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English Cultural Activities

Term 4 2015

Teacher:  Jane Hellner
December 11th 2015

On December 11th 2015 the Upper Intermediate class visited Singapore City Gallery.  The gallery is situated in Maxwell Rd and is an easy bus ride from school.   Admission is free. Activity sheets and topics for discussion are downloadable from the Singapore City Gallery website.

The purpose of the ECA was for the students to gain an understanding of the development of Singapore over the last 50 years and the planning processes in place for future development.  This aligns with Unit 9 of the Course Book relating to buildings and cities. The Singapore City Gallery has 2 floors of permanent displays and interactive exhibits explaining the growth of Singapore to date and also projections and development planning for the future.

The students completed two activity sheets during the visit and followed up with a group discussion in class.  All agreed that the Gallery was a very enjoyable and informative place to visit and the interactive nature of the exhibits made the information accessible for ESL students.

Date: 4/11/2015
Class: Intermediate Conversation
Venue: Little India
Reason: Deepavali celebration

The class went on a trip to Little India on 4th November to learn a little on the culture of Deepavali. The topic of Deepavali had been discussed in conversation class and this gives an opportunity for students to truly experience the vibes of the celebration.
We started with a lunch at an Indian Banana Leaf restaurant where students got to try cuisines from North and South India.
After lunch we went on a walking trail around Little India and visited the Deepavali bazaar at the Little India Arcade and the temple where one of our Indian students took the liberty of explaining the practice and the many God statues that was seen in the temple.

A worksheet (Appendix A) for students were given but due to time constraints, we were not able to follow the exact route.

Teacher:  Jane Hellner
October 28th 2015

On October 28th 2015 the Pre Intermediate class went shopping for Halloween costumes at the costume shops on Middle Rd.  This is an easy bus ride from Clarke Quay. The purpose of the ECA was for the students to practise the functional language related to shopping and also vocabulary related to Halloween. This aligns with Unit 7 Function Globally and the Ascend Halloween Party.

The students enjoyed the trip.  Most bought costumes for the party and the class was able to agree on a costume theme for the party once they saw what was available and got some ideas. The students completed two activity sheets before the ECA and followed up with a group discussion in class. 

Little India Walking Tour, Route 1

Start your journey at Little India MRT Station (NE7 on the purple North-East Line). Take Exit C (Bukit Timah Road).
1) Tekka Market
Walk right along the shops and you will see Tekka Market. Long ago, there were many bamboo trees here. What is there now? _______________________________________________________________________
Look around, and if you’re lucky, the Chinese fortune teller who sits along the walkway of Block 663 will be there.

2) Serangoon Road
Walk along Bukit Timah Road towards Serangoon Road.
This is one of Singapore’s oldest roads. It was built to cut across the island. The name Serangoon comes from a bird, called rangon by the local Malay villagers. Today Serangoon has many busy shops.

3) Ellison Building
As you stand at the corner of Bukit Timah Road and Serangoon Road, look across Rochor Canal, look for Ellison Building on the opposite corner.
This old building is an architectural gem. Built in 1924, it is widely believed that British governors of Singapore once watched Sunday races at the race course from the semi-circular domes.

4) Buffalo Road
Walk along Serangoon Road towards Buffalo Road.
Long ago, there were many buffalo pens here. There were also many snake charmers, fortune tellers, astrologers, palmists, numerologists, even parrot-astrologers here. And during religious festivals, people would look for them to ask them about the future.

5) Race Course Road
Look for Race Course Road, which was named after Singapore’s first race course which in 1843.
What do you see there today? Can you name 2 examples? _______________________________________________________________________________

6) Little India’s Arts Belt
You can learn more about the area’s culture and traditions. What can you find in these shops?

  1. No. 3 to 33 _____________________________________
  2. No.23 _________________________________________
  3. No. 47 ________________________________________
  4. No. 53 ________________________________________
  5. At No. 57 _____________________________________

Check out the walkway. See how very decorative the floor tiles are. Spend some time exploring the ethnic stores; then stroll past the beauty parlours, jewellery and silk stores here to reach Serangoon Road once more.

