Jan & Elly {Review}

As a child I don’t recall I was taught phonics prior to reading but having taken phonology modules during university, I can appreciate how knowing letter sounds can help in reading.

Even though I’m technically more than sufficiently equipped in terms of knowledge, I have to admit that I have little idea how to impart my knowledge to my kindergartener. Sure, it was easy with the alphabet sounds, but beyond that I felt that I didn’t know where to start for the rest.

I’ve actually been fretting about this for awhile and I guess it must be some divine intervention when Jan & Elly English Language school dropped me an email recently and asked if I would like to give their lessons a go and I decided to let my girl attend the remaining sessions for the term.

Before deciding which level the child should attend, the child will need to go for a pre-lesson assessment. Note that this is just for placement so that the child can learn optimally and not to pass judgment whether or not your child is ahead of her peers / falling behind. This is a simple session where the child reads off a list of sounds and sight words, and it doesn’t take more than 10-15min.

After determining the class (she was placed in the Phonics Advanced class), we proceeded to choose the venue (Railway Mall/ Seletar Hills/ Serangoon Gardens) and day/time of the lesson.

I sat in for the first lesson she attended and made some observations.

The lesson kicked off with a fun story session where the teacher actually sang out the story instead of reading it! I’m not sure if this happens every session but the kids definitely enjoyed it tremendously. I later found out that this segment was meant to be like Circle time where the kids gather and sort of warm up to the lesson for the day. Not only is it pretty effective, I thought it gives some buffer time in case students are slightly late so they wouldn’t miss out on the main lesson.

Jan & Elly review

After story time, it’d be a recap of what was learnt the previous week:

Then teaching of new sounds for the week:

I liked the way the teacher handled the kids and the teaching. She was humorous and had so much positive energy that it rubbed off the kids and everyone was in a mighty good mood to learn. First she’d write the sound she’s teaching/ revising (in red) then proceed to draw a picture and it would be like charades for the kids and they had so much fun guessing what she was drawing. After the simple picture was completed, she got the kids to try to sound out the word together and wrote the spelling of the word.

After the teaching was done, she briefed the kids about the practice that they would be working on in class:

Then as the kids worked on their practice, the teacher would go around and check on their progress/ clarify doubts:

The kids are given a practice booklet weekly and they can conveniently just bring along their work for each lesson in the Jan & Elly folder, which is given to every student.

There’s no prescribed homework except that if the child didn’t manage to complete the exercises in class, she’d have to do it at home.

My girl loves the lessons and keeps asking when’s the next class! What I liked about the lesson –

I find it effective to give the children the opportunity to practice what has been taught in class. Not only will it help them absorb and retain the sounds taught, any mistakes can be addressed immediately. The small teacher-student ratio is also good for the kids (max. 9 students/ class). Since the lesson is only an hour, I find that they really do make the most of their time in class, ensuring that kids have fun but are still learning during that lesson.

So what does Jan & Elly offer? I found out that after my girl is done with another term of Advanced Phonics (she’d have covered all the sounds by then), she’d be joining the Pre-Creative Writing class where kids are introduced to short composition writing to give them an edge when they start school in Primary One. I’m quite interested in signing her up for this as even though I’m trained in teaching, unfortunately, my expertise lies mainly in teaching 17-18 year olds write their General Paper essays and not essay writing at Primary One. I have not the slightest clue how they should be writing and what is expected of them at that age! 😛

Besides catering for preschoolers, Jan & Elly provides Primary school goers a couple of options – namely, Creative Writing, Reading & Comprehension and English Made Possible (EMP). Lower Primary students have the option of choosing to focus on creative writing which encourages a lot of brainstorming, whereas the comprehension classes teach kids how to read and analyse stories to get a better understanding that will help them in the long run. As they move up to Primary 3 and beyond, they can opt for an additional programme called EMP, which prepares them for all the different aspects of the English PSLE paper.

If you’re interested to experience Jan & Elly’s classes, you can sign up for a free trial at any of their centres. And if you’re free on 22 March, 10am-12noon, Jan & Elly is having a pop-up class outdoors!:

Designed to be a teaser to their Phonics Advanced programme, this picnic-themed pop-up class will introduce kids between the ages of 5-6 years to new blends used in Phonics, to help them master the art of reading. {EDITED: Kids YOUNGER than 5 are welcomed as well and are encouraged to make use of the free on-site assessment. It’d be good if you can register beforehand for the event but if you’re only coming down for the assessment, it is FREE.}

Registration is $10 per child, and they will be packing a picnic bag with everything the child needs for the class – stationery, a drink and a snack. Not sure if your child is ready? Head down for a free on-site assessment! Jan & Elly teachers will also be sharing some stories and tips with parents about how to get your child ready for the next big chapter in life so the event’s gonna be a great morning out for the whole family!

If you’re interested to find out more or you’d like to sign up for the pop-up class:

Contact: +65 6481 8892 or enquiry@jan-elly.com
Info: http://www.jan-elly.com/upcoming-events-0 

Website: http://www.jan-elly.com/

Disclosure: We received complimentary lessons to write about our experience at Jan & Elly. No monetary compensation was received.


If you enjoyed this post, please share your thoughts in the comments or share the post with your friends by clicking on the social media buttons below. Do hop over to my Facebook page where I connect with my readers and I would love to have you following me on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram too 🙂

little good books

This entry was posted in Places & Events, Reviews, Tuition. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jan & Elly {Review}

  1. Carol Lim says:

    Sounds good. I think we will try the picnic for Ian. Tks for the review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge