News & Events


CML in the News


July 2020  


Residents turn wildlife observers during Circuit breaker Period 

featured 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). 


July 2020  


Residents became wildlife observers during Circuit breaker Period

featured in The New Paper 

One of the project’s contributors was Patricia Lorenz, 52, 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.” 


november 2019  


What makes young Singaporeans want to learn French?

featured 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.


May 2019


Malay Family that speaks German

featured 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.



February 2019


More NTU exchange students opt for European languages

featured in The Straits 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.”


January 2019


More Exchange Students are Learning European Languages at NTU


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.

MARCH 2018



featured 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.

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featured in Mannheimer Morgen

"Bringing the world into our home"

The Carrera family has been hosting exchange students for 25 years and recently two students from Singapore stayed with them while on a language immersion programme. "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.

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also featured in Twitter
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Blossoming interest in learning Malay

featured in Berita Harian, 21 NOV '17, PAGE 7


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.

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pick up latin, swedish at ntu

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, has also brought in Swedish. 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. Another 32 students are learning Swedish from Mr Mans Jakob Hedberg, who, like Dr Perono Cacciafoco, is also a member of the NTU teaching staff. 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. Biological science student Neo Shi Yong, 24, decided to learn Swedish as he plans to pursue postgraduate studies in biology in Sweden after graduating.

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grab the opportunity to learn latin in ntu

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. Another new language offered by the university is Swedish. The university said that Sweden is among the top five popular destinations for exchange programmes among NTU students. Since 1995, more than 1,600 students were involved in exchange programmes in Sweden, while more than 1,800 students from Swedish universities have gone to NTU. With the Latin and Swedish courses, NTU now offers 16 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, 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


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 is also starting a Swedish language class as Sweden is one of the five most popular countries NTU students pick to go for their overseas exchange. 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."

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MAY 2017


NTU starts Russian language elective; to offer Swedish, Latin next semester

featured in The Nanyang Chronicle

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APRIL 2017


singaporean students will speak in russian

featured in


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MARCH 2017


russian joins list of language electives on offer at ntu

featured in The Strait Times


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ntu offers russian and singapore sign language classes

featured in

NTU adds russian and singapore sign language to its unique language offerings

 featured in NTU Official News Release