STELLAR (Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading) is an EL instructional programme that provides the instructional materials, teaching strategies and training to enable teachers to implement the EL syllabus. Adopted at all levels in Kellock, this approach aims to strengthen the teaching of English through a balanced combination of explicit instruction in language skills, including grammar and phonics, and the use of age-appropriate children’s stories.
The STELLAR Programme @ Kellock…
· caters to a diverse range of EL learners in school.
· uses a contextualised approach to EL learning with systematic and explicit grammar instruction.
· makes extensive use of children’s stories and articles instead of traditional textbooks and workbooks.
· emphasises foundational skills in grammar and vocabulary.
· enriches students’ learning through the use of stories and texts that engage and stretch our children’s imagination.
· provides students with opportunities to speak extensively, discuss and share their views with the teacher and their peers in an enjoyable and purposeful environment.
· builds students’ confidence in speech and writing, and enhance their learning of the language.
STELLAR @ Lower Primary
· Shared Book Approach (SBA)
There are two parts to the Shared Book Approach.
First, the teacher introduces and shares a Big Book with the pupils. In the second part, the teacher teaches language items, structures and skills explicitly, including concepts of print, phonics and grammar.
There is a range of follow-up activities such as drama and art and craft for teachers to select according to their children's learning needs.
· Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA)
In MLEA, there is a shared experience that is linked to the Big Book that has been read during Shared Reading. The shared experience provides the context and content for the children to think and talk about, using the target language structures and vocabulary they have been exposed to in SBA.
With the help of the teacher who transcribes the children's input, the pupils come up with a piece of class writing. This becomes the basis for group writing, when the children work in small groups, before they go on to individual writing.
The whole process is scaffolded for success and pupils also learn about cooperative learning as they work together in mixed-ability groups.
For each of these strategies, there will be a range of activities that will approach language both 'holistically' as well as in parts. Examples of holistic activities include shared reading, speech and drama. Opportunities to practise or study language in smaller parts are provided through direct instruction as well as targeted practice. This is where phonics, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation can be taught explicitly. There is weaving between 'whole' and 'parts' in the learning of English.
STELLAR @ Upper Primary
· Supported Reading (SR)
Supported Reading provides a bridge between teacher-directed reading aloud and independent silent reading. It provides opportunities for students to make predictions, read silently, discuss the text and difficult words as a whole class, led by the teacher. This strategy is usually carried out for narrative and information texts.
· Know - Want to know - Learn (KWL)
Know - Want to know - Learnt is used mainly for non-fiction texts such as information reports. This strategy helps pupils to extract information and relate it to what they already know about the topic. Teachers guide pupils to organise, access and remember information. This enables pupils to understand and follow the logic of information presented in a text, recognise information that is repeated and distinguish between main ideas and details. The teacher’s support is gradually reduced as the pupils learn to be more independent in extracting information from what they read.
· Retelling (RT)
Retelling is a reading comprehension strategy that engages pupils at different levels of language: from interpreting meaning at the whole text level, to individual words and phrases and back to the whole text again. It provides opportunities for students to engage in a whole range of important language and cognitive processes including recall of events/information, main points and characters, text structures and language features. It also provides opportunities for all four of the major language skills to be applied - reading, writing, speaking and listening - as pupils actively make meaning of texts and share their understanding with their peers.