It is in the self-interest of Singaporeans to speak Standard- English, especially in such an increasingly competitive marketplace. With other Asian countries rapidly acquiring proficiencies in English, Singapore could lose its competitive edge, particularly in the fast growing service industry if we cannot make ourselves understood amongst other users of English. Why are the standards of English Dropping?
Peer pressure is one of the reasons why the standard of English is dropping. People generally want to be socially accepted and fit in. They want to have a sense of belonging. Users of Singlish think that speaking Standard English is snobbish and therefore will not accept those who speak Standard English. Mass Media may also affect us. It presents bad examples as some of the comedians in Singapore like Phua Chu Kang speak Singlish and people like to imitate the examples of movie stars. Websites like Facebook and Twitter promote abbreviations and it would be rather confusing if we write or even use abbreviations, in our examinations. As a result, we accept these bad examples, thinking that they are funny and do not affect us in our communication.
A chat-box from Facebook If we have poor role models, they may also set a bad example for us and influence us in speaking non-standard English. Young children learn from parents and constant repetition will reinforce these bad examples. How are the standards of English dropping
I have noticed that everyone around me is speaking non-standard English. They are using this in the canteen, the hawker centre and many other places. Adults, who are supposed to set good examples, are speaking non-standard English, as they feel comfortable. Since they can be understood, they think that there is no need to change. Incorrect spelling, incorrect sentence structure and direct translation from Mandarin are also problems. The meanings are unclear and the listener or reader becomes confused.
Badly phrased sentences
Suggestions to improve the standard of English Good role models can help improve our sentence structure and the way we speak. Hence, we should watch, listen and learn how to speak like native speakers. We can read a wide genre of books that are both fiction and non-fiction. Reading can help us broaden our knowledge and help us better our writing skills as different writers have different styles. As the saying goes, `the more you read, the more you learn’. Consequences if we do not improve the standard of English We will have trouble communicating with others, as English is a language used for business and finance. Employers would hire foreigners who have proficiencies in English. As a result, we will lose jobs to foreigners and this will affect our economy. Fifteen years or so later, when we go out to the workforce, some of us may not get a good job, as companies may prefer to hire foreign talents who can speak Standard English, have a good attitude and are hardworking.
Speaking Standard English is very important as our futures depend on it. We often write what we speak so if we do not speak non-standard English, our writing will not be affected.
Courtney from Study Moose
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