SINGAPORE: A new TV programme that is billed as Singapore's first bilingual series for preschoolers will make its debut on Feb 27, on Mediacorp's Okto channel.
Each episode of the programme, called Junction Tree, comprises three versions - English-Chinese, English-Malay and English-Tamil - with a bilingual host for each language version.
Developed and produced by Mediacorp, the 26-episode programme received support from the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism, as part of efforts to promote bilingual learning in young children.
Announcing details of the programme on Wednesday (Jan 4), Mediacorp said it is set in a "hyper-real park" where the characters live in a magical big tree house with other tree communities.
"The stories centre around the characters’ lives and experiences that most preschoolers can relate to, from making new friends and the first day of school to the importance of being punctual and respectful, and recycling," said Mediacorp in a news release.
It added that the programme features 27 songs originally composed and written by Riduan Yusoff, who studied under the late Iskandar Mirza Ismail.
Junction Tree was the result of two years of pilot testing and research with a panel of educators, mother tongue experts from the three language streams, parents and preschoolers themselves, said Ms Hidayah Ong, head of Mediacorp's news segment, who produced and wrote the series.
"By creating a story-telling environment that is fun and entertaining, we hope that this will help preschoolers to better appreciate and be more conversant in their mother tongue," she said.
Telecast schedule on Okto (Feb 27 to Mar 24)
1:30pm to 2:00pm English and Chinese
2:30pm to 3:00pm English and Tamil
3:30pm to 4:00pm English and Malay