We have many curious parents asking about the TLL Experience and what difference they can expect to see in their child after they’ve attended lessons here. With our TLL Experience Day happening in November, this is your chance to find out what we have to offer!
To share more about the TLL Experience, we met up with a TLL Alumnus and asked him about his thoughts on how his lessons here impacted his journey through school.
Hear About The TLL Difference From Our TLL Alumnus
Dyon Quek, 21
Medicine, Monash University
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your educational journey so far.
I’m currently 21 and working in a temporary job while waiting for the University school term to start.
I’ve always enjoyed learning about new things or researching about specific topics I found interesting. That being said, I didn’t particularly enjoy learning languages in school – I preferred more factual knowledge like Science that I could apply in real life (and also because of the cool theories I could read up on in my free time).
My parents strongly believed in the value of education, so they always made sure I was being stretched academically by supplementing my school work with after-school enrichment.
From primary school through to junior college, I tried many types of enrichment lessons across a whole range of tuition centres. Just listing a few off the top of my head, I’ve been to Just Education, Busy Bee Learning Centre, British Council, Aspire Hub, Physics Café, Twig Learning Centre, School of Thought. Of course, along the way, my parents also enroled me in The Learning Lab’s programmes.
I would say that their efforts, coupled with the fact that I geniunely enjoyed learning, paid off – I managed to score 269 points at the PSLE and was accepted into Raffles Institution. Studies in secondary school and junior college were manageable, and I eventually went on to score straight As at the GCE ‘A’ Levels.
Q: What lessons did you take at TLL?
I took English lessons here from Primary 4 through Secondary 2.
Q: If you could share with us 3 reasons why English lessons at TLL was special, what would they be?
Honestly, I truly believe the English lessons here are a cut-above those provided at other centres. Because I had been to so many different centres, I could discern quite quickly which teaching methods or curriculum would work for me.
But here's why TLL was so special and great for me.
Lessons were focused on developing a strong foundation in the English language
TLL’s English programme definitely gave me a strong foundation in the language. During our lessons, we were introduced to different writing techniques that were relevant and applicable (as opposed to being too bombastic).
I think the structure of each lesson also helped me develop good study habits. We had a specific method of filing and organising our homework or corrections that taught us the importance of staying organised.
There was also something we called the “Secret Notebook” (SNB), which was basically a book in which we recorded important vocab or writing techniques in for later revision. Having the SNB taught me to take charge of my own learning because I could flag out things I wasn’t sure of and consult my teacher on these issues. This was a good skill we picked up at a young age, and was applicable to other subjects as well. I believe they still have the SNB now, but students call it an English Journal.
Nurturing the love and genuine passion for English
I feel like TLL was really where I developed my love for learning – I genuinely looked forward to TLL lessons and I think this is where TLL truly differentiates itself from the other centres.
Beyond just the technical aspect of the language, I think the lessons here really built my love for English as a language. There was a strong emphasis placed on the importance of vocabulary – we were constantly learning new synonyms. This was heavily emphasized from primary to lower secondary lessons, where there was a shift to focus on other components of the English papers.
Most of the other tuition centres also cover curriculum that is closely tied to the MOE syllabus, but TLL goes the extra mile in breaking down important concepts. TLL has found a way to present content such that helps students internalise and apply it easily – that is what ultimately gained me that extra mark or grade above my peers. Instead of dumping content on its students, TLL’s curriculum team does an amazing job of tweaking it so it is easy to digest, recall, and apply.
Preparing me for success beyond the classroom
What was truly valuable about the English curriculum was how the lessons gave me a wider perspective on issues because current affairs are incorporated into lessons. It helped me then, and even until now because I was equipped with more general knowledge than most of my peers because i was exposed to global isssues which are may not have been covered in school.
These topics were weaved in very effortlessly – I don’t remember finding heavy news content boring when it was covered in class. Teachers would also bring up interesting topics and allow us to discuss them as a class – this was great in letting us develop our own opinions on issues. I remember going home and sharing new interesting trivia with my parents. It honestly made me feel quite proud of myself whenever I discussed real world affairs with adults and could quote them accurate statistics or facts!
I feel this was the most apparent in the PSLE Oral Examination. Oral exams are somewhat impromptu – you can definitely prepare for them, but at the same time you can’t! TLL’s critical thinking training and tips helped me stay calm while I waited for my turn with the examiner. The arsenal of diction they equipped me with also meant I started the challenge with one less obstacle to worry about. The value of this was even more prominent in secondary school and junior college when narratives were replaced with argumentative essays. Cogency, that is now more valuable than before, is something I already possessed when starting secondary school.
Q: How did you know TLL was the right one for you?
When I attended my first lesson at The Learning Lab in 2005, I realised this was the place to be. The teaching pedagogy and calibre of the teachers were clearly different from the other centres. I remember being especially impressed by the content covered in class – the teacher was able to clearly break down the topics such that I could easily relate to them even though I was only a 10-year-old.
My parents then signed me up for the full year of lessons immediately after that first class because I’d told them that I had enjoyed the lesson and felt the programme here would help me in my studies.
The skills I picked up in TLL helped me thrive through secondary school and junior college. TLL went beyond teaching content – the teaching methodology helped develop my critical thinking processes. This was a huge boost to my aptitude and empowered me with the confidence to do well.
Q: Lessons couldn’t have been all butterflies and rainbows…
Well, to be very frank, there were times where completing work became very tedious – especially when we were doing exam revision. Going through mock papers wasn’t super fun, but I guess these techniques and skills covered were necessary…?
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I recently ran into my English teacher! She’s still the same – warm, vibrant, engaging. I spent some time chatting with her after her lesson and the kids were focused and working on the task at hand. It was a good catch up and I’m heartened that the company vision of nurturing the love of learning has not changed!
TLL Experience Day is Back!
Let your child discover the TLL Difference at our Experience Days From 13 November To 11 December 2016!
For your child – A 1.5-hour Experience Lesson
Beyond just written exercises, your child can look forward to an hour of fun and engaging activities as he or she gets a taste of our classes. Lessons will be brought to life by our passionate and nurturing teachers as they facilitate your child’s understanding of a topic or concept.
For parents – A 1-hour Curriculum Talk
While your child is in the experience lesson, our experienced teachers and curriculum specialists will be sharing what you can expect for your child in the coming academic year. During the curriculum talk, we will highlight potential difficulties your child may face when transitioning to the next level in school and how our lessons help students overcome these trouble areas.