Self-regulated Learning through SRA Reading Laboratory
At the start of the 21-22 academic year, the English language Department rolled out a personalized learning and reading program, mapping the much trusted SRA Reading Laboratory (a graded reading program) onto Loilonotes (an interactive lesson platform for student-centered learning). This marriage of content and technology ensures each student is working at the appropriate level and moving ahead at his or her own pace, in school or while learning from home, and most important of all, developing the necessary habits and skills to be independent and confident readers in the process.
The design of the program is straightforward, each student’s skill level is matched to a color-coded, leveled reading selection consisting of 12-15 reading cards. The reading levels gradually increase in complexity, and reading cards gradually increase in word count to keep students challenged as they progress through the program.
Each reading card consists of coordinating questions focusing on comprehension, word analysis, vocabulary, and grammar. After students complete a reader, they check their work using a corresponding answer key. Based on the results, teachers may suggest students revisit a skill or subject matter to provide reinforcement and extra practice.
As students progress through the reading cards within their color level, they record their scores and upload progress charts onto Loilonotes where their progress is tracked and monitored by teachers. Once they have made significant progress within their level, they are identified by teachers and are invited to Promotion Interviews where students and teachers discuss face-to-face about their progress and recommendations are made their promotion to the next level.
“Time Out!” The English Language Assembly Programme
“Time Out!” is the name of the Morning Assembly Programme put up by the English department. It is a “time” when students get to talk about a variety of student – interest-topics, and, showcase their talents and achievements in English Language. With the move to hold morning assemblies in the school hall, “Time Out!” has evolved from just a “talent” show to become an interactive “variety” show. The new “Time Out!” leverages on the school hall’s audio-visual capabilities to immerse students in a lively variety show experience with attractive music, videos and prizes while they learn new language skills and knowledge. In the meantime, English Language teachers take the opportunity to equip students with presentation skills and groom students in their roles as performers, presenters, masters of ceremonies and game show hosts. More importantly, “Time Out!” is hosted by students, presented by students and watched by students.
Differentiated instruction is a systematic response to the reality that students are different from each other. It is a framework to help teachers move away from ‘teaching to the middle’.Tailoring lessons for the middle band of students in a class results in some students being over challenged, some under challenged, some unable to gain access to key concepts, and many demotivated. In contrast, with differentiated instruction, lessons are organised so that students progress towards learning objectives but reach them in ways that are personally suitable. Based on a school-based diagnostic test, teachers aim to make it possible for students to acquire course content, make sense of ideas, and develop learning products that are compatible with their learning styles, interests and abilities.
Small Group Oral / Writing Training
A team of native English-speaking teachers are employed to provide small group oral and writing training to students. Through this, teacher-student ratio is reduced to 1:4-5 so that students can receive timely feedback and their personal needs are better addressed. Also, students’ exposure to the language is widened.
Authentic English Speaking Environment
The school has set up a cozy café (Café de Chan Wong) with indoor and outdoor seating to offer our students a relaxing out-of-class environment where they can interact freely with a team of native English speakers. Students are also encouraged to spend their lunchtime playing board games or simply chat with the NETs to practice and experience authentic English language oral communication.
English Learning Activities
01 English Week
The English Week is a much anticipated school wide festivity that is held annually. It comprises numerous activities, such as games stalls, drama performances, singing contests, culinary classes and, where the principal and even the school’s tuck shop ladies are roped in to speak only in English to create an immersive English Language environment for our students.
02 Life Wide Learning
The Life Wide Learning Day is a time for students to learn in real contexts and authentic settings. This kind of experiential learning enables students to achieve certain learning goals that are more difficult to attain through classroom learning alone. It helps students to achieve the aims of whole-person development and enables them to develop the life-long learning capabilities that are needed in our ever-changing society. Students apply their English Language reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in the real world. They work in small groups designing questionnaires, interviewing foreigners and writing down and presenting their findings to their classmates and teachers.