by Maureen Tan, English Principal at Beloved International with 47 years of teaching experience in English and Literature.
Q: Why do we find so many parents struggling with children who are bored and frankly, unwilling to learn?
Unfortunately, learning in Singapore has become performance-oriented, where it’s all about the output – the grades. So many children lose sight of the purpose of their learning and are faced with endless drills that attempt to perfect the technicality of answering correctly, it’s no wonder they are bored and unmotivated to learn!
Q: How do we cultivate a culture of learning with passion and purpose?
The English Language must not be seen as a series of technical grammar or vocabulary just to score well in the exams, but it’s what allows our students to articulate and express who they are and what they stand for. We know that students learn best when their hearts and minds are engaged through the language. So often, as adults, we forget that the whole person is both emotions and thought – inseparable, our emotions are the ignition that powers our critical thinking and learning!
Q: How do we put emotions at the forefront of learning, as the heart that engages the mind?
We know that student's learn best when their hearts and minds are engaged through the language ... our emotions are the ignition that powers our critical thinking and learning.
Engaging students’ hearts and minds through integrated studies on real-world themes unlock their ability to relate to the subject naturally and then emotionally. Whether it’s Malala fighting for the rights for female education, Jane Goodall’s passion for animal rights, or Joseph Schooling’s determination that led to the Olympic Gold, we use award-winning literature that is age-appropriate to bring these real-world characters and their journeys to life. The relevance of who they were, what they stood for, and how they could identify with each one spurred our students’ hearts to know and understand the different worlds or experiences they lived in.
This heart-relevance powers them through the difficult process of inquiry ... (and) build their higher-order thinking in this process of critical reading and understanding.
This heart-relevance powers them through the difficult process of inquiry required for deep, inferential reading that stumbles so many in Comprehension. As they build their higher-order thinking through this, our lessons reach further into their hearts by helping them internalize their thoughts and feelings to the real-world accounts. Each real-world event or character study is integrated with Listening and Oral as our students hear about and then, speak of their position on the topic. As we encourage our students to see how the same issues are relevant to their own lives, they write their Composition with zeal – the narrative and vocabulary learned to take real life and excitement of their own!
Q: How is this translated into Passion and Purpose?
When their Mind is connected to the Heart - in terms of what they think and how they feel - students begin to take ownership ... Passion is the strength of their emotion and will, to persist and persevere towards their own goals.
The purpose is rooted in an awareness of who I am and what value or contribution I make to the world around me. We use only real-world issues to build our students’ critical understanding of the world we live in and make sense of the growing challenges and issues they face.
When their Mind is connected to the Heart – in terms of what they think and how they feel – students begin to take ownership and their self-identity is strengthened, they develop Passion. Put simply, Passion is the strength of their emotion and will, to persist and persevere towards their own goals.
The first sign of Purpose and Passion is evident when parents see their children leave our classrooms enthusiastic to share what they’ve learned, and brimming with expectation for the next lesson! Our parents have told us how their children would now take initiative to read and discuss world events, and in turn, relate these to Singapore and themselves.
... a wholly-engaged and motivated student is also one who would strive for Excellence - more than half of our students improved by one grade or more after only 3 to 4 months.
When our students take ownership of their learning in this way, parents are freed from “pushing” their children, leaving room for their love relationships to grow. Most importantly, a wholly-engaged and motivated student is also one who would strive for Excellence – more than half of our students have improved by one grade or more after only 3 to 4 months at BELOVED!
Come and experience for yourself how your child can learn and express English with a Passion and Purpose today! Click here for more information.