Over the years, Singapore's education system has been increasing the emphasis on the oral component of language examinations. Excelling in the written components of examinations alone is not sufficient. Students are expected to be proficient speakers.
From 2015, there is a change in the English curriculum for students. A greater emphasis will be placed on requiring students to speak the language more confidently. So we were really glad to have been invited to attend a full day Media Track foundation workshop, that trained the children (even myself as I sat in to almost 60% of the workshop) on the importance of and the techniques on how to speak clearly and fluently.
In addition to the techniques on how to become better speakers the children were given a chance to experience what it takes to be a news anchor from an actual news broadcaster.
The children had an opportunity to "go behind the scenes" to experience a day in the life of a news station through news reading (based on real life latest news that was edited by coach Brian Lee) -
The first hands-on experience which the kids had was to have their voices recorded while they read a piece of news. Through the playback, coach Brian was able to flag out areas where adjustment of articulation, speed, pitch and volume could be made by each child.
What excited the kids most were the role-play activities and in my opinion the entire class would be really engaging (in the perspective of the children) if there were lesser talk and more of such role-plays and videos showing behind the scenes of the life of a news broadcaster.
Missy was getting ready for her role as a news presenter; camera rolling and prompter ready!
A scenario where each child was given a role being a reporter, victim, police officer etc in a made up crime scene.
Both Missy and Little Man said they had a lot of fun role-playing - in the process they learn how news is being reported based on a crime/accident.
I had an enlightening session in English language when coach Brian briefly touched on Word Stress. I do not major in English language and would not know better that there's such a thing as Word Stress; was glad I had picked it up during the workshop that day.
|Here's just a sample of Words, with different emphasis on the syllable gives different meaning (Photo Credit Link)|
Word Stress - When a word has more than one syllable, not all syllables are pronounced with the same degree of force. The syllable which is pronounced with greater force is called the Stressed Syllable.
When speaking, it is important to put the stress on the correct syllable. Otherwise, it would sound unnatural, and might even be difficult to understand.
On the whole, we had a very enriching and interesting day (myself included) throughout the workshop which has also in a way gave the kids an insight to how the news is being presented (beyond what we see on TV and hear on the radio).
The Media Track Foundation Workshop is $380/child and can be booked at Flying Cape Compass. Flying Cape Compass is a one-stop online marketplace for all your child's tuition and enrichment needs.
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Flying Cape Compass on behalf of Be the Voice to the Media Track Foundation Class for the purpose of this review.