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Speech Communication Arts
Applied Learning Programme – Speech Communication Arts (English Language)
Our Secondary One students take part in our annual creative Speech and Drama programme as part of our school’s Applied Learning Programme (ALP). Students learn interesting and useful ways of expressing themselves through tableau, hot-seating and role-playing. Engaging ways of narration such as narrating individually, in pairs and even choral reading are also integrated into their scripts. Our Secondary One students learn voice projection and blocking which are essential skills in Speech and Drama. Through the interactive scripts created for the students, they rehearse, motivate each other and even create some props to spice up their amazing performances for the ALP Showcase in September. From ancient Greek legends like ‘Medusa’ and folk tales like ‘The Stoncutter’ to local stories like ‘Sembawang Hot Springs’, their peers in the Secondary One cohort and teachers are entertained by the captivating performances put up by our young stars!
The Secondary Two students begin their Applied Learning Programme journey during the March school holidays. They gather their research and build up an arsenal of evidence, ready to craft a speech to be submitted during English class. A few months later, they will present their speeches, each making a convincing case for their stand in front of their schoolmates. It seems that age is not a factor when it comes to public speaking, and the passion for speaking can be nurtured and grown. We expect to see greater things from these fantastic speakers when they move on to Secondary Three next year!
Over the course of 10 sessions, our Secondary Three students are equipped with skills on critical thinking and effective communication. To add value to the public speaking skills they learnt in Secondary Two, they are taught how to think in a coherent and organised manner with minimal preparation time. Thinking tools such as Tick Tock plan and Gains plan help our students structure their thoughts and consider various perspectives when given a specific topic to discuss. The training sessions culminate in an assessment where each student is tasked to give a 2-minute presentation with only 5 minutes of preparation time. While some may be fearful, many courageously took up the challenge and give interesting and thoughtful responses to the topics assigned to them. To mark the end of the ALP season, a showcase is planned where the best speakers of the level give impromptu presentations to topics made known to them only 5 minutes earlier. With valuable feedback, our students ‘unlock’ an achievement and mature into better speakers through practice and reflection.
Chinese ALP programme focuses on developing our students’ communication skills and develop confidence in speaking their mother tongue language. Students of each level are taught a specific skill related to news media. News reporting for Secondary one students; Interviewing for Secondary Two students; Argumentative essay writing on social topics for Secondary Three students. We are keen to develop lessons that enhance students’ listening, speaking, and writing skills, so that they can be effective bilingual and communicate well with others at their Secondary School education.
Unlike previous years, the ALP programme this year is designed by the Chinese teachers based on past years experiences, student profile, pedagogy and relevance of skills. Thorough planning was carried in the first half of the year, and in term three, students participate in these lessons. ICT was consciously used for our lower Secondary programme as it can quickly engages students and increase their interest for learning. Students made use of a video making software invested by the school, to create interesting videos of them reciting passages and introducing the topic of presentation.
To increase authenticity of learning, we asked the Secondary Two Higher Chinese students to take on the roles of interviewees and answer interviewing questions crafted by the Secondary Two students from various classes. Students experienced collaborative learning, and worked together to carry out the interviews during lessons. All students learned how to give their views, organise their points and present confidently.
For Secondary Three students, they were taught the basics of argumentative essay. Students learned how to identify the structure of an argumentative essay question, how to develop and prove their points, and were also asked to write complete essays to show what they have learned.
We hope that ALP program can allow our students to have the opportunity to be exposed to different learning experiences and apply it in daily lives.
Our ALP in 2017 was a developmental project in enhancing Oral Skills among Tamil Students. In 2015 and 2016 we provide opportunities for students to discover their strengths and interest in the area of spoken Tamil. Hence, we taught them reporting skills and how to record their own project using an ICT tool, NewsMaker. Students converted their project into a video and presented it in class for feedback and review from peers and teachers. Above all, they were given opportunities to present their product at the Tamil Teachers’ World Internet Conference.
Last year, students were taught interview skills. Interviewing strategies such crafting of questions, body language and voice modulation were taught over a spread of 5 lessons. Students put their theory into practice by first interviewing their own peers and teachers from their own school. After feedback and feedforward from teacher, they went a further step up by interviewing people from different from industries. They were divided into groups of three, and each team were given people from different industries to interviews. This exercise boosted their morale and when crafting the questions and following the body-language strategies, students were extra careful.
After they have completed their interviewing project, students recorded and converted them into a news video using NewsMaker. They were very proud of their ALP learning journey when they were given an opportunity to present their project in MTL Symposium 2017. They had opportunities to speak and explain about their ALP Learning Journey to ministers, teachers, professionals, parents, students and local people. We observed the joy and enthusiasm in our students as they speak to their audience. There was a sense of belonging. The ALP has helped our Tamil students appreciate the relevance and value of what they are learning in the academic curriculum to the real world and develop stronger motivation and purpose to acquire knowledge and skills.