From the moment they are born, children begin learning languages, learning about languages, and learning via languages. They learn how to utilize language by listening to adults talk and read to them, as well as by interacting with people and playing with their hands.

When children see signs, labels, posters, books, and images on television, they learn what written language looks like. They begin to learn about reading and writing as they see people in their daily lives compiling lists, taking notes, and reading newspapers. Children acquire literate habits as a result of these encounters even before they can read and write properly.

Language and literacy in the early years

Language is about hearing and speaking inside a system with its own rules and norms, whereas literacy is about reading and writing to understand print and transmit meaning via print. Language and literacy development in children is aided by their experiences at home, school, and in the community. They develop their own knowledge as they engage with people and objects, and they use language and tangible representations such as drawing, mark-making, and writing to express what they know and have learned.

Listening and Speaking

Children must hear language in order to learn to speak it, and they must also have opportunities to communicate with people using language.

Playing with their peers and engaging with others offer youngsters actual and relevant circumstances in which to use language. They learn to listen and take turns speaking in talks and discussions as a result of this process. They also learn about tone, gestures, facial expressions, and body language, which will help them grasp what is being said.


Reading entails deducing meaning from print. When learning to read, most children go through the following stages:

  • Pre-reading: Children initially notice that print conveys information. They employ visual clues to make sense of print in their surroundings. Children, for example, know the word “exit” by linking it with the sign over the door.
  • Initial reading: As youngsters learn the names and sounds of letters, they utilize this information to decode words and recognize certain words by sight.
  • Fluent reading: Children will be able to read more easily as they learn to decipher words faster and more effectively. Children will be able to focus their attention on understanding and making sense of the text when automaticity creeps in.

Children require experiences with oral language and a range of texts to acquire the early literacy abilities listed below, which will aid them in learning to read.


Reading and writing are intertwined. Learning one helps in the learning of the other. Thus, it is important for children.

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Learning Goals for Social and Emotional Development

The learning goals for Social and Emotional Development focus on the need for teachers to guide children to:

  • Manage and express their emotions in appropriate ways
  • Build positive relationships with others
  • Recognise that everyone is unique and show respect to the people whom they interact with
  • Reflect on their choices when making decisions

Learning Goal 1: Develop an awareness of personal identity

  • Identify own strengths likes and dislikes, and needs
  • Identify and recognize emotions
  • Develop a positive self concept
  • Develop confidence in carrying out simple tasks
  • Show a positive view of themselves

Learning Goal 2: Manage their own emotions and behaviors

  • Express and cope with emotions appropriately without harming self, others and property
  • Self-regulate their behaviors

Learning Goal 3: Show respect for diversity

  • Recognise that everyone is unique in the following ways:
  • Physical characteristics
  • Race
  • Ability
  • Opinion
  • Show respect to the people that they interact with
  • Recognize feelings and show understanding of what others are going through and how they are feeling through actions and/or words

Learning Goal 4: Communicate, interact and build relationships with others

  • Show appreciation and care for others
  • Work and play cooperatively in a group
  • Build relationships with others
  • Communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings effectively with others through words, gestures and actions

Learning Goal 5: Take responsibility for their actions

Children may on their own or with teacher/peers:

  • Consider possible options/actions to manage a situation
  • Consider the effects/consequences of options/actions
  • Reflect on their choices

Teachers will use teaching opportunities during playing to help children adjust and build habits. Baby’s opportunities to develop and master this information, skills, and orientations should be carefully arranged.

When children are given opportunities to engage well with others, their social and emotional health develops. Teachers and schools are increasingly crucial in ensuring that these opportunities occur in the classroom. The use of suitable learning methods will assist guarantee that children have the chance to develop abilities that will foster them to become confident and capable persons with societal responsibility.




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Instructors must provide a safe environment in which students may explore their identities and express their emotions, including anger and fear. Children must develop a good self-concept in connection to their peers, family, and community. They will begin to create meaningful interactions with others as they get a greater awareness of themselves.

