Conferences & Workshops

Parents Forum

An Early Start for an Early Lead

Date: 26 May 2013 (Sunday), 10:00am – 5:00pm
For: Parents and children, primary, preschool and kindergarten teachers, librarians
Illustration by Emila Yusof, illustrator, Malaysia

The AFCC Parents Forum offers parents, teachers, and other related professionals the opportunity to get support, information, and advice on nurturing early learning and bilingualism at home. For children accompanying their parents, separate activities will be available.

Illustration by Emila Yusof, illustrator, Malaysia

10:00am – 10:45am
Nurturing Early Literacy at Home

Dr Ng Seok Moi (Consultant)

This talk is about my favourite subject – how best to help children learn languages and what parents can do to make it easier for young children to acquire literacy in English. Ideas will be shared from a set of principles and methods adapted from best current information about good practice in early language learning.

Download handout

11:00am – 12:00pm
Using Picture Books to Ignite a Child’s Visual Comprehension (in Mandarin)

Dr Connie Lum (Dean of Pre-school, Adjunct Lecturer, Singapore Centre for Chinese Language)

Picture books are a great help to preschool children as they contain visuals which act as a story guide. This allows the child to grasp stories more effectively. Dr Connie Lum will teach educators and parents the ways to use picture books to ignite a child’s imagination and visual comprehension.

Choosing Books for Different Ages

Kiran Shah (Storyteller)

In this workshop, Kiran will be paying specific attention to the selection of age and developmentally-appropriate books for young children. Parents will be introduced to a variety of quality children’s books and to techniques for successful read aloud sessions with their child/children.

Literacy through Physical Development

Rebecca Chan (Educator)

Teach reading and writing through fun gross motor movements with stretching alphabets, locomotor and manipulative skills, for children move to learn and learn to move.

12:00pm – 1:00pm
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Making Language Learning Fun for Children (in Mandarin)

Dr Sin Joo Ee (Senior Lecturer, Bachelor of Early Childhood and Chinese Language Education Programme, UniSIM))

A child starts to pick up speech sounds during the ages of 0 – 1 which is also the best period to train a child in language acquisition. Come to explore how children pick up language through usage of tones, words, onomatopoeia, and phonetics.

Interactive Reading Strategies

George Jacobs (Lecturer, James Cook University Singapore)

Interaction can take place not only between teachers and students but also between students. Student-student interaction has many benefits, such as greater student output and increased opportunities to enhance social skills. Participants will learn and experience strategies for enhancing student-student interaction as students respond to reading.

Download handout 1

Download handout 2

Making Stories Come Alive

Sheila Wee (Storyteller)

We all know that learning to read is important. To become proficient readers, our children need to learn the technical side of reading, but to become lifelong readers, they also need to discover that reading is fun. Using storybooks is an obvious way to make reading enjoyable, but choosing the best books for your child and reading them in an engaging manner can sometimes seem a little daunting. In this session you will learn how to choose a good book for reading aloud and how you can use your voice to make reading aloud engaging and fun for you and your children.

Children’s Activity:
Draw Your Own Story

Julia Kaergel (Illustrator)

Children participants will learn how to create picture books by painting characters and using them to craft a story. Julia Kaergel, illustrator, will also read from her illustrated books. This workshop is for kids between the ages of 6 – 10.

2:15pm – 3:15pm
The Use of Spoken Tamil at Home (in Tamil)

Dr Shanmugam K (Head of Tamil Programme, School of Arts & Social Sciences, UniSIM)

Among many Tamil families, English is the language of choice used predominantly in the home. Tamil is a diglossic language. A child who is not exposed to the spoken language early in life will likely face difficulties learning the written form later in school. The talk will focus on Tamil parents’ responsibility in promoting spoken Tamil.

This session is a part of the Parents Forum.

Adult Child Interaction Strategies

John R. Gunnarson (Early Childhood Consultant)

Asking children questions that have right or wrong answers may limit their language development and limit their problem-solving abilities. Instead, parents and teachers can learn to interact with children using open-ended questions. This interactive workshop will focus on specific strategies for asking open-ended questins to develop children's thinking and creativity.

Download handout

Early Literacy: Taking That First Step

Norlizah Mohd Juffri (
, Lynn Chua (Librarian)

Learning to read starts long before a child enters school and there is a strong connection between the development a child undergoes early in life and the level of success that the child will achieve later in life. Early Literacy skills in children are needed to ensure that they are prepared for learning when they start formal schooling. The National Library Board’s (NLB) Early Literacy programme aims to bring together educators, parents and librarians working collaboratively to impart beneficial pre-reading skills to children. This session focuses on how parents can engage their children in Early Literacy activities at home through singing, talking, playing, reading and writing together.

Children’s Activity:
An Author’s Creative Journey

Wendy Orr (Author)
Moderator: Anu Kumar (Author)

Meet Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island which has been adapted into a film. Wendy will share about her journey on how she started writing Nim’s Island to its adaptation on the big screen. The sequel to the Nim’s Island is coming out this year (Return to Nim’s Island). This session is good for kids aged 8 – 12 who are interested in creating their own stories.

3:15pm – 3:45pm
3:45pm – 4:45pm
Bilingualism at Home (in Malay)

Zainaba Omar (Malay Language Teacher, HOD Ministry of Education Language Centre)

Parents play an important role in nurturing bilingualism in children – how do parents build a bilingual home? What is the impact of bilingualism on overall language development and academic success, and does bilingualism cause language delay?

This session is a part of the Parents Forum.

Discovering Stories Through Movement

Dr Susan Kosoff (Producer, Wheelock Family Theatre), Lavina Chong (Educator)

Children are born knowing how to move. This experiential workshop instructs participants in how to use this natural ability to build a movement vocabulary that enhances children's ability to express themselves and to explore and undersatnd stries through the use of mime and body language.

Download handout

Animated Read Aloud

Janet George (Trainer)

An interesting book in hand, an expressive face and rhythm in your voice is all that is needed for this animated readaloud. So bring a book to life with just your facial expression and expressive voice -and you are set to go for this readaloud! No memory work, no recall of the story. Just come with your favourite book and try your hand at it too. Voila!

Nurturing Literacy Through Art

Wong Seet Fun (Educator, Founder of Art Loft)

Can you tell a story with a piece of artwork? Can you create a story with recycled materials? Can you extend a story with art? This workshop introduces participants to use art as a tool to nurture literacy in young children. Participants will learn the different ways to tell a story, write a story or even draw a story with fun and creative materials.