10 Inspiring Teachers of English lauded for innovative and effective school lessons

Winners of the Inspiring Teacher of English Award (top row, from left) Ms Arafah Tajudin, Mr Marc Kenji Lim, Ms Ilavarasi Sekaran, Ms Yogeswari Elangovan, Mrs Tian Cheen Ngee, Mrs Tina Ng and Ms Dionne Chow Xin En, and (front row, from left) Madam Shagun, Madam Suzanna Hashim and Dr Lim Yi-En. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - From lyrics of a Stefanie Sun song, to floor-to-ceiling walls covered with English tips and poetry recitals, these teachers used an arsenal of tricks to help their young charges develop a love for the language.

Their work put them heads and shoulders above their colleagues, and won them the Inspiring Teacher of English Award, given out on Wednesday evening (Oct 14).

In all, 10 teachers were lauded with the award, which recognises outstanding teachers of English Language, English Literature and General Paper, this year.

Seven of them won the Teaching Award while three of them received the Leadership Award, which recognises heads of department, subject or level heads or coordinators, who led their schools in developing and putting in place effective English language programmes.

Chosen from a pool of more than 50 nominees, the recipients were:

  • Ms Ilavarasi Sekaran, 29, from Cantonment Primary School
  • Ms Arafah Tajudin, 26, from Eunos Primary School
  • Mrs Tian Cheen Ngee, 60, from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School (Secondary)
  • Madam Shagun, 43, from Mayflower Secondary School
  • Ms Yogeswari Elangovan, 29, Tanjong Katong Girls' School
  • Mr Marc Kenji Lim, 32, from Catholic Junior College
  • Ms Dionne Chow Xin En, 30, from Serangoon Junior College
  • Madam Suzanna Hashim, 42, Anglo-Chinese School (Primary)
  • Mrs Tina Ng, 52, Xingnan Primary School
  • Dr Lim Yi-En, 46, National Junior College

Ms Dionne Chow, for instance, believes in allowing her students to speak up and argue with her during General Paper classes in Serangoon Junior College.

"A rich classroom is one with two-way interaction," she said.

"When I teach GP, I see the tremendous value of the subject - how it develops not only the capacity of a person to speak and write, but also, to think. I see how it allows people to take on different perspectives and to form an opinion based on an informed judgment," she said.

Ms Ilavarasi, who teaches at Cantonment Primary, added: "I believe that English Language lessons should be engaging and meaningful and that teachers should not teach the subject solely to prepare pupils for the examinations."

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education (MOE), presented the awards in a ceremony at the National Museum of Singapore.

Currently in its eighth year, the award is jointly presented by the Speak Good English Movement and The Straits Times, and is supported by the MOE.

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