Social and Emotional Development relates to children’s awareness of their personal identity and ability to:

  • Manage their own emotions and behaviors
  • Show respect for diversity
  • Communicate, interact and build relationships with others
  • Take responsibility for their actions

What is the Purpose of Teaching Children to Develop Social and Emotional Skills?

Toddlers will gain confidence and a good self-concept as they build on their talents and abilities. They learn to regulate their emotions and actions when they have a strong sense of self identity. When toddlers acquire self-awareness, they may recognize their own talents and skills. This allows them to form healthy connections with others and make responsible decisions.


Thus, the social and emotional skills emphasized in the pre-school years include:

  • Self-awareness and Positive Self Concept: Children who appreciate their own strengths develop a good self-concept and self-worth. They will be able to discern their likes and dislikes, as well as what they can and cannot do. They can recognize their feelings and express them to others, for example, during “Show and Tell”.
  • Self-management: Children must learn fundamental self-management skills such as being aware of their emotions and understanding that some emotions, such as happiness, kindness, and love, may be shared with others. They will also learn how to regulate unpleasant emotions such as anger, jealously, and fear in a socially acceptable manner.
  • Social Awareness: Children that are socially aware can identify the sentiments and viewpoints of others, as well as accept and respect people despite of differences. Special activities that allow children and families to dress up in costumes representing their cultures, share information about ethnic foods, and celebrate festivals assist to enhance children’s knowledge of the unique customs and values of other cultures.
  • Relationship Management: Children must understand that there are many possible outcomes to a tough situation and that they have a role to play in managing those outcomes. Children should be provided opportunity to address issues and resolve disagreements. Children may assist to establish classroom and game rules so that everyone learns to collaborate and take turns in order to accomplish activities and games.
  • Responsible Decision-making: Making decisions teaches youngsters to accept responsibility for their own actions. It enables them to settle their difficulties in a sensitive and mutually beneficial manner. Children who are taught to reason and explain their reasoning are more inclined to evaluate the repercussions and consequences of their actions. Teachers should assist students in doing things for themselves rather than do things for them.



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NEL: Discovery Of The World, Teach Children How to Explore the World

NEL: Discovery Of The World, Teach Children How to Explore the World


What is the Discovery of the World (DOW) domain in the NEL approach to education?

Discovery of the World is a series of activities designed to help children explore and interact with all aspects of their environment, whether it is home, school, work or the wider world. Children are naturally curious and need opportunities to explore, experiment, manipulate, create, and learn about the world around them.


What role does the Discovery of the World (DOW) field in the NEL approach play in the development of preschool children?

Learning should be based on a sense of wonder and joy of discovery. Children should be given opportunities to explore the world around them and make close observations over time. Instead of expecting children to understand logical and scientific concepts, the emphasis is on allowing children to apply inquiry or process skills such as observation, prediction and drawing conclusions.

Children discover the world around them through:

  • Personal Experiences: Teachers can talk to families to build upon children’s prior knowledge and experience. Children bring their own ideas, interests, and beliefs based on their own experiences and cultural settings. They acquire knowledge of geography, history and science through first-hand experiences at home and in the pre-school.
  • Sensory Experiences: Children use their senses (touch, sight, smell, taste, taste and hearing) to explore the world around them. They explore by scanning their environment, touching and handling what they see, and listening to sounds and getting excited by unusual noises.
  • Planned Experiences: Teachers could design an environment that allows children to explore and discover relationships of change and growth, and of cause and effect. Children gain better understanding of the world around them when they find out why things happen and how things work by exploring and discovering relationships between objects and people.

All of these things will help them to develop their own skill:

  • Observing
  • Comparing and Classifying
  • Predicting
  • Experimenting
  • Recording and Communicating Discoveries

What does the Discovery of the World (DOW) field in preschoolers focus on?

