Blog | OWIS - Singapore

English language proficiency at OWIS: how we approach it

Posted by Susan Sawarkar on 26/05/18 07:00

At One World International School, our goal is for our primary students to develop more than just a basic understanding of the English language. We want our students to become proficient enough to engage in thoughtful, intellectual discussion with their peers and mentors. Our enquiry-based approach encourages students to learn at their own pace and to become confident enough to speak, read and write in English.  Our programme is underpinned by the English National Curriculum, ensuring that our students are meeting the targets necessary to succeed in a global environment.

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Language in Our Everyday Environment

Language development is a primary focus on the PYP English curriculum. OWIS students are encouraged to converse in the language with one another and to be creative in their use of the language. Students often find this approach to be more enjoyable, which helps them to master the language quickly. The curriculum focuses on teaching students the importance of listening to an individual who is speaking the language, and responding appropriately. The English programme emphasises the fact that language is necessary for both individual and social growth.

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Communication and Conversation

At OWIS, we believe that becoming proficient in a language requires you to speak it on a regular basis. Communication and conversation is an integral part of our PYP English programme, and students frequently speak in English to their instructors and to one another. As they begin to become proficient in the language, they learn to understand and appreciate the value of being able to converse in English. They recognise that it improves their ability to be successful in a global environment, and that it allows them to connect with people of all cultures and backgrounds.

Reading Strategies for Every Type of Learner

Learning English phrases and beginning to converse in the language is not enough to be considered proficient. We also emphasise the importance of reading comprehension by providing our students with valuable learning tools, including fiction and non-fiction works. Students are introduced to various reading strategies which allow them to customise their learning experience and adapt to reading English in the way that works best for them.

In addition to focusing on reading in the English language, students also are asked to write in the language as well. This becomes an enjoyable activity for students as they explore their own creative ideas through journaling activities and other exercises. As they write in the language, they begin to understand their writing elicits responses in readers that encourage dialogue, conversation, communication and understanding.

Business friends discussing brainstorming and ideas at meeting inside beautiful modern building place

The OWIS Difference: Developing a First-Language Competency

The PYP English curriculum is designed specifically for students to develop a first-language competency in English. Upon completing the PYP English programme, students will be prepared for success in any cultural setting. With an emphasis on conversational fluency and reading comprehension, students will develop an appreciation for cross-cultural understanding. They will have acquired the skills necessary to be marketable in the global economic environment that they will face once they have completed their education.

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Topics: Primary School, theOWISdifference, Subjects

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