Speak Good English

There is a “Speak Good English” campaign going on at the moment. I wonder where the “write” part disappeared to. Or maybe the government decided that it would be easier to handle one part at a time.

Frankly, I don’t know how effective it is going to be, when there is a lack of people to give proper instructions, and even English Language teachers cannot be trusted to speak and write properly.

My mother has friends who try to raise their children in an English speaking environment, and speaks to them in nothing but English at home. Unfortunately, these friends speak broken English themselves. The children learn their English – broken.

I came across this blog set up by a secondary school English Language teacher in an effort to improve her students’ writing, and I commend her for the effort, but unfortunately not her proficiency. Her posts to her students on the blog are not quite of the standard I consider an English teacher should minimally possess (“rant your comments” – really?), although it is probably good enough for a layman.

I don’t think I am being too anal.

Yet, part of me notes that poor English does not seem to be only the forte of Singaporeans, who after all, have the excuse of a bilingual educational system. Plenty of people from places where English is a first (and most times, only) language speak and write with abominable grammar and spelling as well.

Maybe we should cut ourselves some slack after all.

NB: Surprisingly, homonym mistakes such as your/you’re, their/there, bare/bear etc are seldom seen in Singaporean writing. Or most ESL writing, for that matter. Such mistakes appear to be mainly made by North Americans, from what I have read so far. Singaporeans mainly suffer from bad grammar due to colloquialism.

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