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Preparing Your Child for Preschool English Curriculum

preschool-english-curriculum

Is your child about to start preschool in Singapore? You’re probably full of worry, excitement, and anxiety all at the same time. A child starting school always brings mixed feelings and a sense of anticipation to parents. What is your child going to learn? What kind of school is best for them? Do you need to help your child prepare in advance? What if my child is not yet that familiar with speaking English? These are all common questions for parents sending their children to a preschool in SG.

In this article, we’ll talk about preparing your children for the kindergarten English curriculum.

curriculum-singapore

Each preschool in Singapore has its philosophy, curriculum, and programs. They all have their unique approach to early education; most use English as the primary mode of instruction. Each program will also have its preschool English curriculum that they use in school. However, there are some things you can do to prepare your child for the preschool English curriculum, no matter which school your child will attend.

The Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Framework was created by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to guide the development of preschool programs in Singapore. While the MOE does not force schools to follow this framework strictly, many preschools use it as a reference for their programs.

Language and Literacy is one main area of this framework and of many preschool programs. A few examples of the learning goals in this area are the following: 

  • Listen for information and enjoyment
  • Read with understanding and for enjoyment
  • Speak to convey meaning and communicate with others
  • Have an interest in learning their Mother Tongue Language (MTL)
  • Use drawing, writing, and symbols to share ideas and information

    

Many schools use these learning goals as guidelines for their programs and activities.

At the Little Oxford Schoolhouse, a preschool in Singapore, Language and Literacy is also a big part of its program and preschool English curriculum. The learning of language and being literate are vital areas of its curriculum.

In this preschool, “children develop their expression and receptive language skills through their daily interactions.” Students practice taking turns during conversations, participate in puppet play, learn songs and fingerplays, and listen to stories. 

You can start at home to help prepare your child for a preschool English curriculum. You don’t need to buy workbooks or print worksheets about phonics, letters, and sounds. You also don’t need to pressure your child to read and write perfectly if they’re not yet ready. While you can use workbooks or practice letter sounds with your child, it is not yet necessary at this age. One good way to prepare your child to learn English in school is to incorporate it into everyday life. Here are a few ways to do this:

First, read English story books during bedtime. This is an excellent way to develop language. If the storybook has photos, visual clues and images reinforce the words you say. Books for young children often use simple repetitive language and rhyming words. You can start with fairy tales, short stories, and popular children’s books like “Giraffes Can’t Dance” or “The Days the Crayons Quit.” These books expand your child’s vocabulary and encourage them to ask questions about the story and make up their own stories.

Next, play games with your child in English. When your child starts preschool in Singapore, they won’t be tested on letters, grammar, or figures of speech. These technical aspects of learning English will be important in higher grades. Still, it’s not something you need to worry about in preschool. 

Focus on making your child comfortable with following instructions and communicating in English. A game can be as simple as “I Spy,” where you start the game by saying “I spy” with a clue after. For example, “I spy something big and black.” Your child will then have to look around the room and identify the object you are referring to. This will also help prepare them for the preschool English curriculum they will encounter in school.

Lastly, and maybe the most important way to prepare your child for a preschool English curriculum is to talk to them in English. Children raised bilingual often learn both languages easily because of the home language exposure. Exposure is critical when learning a new language. Formal language lessons are not as effective as being immersed in a language through the natural environment.

If you are not yet confident in your English-speaking skills to speak to your child, invite an English-speaking friend over to talk to you so your child can listen to your conversations. If you don’t have anyone to ask, sit down and watch English TV shows and movies with your child. If screen time is not allowed, try audiobooks of English stories. YouTube has many choices for age-appropriate videos in English when all other options are unavailable.

Again, preparing your child for a preschool English curriculum is not about pressuring them to know how to read and write excellently in English. It is more about understanding and appreciating the English language and how it allows you to communicate with others. This appreciation emerges naturally via talking, listening, and expressing themselves. Of course, this does not happen automatically. You must put conscious effort into exposing your child to English in various ways.

The Little Oxford Schoolhouse understands this and incorporates Language and Literacy into its daily programs. Students converse with each other and their teachers in everyday interactions and encounter puppet play, group time, and also listen to stories. 

When you are ready to send your child to a preschool in Singapore, don’t stress about the preschool English curriculum! Keep in mind that they won’t be required to be experts in English. The goal is for them to understand and appreciate the language. Just expose your child to as many English stories, books, videos, and conversations as possible, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn and become comfortable with the English language. 

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Little Oxford Schoolhouse

Little Oxford Schoolhouse

Our experienced team strives to offer a creative and engaging environment and the opportunity for children to learn, grow, and thrive.

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