ARTICLES

The Write Steps

Thursday, 29.03.2018

Words are a means of communication after all, and communication is most definitely a form of art. We write in hopes of having our story be understood, and we construct our writing in a way that makes use of big words, little words, and made-up words that don’t exist in any dictionary, all just to connect with our readers.

It shouldn’t be a chore to write, whether that piece of writing’s done for an exam, for work, or even for a diary. However, quite a lot of our kids feel that it’s exactly that: a chore. Writing is required for them to do well in their PSLE and O levels, so they might not be able to see beyond writing and English as anything more than a subject that they need to ace.

The fact of the matter is that writing is pretty much part of our daily lives (both socially and professionally) – we write emails, reports, proposals, contracts, take meeting minutes, send text messages to our friends and family, post on social media, and a whole lot of other things. Imagine if we weren’t able to get our message across, or even worse, if our message was misunderstood!

What The Write Connection aims to do is to tear down children’s negative perception of writing and dispel their writing inhibitions, so as to build a foundation for them to have freedom and creativity in their words.

 

Write To Be Understood

The Write Connection wants to put writing back into the equation when it comes to learning English, to enhance our children’s language skills through a pedagogy that’s proven by research, backed by experience and guided by passion.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

The company’s core values are summed up by the acronym HEART, which stands for Honesty, Exceptional Quality, Adaptability, Respectable Reputation, and Teamwork. As a corporate culture, this philosophy holds true across all levels, from top management right down into the classrooms.

The Write Connection’s unique pedagogy demystifies the writing process for students, by helping them to reframe writing as a craft made up of a series of rational steps: a box full of techniques, strategies, and habit.

A carefully researched and structured curriculum and teaching methodology enables students to employ language as a life skill to succeed in both school and life. Writing requires higher-order thinking skills, so learning to write will help our children excel in all aspects of their English language examinations.

The Write Connection has a proven track record in guiding their students to better grades and, more importantly, a better understanding and appreciation of written English. So how do they achieve that?

 

Individualised Feedback

Students receive specific and personalised feedback from their teachers on the first draft of their compositions. This feedback employs an encouraging tone to suggest specific methods that can be used to resolve each problem identified.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

This method ensures that learners remain motivated and take ownership of their learning by working through their teacher’s targeted feedback. Students then include these solutions into their second drafts and witness improvements in their writing.

This unique method breaks down the complex subject of writing into a series of focused learning processes. This has helped many students overcome their language difficulties, and as a result, they have shown big improvements in their English language competency and a correspondingly big jump in confidence and motivation. 

 

Specialised Teaching Methods

The Write Connection’s advanced pedagogy focuses on developing students’ language acquisition by forming habits of mind, instead of relying on rote learning which tends to limit creativity. Interestingly, Katherine Barg, founder of The Write Connection, informed us that some of their students have made strides in their writing by refining their writing style and developing an authentic voice.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

This is due to the fact that in their previous enrichment classes, those students were made to remember model essays word for word, and to reproduce them during their exams. Alternatively, they were made to memorise phrases that would definitely score points in their compositions, but which they applied in an artificial or even inappropriate manner.

Rote memorisation is a hollow learning process where understanding and creativity are tossed aside in favour of a mechanical reproduction. In studies, pure memorisation without understanding the why’s and how’s of the end result can only get students so far.

 

Simply The Best Teachers

Finding good English teachers is quite possibly the toughest challenge that The Write Connection faces. They’ve got extremely stringent requirements when it comes to hiring teachers, as they’re after only the best in the industry. Those chosen few are put through in-house training to embody the beliefs and teaching methods of The Write Connection, no matter how qualified or experienced they may be.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

Their teachers undergo regular observation and review during their employment to ensure that only the best service and teaching standards are given to their students.

 

Instilling A Life-Long Passion For Learning English

Passion is the driving force behind many great accomplishments. In their classrooms, The Write Connection teachers aim to keep the enthusiasm for learning English alive in their students. This is done through interactive learning methods as well as constant encouragement and affirmation of students’ efforts and achievements.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

Doing so imparts a mindset for growth and a desire to learn more to attain greater accomplishments, be it in language and writing skills, or in learning itself. Passion transforms a child’s desire to learn into a driving force that seeks out new ideas and concepts on its own.