7) House of Tan Teng Niah
Turn to Kerbau Road.
At No. 37, you will see the House of Tan Teng Niah, one of Little India’s last surviving Chinese villas. Admire its gorgeous architecture.
If you are hungry and keen to try some Indian delicacies like appom or thosai, try Ananda Bhavan at No. 58 Serangoon Road.

8) Little India Arcade
Here you’ll find lots of culture and traditions here. Name 2 things you can find here:
You might find some great souvenirs!

9) Campbell Lane
Leave the Little Arcade’s side entrance on Campbell Lane . This road is very exciting during Hindu festivals like Deepavali, when a lively bazaar spirit fills the air. That’s when sellers sell traditional handcrafts and garments, jewellery, carpets, food, spices and flower garlands. Also on sale are finely crafted gold altars and figures of Hindu deities at Gokulam.
Can you find a flower garland shop? What flowers do they use to make flower garlands?  

10) Dunlop Street
Next head to Dunlop Street via Madras Street. As you walk along, admire the various shophouses’ styles on the street; No. 127 and 159 are examples of early shophouse style. Spend some time browsing among its mix of provision and textile shops.

11) Masjid Abdul Gafoor
You’ll soon reach the entrance of the Masjid Abdul Gafoor. At the entrance of this mosque is a sundial. Look at its design. What does it look like?
You can enter the mosque, but please take off your shoes.
12 ) The Church Of True Light
Next, head to this church on Perak Road. It was completed in 1952. Early worshippers here were mainly trishaw riders who lived and worked in the area. The church also provided them free medical care and a kindergarten.
Today, religious services are held in English, Mandarin and Tamil for their multi-lingual worshippers.

13) Upper Dickson Road
Here you can view some interesting details of the area, including Peranakan shophouse, which marry a unique blend of Straits-born Chinese and Malay influence. Also located on this street at No. 330 to 332 is Komalas, Little India’s first Indian fast food restaurant. And usually, sitting on the right corner, you’ll see an Indian fortune teller with her small green bird.

14) Serangoon Road
As you stand on Serangoon Road, you’ll see a large number of jewellery stores. What kind of jewellery do they sell? _____________________________________________________________
Some of the jewellery pieces have ancient patterns, and the Noavarethinam, a ring encrusted with nine different gems. It represents the nine planets in our solar system, the ring is mainly worn by men, supposedly to counteract the influence of these planets.

15) Cuff Road
Turn the corner into Cuff RoadNearby, at No. 2, is one of Singapore’s last Traditional Spice Grinders. People used to believe spices should only be grounded during the day to keep its freshness.
Today, fewer families practice this; many buy their spices ready-ground.

16) Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Now cross Serangoon Road over to the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. This temple was built as early as 1855. It is for Kali, the Goddess of Power. Can you find her statue in the temple? What colour is it?
Do you see the devotees doing any rituals? What are they?
Devotees entering the temple ring the many bells on its door, hoping to have their requests granted. Inside, the ceiling is rimmed with statues of Hindu gods. And of course, at this temple’s main shrine is a jet black statue of Kali, flanked by her sons Ganesha and Murugan. The many-armed Kali carries many weapons too. Namely, weapons of destruction. Ganesha, the elephant god, is the Remover of Obstacles, while Murugan, often depicted riding a peacock, has his birthday marked by the festival of Thaipusam. At other shrines, elephants flank the staircase, while the steps are covered by intricately-worked silver.
Veeramakaliamman means Kali - the Courageous. And during World War II, the temple courageously offered refuge to many.
Tuesdays and Fridays are the holy days when the temple is abuzz with religious fervour; a sight to behold. You’re welcome to visit then, or at any other time (the temple is closed 12.30pm to 4pm daily) but please enter barefoot.
Congratulations. You have completed the walk.


Term 3 2015

Teacher:  Jane Hellner
September 10th 2015

On September 10th 2015 the Upper Intermediate class visited Singapore City Gallery.  The gallery is situated in Maxwell Rd and is an easy bus ride from school.   Admission is free. Activity sheets and topics for discussion are downloadable from the Singapore City Gallery website.

