What is the secret to scoring full marks for Comprehension?
Is there a tried and tested way to achieving 15/15 for Comprehension Cloze Passage?
How can your child do well for Synthesis and Transformation?
Is there a way to consistently ace English Exams?
There are no gimmicks and flukes, just deeply rooted learning that applies research-based critical thinking methods.
What is Critical Reading and Writing?
Reading and writing are indispensable and symbiotic processes in language development. Reading is the skill applied to receive information, taken as a form of INPUT, while writing is a productive exercise that is considered OUTPUT.
Credits: This framework is an adaptation and synthesis of Paul and Elder’s theory on Critical Thinking, and books on Critical Reading and Critical Writing.
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According to research conducted by gurus of critical thinking, Professors Richard Paul and Linda Elder, there are five levels of critical reading:
(i) paraphrasing, (ii) identifying the main idea, (iii) analysing the text logic, (iv) evaluating the text logic
and (v) speaking in the voice of the writer.
Without deep understanding of the comprehension texts, no amount of highlighting and underlining will help your child breakthrough their limitations in Comprehension.
They MUST understand what they read in order to answer the questions clearly and accurately. We set your mind at ease because we are able to teach them these critical reading skills.
Level 1: Paraphrasing
- Students are able to talk about the information in the text in their own words
Level 2: Identifying the Main Idea
- Students are able to state the main point of the text in one or two sentences
Level 3: Analysing the Text Logic
This is the most important level of Critical Reading. Students are able to understand the reasoning behind the text by applying the 8 Elements of Thought, which are:
- Question at Issue
- Interpretation and Inference
- Implications and Consequences
- Point of View
Level 4: Evaluating the Text Logic
- Students are able to assess the quality of the text
Level 5: Speaking in the Voice of the Writer
- Students are able to role play as the writer
Professors Paul and Elder highlight two important skills that are fundamental to Critical Writing. They are substantive writing and reflective writing.
- Substantive Writing helps students focus on the purpose of the writing task (e.g., to persuade, to entertain, to report etc). Once the student is clear about the objective of their writing assignment, they are able to focus their content to achieve the objectives. They also use the appropriate tone and vocabulary to meet their writing goals.
- Reflective Writing involves developing students’ ability to evaluate their own writing by asking questions such as “How good is my writing?”, “How can I improve in my next draft?”, “How do I seek help?” etc. At Cognitus Academy, our students are taught critical writing skills to improve on their drafts. Teachers demonstrate how each draft can be enhanced through detailed feedback. This method has motivated students to work on improving their plot, character, or arguments proactively.
At Cognitus Academy, our students are taught critical writing skills to improve on their drafts. Teachers demonstrate how each draft can be enhanced through detailed feedback. This method has motivated students to work on improving their plot, character, or arguments proactively.
Underlying the processes of Critical Reading and Writing are Universal Intellectual Standards used to measure the texts that are being read and written. These standards are criteria that students will develop familiarity with when they assess a text.
Primary English Programme
Cognitus Academy's unique Primary English Programme is built on Critical Reading and Writing (read more) and focuses on two key elements – motivation and strategy.
Our programme is crafted to meet every child's level of readiness (or what MOE calls 'ability') and motivate them to achieve their full potential. Our structured Lower Primary programme develops mastery and fluency in grammar, vocabulary and exam skills to build confidence in our pupils. For Upper Primary pupils, our proven strategies for scoring A*s in PSLE English exams involve not only exam tips, but also equip them with critical reading and writing skills to maximise their potential.
Critical reading skills taught at Cognitus Academy have elevated students’ ability to read with understanding and score for sections such as Comprehension MCQ and Open-ended and Comprehension Cloze Passage.
Secondary English Programme
Cognitus Academy's Secondary English Programme takes full advantage of Paul and Elder’s Critical Reading and Writing (read more) strategies because of the need to extend students’ abilities to analyse and evaluate texts.
Whereas paraphrasing and identifying main ideas continue to be foundational skills in Secondary English, the deeper levels of critical reading are crucial for success in O-Level English, especially in summary writing and comprehension. Sadly, not many teachers are able to teach these skills well.
Critical writing skills are fundamental for writing strong expositions. Our students will develop these skills under the guidance of our teachers.
JC General Paper (GP) Programme
As the learning of English becomes rigorous at the JC level, Cognitus Academy's General Paper (GP) Programme takes full advantage of Paul and Elder’s Critical Reading and Writing (read more) strategies because of the need to extend students’ abilities to analyse and evaluate texts. At Cognitus Academy, we go beyond providing GP tuition. Our teachers train and motivate students to think critically about the world through the following channels.
Cognitus Academy's PSLE Masterclasses teach strategies that help pupils excel in the PSLE English Exams.