As lingua franca, the English Language performs a fundamental role in Education. The current realisation of the demands for the 21st Century citizen further indicates a need to make students confident speakers and communicators.
Building on the EL Syllabus 2010 objective to develop effective language use, the English Language (EL) and Language Arts (LA) curriculum will further differentiate by strengthening the appreciation of the language through literature and linguistics, and the application of English through knowledge construction and discussions on issues and concepts. Meta-cognition in the form of critical thinking and reflection will be used to activate their learning.
The purpose of such differentiation is toward the engagement of high-ability students cognitively and affectively thereby cultivating a lifelong passion for the English Language. It is hoped that students will see beyond the functional usage of English and appreciate the language as a carrier of culture and meaning.
The EL and LA Programme will adopt the Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) to structure its learner outcomes. The model, developed by VanTassel-Baska from the College of William & Mary, emphasises on the integration of advanced content, higher order thinking processes and connections to overaching themes and issues as the foundation for curriculum development. In essence, this integrated approach to language learning will create better flow by allowing students to see language use in more authentic situations.
The school will continue to leverage on Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework which takes from the learner outcomes derived using the ICM to design differentiated units and lesson plans for the IP. By constantly linking back to the throughlines of the units, students will focus on the understanding goals in each lesson and are guided through questions and discussions to apply their understanding through performances. They will thus make connections on all aspects of their lessons to the larger concepts and issues in the unit.
The curriculum will be structured according to the three dimensions in the ICM which inform on the learner outcomes and design of the curriculum. Equipped with higher proficiency and understanding in the language and literature, the students will then be able to leverage on EL in a professional manner in the future. In particular, students are encouraged to:
(a) Advanced Content Dimension
• Develop linguistic and oral competency
• Develop literary thinking
• Develop skills in giving argument and opinions
(b) Process-Product Dimension
• Develop critical thinking and reflection
• Engender collaboration and participation
• Develop research skills
(c) Concept Dimension
• Assimilate key concepts into existing structures in society and the world
Assessment plays a key role in differentiating the curriculum for the 'O' Level and IP programme. The IP curriculum has greater focus on developing higher order thinking which is seen in performance tasks where students have to apply their learning in challenging and authentic tasks. The 'O' Level curriculum is more focused on developing Linguistic and Oral competency and is more structured in developing thinking skills.
The assessment framework follows from the three dimensions of the ICM where each dimension is assessed using a basket of formative and summative assessment modes. The use of a variety of assessment modes will allow for better matching of performance tasks with outcomes.
Assessment modes include:
• Self, peer and teacher assessment
• Portfolio (Oral and writing)
• Journal reflection
• Oral presentation
• Observational checklist
• Group projects
• Test and examination