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Mediacorp Preps First Bilingual Preschool Series

Mediacorp has produced Junction Tree, Singapore’s first-ever bilingual show for preschoolers, and is due to debut the series on its Okto channel next month.

Junction Tree follows the adventures of characters who live in a magical tree house and aims to teach young viewers about the importance of making friends, punctuality, being respectful and recycling. The 26-episode musical program is supported by Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism and IMDA. Each episode contains English-Chinese, English-Malay and English-Tamil versions, with a bilingual host for each.

Junction Tree is slated to begin airing on Mediacorp Okto on February 27, 2017. All three language versions will air on Okto. A repeat broadcast will also be shown on channels 5, 8, Suria and Vasantham.

Hidayah Ong, the head of the news segment who produced and wrote the series, commented: “Junction Tree was pitched as a project as increasingly, more Singaporeans speak English at home. By creating a storytelling environment that is fun and entertaining, we hope that this will help preschoolers to better appreciate and be more conversant in their mother tongue. Junction Tree was borne out of two years of pilot testing and research and development with a panel of educators, mother tongue experts from the three language streams, parents and preschoolers themselves. As the creators of the program, we uncovered a whole breadth of potential in not just creating bilingual content but puppeteering as a form of storytelling.”