Students who scored six or more distinctions in the A Levels pose for a photo with principal Christine Kong.

CJC’s 1st English Language and Linguistics students score in 2010 A Levels

Catholic Junior College’s pioneer batch of English Language and Linguistics (ELL) students have achieved 100 percent passes and 42.4 percent distinctions in the 2010 GCE A Levels.

The results are better than the national average of 99.3 percent passes and 38.7 distinctions.

CJC is one of three centres to teach ELL, the others being Anglo Chinese Junior College and Raffles Institution.

ELL develops “students’ understanding and appreciation of the English language through an investigation of the nature of the language and some contemporary language issues”, according to the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) website.

ELL student Isabelle Leong is one of the top students of the college

CJC’s former ELL student Isabelle Leong said the lessons were “interesting” with the use of multimedia.

Students were given a lot of information about the various areas of linguistics and asked to conduct their own research, said Leong, the top Arts stream student with seven distinctions.

The ex-Crescent Girls’ School student said she decided to study in CJC after her O Levels because of the college’s “strong arts and humanities reputation” and the ELL programme.

She added that the Arts and Humanities department had invested in the students’ academic growth and organised supplementary programmes which she enjoyed such as the Literature Film Night and Literary Evening.

Another top student, Kevin Wong, who took ELL, said, “Being in a Catholic environment helped me personally. Being able to go for morning Mass really helped me start my day well and centre myself. Studying alone and feeling God’s presence around me was also a great gift, and a great way of calming myself when I felt frustrated or annoyed with a particular topic.”

According to Mrs Sng Mee Lian, an ELL teacher, the lessons are carried out in the school’s language laboratory with the use of technology to allow for interactivity.

Students are constantly challenged in the application of their thinking skills and linguistic knowledge, she said. They analyse websites and a wide range of text types such as blogs, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, advertisements and comic strips. In addition, students worked on a research project, recording and analysing conversations in various settings.

Apart from academic studies, the ELL graduates had participated in a work attachment programme to gain experiential learning. They were attached to 13 companies and government ministries such as MediaCorp, Singapore Press Holdings and the Ministry of Education.

The college also organises an annual English Language and Linguistics Symposium to “provide students with a deeper understanding of various linguistic issues from the exchange of perspectives offered by various academics and discourse practitioners who are experts in their fields”, according to CJC.

The college also did well in Literature with 57.5 percent distinctions, Knowledge and Inquiry with 50 percent distinctions, and History with 47.4 percent distinctions.

CJC also saw 91.2 percent of students achieving at least three H2 passes with a pass in General Paper and Knowledge and Inquiry over the national standard of 90.8 percent.

Four students scored the maximum number of seven distinctions. The college also saw a 30 percent increase in the number of students scoring at least three distinctions compared to 2009. Twelve subjects saw an increase in pass and distinction rates.

Apart from academic training, the school’s nurturing environment is also a plus factor for some students.

Wong, who was vice president of CJC’s Student Council and who headed the college’s Catholic Activities Wing said he chose to study here because of his Catholic background as well as for the school’s religious and family-oriented environment.

By Darren Boon
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