The purpose of the ECA was for the students to gain an understanding of the development of Singapore over the last 50 years and the planning processes in place for future development.  This aligns with Unit 9 of the Course Book relating to buildings and cities.
At the time we visited there was also a temporary exhibition, “Our city, our place “ on Level One of the Gallery.  This was a very interesting collection of exhibits depicting the development of Singapore over the last 50 years.

The Singapore City Gallery has 2 floors of permanent displays and interactive exhibits explaining the growth of Singapore to date and also projections and development planning for the future. The students completed two activity sheets during the visit and followed up with a group discussion in class.  All agreed that the Gallery was a very enjoyable and informative place to visit and the interactive nature of the exhibits made the information accessible for esl students.

Term 1 2015

Chinatown ECA:  Elementary EGL class

February 17th 2015

Elementary students visited Chinatown to experience Chinese New Year traditions and festivities.  It was also an opportunity to practise functional language related to shopping.

We started by visiting the Buddha Relic Tooth temple.  This unique temple includes the Buddha Relic Tooth museum on the third level where the tooth itself is housed in a gold stupa.
On the fourth level of the temple is a beautiful tranquil garden and an enormous prayer wheel.

After visiting the temple we went across the road to a Chinese Medicinal Store which is famous for Birds Nest products.  A gallery at the back of the store provides an interesting visual display explaining the harvest and processing of birds nests.

Finally we arrived at the Pagoda Street market area and enjoyed the busy out door markets selling traditional Chinese New Year decorations and food.

ECA Pre-Intermediate 1: Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition

On February 28, 2015 we visited the Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at the Singapore ArtScience Museum. Our primary interest was to learn more about Da Vinci’s work and life.

Da Vinci: Shaping the Future is a journey through the work and legacy of the artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci. The exhibition presented original masterpieces by Da Vinci for the first time in Southeast Asia. The exhibition focused on the Codex Atlanticus, da Vinci’s largest notebook.

Students were encouraged to use the language learnt in Modules 3 and 6. They practiced listening skills as a tour guide took them around the exhibition. They also had a worksheet related to the Da Vinci Exhibition to complete.

Overall, the reactions from the students were very positive as most of them were impressed with what they saw and learnt at the Exhibition.

ECA Starter Class to Chinatown

On February 27, 2015 we visited Chinatown. Our primary interest was to learn more about the Chinese New Year Festival and to practice the language learnt in class.

First we visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Many students seemed impressed with the beauty of the temple as well as the museum and garden on the higher levels of the temple.

After that we visited a Traditional Chinese Medicine shop which is famous for its authentic medicinal products such as birds' nest and ginseng. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and get information related to the products. They also looked at the pictures displayed in a gallery at the back of the shop which showed how birds' nest is processed.

Lastly, we went to the beautifully decorated streets and its open-air stalls in Chinatown where students were able to get an impression of what the Chinese New Year Festival is really about.

Term 1 2014
Positivity Rocks Event!

On Friday the 14th of March at 12:30pm, all the classes gathered in the lab and conversation rooms on level 5 to watch and participate in the Positivity Rocks Event. A total of 20 individual and groups entered the speaking category. These brave students stood up before the school and read and recited famous positive quotes and beautiful uplifting poems to the appreciation and applause of their friends and teachers.

The art/making category and the writing category each received 7 entries. These are displayed in the lab. Photos and videos of the event will be posted on Teamie soon. Robin and the student council did an excellent job of hosting and organising this event. The winners will be announced on Teamie soon!

Art Gallery

On the 28 th of February 2014, we, Ielts students visited the art gallery which is located near Tanjong Pagar and we got inspired by many beautiful works of art.


This contemporary painting is in a comical style . So that makes
me think about various things. I never get tired of looking at it.
I like it.

I think this art looks cute and adorable, and it brings me many happy childhood memories. However, my friend, Randy said that it looks scary for him as it has a skull in the middle.

I was very impessed by the painting as the colour of black and white work well and perfectly togther, however, my friend, Yuzo said that this painting reminds him of a natural disaster -Tsunami so he doesn't feel comfortable when he looks at it.

This painting cost more than SGD $10,000. Four of us have the same opinion that this painiting is not worth this price. In conclusion, we feel that it is hard to measure the worth of art by money.

