Phonics class in Singapore for your kids

An article on the website of the Straits Times, a leading newspaper in Singapore, reads as follows:

” In a first for Singaporean schools, students from Primary 4 to 6 will start learning phonics as part of the new English curriculum from next year.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday that phonics is already taught to some primary classes, but this is on a voluntary and self-help basis. Students usually learn it when they are five or six years old. So which is the best phonics class?

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Under the revised curriculum, which kicks in for upper primary levels from next year, all schools have been asked to put phonic decoding on par with grammar and vocabulary in English lessons.”

In a first for Singaporean schools, students from Primary 4 to 6 will start learning phonics as part of the new English curriculum from next year. The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday that phonics is already taught to some primary classes, but this is on a voluntary and self-help basis. Students usually learn it when they are five or six years old. Under the revised curriculum, which kicks in for upper primary levels from next year, all schools have been asked to put phonic decoding on par with grammar and vocabulary in English lessons.

Phonics is one-way children can use to read words

In Singapore, most parents remember their own school days as being tough because we had several ways we were taught how to read. There was the look-and-point method, which was useful in teaching us to read single words. Then there were word lists, where we learned the phonic sounds of each letter in a word and combined them to sound out words. Most children also had some lessons on how to use pictures to determine the meanings of words they couldn’t sound out phonetically.

Recently, I heard about an American teacher who brought phonics back into schools in the US after it had been overlooked for several years by teachers because it wasn’t considered “cool” to teach children that way anymore. She has reported seeing great results with her students using this traditional approach. Many readers have commented online that they are looking forward to hearing more about this.

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Like in the US, Singapore has moved away from the “old-fashioned” approach of learning to read with phonics recently. Many children here are not taught to sound out words when they read; instead, teachers focus on building their vocabulary and grammar. This is especially true in lower primary grades, though some schools do teach phonics in upper primary levels. The MOE said that our current curriculum focuses more on developing citizens who can express themselves fluently through reading and writing by teaching students how grammar works through contextualized examples.

But given the benefits of teaching phonics – which include improved reading speed and accuracy for readers both young and old – why has Singapore remained resistant to this method? Some readers have told us that “Singaporeans are just not good at phonics compared to Americans, because English is our second language.” Others have said that teaching children to read this way was “unnecessary” or “not how Singaporean kids learn.” you have the choice to take the best phonics class in Singapore.

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