There is a growing acceptance amongst top schools and parents that education should not only be goal-focused learning based on results and merit but one that emphasizes on the holistic development of an individual. This should also apply to how we learn the English Language.
That the success of an individual is not purely determined by his academic achievements but a holistic balance of character, values, knowledge, wisdom, and belief.
Success in life is the result of an empowered individual enjoying this journey of learning rather than something that is strived for.
Applying this to how we learn the English language is important because lanugage is a very powerful tool in the hands of an individual who knows how to master it. Beyond the ability to just pass an exam, language has the ability to communicate powerful ideas and concepts that are just as emotion-based than it is based on the knowledge of the matter.
Learning English through the Whole-Person Approach through Heart (Socio-Emotional Learning), Mind (Cognitive Learning) and Subject brings the greatest potential to the individual to succeed not only in this subject, but in life.
The Whole Person Approach
Neuroscience has proven that Emotion is essential to learning - emotionally connected learning results in deeper cognition and better grades. The Whole Person approach incorporates Emotional Intelligence, or Emotional Quotient (EQ) with cognitive higher-order thinking and the relevant skills that are needed into our curriculum. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is attained through socio-emotional learning – when students are connected to their own emotions as part of the learning process. EQ is the critical factor for star performers to succeed in life. It is more crucial now than ever before - that our students be equipped with EQ for today's and tomorrow's challenges.
Emotional Intelligence is weaved into BELOVED’s WHOLE PERSON approach through our 4A's of Socio-Emotional Learning.
Fig 1: BELOVED’s WHOLE PERSON approach through our 4A's of Socio-Emotional Learning.
1 Developments in neuroscience has allowed scientists to empirically verify and confirm these results, which has been published in book, “Emotions, Learning, and the Brain”
(http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Emotions-Learning-and-the-Brain/) by Dr Mary Helen Immordino Yang.
2 Emotional Intelligence as published in the seminal research in 1995 by Dr Daniel Goleman in his book, “Emotional Intelligence” (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/69105/emotionalintelligence-
3 Source: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/emotional-intelligence-why-important.html
The Whole Language Approach
Many countries, including Singapore, use the direct and structural approach to teach the English language. Many good English schools and language centres focus on this as the intentional approach, where training controls pace and teaching provides direct instructions in the rules of the language.
The challenges of this approach are that the drilling is boring and language learning becomes laborious as a conscious effort in grammar and structure acquisition. Little creativity is involved with no or very little critical thinking. Students also cannot see the whole picture as all the drills are compartmentalised or taught as isolated units or skills.
The Whole Language approach is foremost communicative and community-based, where learning is about making new discoveries of themselves, of others and the world around them.
The language is made exciting as this approach gives students a personal voice and synthesises with the other methods in direct, structural, lexical and task-based approaches to bring the needed rigour to the mastery of the English language.
The Learner’s engagement with the whole language starts with a story that he can relate to, and/or realworld issues and themes that are relevant to their age and growth stage. Hence, English learning becomes meaningful through the issues, emotions and experiences that develop critical thinking, communication and literacy skills.
The Whole Language Approach will produce:
Mastery of language with the motivation from their personal voice, yet still rigorous in meeting MOE standards of testing.
Creativity in writing.
Critical thinking skills where students form opinions and arguments.
A love of reading that enhances and enriches their language skills.
Values and character development through the immersive class discussions.
An environment with an adequate context for language acquisition.
A global view through variety of text both written and oral.
BELOVED International Ltd (“BELOVED”) is a leading English language education provider with a vision to use its original proprietary English language curriculum to build on the Whole Person and Whole Language approach and prepare students for global leadership in the 21st Century.
BELOVED's curriculum combined with world-class resources is proven to develop the love for learning not only through core disciplines and subjects, but also an integration of global issues, local relevance, values, critical thinking and application.