Should I send my child to a Reading and Writing class or Speech and Drama class in order for her to learn the English Language?
What is important, is to ensure that the classes for your child are fun, engaging and meet your child’s needs and your expectations.
Let us have a look at the learning that takes place in these classes generally.
In a beginner reading and writing class, language is introduced holistically through stories, phonic/alphabet puppets, drama and fine motor/pre- writing activities. Gradually, children use phonic sounds to decode words. Alongside this, children are equipped with reading cues that help them read sentences. Sight vocabulary words are also introduced through games to develop accuracy in recognition of such words when reading. Children are introduced to fiction and non-fiction books and different text types through a reading scheme.
Writing starts with fine motor activities, tracing , copying of alphabets and words, using phonemic awareness to spell and write. The children learn to structure sentences using grammar rules and the mechanics of language like punctuation and capitalization. The writing journey continues as they begin to draft simple stories.
A good literacy programme includes a carefully selected reading scheme that promotes a love of reading. The programme should encompass listening, speaking, reading and writing skills from the entry level all through the child’s school years.
In a good Speech and Drama programme, children learn communication skills through experience and exploration. They are immersed in the richness of poetry, imagination, rhythm and sound, story making, idea sharing and problem solving. The magic of stories is brought alive through characterisation. Drama is improvised, with the teacher and children building it up through rich language and meaningful interactions.
Children are inspired to verbalise ideas and take on role playing. In a growing journey, they hone their discussion skills, social interaction and expression, build concentration and confidence in language learning. They also will begin to master expressive communication in formal and informal settings. At an older level, children’s public speaking and presentation skills are holistically nurtured.
At every level of a Speech and Drama programme in Julia Gabriel Centre, children record their response to stories and drama activities, strengthening their literacy skills as well.
In both Reading and Writing and Speech and Drama classes, the children will learn language effectively in a creative, collaborative and confident manner. Understanding your child’s learning needs and learning pattern will help in enrolling her in an appropriate programme. If your child needs more verbal skill and social expression, then a Speech and Drama class might be more appropriate. If you think that your child is verbally very expressive and you want her to learn to put that in writing, then a reading and writing class will give her that focus.
Take some time to look at how your child learns best and choose a programme that will build her language confidence in a nurturing environment.
Principal of Julia Gabriel Centre