Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Professor Roger Vallance


The aim of the research was to discover whether an integrated Literature and English curriculum would be effective in enhancing the English language skills of students in schools. The curriculum initiative project was conducted as multiple site case studies in four secondary schools in Singapore over a span of five to six weeks during 2004. These schools included a girls’ only school, a boys’ only school and two co-educational schools. These schools were also of different types: independent, government-aided and government schools. The sample within and across the schools provided: different levels of performance in a graded situation; multiple teachers and classes; and control and experimental conditions for the curriculum implementation. Thus, the curriculum was tested in naturalistic conditions with all the variables of an operational education setting. The experimental curriculum was a Literature-Driven English Curriculum which was adapted to suit the local circumstances of each school. Though the curriculum utilised a literature text as a tool to teach language skills, it did not require a specific text. Therefore, the lesson duration and textual material were adapted according to the requirements of each school. The multiple site case studies were selected to test if the Literature-Driven English Programme could be an effective means of equipping diverse students with relevant skills to write a piece of narrative and to comprehend a given text. The teaching methods included explicit and implicit modes of teaching. In the analysis of the findings, it was found that the Literature-Driven English Programme was effective in improving the narrative writing and reading comprehension skills of students across a wide range of variables. It is anticipated that these findings would inform a wider use of a Literature-Driven English Curriculum.

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