Now that PSLE is done and dusted, students are moving on to the next phase of their education. Secondary education. It brings with it the promise of growth and yet can seem intimidating to many. There are new subjects to be learned and mastered. Subjects that we once thought were mastered have now morphed into an unfamiliar form.
Take English for example, it breaks away from the numerous components that are tested in Primary schools and has been streamlined in the Secondary schools.
For example, MCQs will no longer be found in the Secondary English examination paper. Many things you will learn as you delve deeper into secondary education but somethings can be done to help ease the transition.
What can students do to prepare themselves for English at the Secondary Level?
While this sounds like an all too familiar chant from the yesteryears of Primary school, it is important that students continue to read and read widely. Reading widely would expose them to various writing styles and content. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, current affair discussions and even short stories can provide hours of worthy reads.
2) Be a critical reader
Very often we take the information that we receive at the surface level.What the Secondary English Syllabus hopes to achieve is a reader who not just understands the words forming a text but a reader who is able to question and evaluate what is written. Students will be required to know what tone the writer is using. They will need to be able to read between the lines and infer things that are not explicitly said. They will be required to evaluate an argument and derive their own stand.
3) Engage in discussions
Encourage students to express their opinions and substantiate them with points. Oral accounts for 20% of their overall results . Students need to be comfortable expressing their opinions, however popular or unpopular they might be, and engaging in discussions. This again comes back to reading widely. A student who is well read on various topics would have sufficient understanding about it to form an opinion and support it.
4) Break away from limiting English to components
With the rigour that most students prepare for PSLE, English often is limited and seen in terms of grammar, vocabulary, close passage and comprehension. Very often we forget that the primary purpose of the language is to help us express ourselves and communicate effectively. Once we realign ourselves to the purpose of language, we will more easily be able to effectively use it and excel in
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