What is STELLAR?

This programme is designed specifically for Singapore children by Singapore teachers.

STELLAR stands for Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading. It was rolled out in 2006 and after nine years, all the primary schools use for all levels. STELLAR is an instructional programme and not a syllabus, and therefore it offers materials and strategies rather than an outline of teaching outcomes. As a result, some parents complain that it seems unstructured.

 

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However, from what I can see, there is a certainly a pattern that only an experienced teacher can detect. There are elements of explicit grammar instruction (like the lessons taught traditionally). But wrapped around these basics are stories that interest the kids instead of the boring old textbooks during our time.

How does STELLAR work?

I will focus on STELLAR at the lower primary levels since that is where my son is studying. There are three stages – Shared Book Approach (SBA), Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) and Learning Centres (LC).

The SBA phase divides into two parts; the first is when the teacher shares a story with the class and the second is when the teacher teaches grammar, phonics and vocabulary. There are additional activities in the form of games, drama and art and craft to engage the children and reinforce the lessons.

In the MLEA phase, the students discuss and think about the theme of the SBA. Since they already have the context, vocabulary and language structures, it becomes easy when they discuss. The teacher then collates their inputs into a class writing, which then guides them in group writing and finally in individual writing.

Finally in the LC phase, the children will reinforce their language skills in the Reading Centre, Word Study Centre and Listening Centre.

The cycle repeats itself again when one theme has finished. While it seems repetitive, there is probably little chance of it as there are a lot of different activities which the teacher can pick and choose.

 

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Credits:

More information about STELLAR can be found on MOE’s STELLAR webpage. There are online resources and tips for parents.
Another version of this blog was posted in the author’s personal blog. You can visit to find out more.