Eventhough I don't like this kind of art, this sculpture looks weird and strange, but I think it is very unique and curious, but Koya felt scared when he saw it for the first time. 

Chinese New Year at China Town

On Thursday the 28th January 2014 from 11am to 2pm a small group of students and a teacher went to see the Chinese New Year decorations in China Town. After meeting at school at 11am the group took the MRT to China Town station. There they were given a task: Create a short video diary about Chinese New Year. The group explored Pagoda Street, went to the Chinese Temple, got Henna tattoos done before making wishes for the New Year at the Wishing Tree. The outing ended with a lovely Korean BBQ lunch. While the group waited for the food to arrive they looked through the videos and pictures and tried to accumulate 10 points for their task. They managed 8/10!

Chinese New Year

On the 23rd of January 2014, students gathered around the level 5 terrace, from 12:30 pm to 2pm, to decorate Chinese New Year Dragon posters for display around the school. This “ART” event formed part of the School’s “EXPRESS YOURSELF” theme for Term 1, 2014. A lot of fun was had by all and the posters look AMAZING!!! Many thanks to all the teachers and students who worked to make this event such a big success. The posters formed part of a competition and the winners were the students from Intermediate.


Final ECA of 2013 – Bowling @ Marina Square Superbowl

For our final ECA of the year, 16 of us (including myself) went bowling at Marina Square Superbowl and had a GREAT time! We were there at about 2.45pm and didn’t have lanes available (unfortunately) but all that was very quickly sorted out. The 6 ladies there started bowling first and they were ‘bowling up’ a storm! Strikes, spares and a load of laughs and fun!

The men showed their competitive sides. Splitted up into 2 lanes, they bowled impressive scores. You would have thought they do this every day! Well, after class, of course. It was great. I think the students definitely enjoyed the activity. Hopefully, there’ll be more to come!

Written by: Zee Ryan, December 2013


Trip to Little India

Friday November 1st 2013
On Friday 25 students, Jane and Vini went to Little India to experience the Deepavali preparations.  This formed part of a unit relating to festivals and celebrations that the Elementary and Pre-Intermediate students had been doing in conversation class.

We took the MRT to Little India station and walked over to Serangoon Rd and the Hastings St market to view the decorations, festive food, clothing and ornaments on display.  The market was crowded, chaotic and colourful

We bought some traditional Indian cookies and decorations and took lots of photos.

Some of us finished the day with a refreshingly cold drink.

Fun on Ice

On Friday the 22nd November 2013, Zee and Lisa met up with a group of about 16 students for some fun on ice. This ECA event was organised to tie in with this term’s campaign on Fun and Festivals. The group first shared some snacks at the food court before spending 2 hours laughing, falling, and learning to skate together to the background music of Christmas carols! A lot of fun was had by all.

Halloween Happenings 2013!

This Halloween was another fantastic time!

It started off with a mini-parade of students in costume. The teachers chose for Best Dressed: William, for his clever use of GARBAGE as part of his zombie costume; Scariest Dressed: Onu, for a strange mix of make-up, hair, and jump suit and Funniest Dressed: Takuye, for having a mummy head ONLY!

The parade was followed by a great performance of Thriller by William and the dancers. All those rehearsals definitely paid off!

Still outside was the hilarious balloon race. Teams of 8 competed to pass the balloon (quite difficult for some in costume!) (and yes, there was quite a bit of cheating..:)

Then all went inside to cool off and join in the MUMMY WRAP, in which teams of 4 (1 mummy and 3 wrappers) fought to wrap their mummy completely in the shortest time (played to What does the Fox Say?) Teachers chose two tied winners for the best mummied student!


Last but not least, was Kevin's amazing, very professional card tricks (with volunteers from the audience). Everybody wanted more! (How did he do that??)


The festivities closed with Tim thanking the student council for their hard work (meetings, furniture moving, balloon blowing & cleaning). Special thanks were also given to William (choreographer) & his dancers and Kevin for their marvellous performances.

Gong Xi Fa Cai February 2013

Friday 1st February 3 teachers and 24 students plus a few ex-students set off to Chinatown to experience and take in the atmosphere of Chinese New Year.

Chinatown was full of people and everything was decorated in red and gold and there were many lanterns. There were of course also snakes.

