Exploring the Perception and Practice of an Early Literacy Strategy, Class Dictated Story, at P2 Level in a Singaporean Neighbourhood School

Chua Yew Cheong Rodger

English Language Honours AE, NIE, 2003


Class Dictated Story (CDS), an early literacy strategy based on the Language Experience Approach (LEA), was introduced into the Singapore lower primary curriculum in 1991 and has since been utilised island-wide as a teaching strategy. Throughout more than 10 years of use in classrooms, no research on how it is perceived and used by practising teachers has been conducted. This study thus seeks to investigate the perception and practice of CDS by current teachers and the extent to which its underlying LEA principles have been adhered to, after more than a decade of implementation.

Two primary school teachers who use CDS in their primary 2 classes were investigated in this study. Their perception and actual classroom practices were obtained through a questionnaire survey, an observation of their CDS lesson, and a post-observation interview. These perception and practices were then examined in relation to the fundamental principles of LEA as proposed by Allen and Allen (1966) to determine the extent of convergence or divergence.

Both teachers did not perceive LEA principles as being vital and fundamental in the implementation of CDS as a teaching strategy. Such a misconception by the two teachers resulted in actual classroom practices that contradicted the philosophy behind the use of CDS in different ways, rendering parts of their lessons ineffective in developing children's literacy skills.

The results of this study indicate that a solid grasp of underlying theoretical principles by teachers is necessary to ensure pedagogically sound implementation of CDS to effectively develop children's literacy skills.