My English School, Wang Learning Centre At Wisteria Mall: Teaching Language With Passion And Precision

My English School, Wang Learning Centre At Wisteria Mall: Teaching Language With Passion And Precision
Image: My English School, Wang Learning Centre
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How many vowels are there in the English language? Most of you will say five. But do you know how many vowel sounds are there?

According to My English School’s director, Liew Su Min. “English is made up of 44 sounds and 20 vowel sounds,” Su Min explained during our chat with her and fellow director, Gerold Kaske, “so if we’re only teaching kids 5 vowel sounds, how can they read comprehensively?”

This is the passion and precision with which My English School strives to lay a strong foundation in English literacy in children. The school has 13 centres spread across the island.

Its Chinese language counterpart at Wisteria Mall, Wang Learning Centre, also has a strong presence in Singapore. From the establishment of its first centre in 2007, the Chinese enrichment brand has grown into a 10-outlet outfit – purely by word of mouth!


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We found out from representatives of these language enrichment establishments what makes them so sought after by parents and students alike. Read more to find out!


My English School – Imparting Important Literacy Skills to Help Children Excel in Life

My English School – Imparting Important Literacy Skills to Help Children Excel in Life
Image: My English School

Located at the basement of Wisteria Mall, My English School offers two types of programmes for children ranging from 3 to 12 years old. The reading programme aims to help children not just to be able to read, but to do so with understanding by K2.

“I think that is the most important skill that our children should have: the ability to read before they enter Primary 1,” Su Min, who is a former MOE teacher, expressed.

As most subjects are taught using English, Su Min elaborated, children who can read comprehensively “can really free up their mind to start learning the concepts teachers are trying to teach” and “they become more confident and happy learners.”

The second programme offered by the school aims to help Primary 1 to 6 students become proficient in all the PSLE English components, namely composition, grammar and language use, listening comprehension and oral. It is aligned to the MOE English language syllabus, with lesson content that reflects the latest PSLE format.

A Comprehensive Curriculum that Stretches Students

My English School - Small Classes, Individual Attention for each Student
Image: My English School

My English School’s curriculum is planned by a team of experts comprising former MOE English language level heads and native English teachers with linguistic academic qualifications from reputable universities. It is designed to be a little more advanced as the school believes in getting children accustomed to the rigour of studying the language from an early age.

Using the analogy of a rocket being launched, Gerold said, “If the tangent earlier on is steeper for the kids in terms of learning, they will continue on this trajectory.”

To illustrate how the curriculum stretches students, Su Min gave the example of the school starting its students on composition-writing from Primary 1, albeit in a simple, one-paragraph format and progressing to three paragraphs in the middle of the year.

Small Classes, Individual Attention for each Student

Small Classes, Individual Attention for each Student at My English School
Image: My English School

At My English School, lessons are engaging, thanks to small class sizes not exceeding ten students and the play-based approach to learning. Taught by carefully selected, in-house trained teachers, classes are highly interactive and packed with fun activities. “There are group activities; there are individual activities, and for the young learners we teach also using games to make it more engaging,” Su Min shared. “Young learners learn better through a play-based approach.”

Grouping Children Based on their Ability

Another strategy has helped children to learn better at My English School: assigning students to classes based on their ability instead of age. “Our kids are given a very structured system and level by level, they are being exposed to more difficult skills over time,” Su Min said.

Students can be promoted at any time of the year once they have acquired all the skills in their current level. She estimated that the time taken to complete one level is about six to twelve months. By working based on individual student’s learning needs instead of taking a time-based approach, the school is able to maximise each child’s potential.


Wang Learning Centre – Strengthening Children’s Foundation in the Chinese Language

Wang Learning Centre – Strengthening Children’s Foundation in the Chinese Language
Image: Wang Learning Centre

It is a well-known fact that many children in Singapore find Chinese a tough language to learn. So how does Wang Learning Centre help its students to overcome this problem and excel in the subject?

Chatting with Manager Wang Xinchen, it seems that there is no secret recipe for the centre’s success in producing academically strong students. It all boils down to two ingredients: a strong curriculum and passionate teachers.

Students Benefit from a Structured Curriculum

Students Benefit from a Structured Curriculum
Image: Wang Learning Centre

“Our curriculum has been tested and… improved over the years,” Xinchen said, elaborating on how it is structured such that students do not get too intimidated from the start.

“We try to get them to build up their confidence in the language first (through) our structured curriculum, so that… as they progress under the guidance of the teachers, over time, they will get acclimatised to it,” he added.

The centre’s belief is that with greater confidence, students will learn better. This will stand them in good stead as they move up the levels and things get harder.

Knowing that children in Singapore do not have enough opportunities to be exposed to Chinese, Wang Learning Centre makes sure that its classes are well worth students’ time.

“We try to create an extra platform for them… to make sure that during the two- or three-hour class, they’re exposed to all kinds of learning, like reading, writing, listening,” Xinchen said.

Passionate Teachers Make All the Difference

Passionate Teachers Make All the Difference
Image: Wang Learning Centre

Another key factor in Wang Learning Centre’s success is the dedication of its teachers.

Xinchen emphasised that the centre’s teachers are “very, very committed” and enjoy the process of guiding students. By conducting classes in a very passionate and engaging way, they pique students’ interest in the Chinese language.

When asked how the centre makes sure that it has such teachers in its employment, Xinchen replied that while the selection process is important, “what’s more important is that after they join us, there will be one to two months of pure training”. This is when they will sit in on senior teachers’ classes to observe and learn.

“So, from the start, we put them in an environment where everyone around them (is) very good…, very passionate,” Xinchen continued.

As the Chinese saying – 近朱者赤 – goes, this practice influences new teachers positively, immersing them in the company culture of passion and dedication, which the original Wang Lao Shi, Founder and Principal Wang Jie, has instilled since the very beginning.

Purely Motivated by the Desire to Help Students

Wang Learning Centre’s mission is to establish a strong Chinese language foundation in every student’s life-long learning journey.

The centre does not see other Chinese enrichment establishments as competition, but rather just focuses on helping students, who come its way, to improve in their command of the language.

It is perhaps this sincere approach to education that has captured parents and students’ hearts and propelled its growth through the years.


WisKids at Wisteria Mall

WisKids at Wisteria Mall

My English School and Wang Learning Centre are part of WisKids, Wisteria Mall’s sub-brand that supports the all-rounded development of children through a well-curated range of enrichment and learning centres located at the mall.

Find out more about My English School and Wang Learning Centre.

This feature is brought to you by Wisteria Mall.

 
 

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