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Importance of Sec 1 English tuition

Sec 1 English is a huge jump from Primary School English. In Secondary school, students are required to possess a more analytical approach to English, as compared to Primary school English which tested on a student’s English foundation. As a result, it would be beneficial for a student to have the proper guidance along the way to ensure that he adapts to Secondary English well.

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Common problems faced when studying Sec 1 English

Passive Reading

One of the biggest mistakes students make in Sec 1 is to passively read texts, especially for comprehension. Therefore, students are not absorbing any of the context of the text. This can be damaging as comprehension, a significant component of Sec 1 English examinations, requires a thorough understanding of the passage.

 Instead of simply reading passages for the sake of answering the questions, students should be trying to actively summarise and analyse the text. However, most students do not do so as they have not developed the sufficient skillset to do this yet.

Starting Too Late

English is a language, and languages require time to build. Studying English a day before, or even a week before exams, is unlikely to create a huge impact. English is built through exposure over prolonged periods and is therefore a subject that requires an extremely long time to excel in. Many students only start studying for their English exams when it is extremely late and therefore find themselves performing below expectations. 

Studying English requires consistency, discipline, and daily exposure. In fact, reading anything related to English for 30 minutes a day is far more likely to create a huge impact in exams than studying it for 5 hours a day for one week right before examinations. Therefore, students often prepare for the subject incorrectly.

Wrong Approach

Many students also perform below expectations for English due to their incorrect preparation techniques. English is not a subject that is based on formulae, theories and memorisation. Therefore, blindly practising questions will not be sufficient. While practising can be helpful, it largely aids in time management and formatting, especially for essays. 

However, excelling in English is much more beyond simply practising – it requires frequent reading, debating and simply, any exposure to the language. It requires students to have a strong command of the foundations of English – such as vocabulary, grammar, sentence structures and more. Students occasionally get their approach wrong and end up simply practising countless essays and comprehensions, without building on their basic English skills.

What to look for in a Sec 1 English Tutor

Provides Materials for Exposure

During the Sec 1 English tuition, tutors should focus on crafting a student’s skills and fixing his mistakes. However, simply learning English one or two times a week will not bring about much progress. Therefore, outside of lessons, Sec 1 English home tutors should provide ample materials to ensure that students remain consistently exposed to English. This is crucial as the student absorbs various sentence structures, as well as new vocabulary. This helps students to improve their English proficiency.

Allows for Creativity

In Sec 1, the English syllabus is relatively more relaxed as compared to Upper Secondary. Therefore, Sec 1 English tutors should use this opportunity to build creativity and hone critical thinking skills. Students are introduced to basic literature in Lower Secondary. Sec 1 English tutors could use literature texts used in schools – like Shakespearean novels or the book “Holes” by Louis Sachar to discuss the contents of these books. 

This enables students to push themselves to think further and express their thoughts freely. Sec 1 English tutors can use this to guide students to thinking productively and strategically, an essential skill that can be developed for Upper Secondary. Therefore, a good Sec 1 English tutor will encourage creativity and allow for students to freely express their thoughts in the form of literacy. A good tutor will work with the student on how to improve on the student’s product, rather than forcing the student to think in a schematic, standard way.

Systematic Learning

Sec 1 English tuition can ensure that a student’s learning is systematic. In a subject like English, there is no fixed end to the syllabus – unlike Science or Mathematics which consists of a fixed syllabus for each level of education. Therefore, learning opportunities in English are infinite – and learning must be recorded down. 

An English tutor will ensure that students keep track of what they have learnt – in the form of a notebook or Microsoft Word document. In this notebook, students can jot down new words they have come across, new sentence structures, idioms, connectors, etc. A tutor will ensure that students frequently revisit what they have learnt – ensuring continuous learning, and at the same time, not forgetting what they have learnt. This is essential to see exponential improvement in English.


Benefits of Sec 1 English Tuition

Sec 1 English tuition ensures that a student’s basic command of the language is extremely thorough. In addition, Sec 1 English tuition enables a student to build a more extensive vocabulary. This can be helpful in components that provide language marks, especially essays. A robust vocabulary enables students to further bolster their points and arguments, bringing up their essays to a higher tier of excellence.

Upper Secondary English requires a much more regimental approach. In Lower Secondary, students have more freedom to explore various modes of English and have fun with the language. However, in Upper Secondary, students are required to be more committed to the task ahead – which is O Level English. As such, preparation is crucial. By building the right habits from Lower Secondary, tutors can ensure that students possess the right habits in writing, speaking and thinking so that they are adequately prepared for Upper Secondary English.

Sec 1 English tuition enables students to sharpen their attention to detail and think critically. This is extremely important for certain components like comprehension and situational writing. Sec 1 English tutors would be able to guide students to continuously annotate texts and discuss their inferences for these components. 

Active reading ensures that students are constantly processing every piece of information they come across in texts, instead of simply understanding it. This skill can be extremely useful for O Level English, as well as other text-heavy subjects like Geography, History and Social Studies.

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Distinction Tutors can help

A student will gain a monumental advantage by starting off his journey towards O Level English on the right foot. Contact us today to find your desired Sec 1 English tutor!

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