Learning English is not all that easy especially if students struggle with it all alone. It is of utmost importance to realise that asking for help is necessary because that is the only way to find a feasible solution.
In Singapore, most of our conversations at home is in our mother tongue and we communicate in English with people of other race and languages in public. It is hence fair to say that communication in English is not so frequent and hence students need to create more opportunities for themselves for more exposure.
For many students, though maintaining a conversation in English is not all that difficult, the true challenge lies in doing well in examinations which requires students to be effective communicators, to be effective writers and to be able to understand content being presented to them in exam papers as well.
Students these days opt for private English tuition and even online English tuition in order to pick up grammatical skills and improve their vocabulary. Secondary school English tuition is becoming particularly famous as many students fear the challenging transition from secondary school standard of English to A level standard of General Paper.
The expectations that examiners have of students has increased by many folds and this is the prime reason why students tend to seek extra guidance in every way possible.
So, here are some effective ways in which students can learn English effectively at home!
Listening And Observing
One of the most fundamental ways of learning and gaining knowledge is through listening to speeches, or listening to the news, hearing other people speak and in many other ways. The commonality between these above-mentioned modes of learning is that all of it requires students to keep a listening ear.
Observing everything that happens around us is also as equally important as that gives an idea as to what kind of people are around us and what kind of conversations people have. A certain level of street-smartness is important in order for students to be able to empathise with others and to be emotionally intelligent.
All this is necessary in order to be good at essay writing as descriptions bloom from the details that we observe as well as from the details that we have gathered through reading and listening.
It may seem as though it’s an odd piece of advice but watching English movies and TV shows can go a long way in helping students learn English effectively. Students can also watch documentaries to get a wider sense of exposure as lots of issues will be discussed in varying depths and gaining such knowledge would also be useful to write good essays.
It is important for students to not just sit back and watch documentaries or movies as just plain entertainment; it is essential to take note of the way the characters speak and to analyse why they may have used certain words in particular contexts.
If certain slangs are difficult to follow, it may be useful to on the subtitles and watch the documentary to show in order to have a better understanding and to register idioms, phrases and new words in the mind much easily.
Undeniably, reading is one of the most important ways of developing language skills. Reading exposes students to a huge array of content and concepts and moreover, it gives lots of exposure which allows students to be broader minded in their thinking.
In English essay writing, students are required to write descriptive or argumentative essays which requires them to have knowledge about a wide variety of topics and to have in depth understanding about various concepts.
Some resources that students can do their reading from would be,
- CNN news
- The Straits Times
- BBC news
- The Economist
- Any novels or books written by renown authors like Khaled Hosseini, Anita Desai, etc.
Though it may be challenging to excel in writing, the first step to even mastering these skills would be to start off with reading. It is important for students to keep in mind that starting off in a simple manner is enough and then they can work their way up and get used to reading more long articles and abstract content.
Inculcating the habit of reading definitely needs discipline and without that, it’s impossible to excel in anything at all. Perhaps reading a small article and a couple of pages from a novel every day is sufficient to keep a steady pace of progress as little amount of work each day will eventually add up into something bigger one day.
English tutors are some of the most well-trained individuals who have the expertise and knowledge to guide students in customised ways in order to point out their strengths and weaknesses and to coach them in a specific manner.
Some students may be weak in their vocabulary skills whereas some other students may be weak in their grammatical skills, some may struggle with sentence formation and some might struggle with writing an essay cohesively without knowledge gaps. All this takes plenty of time to excel in and its hence important for students to be patient and realise that progress will be made slowly over a long period of time.
English being a universal language is one that has become a medium of communication across borders and it’s important for students to excel in the language if they want to progress in their careers as at times, opportunities may require students to express their knowledge and opinion on important platforms.
English home tuition is one of the best ways to pick up the language at a much faster speed as opposed to struggling alone as students may not be able to assess their own progress as much as how a trained tutor would be able to.
Learning English may be an arduous journey at the beginning, however, with the right amount of help and hard work, it is indeed possible to excel in it!