge. This was the message the Russian ambassador to Singapore, Mr Andrey Tatarinov, had for a group of 40 Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students last week. These students are the first to take up Russian, the 14th and latest language elective to be introduced at NTU. "Singapore companies expanding into Russia will need people who speak Russian, know Russian culture and traditions, and legislation," he told The Straits Times. "There will be demand for Singaporean students who are fluent in Russian and who have a good understanding of what Russia is like."

NTU Offers Russian and Singapore Sign Language Classes
featured in Berita Harian

In an effort to increase the number of language classes offered to students, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has added Russian and Singapore Sign Language to its list.


July 2015: An exchange student at NTU won United Nations Essay contest!

One of the exchange students who studied Chinese language at NTU has been named a winner of the United Nations ‘Many Languages, One World Essay Contest”, with an essay on ‘Ensuring a healthy life and promoting well-being for all”. The contest, organized by the UN and held in New York in July 2015, challenged university students all over the world to write an essay examining UN’s post-2015 global development agenda in one of the six official languages of the UN which is not the student’s first language. Gil Young Lee, a student at NTU on exchange from Korea’s Ajou University, chose Chinese as one of his subjects, and entered the contest with the help and encouragement of his instructor Dr. Xiaoling He of the Centre for Modern Languages. It is hoped that this exceptional honor will provide an extra incentive for more students to students to learn Chinese at NTU.​