First we went to the Buddha Tooth Relic temple

This is a beautiful temple. Bus so big and I got lost there
Vincy, Pre-Intermediate , Malaysia

An unforgettable day for me - spending such a precious time with all my friends in Chinatown. As you can see in the photo, there is a gorgeous Chinese temple and for me that was an opportunity to know other culture.
Norah, IELTS, Thailand

One if the most interesting tours that I had in Singapore.

And the atmosphere inside the temple was so inspiring.

Adriana, Intermediate. Italy

Bew, Ling and Ana in the Chinese temple in Chinatown.
Ling, Intermediate, Laos

A lovely roof garden in the Buddha Tooth Relic temple in Chinatown. It is full of orchids and really peaceful.
You must visit it.
David, Advanced, Spain

On the 4th floor was also a prayer mill. We tried it. It was such a happy day for me.

Pueng, Intermediate, Thailand

After the temple visit we went to have lunch but there were so many people so got separated. So we had lunch in smaller groups, but ran into each other many times during the afternoon.

We went to Chinatown. There were so many people so we got lost. But the lunch in the food court was so delicious.
Taka, Intermediate, Japan

Lunchtime in Chinatown. We tried more new food. So cool…
Niloufar, Intermediate, Iran

We tried to look for Anne and finally we met. We were happy

Anahita, Intermediate, Iran


We ate Korean food in Chinatown. It was oishi!
Hatara, Intermediate, Japan

It was such a happy day for me and for all my friends.
Pueng, Intermediate, Thailand


Teacher: "Do you know how to count from 1to 10?"  
Nilofa: "No, I forgot that teacher.. he, he, he ..."  
Text: Sarita, Pre-Int. 2 (Myanmar)
Photo: Thea, Pre-Int. 2 Cambodia)

Let's se who can point this picture higher then me!" 
Robin: "Wow, I am the winner!!!"
Text: Anahita, Pre-Int. 2 (Iran)
Photo: Thea, Pre-Int. 2 (Cambodia)

Annie: “ Wow, this one looks like a space car, Hmm…. So strange… What is it?”

Text: and Photo: Thea, Pre-Int. 2 (Cambodia)

“Who’s the best?”
Thea: “I’ve got 4 votes."
Sylvio: “I’m the coolest person in this group, ha, ha, ha…”
Anahita: “No, my smile is the best, ha, ha, ha….”
Others: “It’s OK, we all  look very nice…Smile Please, Cheers!” 
Text: Niloufar, Pre-Int. 2 (Iran)
Photo: Thea, Pre-Int. 2 (Cambodia

“When I arrived at the exit, there wasn’t any students, so I thought that I lost direction > I couldn’t find another exit.
I waited for other students, so I felt bored. But then they came at we took this picture after a great day at the museum.”

Text: Kim, re-Int. 2 (Korea)
Photo: Thea, Pre-Int. 2 (Cambodia)

Singapore history, film, food, fashion and lifestyle.

Thirty five or our students from different levels - Intermediate, Pre-Intermediate, Elementery and Starter – went to the National Museum of Singapore in the afternoon.

We were all given a ‘companion’ – a listening device - which would tell about the great variety exhibits, in different languages.

The students enjoy the visit. They enjoyed learning, discovering, recognizing some of the exhibits. They enjoy being out of the class room, talking to each other across the levels and just having fun together.

We finished the visit at about 6pm and some of us went for dinner together.
Here are some photos and thoughts from Students

Christine, Robin, Annie


The film Evening,  Thursday 6th December, 5.15pm, 5th floor

A good start on our monthly film evenings TAKE FIVE.

We screened the funny, Brithsh Christmas  film "Love Actually"

Some students were kind enough to help me load the DVD, find the subtitles, the volume, etc. Thanks to them.

A paper with a list of characters (there are confusingly many) and a short vocabulary list were given to interested students the day before.

24 students turned up and they seemed to enjoy the  film and  being together across  class levels and countries.

Afterwards some of us discussed the film over dinner and drinks. All in all, a really enjoyable evening!!!



