Yishun Secondary School Explores Possibility of Digital Overseas Immersion Programme to Allow Students to Carry on with Their Cross-cultural Learning
Yishun Secondary School is committed to providing students with cross-cultural learning opportunities through its Yishun Goes Global Programme. The school’s overseas immersion programme was expanded to five countries and regions last year, namely Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Cambodia.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yishun Secondary School is exploring the possibility of using online platforms for its overseas immersion programme so that students can continue to communicate with their overseas counterparts despite the global pandemic and not lose out on the learning that these partnerships bring.
The Yishun Goes Global Programme takes on a 3-pronged approach; the pre-departure programme, the actual overseas learning journey and the post-trip programme. At the interview Mr Tay Hiang Soon Vice-Principal, Yishun Secondary School, shared that teachers would discuss with the students the learning goals to be achieved before the students embark on their overseas learning journey. Students are also tasked to research for information regarding their partner school, the unique characteristics of the countries they were visiting and, how they can better communicate with the locals.
Before departure, students also interact with their peers from partner schools via video conference. Mr Tay said that this prior interaction facilitates the friendship forged between the two groups of students. During these “conversations” students start their collaboration on learning projected or performances to deepen cross-cultural learning.
Upon return, students will share their learning experiences with their schoolmates.
However, in view of the current global pandemic, the school the school had to suspend its overseas immersion programme. Mr Tay commented that the school is having a discussion with its partner schools to explore the possibility of having a “digital immersion programme” which will include getting students to film short videos to introduce local attractions or special things about the school to their foreign counterparts.
Secondary 3 student Elaine Wee Lok Yi went to Shanghai with her classmates at the end of last year on a 5-day cultural immersion programme. She said that this was the first time she travelled abroad without the company of her family members. It not only taught her to be independent, but also helped her to become more adaptable. She added, “When communicating with the local students, I would ask friends to help translate when I encountered language barrier. In the process, I also learnt a lot of special terms used by the locals.”