Monday, September 10, 2012

MOE Tweaks English Syllabus

I was excited when I saw the headline 'MOE tweaks PSLE English Language Paper for 2015 cohort' in the newspapers.

This change will affect my boys who will sit for PSLE after 2015. 

After reading up (more at MOE website here), my first reaction was that the revised syllabus (which M has been on since Primary 1) and the new exam format, work to our advantage.

......  As part of the programme, EL is taught through stories and texts that appeal to children, with explicit grammar instruction. Students are provided with opportunities to express themselves in an environment where language learning can be enjoyable yet purposeful. Through the reading of engaging stories in class, students get to speak extensively, discussing and sharing their views with the teacher and their peers. The main purpose is to build students’ confidence in speech and writing, and enhance their learning of the language. (from MOE website)

My boys and many of my students who are so used to the Bright Minds Lapbookers programme will have a definite advantage, since these objectives (in bold) have been the focus of my programme right from the beginning. I can't help smiling. 

The new syllabus is definitely a move in the right direction. Finally.... yay!!

Those who memorize model compositions and relying heavily on assessment books to learn English will find it harder to excel in the new exam format, which is supposedly designed to test the child's true competence in the language.

That said, while the revised syllabus sounds promising, it is the implementation that truly matters.

Unless the students are well-taught by good teachers who speak good English (we all know the other kind exists too) from Primary 1, those who are already weak in the English language will be seriously disadvantaged.

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