Shila’s Story of Teaching English/ESL in a Singapore Primary Neighbourhood School

| January 1, 2009
    Abstract
    This article focuses upon the teaching practices of Shila, a primary school teacher who has taught English in a Singapore neighbourhood or government school for the past fifteen years. In Singapore, English has been mandated as the first language of instruction; however, Shila indicates that less then 10% of the students who enter Primary 1 in her school speak English regularly at home. In this research, Shila stories many of the strategies she has successfully used during her fifteen-year career to teach English to her ESL students from Primary 1 to Primary 4.

    Narrative Inquiry, a methodology not currently referenced within the context of Singaporean teaching research, is used to develop Shila s story. Critical to narrative inquiry is the development of a relationship between the researcher and research participant: “Narrative inquiry is a process of collaboration involving mutual story telling and restorying as the research proceeds (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990, p. 4). In the context of Narrative Inquiry, it is significant to note that I was a practicing primary teacher/principal in Alberta Canada for 25 years before moving into university teaching and international consultancies. These are my narrative beginnings as an educator coming to bear upon this research (Clandinin, Pushor and Orr, 2007, p. 25). This common experien

    Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 33