5 Tips to Improve English Language Skills for Secondary School Students
While English remains the primary mode of communication in Singapore, be it at school or the workplace, secondary students continue to struggle with speaking and using English fluently. This isn't just detrimental to one's educational journey, but it also impedes one's standing in the international community where proper English is more or less a minimum requirement. Building a strong linguistic foundation early on is fundamental to excelling in English, and in this article, we will explore five effective tips to improve your child's English language skills that can be done both at home and at our English tuition centre in Singapore.
Tip 1: Consume Quality English Programmes on Various Media Platforms
For the most part, English isn't something that can be fully learnt from a textbook — like all languages, it is best absorbed subconsciously by consuming quality media programmes through a variety of platforms. These programmes don't necessarily have to be strictly educational; they can also be fun and entertaining, like TV shows and movies, or even comedy sketches. Both formal and informal programmes have their learning value, with the former teaching formal English usage and the latter equipping your child with colloquial English expressions, which is just as important when it comes to blending into an English-speaking crowd. At our Secondary English tuition centre in Singapore, our secondary students will experience interactive and engaging lessons. They will be encouraged to consume a wide variety holistic media programmes to better develop their english language skills for both written and spoken. These can be applied in oral communication exams, essay writing for Paper 1, and develop a strong understanding of comprehension skills in all three texts of Secondary English Paper 2.
Tip 2: Current Affairs
One of the most widely available sources of English is still the newspaper, and here in Singapore, reading the Straits Times will both enhance your child's grasp of English whilst keeping them abreast of the going-ons in Singapore and around the world. Beyond local publications, consider other international news outlets like BBC, which also has easier news for English learners; as well as other informative publications like National Geographic, or if they're into travel, Lonely Planet and so on. These resources are highly accessible and are great ways to develop your child's self-awareness by improving their knowledge of the world around them. Our Secondary English tuition in Singapore provides students with opportunities to read and discuss pressing local and global issues, improving their English and developing them into more well-rounded learners.
Our lessons will introduce a variety of genres, for example, Narrative and Current Affairs to train out secondary students in their inferring skills and interpretation skills for the challenging and deep comprehension questions and answers in their English Paper 2.
Tip 3: Encourage Reading and Annotating
One of the best ways to improve written (and to some degree, spoken) English is to read all kinds of books from different genres, or even articles from online news websites. If you're wondering how to get started, find out what your child enjoys and look for books with similar themes. This will encourage and entice them to read and stay focused on the story. To go a step further, get your child to annotate those stories, highlighting new vocabulary, sentence structures, and identifying new writing styles; although these can also be picked up instinctively over time. It might also be helpful to read model essays provided by the school, but do ensure that your child doesn't attempt to replicate those essays, but rather extract the essence of the writing that they like and incorporate it into their next essay. Here at our English tuition centre in Singapore, students will also be taught essential creative writing skills to improve their ability to write engaging Personal Recount Essays.
In addition, in our Secondary English tuition classes, current affairs and knowing what's trending will boost our students knowledge of essay writing for Discursive Writing, Argumentative Writing and Expository Writing.
Tip 4: Guide Your Child in Using Dictionaries
Dictionaries have been our constant companions in learning any language and the same can be said for English. Generally speaking, it is the quickest and most effective way to learn new words and their in-depth meanings. Encourage and guide your child in using a dictionary to clarify meanings, learn how they're pronounced, and even find synonyms and antonyms for particular words. Do note that not all dictionaries, especially those found online, are helpful. One example to avoid is The Urban Dictionary, as it also contains offensive slangs and inaccurate interpretations of certain words.
Tip 5: Encourage Regular Conversations
The best way to learn how to speak any language fluently is to converse regularly with native speakers. In the same vein, encourage your child to have conversations (as much as their social batteries allow them to; introverts will relate to this) about their day, what they've done, experienced, or felt, or even about events around the world that they're interested in. This creates a rich discourse environment for English language learning and can benefit them during their oral examinations or even public speaking, as students are often required to give presentations to audiences in tertiary education and even in the workplace. At LK Academy's Secondary English tuition centre in Singapore, we simulate Oral Exams. This gives students the opportunity to overcome all negative emotions and replace them with the ability and confidence when put on the spot to tackle curveball oral exam questions.
At LK Academy, our objective is to build our Secondary School students for exam readiness and facing the real world with confidence, both in spoken and written!
For more information about the different Secondary English tuition programmes in Singapore that we offer, please visit our website.