Receiving primary school education is an important phase of life for children aged 7 to 12. Undoubtedly, it can be a very daunting transition from kindergarten to primary school as it is the children’s first phase of formal education and first major examination, the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination).
English, one of the examinable subjects for PSLE, is an extremely important subject to do well in. English plays an important role in our lives as it is the main language that many communicate with. There is therefore a need to build strong fundamentals in the English Language, understanding the Grammar rules and building up an impressive knowledge of vocabulary.
However, there may be certain challenges that will hinder primary school students from doing well in English. Students may face problems such as not being able to cope with the workload, not being able to keep up with class and not having sufficient practice for English. Hence, we have a few useful tips for students which they can adopt and practice to overcome the problems in studying English.
Reading is a fun way to expose yourself to the correct use of grammar and new vocabulary. There is also the additional benefit of giving you creative ideas for writing. When selecting books to read, you can refer to booklist recommendations by the school or source for book recommendations online. Alternatively, you can try exploring a genre of your interest such as fantasy, history and thriller. Focus on the reading experience and be immersed in the detailed illustrations and depictions as described by the author. Over time, you will develop better reading and thinking skills, which are important in helping you to understand components like Comprehension Open-Ended and Visual Text Comprehension. This is an activity that is easy to pick up as you can borrow books from the school library and also the public library. Furthermore, you can read anytime and anywhere - during allocated reading time in school, during study breaks at home and on public transport.
The best way to learn English is to use it often in daily settings. You can speak to your friends and family in English. You can also watch videos online and listen to the way they speak English. Build up the habit of speaking and writing English the right way. One useful way is to communicate to others in English while reminding them that you are trying to correct any errors. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, so be patient with yourself. Over time, you will become more aware of the right ways to use the language, which in turn improves your Oral Communication, which is a key component in the PSLE English examination.
Get into the habit of writing in complete sentences while learning English. You can start with simple sentences to make sure that you can convey the ideas clearly. If you need help with your writing, you can refer to the Comprehension text from your past school test questions. Also, do not hesitate to ask your teacher for help to review your writing. When writing, it is important to take note of the grammar and vocabulary. You can also try keeping a personal diary to reflect on your thoughts and feelings each day. Personal reflections are helpful in organising your thoughts as you express them in words.
English is a subject that students need constant exposure to. Thus, having just a few hours of exposure to learning English every week in school is insufficient. Students have to take the initiative to practice English outside of school. The tips that we have shared are practises that can be done effortlessly and easily integrated into our daily lives. Following these tips will definitely be beneficial in building up strong fundamentals in English, getting you ready for PSLE.
By Simon Ng