English Language and Literature
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The PHS English Language and Literature curricula are designed to develop every PHS student into an effective communicator. The students, in the course of their four or five years in PHS, will be engaged in a myriad of activities to hone their language skills.
1. Extensive Reading activities
The Extensive Reading Programme runs throughout the year in PHS to support the acquisition of language skills. It is a school-wide effort of the department to cultivate a love for reading. It comprises Silent Reading during the morning assembly on Monday and Tuesday and newspaper reading (The Straits Times and the IN Publication) at the start of each week. Students and teachers spend time immersed in the world of their books as they read together as a community.
The Newspaper Reading Programme opens up the minds of the students to see beyond their world, to explore a gamut of social and global concerns.
The NLB supports the programme every year by staging a Book Buzz in the school, a talk recommending great reads to whet their reading appetite. Also, Books-2-Go events see students enjoying themselves browsing through hundreds of fascinating books brought to the school by NLB officers for loan. Recommended reads are also featured at the school library.
2. The Joy of Learning – Appreciating Literature
In an effort to foster a learning culture, the Literature Unit has implemented the Literature Syllabus that emphasises critical appreciation of the texts studied. A strong collaboration with the English Language and Literature Branch (ELLB) at MOE HQ through an Implementation Support and Research project took place in 2019. ELLB officers supported the team in enacting the Principles of Literature Teaching and Learning, with a heightened focus on Critical Appreciation. The collaboration has enhanced the expertise of the team of Literature teachers passionate about the subject. They are well equipped to guide the students in their journey through the texts and their discovery of the intricacies of human nature and life.
3. Multimodal Approach to integrating language skills
With the aim of helping our students become effective communicators, the English Language teachers at the upper secondary levels further enrich the curriculum by integrating a range of language skills through a multimodal approach. The students are required to work in groups to produce a multimodal presentation. Groups that are ready for a bigger challenge may choose to produce a short documentary. The project offers a rich platform that allows students to acquire new skills such as conducting interviews and using a movie-making software to produce a video. The students get to enjoy collaborating with their peers. In the process, they also develop greater sensitivity to social concerns as they focus on the themes of Care for the Elderly and Care for the Environment. Many of them will find the experience engaging and enriching as they gain a repertoire of IT and language skills.
4. Academic Support
English Language and Literature teachers provide support for students by conducting remedial classes as well as conferencing and oral mentoring. Students are guided to reflect on their work and analyse their errors to grow in their language acquisition. This approach helps them to cultivate a sense of responsibility and ownership towards their own learning. They also develop their confidence.