Scrutinise the timetable or list of subjects of an IP student, and you’ll find one stark difference. There’s no ‘English’ on their list of subjects. Instead, they take something called ‘Language Arts’.
Most of the time, teachers simply describe the subject Language Arts as a combination of Literature and English. However, the difference goes beyond that. As the description on Victoria School’s subject page for English states,
“The IP curriculum has greater focus on developing higher order thinking which is seen in performance tasks where students have to apply their learning in challenging and authentic tasks. The ‘O’ Level curriculum is more focused on developing Linguistic and Oral competency and is more structured in its approach to develop thinking skills.”
Many schools use the term ‘Language Arts’ for the English subject in IP, including Nanyang Girls High School, Dunman High School, National Junior College, Catholic High School, St Joseph’s Institution, and possibly more. But regardless of the name, the commonality is that IP schools conduct Language Arts / English Language and Literature / IP English classes differently from how the O level classes are done.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences below.