DOW: Discovery of the World is a series of activities designed to help young children develop an active sense of wonder and discovery about the world around them. DOW focuses on allowing children to apply inquiry or processing skills such as observing, predicting, investigating, and drawing conclusions through experiential activity and study.

Discovery of the World (DOW) key learning goals in preschool children

Teachers and schools act as inspirations for children through questioning and self-modeling that gives children a sense of wonder. Preschool children’s learning goals in the field of DOW (Discovery of the World) are focused on three main goals listed below: 

  • Learning Goals 1: Show an interest in the world they live in.
  • Learning Goals 2: Find out why things happen and how things work through simple investigations.
  • Learning Goals 3: Develop a positive attitude towards the world around them.

Activities to explore the world in the field of DOW – Discovery of the Word in preschool children

Teachers can ask questions and recommend specific materials to stimulate children’s curiosity and interest in new discoveries. Preschool children’s learning will be enhanced when they have the opportunity to find the cause and reason for the things happening around them, according to the Department of Education.

Some activities to encourage children to explore the world:

  • Asking questions
  • Providing opportunities for simple experiments
  • Inviting resource persons to the classroom
  • Conducting field trips
  • Providing opportunities for activities in the outdoors
  • Using diagrams and graphic organisers
  • Using children’s literature and information book
  • Using print media, technology and interactive media

Modelling a sense of wonder and care for the environment


Children will develop a positive attitude towards learning and show an interest in the environment. Activities within the field of DOW (Discovery to the World) will create and provide opportunities for children to discover and apply new knowledge. Children will also learn how to use the necessary skills to understand the world in which they live.

What is NEL?

What is NEL?

What is NEL?

Nurturing Early Learners (NEL)

NEL (Nurturing Early Learners) is a public preschool educational program in Singapore. The program’s various approaches will allow for the nurturing of various skills that children require for future development, such as assisting children in discovering and developing their talents, encouraging them to pursue a passion, being confident in their own abilities, and promoting the diversity of skills in children in academics, sports, and the arts.

What is NEL?

Why was the NEL created?

Preschool education establishes the groundwork for lifelong learning and impacts young children’s subsequent growth and knowledge. Quality preschool experiences have been demonstrated to make a difference in children’s future learning.

To prosper in a rapidly changing world and be prepared to face future difficulties, our students must be equipped with the required abilities for learning and life in the twenty-first century. These are some examples:

  • Having “a desire to learn, explore, and be prepared to think outside the box”
  • The ability to “think critically, assess options, and make sound decisions”
  • The ability to “work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, with different ideas and perspectives”

Young toddlers learn rapidly because they are always asking questions and seeking solutions to issues. As a result, a good and engaging learning approach for a kid will be developed via play and group activities, with the ultimate objective of encouraging each individual child’s drive to learn and curiosity to explore.

What is NEL?

The NEL (Nurturing Early Learners) program is intended to assist youngsters in achieving their learning objectives in the following areas:

  • Aesthetics and Creative Expression
  • Discovery of the World
  • Language and Literacy
  • Motor Skills Development
  • Numeracy
  • Social and Emotional Development

With the ultimate goal of child development,

  • A confident personhas a strong sense of right and wrong, is adaptable and resilient, knows himself, is discerning in judgment, thinks independently and critically, and communicates effectively.
  • A self-directed learner who takes responsibility for his own learning, who questions, reflects, and perseveres in the pursuit of learning.
  • An active contributor who is able to work effectively in teams, exercises initiative, takes calculated risks, is innovative, and strives for excellence.
  • A concerned citizen who is rooted in Singapore, has a strong civic consciousness, is informed, and takes an active role in bettering the lives of others around him.
What is NEL?

It has taken many years for Singapore’s education system to be altered and polished so that it may be flexible and diversified, offering students with more alternatives to fit their various interests and learning styles. Children are encouraged to take care of their own learning by selecting what to study and the best learning technique for them. Schools have a role in supporting children’s educational backgrounds to guarantee their overall development, both in and out of the classroom.