Parenting is a journey and there is always something new to learn along the way.
New at SmartKids Asia 2017 is The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses. Being held on 18 and 19 March, these workshops cater to parents with children between the ages of five to 12 years old.
Conducted by experts in their field, there are six workshops to choose from. Parents can attend them individually or purchase a group pass. Each session lasts for up an hour, during which time, experts will impart tips, strategies and ideas to participants.
We asked Debra Ann Francisco who will be speaking at the Parenting Masterclasses on how to use The Straits Times to develop your child’s English language skills.
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Coaching Your Child in English with The Straits Times by Debra Ann Francisco
Debra Ann Francisco is in charge of educational content development in student publications for Straits Times Schools. She most recently wrote the LKY: Follow That Rainbow, Go Ride It workbook for secondary students and has worked on both upper primary and secondary editions of the newly-launched Mastering English With The Straits Times.
At the Parenting Masterclasses, she will be sharing on how to use current affairs to coach your child in English at the upper primary levels.
Little Day Out: Why do you feel that The Straits Times, or news media in general, makes a good tool to help a child develop his or her English?
Debra: Apart from cultivating a love for reading, and improving one’s language skills, the news is authentic. When children read The Straits Times, especially about news in Singapore, they are more aware of things happening around them.
These make for great story plots and characters in their writing as well.
LDO: What are some ways parents can cultivate their child’s interest in newspapers and current affairs?
Debra: Reading the newspaper together is a great way to bond. Parents can take turns with their child picking one story of the week and sticking that on the refrigerator. The idea is for the child to see that his parents are growing in knowledge about current affairs together with them.
Parents can also create a family news scrapbook filled with news stories about community events that the family has participated in. Family photographs of these experiences can also be pasted in this scrapbook together with quotes and reflections written by family members.
LDO: What kind of results have you seen from children who use The Straits Times or other news media as a learning tool?
Debra: They become more aware of the world around them and start to apply this awareness to their everyday experiences. Children who are exposed to current affairs from an early age develop empathy towards others. They are also more motivated to take action and work towards social causes at an older age.
To pick up more strategies on how you can use newspapers and current affairs to improve your child’s English language skills, join Debra at The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses on:
Saturday, 18 March, 10 am to 10.45 am; or
Sunday, 19 March, 11.15 am to 12 pm
For the full list of parenting workshops, visit the SmartKids Asia website here.
Each parenting workshop will last up to an hour. Tickets are available online and costs $16.05 for one session or $48.15 for a Single Day Pass.