VISUALS give way to a world of increasing text for the beginning tweens. It’s a time when they are likely to ask for text-rich materials to avoid being viewed as a mere child. However, with increasing text comes new words and meanings which must be sourced and understood. It is in this context, a good and relevant dictionary comes into play.
FOR MANY, the dictionary is mostly seen but not used. In some instances, not seen even. This rich resource is often neglected and yet once you get familiar with its use, you become alive to the treasure it contains.
JUNK MAIL is unsolicited commercial mail. We receive quite a bit of it regularly, and it generally ends up in the waste bin. But is there a way to extract some value from it from the perspective of learning and parenting? Improve your children's language skills and add to their general knowledge through association to their environment
What You Will Need
If you have been through your children’s English paper (from Primary 3 onwards), you would notice a section called “Stimulus Graphics MCQ”. Most times, the content relates to what I would call practical English and general knowledge eg invitation to an opening, news of events, announcements, launches, lucky draws, etc.
Once, my son had a topic about insurance – there was jargon like premiums, coverage and beneficiaries. Needless to say, he did not do well.
In reality, it is not difficult to score in this section. Simply expose your children to such content as often as you can. You need not source very hard. Most time your letterbox would be invaded by such content ranging from brochures on property, household services, marketing materials from different brand owners, donations, invitations to launches, etc. Hand them to your children, let them go through to brief as well as ‘advise’ you on the course of actions, if any. You will be surprised at their willing response as it would make them feel valued, involved and grown-up. Hear them explain and you will be amazed at how such a level of engagement could become a learning opportunity. In fact, if well deployed, it becomes a conversational piece where your child will learn beyond the content of the material.
A recent news report touched on the issue of tough school examinations that appeared to result in high student failure rates. In contrast, national examinations like the PSLE appeared to be easier. A former primary school Level Head, Albert Koh currently teaches in a secondary school. In this article, he gives his perspective on examinations, discussing their roles, and differentiating school examinations from national type.