SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH, the poster seemed to scream at me this morning as I walked into the Library! It so happened that I was walking with a group of secondary school students who were using the library as their study outlet. I could not help myself and I just listened (eavesdropping) to their conversation………….

Are our students speaking good English? Do our teachers in school speak good English? If they cannot speak good English, then, how do we expect the ordinary people speak good English? Then we have to define what is “GOOD ENGLISH”?

What are the difficulties of learning to speak GOOD ENGLISH? Correct pronunciation, stress and intonation, faultless grammar,…..or what? Just ask a child to read a story aloud, and one would be able to asses if he/she is able to speak good English. Do our teachers in school really teach READING as READING or BARKING AT WORDS? Are the students taught the techniques of reading (intonation, tune 1 or tune 2, word stress, linking-r…….etc)?

The usage of the 9 different tenses pose a great difficulty for the students to master – unlike their own mother tongue because ENGLISH is a peculiar language – beautiful and intriguing. Then we have the subject and verb agreement, concord, phrasal verbs, active and passive voice ……..etc.

If we just listen to any primary or secondary student speak English, we will realise what the poster seems to say: SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH!


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