Bicultural Studies Programme
The English Programme comprises a range of curricula that aim to develop in Dunmanians critical and creative thinking alongside essential language and communication skills. Capitalising on the 6 years of education our students have with us, we offer a spiral curriculum so that the students can build on the skills and content they have learnt previously.
At Junior High, students offer Language Arts which enlivens the learning of the English Language through integrating aspects of linguistics, literature, media studies and social studies. Students who have a passion for Literature offer Literature in English in Years 3 and 4. At Senior High, students are further challenged to think critically about current affairs and issues of global and local significance in the study of General Paper through in-depth analysis and evaluation of wide-ranging topics. ‘A’ Level Literature in English, and English Language and Linguistics allow students to explore more closely the intricacies of the English Language so as to heighten their sensitivity to the contextual use of the language.
The following subjects are offered by the English Department:
- Language Arts (Year 1 to Year 4)
- Literature in English (offered as a Humanities option in Year 3 to Year 4)
- General Paper (H1)
- Literature in English (H1, H2 and H3)
- English Language and Linguistics (H2)
In addition, the Conversational Malay Programme, a unique feature of Special Assistance Plan schools, is offered to all Year 1 and Year 2 students. The Malay Special Programme is offered to Year 3 and Year 4 students who demonstrate passion and aptitude for the Malay Language and these students go on to take the Malay Language ‘O’ level examination as a third language.
- 理解与写作 (H1)
- 英文文学 (H1, H2 和 H3)
- 英文与文学 (H2)
In Dunman High, the teachers in the English Department infuse a variety of teaching pedagogies into the curriculum, allowing students to learn and acquire critical thinking skills through various platforms. In order to enhance our students’ ability to fluently and effectively in Standard English, we provide them with opportunities to understand how language changes according to purpose, audience, context and culture, and apply this knowledge in speech and writing in both formal and informal situations.
The English Programme is generally based on the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework, a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, instruction and assessment, developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Students are encouraged to make meaning of ‘big ideas’ and transfer their learning to new and different contexts. Lessons are designed to provide numerous opportunities for students to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathise and self-assess when interacting with a variety of texts, both print and non-print.
Guided by the UbD framework, teachers employ a diverse range of methodologies to cater to the different learning needs of our students. One such strategy is Literary Circles where small groups of students gather to discuss a given text (print or non-print) in depth. Literary Circles allow students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, respond to and discuss the texts, and they gain a deeper understanding of the text through structured discussions and extended written and artistic responses. In addition to the teacher’s facilitation and guidance via the use of essential questions, the students’ responses are also enriched by their peers’ insights and questions.
Socratic Questioning and Socratic Seminars are commonly used in lessons to develop critical thinking among students. Through Socratic Questioning, a system of disciplined questioning, students, especially at the upper levels, are invited to explore complex ideas, analyse issues and problems, and uncover assumptions. In Socratic Seminars, students engage in a rigorous and thoughtful dialogue to gain a deeper understanding of complex ideas in different texts. These also encourage students to engage in meta-cognitive thinking and help them to develop a personal voice.
Teachers also use Richard Paul’s Wheel of Reasoning to guide students in their thought process and reasoning in a logical manner. Through eight different elements of productive thinking, students learn to consider questions, issues and perspectives carefully and meaningfully. Students will practise making inferences, weighing evidence, recognising different points of views, and other forms of logical reasoning as they work through the given task – skills that are crucial in the different subjects under the English Department.
To emphasise the relevance of the various English subjects, teachers endeavour to use authentic material in the lessons. Through authentic texts such as speeches, advertisements and newspapers articles, students not only become more sensitised to the subtle nuances of language use, they also appreciate better the relevance of English Language to their lives. At the upper levels, lessons focus more on current affairs and this helps them to become more informed of the issues that face Singapore and the world, and broaden their global outlook.
In Dunman High, we employ a variety of methods to assess the English language skills of the students. These skills encompass reading, writing, speaking, listening and visual literacy. We also place an emphasis on multimodal texts to align with current trends and reading habits of the young today. A high premium is placed on crafting effective methods of assessment, as this is an important complement to a rigorous language curriculum. The observations made from assessing our students then enable our teachers to refine and adapt the pedagogy to better cater to our students’ learning needs.
Assessment tasks as part of formative assessment are carried out regularly so that teachers are able to give students timely customised feedback and guidance that they could work on in order to improve. At the lower secondary level, process writing is used to allow students to become accustomed to good writing practices. Other formative assessment tasks include reflections and journals, role-plays, research projects and oral presentations, where students apply the language skills and content that they have learnt. Teachers also provide opportunities for students to work in groups to enhance their communication and collaboration skills.
Summative assessment emphasises knowledge acquisition and reproduction in a time-trial environment. At Junior High, students are assessed on their listening, speaking, viewing and writing skills and content during the Common Tests and End-of-Year Examinations. At Senior High, the Common Test, the Mid-Year Examinations, the Promotional and the Preliminary Examinations are aligned to the structure and requirements of the ‘A’ Level Examinations in order to ensure that students have the requisite skills and content.
形成性评估之一 — 平日作业，能够及时给予学生反馈与指导，帮助学生改进。初中阶段，学生通过有步骤地写作，以形成良好的写作方式。其他形成性评估包括自我反思、日记、角色扮演、专题作业和口头呈现，都是学生运用所学习的语文技能和知识的方式。老师也提供机会，让学生通过小组活动来加强他们的表达与协作能力。