When Singapore gained independence in 1965, the government encountered the pressing issue of a divided population with people of different races and religions. At the time, the population of Singapore was expanding quickly and the government underwent pressure to provide its people with employment. The government had to propose a solution to these problems by unifying its people, as well as by guiding the country towards progress. The overarching solution to these issues was to introduce English as the lingua franca, and the working language for government and business.
English is widely used and serves many roles in Singapore. Locally, English is the common language that promotes the formation of connections between the different ethnic and cultural groups. Globally, English allows Singaporeans to be included and engage in a knowledge-based economy where English is the lingua franca of the Internet, of science and technology and of world trade.
The three components in the Singapore English framework includes:
- Receptive Skills: Listening, Reading and Viewing are vital for deriving meaning from ideas or information.
- Productive Skills: Speaking, Writing and Representing allow for the creation of meaning.
- Knowledge about language: Grammar and Vocabulary, provide the building blocks required for the implementation of the aforementioned receptive and productive skills for effective communication.
At the end of the workshop, educators will be able to successfully incorporate the teaching pedagogies and concepts for each of the three components into classrooms. Additionally, educators will be exposed to ways to guide learners along their language journey and help learners develop the essential skills effectively.
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