When putting in equal amount of effort, why do students achieve different results with their peers, or when compared with their past results?
What is the secret to consistently score high marks for Comprehension?
How can your child build a strong foundation for grammar?
How do current affairs help your child with writing and oral exams?
Is there a way to consistently ace English exams?
Rooted in Critical Reading and Critical Writing strategies, our Primary, Secondary and Junior College programmes are built upon years of experience teaching, designing curriculum, marking exams and designing assessment modes in government schools.
Taught to students in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), these approaches have benefited mainstream students we have taught over the years. Critical Thinking is a lifeskill that your child deserves to be taught early and master. 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 interconnected 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.
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.