Although we are just a mere nine months since our inception into the Malaysian education market, we have convinced our students and their parents that we are different from other English learning centres whose focus is on academic English.
Parents have started to realize that we don’t just teach the English language. We teach our students about storytelling and writing, about how to evoke their imagination, and the ability to communicate their thinking using English.
We are proud to say that we emphasize the application of English. Our students do not just enjoy the fun of learning English, they also learn how to explain and elaborate their ideas. What an amazing way to learn English through our fun and interactive methods!
These nine months have been a huge eye-opener for us as well. We realized the huge variance of English proficiency in Malaysia’s students. Children from an English-speaking background, with their strong reading skills generally love our writing programmes.
Our writing programmes begin with our guided writing syllabus, Alphabet Authors to our advanced writing syllabus, Aspiring Writers and Illustrators Scheme (AWIS) when students attempt a 500-word story.
Children from Chinese, Malay and Tamil speaking backgrounds who are studying in national schools will prefer to explore our comprehension, vocabulary development and application grammar programmes such as Alphabet Learners and English Rules before they embark into our writing programmes. Young children below six years old will love our Kids Can Read programme that explore their imagination and creativity while developing language and vocabulary through storybooks.
By making English learning relevant and fun, we hope the Unique English Classroom learning experiences can help students to enter the English world without fear and tears. Let’s come together and celebrate our mutual Love for Stories.
Message From Our Founder, Catherine Khoo
Welcome to the Unique English Classroom™ (UEC). I developed this series using more than 15 years of my media experience coupled with innovative educational concepts. I worked with media experts and educationists, and what resulted from all this synergy is a think-out-of-the-box, highly-interactive and fun series of programmes to accelerate the teaching of English. UEC has found a niche in more than 150 primary and secondary schools in Singapore since it was first introduced in 1996, with my school arm, Janus Education.
Every child is creative!
Ask yourself this question. Do you think your child is creative? If you do not think so, try thinking back to when you were a child, perhaps six or seven years old. What gives you the most joy? Was it drawing your first picture of Mum or Dad and thinking, “Wow! They will be happy to see this!” Or was it reading a story and telling it in your own words to your parents? Or is it changing Mum’s recipe for her favourite kueh kueh and realizing it tasted better! Yes, if you have done all this, and I am sure you have, let me tell you, this is creativity in action! Creativity happens many ways, and in the Unique English Classroom, I do this with words. Through verbal/spoken expression: reading and drama. Through written expression: stories and books.
I will be walking you through this journey on how I mentor children to write their masterpiece: their very own book of 3,000 words. Since 2003, the Young Author Scheme has seen close to 8,000 young authors aged 10 to 16 achieve this dream. Not only that, all stories are entered into the regional Young Author Award which recognizes young budding talent. Excellent stories can get published in anthologies and our very own magazine, the Young Reader Club and sold through our very own e-store! And you know what? Every child can do it! Why? Because every child is creative. The question is how to draw that creativity out from him/her. Which is what the Unique English Classroom is about…. giving every child the tools to achieve that dream! You might say, “Oh yes, my child is creative. But his English is not up to standard. Which is why he can’t write well.” I have had parents who tell me, “He doesn’t like to read. What can I do? How do I encourage this reading habit in my child?” Another mother is worried about her 10-year-old son who does not want to speak English because he is afraid his friends will laugh at him. So ultimately, it all comes down to learning the English Language!
Oh yes, learning a language is not easy. In fact, language learning begins when your child hears his first word. Usually from his mother! Which is why the language we speak at home is called mother tongue. There are four elements of learning a language: listen, speak, read and write.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Your child’s first interaction with language is when he hears from the person closest to him.
We teach your child to create!
Now, the new knowledge paradigm has added two more elements: visualize and represent. And this is what the Unique English Classroom is about: we teach your child to create!
Our suite of programmes cater to each child, whatever his level of English
· Kids Can Read (expression): as its name suggests, kids can read into their very own app!
· Alphabet Learners (written): Beginning vocabulary and comprehension for active young minds!
· Alphabet Authors (expression and written): Learn to write and tell simple stories with so much expression, his teachers in school will be amazed!
· I Love English! & English Rules! (written): Learning grammar has never been more fun and interactive!
· Aspiring Writers and Illustrators Scheme (written): Learn to write his very own 400-500 word story.
A story by Megan Khoo Mei-En (11 years-old)
Sayfol International School, Sabah
AWIS Student from UEC Iramanis Centre, Kota Kinabalu
On a snowy day, a fox named Foxy wandered in the snow looking for a friend. Out of nowhere, a mouse named Mousey jumped out of the snow. By the looks on Mousey’s face, Foxy knew that Mousey was terrified.
