The status of English is on the rise in Singapore as more and more people chose to speak English at home, according to News Straits Times on March 6th 2016. This goes to show that most people are aware of the importance of exposing their children to the English speaking environment in order to gain the edge in the world where English is used as the international language of trade, technology and academics. The growing influence of English gave rise to various English enrichment classes for students since primary school level that aims to help these non-native speakers of English achieve fluency and accuracy in the language.
Learning it through immersion
While reading and writing English can be done through practicing in isolation, acquiring good listening and speaking skills requires children to be immersed in an English speaking environment. This provides ample exposure and practice opportunities for children to give feedbacks, complete tasks, and express themselves. One can only speak a language when one has an idea of how it is spoken, and therefore attending English tuition in Singapore will enhance the efforts that parents are trying to make at home. Besides, the topics and issues of discussion usually differ greatly from home, and this gives your children chances to attain a wider vocabulary.
What is good English?
To attribute good English with a British or American accent is far from accurate as fluency is not wholly dependent on the pronunciation aspect alone. To be able to speak good English requires one to achieve mastery over a lot of other aspects such as the word choice, grammar, pragmatics and other fixed expressions of courtesy. All those are much more difficult to master than just learning pronunciation alone. While having a native speaker accent certainly impresses others, the importance of other language aspects should not be forgotten as well. That is why the English language schools in Singapore should be aiming for a holistic learning experience instead of being fixated over the pronunciation aspect alone.
Having fun with English
The English enrichment class for primary students that are offered by English language schools in Singapore should focus on more fun than drills to interest a child enough in exploring the world of English independently. Once they have mastered the basics, they can get very creative with the language, in a way opening up more possibilities of getting in touch with the vast knowledge out there. Not only that, English could help children bridge cultural boundaries that are keeping them from knowing other people of other cultures. Since everyone has a different native tongue, English would be used as a communication medium for both, it helps in fostering a greater understanding under Singapore’s multicultural society.