Teachers Congress AFCC : Day 1 (part 2)

Please note, the what is written here does not reflect the views of any institution the author belongs to.

Well, it was so much to share that made me wonder how could I maintain this energy for the next 4 days to continue sharing on the content on time.

This is the second part of the posting on Teachers Congress talks content which I believe will enable to inspire and spark new ideas for teachers to facilitate children’s learning.


3. Dialogic Reading

by Dr George Jacobs (Singapore)

The experience of having to talk and communicate in pairs has made me remember Dr George Jacobs very well. He shared on how pictures on each page of a book be a great tool through dialogue to develop children language development and social development at the same time.

The fact of scaffolding through adult monitoring and continuous support brought the audience to understand further on how to promote dialogic reading and make children speak more.

1. Teachers (or adult) need to facilitate children by giving some questions which children need to answer and elaborate more.

2. Questions asked need to be able to children to connect to their real life experience. Example: ‘Have you seen this picture before?’

‘Have you been to somewhere similar as in the photo?’

3. Students (children) should be freely speaks naturally. Adult does not need to focus on mistakes or correcting details of the children’s language.

4. The students (children) should be encourage to speak to each other and share it again with the whole group.

It was agreed that reading is a journey. It is not about completing books after books, but more focus should be given on the language development itself. Books and pictures are tools to enhance children to be more expressive thorugh sharing their thoughts and experience.

READ ALOUD is another form of dialogic reading which teachers (adults) can have with the children.

1. Choose the book.

– the book should be easy and fit the level of the group. New vocabulary is fine, but it must be easily understood by the children.

2. Decide the location or venue.

– a comfortable and familiar location should be chosen to ensure that children are comfortable and at ease.

3. Coordinate the session.

– decide who will join the session and how you will coordinate the session. It is advisable to have a mixture of children to enhance further communication.

When the students talk, it is the role of the teachers (adults) to facilitate.

– challenge them by asking further questions.

– paraphrase children;s sentences and give affirmation for them to continue discussion.

– repeat and expand the topic of discussion.

– improve whenever necessary.

When there are difficulties to get respond from the children, there are many tactics can be used.

– let children respond through their drawings. Later, ask them to explain from their drawings.

– take photos. then talk about the photos.

– you start and ask them to elaborate.


4. Levelling Up Struggling Readers

Dr Chitra Shegar (Singapore)

The focus on helping struggling children in reading was the result accepting the fact the children have less time to catch up with other advance children. Furthermore, negative impact in terms of the children’s self- esteem and confidence was very significant.

Dr Chitra has shared an eye-opener idea and real experience on the importance this issues of helping to level up struggling readers be addressed by teachers and parents.

It was shared on how phonological awareness among children give big impact on their ability to read. The ability to read has great impact on the children’s overall academic achievement. The needs for the children to be exposed intensively must be made through developmentally age appropriate programs and activities.

It was so much that has been shared and I believe, I have to choose the best of what I can recall (base on my notes) to ensure the message is out for you. 🙂

The essence of Dr Chita’s idea is to focus on the children’s need to READ as time is limited for them to catch up.

Below are some strategies shared:

A. Instructional Strategies

1. Whole language development

2. Instruction of Decoding Skills

3. Sight Words

4. Vocabulary development and word study

The above points are not a new terms for teachers to understand. However, there could be some emphasize for teachers to go through in each area of instructional strategies which suits better for the children.

There are tactics can be planned accordingly.


B. Assessment

Assessment is important to help teachers to measure their programs effectiveness towards maintaining children’s progress and achievement.


C. Parents-home-school connection

Parents participation has shown significant impact on the children’s progress. Little things which parents do at home, have help children progress faster.


Personally, I believe that as teachers and parents, we can’t give up for our children. Although time could be the main factor, we have to find the shortest and fastest way to help the children to move on. It is their right to receive our attention and assistance for a better future.

Is the our duty to promote towards developing and maintaining positive self-esteem and confidence in life, for life.

They have the right to be successful in life. Let us help our children to be what they meant to be.


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