The power of learning from experience; an exciting English Immersion Experience at Tanglin Trust School.
My school report always told a similar (and I am sorry to say) not an overwhelmingly positive story.
‘She is an intelligent girl but doesn’t apply herself.’
‘She shows promise but doesn’t pay attention in class’
In school I found myself bored. My parents always told me to try hard, but I was more interested in what was going on in the real world rather than what teachers were telling me. I wanted to find out for myself, through my own experience. I wanted to understand why what I was learning was relevant and I wanted to know there and then!
My school reports also tell the story of why I became a teacher. I wanted to teach students in the way I wanted to be taught.
This is why I am particularly excited to be working with Tanglin Trust International School on our new project, The English Immersion Experience. This is an English summer camp with a difference. 7 to 11 year olds who speak English as a second language will take part in a wide range of activities alongside fluent speakers of English.
For children it is difficult to relate what they learn in school to real life. It can be hard to explain to young ones why it is important to work hard and try your best in school. Experiential learning, which uses English for a real purpose, can therefore be very powerful for them.
Through the English Immersion Experience I will be working with learners whilst they take part in fun, adventurous, pursuits such as rock climbing, cycling and sports; creative activities such as drama, baking and art; developmental activities including team games, yoga and mindfulness. Learners of English will take time out of their day to reflect on the new language and skills they are developing. This will enable them to fully enjoy the whole experience and become more confident communicators.
As a teacher, I understand now what my parents were telling me. The value of class time is indisputable. However a summer programme such as the Tanglin Trust, British Council Immersion Experience will give learners a taste of the future and help them understand the value of language.
Wendy Naylor, Deputy Head of English Contracts, British Council in Singapore