Little India for Deepavali, Wednesday 7th November 2012

Every country has it's own festivals. Deepavali is one of the biggest festivals in India. During this festival the streets are filled with traditional decorations, flowers and lights and you can hear traditional folk-songs.

Lin. Uppe-Intermediate

It looks like rain – and it did rain Luckily we were at Komala Vila for an Indian vegetarian meal and Teh Tarik


An unforgettablel day with friends and teacher To become a healthy person vegetables are inevitable. They are colourful and powerful.

Mr. U, Advanced 

Komala Vilas, Serangoon Road

We had Tomato Utthapa – a kind of Indian Pizza

Cone Dosai and Bhattura –  very  delicious kinds of Indian bread with all kinds of dip – spicy but good.
Teh Tarik and the art of making it..
Teh Tarik is a spicy and sweet milk tea. Tarik means pull in Malay so the waiter pulls the tea from one cup to another many times to make it more tasty. I was really fun to see how the waiter 'pulled' the tea. Pati. Upper Intermediate
The Deepavali Market

Deepavali is an Indian celebration. The whole class went to Little India to experinece the atmosphere and to visit the traditional market, It was a great experience the market was so colourful and there were many different kind of decorations. We were really surprised about how spectacular it was. Pati. Upper Intermediate

Henna Art

Henna art is very impressive and traditional The price of a henna cone is $5 per piece. The beautiful henna art work is also $5. The henna artist drew fascinating pictures by free-hand. March. Upper Intermediate.

Here are some examples of the henna art work – beautiful, isn't it?

Beautiful Decorations

We were looking at decorations. They were very colourful, fantastic and amazing. The decorations had unique shapesn and some of them are brightly lighted. We were really surprised how artistic they were.  Haruka. Upper -Intermediate

More beautiful decorations - lights

The vivid indigo blue facinated me. It makes a beautiful contrast to the background of the other vibrant colours. The graduation technique is great. A memorable Photo. Yuki. Upper Intermediate

These are light in many colours and shapes such as flowers, elephants bees and many other shapes. Amazing lights. Our teacher, Annie, bought some for $15 for her home. Christy. Upper Intermediate

It was a happy day when we went to Little India with class-mates, we tasted Indian food, looked around the market. Althought I didn't buy anything it was a fun trip and a happy memory. Yvonne. Upper-Intermediate

Haruka, March, Yvonne, Christy, Yuki, Mr. U, Annie and Lin
Halloween 2012

Double, double toil and trouble – Halloween at Ascend Education Center 31st October 2012 Demons and devils, ghosts and goblins,

monsters and mummies,

Pandas and pirates,

witches and wizzards and zombies

and a few angles and fairies

and a few angles and fairies

they were all there at the Halloween party on the 5 floor.

Great party, great costumes, great games and great food.

Halloween Shopping Tour

The Pre -Intermediate, Intermediate and the Starter classes went on a Halloween shopping tour on Tuesday, 30th October. The group of 16 students and 2 teachers (Vinitha & Zee) set off after lunch to shop for Halloween costumes and masks to wear for the party scheduled on 31st October.

The students were really excited to see the variety of Halloween merchandise available in the shops. They really had a difficult time deciding what to buy!!
There was a lot of interesting talk about Halloween and how it’s celebrated in various places. Students tried on different masks and other accessories.

On the whole, it was a very enjoyable and productive trip. The students went home excited about the Halloween Party the next day. We had talked about ‘Halloween and its history in the earlier conversation classes and now the students were able to relate to the symbols and accessories they saw in the shops.

Hungry Ghost Festival, Chinatown, Singapore

On Friday 21st August the Pre-Intermediate & Intermediate 1 conversation classes, and one student from Advanced Conversation class went to Chinatown in search of Hungry Ghosts. We had talked about the festival during previous conversation classes and now we went out to see for ourselves.

First we walked around in the streets of Chinatown and these are some of the things we saw. We saw this frog made of coins in Chinatown.

There was lots of food for the hungry ghosts. Two streets with setting for 200 hungry ghosts and one hungry students – me. Marco,  Int. 1.

We saw this frog made of coins in Chinatown.


