SLP and Culture in Singapore

Speech and Language Therapy is a well-developed field in Singapore. The professional association, Speech and Language Therapy Singapore (SALTS), was established in 1994 and has been growing ever since! From Early Intervention and school-based services, to clinics, and hospital settings, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) in Singapore have the opportunity to work with patients across the lifespan.

Singapore is a very culturally and linguistically diverse country with four official language–Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English. English is the most commonly used language which unites Singaporeans from different ethnic groups. Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences can be appreciated in the cuisine, architecture, and religious festivals!

Though English is the most common language, Singaporeans often use Singlish which is a mix of English and other languages spoken in Singapore including Malay and Hokkien. Though Singlish is more frequently used when talking with family members and friends, as a foreign SLP, it is important to have an understanding of the linguistic variations Singlish presents to better understand language differences vs. disorders. One interesting pragmatic difference is the use of terms such as ‘lah’, ‘wat’, and ‘lor’ at the end of phrases and sentences. These particles serve different purposes including conveying mood and a sense of resignation. For more information about the linguistic variables of Singlish, check out this paper.

Steps to Working in Singapore

  1. Score a job
  2. Register with the Allied Health Professions Council
  3. Apply for your work visa

More info about the process below!

Job Opportunities

There are a variety of settings and populations you can work
with in Singapore. Here are a few organizations and clinics to help you start
your search:

Qualifications and AHPC Registration

According to SALTS, in order to qualify as a Speech-Language
Pathologist in Singapore, you must have completed a 4-year undergraduate degree
or 2-year post-graduate degree locally or internationally.

You must also register with the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC). Criteria for registration include:

    • Professional Qualification (4 year Bachelor’s; 2 year Post-Grad/Master’s)
      • Qualifying Examination (QE) required if professional qualification is not listed on AHPCs List of Recognised Qualification
      • USA trained clinicians must have their CCC-SLP and prove education from a CAA accredited program
      • English Language Proficiency Test
      • Offer of employment

Visa Requirements

In order to work in Singapore, you must acquire a valid pass (aka work visa)–most likely an S Pass or Employment Pass for Allied Healthcare Professions. Learn more about the application process on the Ministry of Manpower website 

  • Registration with the AHPC is required prior to applying for and obtaining your work visa.

Education Opportunities

The National University of Singapore offers a 2-year Master of Science program in Speech and Language Pathology.

Singapore Institute of Technology offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Speech and Language Therapy.

***For Singaporean students interested in studying overseas, scholarships are available! Learn more here.

Have questions about transferring your degree back home? Always look into the requirements with your home country’s professional organization (i.e.–ASHA, RCSLT, etc) for specifics on the process for internationally trained clinicians prior to deciding to obtain your degree overseas.

~Your SLP Overseas

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