EnglishWise Academy focusses on the instruction and learning of the English Language in the Singapore primary classroom.
We strive to provide quality facilitation and support in the teaching, coaching and learning of the English Language for teachers, parents and pupils, respectively.
Our quality facilitation and support will foster higher academic achievement and greater social competence for learners in their classroom, school and the community.
EnglishWise Academy strongly believes that for there to be a reasonable amount of language output from the pupils, be it in oral communication or written expression, there must be a reasonable amount of language input.
On this premise of input equates output, our academy seeks first to teach what children may not have caught enough of in school and then, to test where assimilation of learning is assessed through on-site practices and drills.
To ensure that our students achieve optimal learning of the English Language, we teach writing explicitly; we teach reading comprehension explicitly; we teach grammar explicitly.
What do we teach?
With a curriculum that is aligned to that of the revised 2010 English Language Syllabus, we prepare our pupils to meet the challenges of the various heavy-weight components in the revised PSLE format.
1 Continuous Writing (Paper 1)
● Elements of content development:
- Character Accountability
- Topic Focus
● Language and Organisation
It is no longer enough for pupils to know what orientation, problem, resolution and coda are in writing a story for this component in PSLE; neither, too, triggers, story climaxes, rising and falling action.
To do well in the PSLE Continuous Writing Paper, pupils need to know how they can apply the elements of Content, Language and Organisation to help them write an engaging and well developed composition – one that will help them score.
These elements and their application are fleshed out in our in-house reference text, PSLE Writing Formula: The CRT Way, written by Mrs Chua Ho Cheng, the founder of EnglishWise Academy.
2 Comprehension (Paper 2)
● Unpacking of texts metacognitively
● Answering to the questions
Too many teachers and parents believe that having pupils practise Comprehension is teaching Comprehension. Too many teachers and parents, also, think that assessing Comprehension is teaching Comprehension. Consequently, there is a lack of explicit Comprehension instruction in the classroom because Comprehension practice and Comprehension assessment are mistakenly assumed to teach Comprehension.
How do we explicitly teach Comprehension to pupils?
We teach pupils:
- what core comprehension strategies are and how each strategy helps in the comprehension of a text.
- how to use metacognitive strategies to unpack texts.
- how seemingly easy questions are to be read and answered.
3 Synthesis and Transformation (Paper 2)
● Syntactic structures
● Sentence patterns
● Sentence types
Contrary to popular belief, synthesis and transformation can be taught.
We teach pupils:
- the fundamentals of sentence construction
- the grammar rules underpinning commonly-assessed sentence structures
- types, structures and patterns of sentences
4 Cloze (Paper 2)
● Genre features
● Parts of speech
● Syntactic cues
● Contextual cues
Cloze passages test not only grammar but also vocabulary. In effect, cloze passages test the language command of pupils. This means when pupils have the command of the language, they ace it; without, they lose it. Still, all is not lost. With close reading and application of cloze procedures, a positive outcome is attainable in this section of the PSLE Paper.
● Grammar rules
● Real-time grammar
Grammar rules are taught through news articles, excerpts from literary works and pupils’ exemplary writing efforts. These real-time texts allow pupils to see the function and relevance of the rules they learn. Grammar is, therefore, taught in context, not drilled in isolation where pupils may ace the 10-item grammar section but produce grammar-error-ridden compositions.
● Words in context
Vocabulary, like grammar, is taught through real-time texts. Pupils learn a wide range of words in context through news articles, excerpts from literary works and pupils’ exemplary writing efforts. In this way, not only do pupils grasp the meaning of words more easily, but they also see at first-hand how words work simply yet effectively in different contexts for different purposes and audiences.
How do we teach?
We subscribe strongly to scaffolding, instruction and revisiting.
Scaffolding is crucial to learning. This is especially so in writing where teacher demonstration and modelling are necessary for pupils to see, learn and apply the various elements of content development, language and organisation in the crafting of stories. Being a craft, writing needs coaching through much scaffolding to nurture and grow its craftsmanship.
Instruction is an essential part of our curriculum. For each component, we provide pupils with the necessary knowledge first and, then, the know-how for application before we assign practices and drills to assess learning. We do not believe that practices and drills alone, without prior instruction will bring about optimal learning in any of the PSLE components.
Revisiting is very much a part of our curriculum. We revisit, in particular, grammar rules which pervade the four domains of language acquisition: speaking, writing, reading and listening. We focus on grammatical excellence as we strongly believe that grammatical knowledge coupled with the right techniques of application will help pupils ace the four heavy-weights: Synthesis and Transformation, Cloze, Comprehension and Writing in the PSLE.