The dragon is a symbol from Chinese culture and for Chinese people it is really important because we have animals to represent each year. And this happens to be the year of the dragon. It means good luck and prosperity. The hungry ghost festivzal is very important for the Chinese as they pray and send money, food and whatever they want to their ancestors. Pati, Int 1

These are colourful chop-sticks, with the 12 zodiac signs on them. We can choose our own sign. I think the chop-sticks are good souveniers. Shun Koike Int 1

Before we went into the tempel Lisa from Pre-Int was praying for her family to be sound and safe. Lisa is from Vietnam and they also celebrate Hungry Ghost Festival there. Erica, Adv.

The monks were chantin loudly for the hungry ghosts. Veronika, Pre-Int.


The candles in the glass cups were labled with names of dead people. They are put on the tables but before people light them they them they are saying aprayer to Buddha. Lisa, Pre Int.

Many people were praying to Buddha in the Chinatown Tempel, Teja Pre-Int.

All in all, it was a very interesting and exciting experience and Lisa and Erica,  who are both Buddhists, told us a lot about what was going on.

Captions were made by the students and the photos were provided by Pati.

Hari Raya Adilfitri (Friday 17th  August , 2012)

At lunch conversation class Intermediate 1, Pati, Raquel and Li Jingjing set off to experience the Hari Raya  atmosphere in Geylang Serai.

Hari Raya marks the end of Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. After 30 days of fasting  Hari Raya is a very happy, colourful and  fascinating festival. Muslim families dress in the same colour and go to the street bazaar, where you can buy  everything from traditional food and drinks, flowers, handicraft, beautiful dresses and suits cushions to Persian carpets.

Went the last day of Ramadan – the day before Hari Raya and the bazaar was full of people shopping for colorful lights, flower decorations for their homes and most importantly clothes for the Festival.

Here are some of the things we saw:

Some of the traditional dresses for the women in this moment of the year.

Here is some henna to make tattoos. There are many kind of henna for your hair, on the hand or others parts on your body.  Here is a lady is doing Henna tattoos at the hand of the lady.


A man cooking the meat. In the central market of this temporal market at Paya lebar.




The traditional hats for the men in this culture. -->

Someone carrying a cart with many flowers for decorating the streets.


There are a lot of thing one of this it's was the toys for the kids.

Flowers: We saw many different kinds of flowers around the stands and shops, from the Hari Raya. They're in different colors some are red or  yellow, but all of them are beautiful.

I like when people use the flowers for decorating their houses with flowers for the new year.

Prepared by  Pati, Raquel and Li Jingjing from Intermediate 1
Layout by Pati

Visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

In Chinatown,
1.30 – 3.30pm, Tuesday 8th May 2012
Conversation classes: Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate 1, Intermediate 1 and Up-Intermediate 1
Teachers: Michael, Annie

After having discussed Vesak Day and Buddha’s enlightenment in the conversation classes we visited the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown. The outside of the temple was beautifully decorated with lots of cherry blossom and hundreds of lanterns in all shapes and colours.

Students in short, short skirts and bare shoulders had to put on ‘sarongs’ and shawls. The first thing we did in the entrance Hall was to find out our Chinese Zodiac sign by looking at the charts and images of the 12 zodiac signs.

Due to the recent Vesak Day there were lots of activities going on in the main temple halls on the ground floor and the second floor. Luckily we had two ‘Buddhist‘students, Ivy and Kook Kai (Int. 1) who could tell us a lot about what was going on.

We also visited the Relic Chamber on the 4th floor, the Museum on the 3rd floor and
the roof garden.

The visit sparked of some discussion the following day in conversation class about the Chinese Zodiac signs and the characteristics connected with the twelve signs.

Visit to the Titanic exhibition

at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
Friday 27th April 2012, 1.30– 3.30pm
Teachers: Michael, Annie

Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate 1, Intermediate 1 and Up-Intermediate 1 went to the Titanic exhibition.

Most students enjoyed the exhibiton especially because we had worked with material about Titanic and and watched the film. The students were very eager to find out what was reality and what was fiction in the film.

Especially the bow of the ship, where Rose and Jack stood, the promenade deck with the calm water below and the stars shimmering in the dark, the 'famous' staircase, the first class cabin, and the 'real' iceberg was of great interest to the students.