Mousey ran into the woods. He climbed a tree onto a branch in an exhausted way and was once again terrified for there were two sleeping owls on the branch. They looked friendly to each other so Mousey thought that the owls could be friends.
Mousey stood quietly next to them while Foxy came and circled around the tree. Foxy thought of pulling the branch to lower down Mousey. So he did. But instead of Mousey getting lowered down, the two owls woke up and wanted to gobble Mousey up.
Foxy didn’t know what to do so he let go of the branch. Mousey was flung into the air and the owls
swooped down to grab the falling Mousey but missed.
Mousey fell onto a patch of snow and slipped onto a frozen pond. Foxy too slipped onto the pond. Both of them banged into a large fence at the end of the pond. The snow on the fence fell on top of their heads. It got so heavy that the ice broke and Foxy and Mousey fell into the icy-cold water.
Foxy swam up to the surface but halfway up, Foxy noticed Mousey sinking into the darkness. Foxy dived down to grab Mousey and swam back to the surface but the ice closed the hole and only Mousey could fit through the gap.
Mousey tried to make a bigger hole for Foxy to jump out but the owls surrounded Mousey. By the time they wanted to eat him, Foxy was there wrapping Mousey with his tail and opened a small gap. Mousey tried to run away but Foxy caught his tail and angrily growled at the owls to scare them away.
Due to Foxy’s determination, the owls surrendered and flew away. Foxy let go of Mousey’s tail and Mousey ran off. At that time, Foxy went back to feeling miserable.
Then to Foxy’s surprise, Mousey came back and played with Foxy. From then on, they became best friends.
Testimonial from Parents
My six-year-old son, Aaron, joined Kids Can Read at Unique English Classroom (UEC) in Jan 2018. He shows tremendous enthusiasm when telling me about his day at UEC when he gets home.
UEC’s nurturing learning environment coupled with their imaginative and creative “learnt, think and interact” methodology has engaged, inspired and harnessed Aaron’s innate learning capabilities.
Aaron’s teacher is committed, warm and easy to communicate with. The introductory programme of Blanket Travel and subsequent I Love Chocolate and Why Cats Don’t Wear Hats programmes have captivated Aaron’s eagerness to return for more. Not only does Aaron has new learning adventures and exposure to all sorts of exploratory experience, his command of the English language has also developed, especially his reading skill.
UEC isn’t just an English learning programme … it is a provider of pre-school education that makes Aaron a confident, independent learner and a blooming child in primary school.
“A great education is a lifetime journey and is the best gift the parent can give a child.”
My Trip to Macau and Hong Kong
Oscar Gan Hse (8 years old),
UEC 88 Marketplace Kota Kinabalu
During the holidays, my family and I went to Hong Kong and Macau.
We went to Macau first by a turbo-jet from Hong Kong. We stayed there for two days. We stayed in two hotels, Parisian and Venetian. My favourite hotel is Venetian because it has a street inside it! It can also connect to the Parisian Hotel through a mall!
We watched two shows: one about the Monkey King and the other, Water Dance. I liked Water Dance because there was a part where the bad character was riding a baby bicycle! I did not like the Monkey King because my grandma is scared of spiders and there was a part where an enormous spider hung down from above!
The next day, we went to Hong Kong with a turbo-jet again. When we arrived in Hong Kong, we quickly called a taxi and started to speed off towards the hotel that we were going to stay in…Shangri-la. While my dad and me were relaxing in the hotel, (my mom and grandmother had gone shopping), I thought about Macau and St Paul’s Cathedral. There were lots of tombs because it was once a church. It’s a landmark of Macau so it’s very famous. As I walked away from the tombs, I walked straight into a window and bumped into it because the glass was very clear
After three days, it felt like my dream had come true! We’re going to Disneyland! In Disneyland resort, there’s an Enchanted Garden which has a maze that I almost got lost in! In Disneyland, my dad and me played a lot of games: Grizzly Gulch, Jedi Training, Iron Man Expo and Mystic Manners. We also watched The Lion King musical and a Disney show. We also went to Adventure Land. I liked Jedi Training and Mystic Manner because I can fight in Jedi Training and there was a magical music box in Mystic Manner that brings every non-living thing to life (e.g. a bow and an arrow). What I do not like is Grizzly Gulch because I almost got flung off the cart. This is because it was a rollercoaster and the seat-belt was not tight enough. There was a volcano that erupts every time a person passes by it in Adventure Land!
At last, it was time to go home. This was an unforgettable adventure. I wish to go to Macau and Hong Kong again.
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