Mrs D's English Enrichment

Sec 1-4 English Language

CORE/UPPER Sec EL programmes

S1-2 Core Sec EL: TUES/WED/THURS 4.00pm
S3-4 Upper Sec EL: TUES/WED/THURS 5.30pm

Once a pupil has completed the PSLE, they might imagine that the A they have gotten in English should hold them in good stead once they are in secondary school.  The truth is that the PSLE English Language Paper is a fairly limited test of writing ability.

The many subjects that 
English Language in PSLE translates into:

Sec 1-4 O level pathway
English Language
English Literature

Literature exam is a examinable subject distinct from English Language.

Reading and Literature
You might see this in the international schools offering the IB route.  There may not be any separate Lit exams.
Language Arts in Sec Sch IP programmes
  • English Language merged with English Literature. Offered in some mainstream schools as enrichment. EL exams could still be separate from Lit exams.
  • English Language merged with Literature in English. Offered in some mainstream schools as enrichment. This is also the slant for IB schools with a high local student intake (like ACS Ind) as the IB curriculum covers translated works as well.
  • Literature merged with General Paper. This is the most interesting variant and likely to be only confidently run by a staffing mix that is heavy on JC teachers (hint: the JC-driven curriculum)

Subjects where one's command of English will make a material difference
  • Geography
  • History
  • Social Studies
  • Introduction to Philosophy (in some IP progs)

What I teach in my secondary programmes
To cope with the challenges of content heavy subjects like Geography, History, Literature and Biology, the Lower Secondary secondary pupil has to be taught the entire spectrum of writing skills – from creative to argumentative, from reflective to persuasive.  I might insert a current affairs lesson on the Chile Miners Rescue, or a do a lesson on the impact of Steve Jobs or dissect (cultural snobs alert!) the cultural & political implications of a global phenomenon like the Descendents of the Sun or offer an insight on what writing strategy to use for a essay comparing different entities.You are unlikely to find the same range I offer in other centres, because my background is English Literature, English Language and Philosophy.  I will also be able to observe the gradual filtering of content and expectations downstream, as essay topics for Upper Sec morph into more General Paper-like essay questions.

Topics and skills covered:  
Composition – from creative to argumentative; with an emphasis on what's is not covered in school 
Comprehension – from literary to factual passages 
Functional Writing – all taught with nuanced templates  
Summary – technical and vocabulary skills and plenty of work on criticism.