Another exiting thing was the tickets, which were copies of real bording passes with peresonal information about real passengers. Each student got a boarding pass and could check their accomodation (first, second, third class) and at the end they could check if they were one of the 705 lucky ones who survived.

All in all a great, intereting outing which generated further discussion during the following class.

Visit to Titanic exhibition – ArtScience Museum Marina Bay

Friday 27th April 2012
11.00 – 1.00

Advanced/IELTS Conversation Class, Upper-Intermediate 2 Conversation Class, Pre-Intermediate 2 Conversation Class, Intermediate 2 Conversation Class

Jane and Vinitha took four conversation classes comprising about 40 students, including some part-time students who opted to join the ECA. The students had read about and discussed various aspects of the Titanic disaster before the ECA.  At the exhibition they completed a quiz based on information that could be gleaned from the displays. The exhibition was very interesting and the recreation of parts of the Titanic eg. The Promenade Deck and the Grand Staircase, very realistic. At the entrance to the exhibition we were given a Boarding Pass with a passenger’s name and booking details on it and the students were able to check the list of names at the end of the exhibition to see if they had survived or not. A very enjoyable and worthwhile ECA which generated a lot of material for use in class both before and after visiting the exhibition.
Jane and Vinitha

Visit to the National Library: Street Names of Singapore
Friday 13th April,

Up-Int. 1, Int 1, Pre-Int 1, Elementary and Beginner classes, Michael and Annie went for the exhibition 'Streets Names of Singapore.'

We were about 35-40 people as some of the part time students also joined. We were about 35-40 people as some of the part time students also joined. We got a booklet and an activity book to work with and we stayed there for about one and a half to two hours. Some Students did some work in the Activity book, while others mostly were chatting to each other in English making new friends, all having a good time although the exhibition was a little disappointing for some, as there were only a few photos of the old Singapore. Som

e of us went to have a bite, a drink and a chat at Blu Jaz afterwards.
Michael & Annie


Visit Sri Thendayuthapani  Temple   1.30-3.30pm  February 7th 2012

Jane and Vinitha took Pre-Int 1 Intermediate 1., Upper-Int. 1, Elementary and Starter classes. to Sri Thendayuthapani  Temple to experience the Thaipusam Festival.

We were able to see the kavadi carriers arrive in the temple and proceed to the area were the spikes were removed.

The students subsequently made excellent presentations (using visual aids) of the trip in the form of posters and slide shows.

All in all a very enjoyable, educational outing where students from different levels were able to interact with each other and observe this unusual Hindu festival.

Jane and Vini

Farewell BBQ at Vicky's, Saturday 19th August 2011

Farewell BBQ at Vicky's, Saturday 19th August 2011

Intermediate 2 had a great BBQ party at Vicky's place. We met at the Farrer Rd. MRT station 3pm and went shopping for food and drinks (a lot). Later we BBQed and played on the playground (for children – we are big children) and in the  swimming pool.

Yuka, Vicky, Tyler
The whole gang

It was a great evening. Vicky's Mum had prepared some very spicy marinade for the meat. It was so spicy we had to drink a lot.

Vicky's Mum, Amy  Sooo spicy and sooo good. The reason for the party was that 5 of our class-mates are leaving, so; Farewell Evgeny and Elena from Russia.

Farewell Long from Vietnam (going back to university).

Farewell Vivian from Shanghai (planning her wedding here in Singapore). Farewell Yuka from Japan (going back to continue high school). Very funny Yuka.

We will miss you a lot and Good Luck in the Future

From, Annie (teacher), Vicky (China), Jessie (Taiwan), Melissa (Malaysia), Joy (Korea),   Tyler, Jun (Japan). Vicky's Mum, Amy and Vicky's brother, Lucky.

Unfortunately a few couldn't join, Hiroko (who was sick), Amelia, Sue and Hanh (who   had birthday that day – we didn't know).

A lot of English was spoken that afternoon and evening and many promises of keeping in touch and e-mailing  each other (practice English). 

Memories of a 'crazy' class.

Every smile has a silver lining  Hens on a perch

Having fun What????

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Ascend Education Centre
#08-03, The Adelphi,
1 Coleman Street, Singapore 179803
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