Building a Strong Foundation for English at The Learning Lab
Lauren has attended a full term of English classes at The Learning Lab and here is our review of her experience.
First off, why did I enrol Lauren in an English enrichment programme when we are an English-speaking family?
Have you met/seen native English speakers who make the most obvious spelling and grammar mistakes? I don’t mean typos here and there, I mean repeat offences. It’s shocking but it happens. Being able to speak English doesn’t mean you can read or write well. Of course, by sending Lauren to an English enrichment, I don’t expect her proficiency in writing and reading to dramatically increase, but it is a great chance for me to gauge her level (is she keeping up with her peers in school?) and making sure she is ready for K2 and eventually, primary school.
As for why The Learning Lab? I have listed 5 main reasons in this post.
Early Years English programme at The Learning Lab
The Learning Lab is a Singapore’s leading academic and tutorial service provider with over 15 years of history and eight facilities island-wide. They have classes for students from Kindergarten all the way to the Junior College level. I’ve heard many good things about The Learning Lab before and I’m glad to find that it lives up to my expectation.
Being a working mum with 3 young children, time is limited. As much as I admire those mums who home-school their children with awesome worksheets and games, I don’t have the right skills and patience. Some things are better left to the professionals.
Lauren’s teacher at The Learning Lab is Ms Talia Ong. Although Lauren joined the class mid-way through the year, Ms Talia was able to hone in on Lauren’s learning style, strengths and pinpoint areas for development. From her, I learnt that my daughter is a kinesthetic learner who actively takes part in all the lesson activities and is very meticulous in her work.
As for the lesson content, I wasn’t allowed to sit through the class to observe. Based on Lauren’s feedback, brief updates from Ms Talia after every lesson and the weekly “What We Did Today” list, I must say the lessons are well-planned and organised. I was rather shocked at first looking at the level of difficulty but Lauren seems to have no problem coping. In fact, she looks forward to classes at The Learning Lab even after a tiring day at kindergarten. I think that says a lot about how much she enjoys the classes at The Learning Lab.
Overall, The Learning Lab Early Years English curriculum focuses on helping Lauren develop a good grounding in sight-words and phonemic awareness. For the K1 class, the written worksheets include filling in the blanks, constructing full sentences, stories, description of people, places, things and reading of short comprehension passages.
There is homework at the end of each lesson but I don’t mind it too much because guiding her through homework is a way for me to know whether she fully understand what was taught in class.
I had no idea Lauren could spell so many words already!
It’s not all worksheets and dull lessons. I’m impressed and relieved to see that The Learning Lab incorporates play into their lessons, which I believe it is important to keep students engaged, interact with each other and learn to take initiative. It definitely makes learning more enjoyable for the children.
In one lesson, they learnt about phonics and meaning of words. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the children confidently raising their hands wanting to take part.
I’ve said this before but I’m going to mention it again – I love the library! Students get to borrow and bring home six books to read every week – three books for them to read on their own and three slightly more difficult books for parents to read with the children. They are also given a Reading Logbook to record their reading journey.
Lauren’s English wasn’t bad to start out with but I can definitely see her confidence growing from day to day. She’s now reading everything, everywhere we go – from random magazine covers to notification posters on buses. And when it comes to words that she doesn’t know, she isn’t afraid to sound-it-out based on the phonic principles which she has learnt.
A well-rounded education is not just about academics. The Learning Lab firmly believes that it’s about students excelling and achieving their full potential, well beyond their time in the classroom. I’m confident that The Learning Lab has helped my daughter lay the right foundation for a smoother transition to K2 and higher education.
The Learning Lab