In English-Speaking Singapore, Students Face Huge Challenges in Mastering the Language


If you read the title, it’s like saying Americans or Australians face huge challenges in mastering English. But they do! And their lingual learning problems are almost similar to what Singaporeans have to face.

Americans, Australians, and even the British find it hard to learn the formal type of English language in school because it’s different from spoken English that they’re used to at home, work, and on the street. Singaporeans have a similar problem because the majority speak a common street language called “Singlish.”

Singaporean Singlish

Singlish is the highly complicated English creole spoken throughout Singapore. Its staccato, off-grammar patois usually amuse first-time visitors and tourists to the country. It is an amalgamation of the four main languages spoken in Singapore: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. However, English is predominant in the spoken creole since it has been the lingua franca that the British brought with them when Singapore was a colony from 1819 to 1963.

So, here lies the crunch, because Singaporeans have a hard time learning the proper formal English taught at school. What’s more, Singapore’s education system uses English as the means for instruction, so students need to answer tests, examinations, and essays in proper English, not Singlish. Adding to the complication is the fact that many of today’s families speak Singlish at home rather than proper formal English.

Learning the mother tongue

As if it wasn’t enough that students need to learn proper formal English, they have a second language class called the mother tongue class. All students in Singapore are required to take up a mother tongue class in their native language. So, ethnic Chinese learn Chinese or Mandarin; ethnic Malays learn Malay; ethnic Indians learn Tamil.

While in other English-speaking countries, students only need to learn formal English at school, Singaporean students are saddled with two language classes.

Parents turn to English tutors as a stopgap

Many parents attempt to solve their children’s English learning problems by hiring English tuition in Singapore. This is a proven stopgap solution for students who are struggling to learn the language, let alone use it for tests and examinations. However, before we get into the advantages of hiring an English tutor for your children, let’s look at the specific problems your children face with English.

Challenges students face with English

Because they have been used to speaking Singlish, students struggle in utilising even basic grammar and vocabulary when speaking and writing. Many students lack practice in oral skills and correctly pronouncing words.

While many students may understand their test questions, they find comprehension and thought-organising quite challenging. They find it difficult to compose and summarise answers and texts. Given this, they fail at comprehension and to understand the right meaning of important sentences or how to compose them.

Students can find it very hard to learn and memorise important passages and topics that can help when they write essays or research papers.

Generally, students in Singapore lack the right guidance to improve their essay skills and use the English language correctly. They feel overwhelmed when learning about the technicalities of the language and find it hard to memorise even basic noun-adjective-adverb-pronoun differences.

Advantages in hiring an English tutor

When you hire an English tutor in Singapore, the tutor can determine the student’s weaknesses to help them improve. With this focus, the child is now getting expert help to overcome these weaknesses to develop good language and communication skills that can be used not only in school but for later life.

When you hire an English tutor, parents will see the progress of their child. This in turn will boost the child’s confidence to communicate in English. The stronger the command of English, the more confident the child becomes and to be able to answer properly in tests and exams.

English tutors adjust or adapt their teaching styles to students’ specific needs. This is because home or online tutors have various qualifications and experiences that allow them to teach your child at the correct pace and speed needed by the child.

For the best solution, get a home or online tutor from FamilyTutor

FamilyTutor provides a wide range of qualified and experienced English home or online tutors who are MOE and NIE trained, whether full-time or part-time. Our recommended tutors can help students learn based on the MOE syllabus for writing, speaking, and listening skills.

We have options for home tutoring in the convenience of your home or tuition online.

You can gauge from the online and media testimonials and reviews to see how effective our tutors really are and how they can improve your children’s learning of English. FamilyTutor also offers tuition for Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.

Michael Caine
Michael Caine is the Owner of Amir Articles and also the founder of ANO Digital (Most Powerful Online Content Creator Company), from the USA, studied MBA in 2012, love to play games and write content in different categories.

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