Expert Opinion

Learning

Toddler Years
Bilingual Proficiency Development at The Little Skool-House

A 2019 study conducted by Dr. Setoh (PhD. The University of Illinois) of Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, demonstrated[SMH-LSH1] that 93% of Little Skool-House’s K2 students are Highly Proficient in English and Mandarin. We examine the specificities of the study in an attempt to corroborate the results with that of the school’s pedagogy and methodology.

  • K2 students who were not proficient in the English and Mandarin languages gained bilingual proficiency and became more balanced bilinguals within 5 months
  • Parents believe that the LSH preschool curriculum has a positive impact on a child’s development

The Little Skool-House Comprehensive Preschool Curriculum

Little Skool-House (LSH) is the chosen preschool by top institutions across Singapore. Working alongside award-winning educators, the bilingual preschool strives to remain front runners in the early childhood education sector in Singapore. This is done through the implementation of a comprehensive curriculum framework specially designed for each phase of a child’s education journey. Composing of a relationships-based and literacy-based curriculum, it facilitates holistic development and High Proficiency in English and Mandarin.

How the LSH Curriculum Impacts Acquisition of Bilingualism

As trendsetters in early childhood education, the LSH pedagogy is based on thorough clinical research conducted by top universities around the world. Aimed at building a strong academic foundation, the bilingual preschool places emphasis on its ability in enabling its children to be highly proficient in both English and Mandarin.

1. Scientific Evaluation: Phase 1

The evaluation was split between two testing periods, spanning the course of 5 months. In the first testing period, 68 LSH Kindergarten 2 children were put through a series of tests to capture their English and Mandarin proficiency. These tests included a receptive vocabulary and expressive vocabulary test. In addition to the test results, other factors such as the child’s home literacy environment and language frequency were considered for a more accurate analysis of language proficiency. Of the major findings, it was established that 76.8% of LSH children had high proficiency in both English and Chinese.

2. Exposure: Effective Preschool Curriculum in Singapore

Over 5 months, the language dominance of the participants was put to the test through exposure to the LSH literacy-based curriculum designed by pioneering ECDA fellows. Focused on preparing kindergarten children for Primary School, the Little Skool-House’s literacy-based curriculum incorporates various language and literacy activities and programmes designed for 4 to 6-year olds. Without much influence from external variables such as home-based learning, the impact of the LSH programme was later measured.

3. Scientific Evaluation: Phase 2

Due to the exposure to language and literacy activities part of the LSH curriculum for kindergarten 2 children, receptive vocabulary scores improved for both English and Mandarin – indicative of significant vocabulary growth. The 1.4% of LSH children who had low English and Mandarin proficiency in Phase 1 decreased to 0%. Overall, LSH children become more balanced bilinguals, with 93% proven to be highly proficient in both English and Mandarin (6.2% increase).

Tremendous Growth Due to Comprehensive Curriculum

Witnessing the effectiveness of the LSH curriculum first-hand, parents firmly believe in its ability to positively influence a child’s development and academic abilities in several aspects. As shown in the study conducted by Dr. Setoh, the LSH curriculum lends support to the hypothesis that proficiency in both English and Mandarin can be high with the right tools and exposure, regardless of the home literacy environment.

Offering robust support for children as young as 18-months, the bilingual preschool in Singapore aims to provide parents with the necessary services that will ensure significant literacy development in their child – browse their list of centres and contact LSH for more information.

About the Little Skool-House

The Little Skool-House is a preschool located islandwide. Focusing on key developmental areas, the school’s vision is to nurture young learners to be ready for primary school and life. Having designed a comprehensive curriculum framework, the preschool has acquired a range of accolades and finds pride in fostering inquisitive learners who are Highly Proficient in English and Mandarin.

To visit the Little Skool-House centres, please go to: https://www.littleskoolhouse.com/enquiry/schedule-a-visit

93% of our graduates are Highly Proficient in English and Mandarin
Schedule a visit today to learn more