 

An Effective, Scaffolded Curriculum

The Write Connection’s structured curriculum and teaching methodology place a strong focus on writing as a powerful learning tool. Good writing is an important part of everyday life, and the thinking skills behind writing well can help make individuals very successful.

Photo Credit: The Write Connection

Students at The Write Connection are required to be actively involved in their own learning process to develop such thinking skills. This results in students eager to embrace change and unafraid of setbacks, who are well prepared to pursue a bright future in any field they should choose to pursue, and confident in using language as an effective communication tool in all arenas.

 

A Rescue

Timothy Ang Ti’en Ern, P6 / Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)

I packed my bags fervently, the air raid siren ringing incessantly in my ears. It was the eve of my escape. When I glanced out the window, all I saw was a barren piece of land, save for a few lone houses. I brought my business file and title deeds, as well as my credit cards. Stuffing them under my clothes, I scrambled the combination lock on my briefcase. Adjusting my tie, I gazed longingly at the long hallways I would never see again, all gained from a previous life.

My eyes swept around the spacious living room and lingered on the couch. It was where, a long time ago, I had sat with my family while watching television. Memories of a time long past resurfaced in my mind. There was my beautiful wife and my two daughters, laughing joyfully. My thoughts went back to that dreadful day they were taken away from me, never to be seen again. Sorrow welled up in me. However, knowing that I could not mourn now, I pushed my feelings aside, grabbed my suitcase, and went to the door.

Just then, there was a deafening roar of multiple engines overhead, rattling the windows. Peering through the tinted glass, I saw sleek, black dive bombers heading towards my mansion. As their dark shadows neared, I made a beeline for the exit, hoping to get away. My heart missed a beat. There was a deafening shockwave when the planes broke the sound barrier. I froze, my hand on the doorknob. There was little time left. Then, I heard the whistling noise of incendiary bombs, and knew then that it was too late. Heart racing, I opened the door. The first bomb landed on my right, the second on my left and the third… At that moment, the world went white.

I woke up to total blackness. My arms were pinned under the debris of my former house, and my legs were numb. Memories of my family resurfaced in my mind. Was I going to join them? The suitcase still in my hands, I waited. Minutes became hours, and hours became days. I was going to join them. Throat parched, I closed my eyes and waited for death to take me.

The sky opened. Was I alive? I saw a man with a hard hat, brow furrowed. Then, his face lit up. “He’s here!” I heaved a sigh of relief. The rescuers cheered and began working to remove chunks of rubble to free me. I was put on a stretcher, surrounded by the ones who were saving me. Too weak to thank them, I smiled. Their rescue dog licked my hand, which was dangling off the stretcher. I knew I was in safe hands.

Read more in “The Write Collection - A Collection of Compositions by Young Writers (Aged 6 to 12)”, available at all TWC centres.

 

A Day at a Circus

Kimberly Eu Rui En, P1 / Ai Tong Primary School

“Can I have the big bag of peanuts please?” Zayne asked. Last Sunday morning, Zayne and his

mother were at the circus. Zayne was purchasing a big bag of peanuts from the snack vendor. There was an elephant on stage with its trainer, who was wearing a hat.

He returned to his seat in the front row and showed his mother the packet of peanuts. It was a bulging packet! They were thrilled and had wide smiles on their faces as they loved peanuts.

At that moment, Zayne felt something pulling on his bag of peanuts. He looked down, and saw something grey and long wrapping around the packet. It was the elephant! Zayne was shocked, and he gasped loudly. His mouth fell open.

Quickly, the trainer commanded the elephant to lower its trunk and return the peanuts. Zayne felt relieved to get his snack back. They hoped that this would not happen again. The trainer explained that the elephant loved peanuts and must have thought that it was a treat.

Read more in “The Write Collection - A Collection of Compositions by Young Writers (Aged 6 to 12)”, available at all TWC centres.

 

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