English is recognized as one of the official languages in Singapore. Schools in Singapore use English as the main language for instructions. Therefore, many Singaporeans are likely to have more than just a basic understanding of the English language.
Nonetheless, many people enrol in English classes for various reasons.
Some, want to further their careers, such as journalists, others want to explore business opportunities in English speaking countries. There are many who want to study abroad in prestigious English-speaking universities such as Oxford and Harvard. Thus, they require to be more proficient in English than the average Singaporean.
Many people will consider taking up English courses in Singapore since there are several expatriates and competent institutions. But before you enrol in an English class, ask yourself the following questions.
What courses do the school offer?
This is an obvious concern as you’ll need to find the right English course for your needs. Between children’s and adult’s courses, there are many classes available such as conversational, business communication, PSLE and GCE O’Level English. You can also find out the type of syllabus used and accredited by which governing body, such as London’s Oxford University.
This is to help ensure that you will only be receiving the best teachings when learning to write, reading and speak the English language anywhere.
What are the teacher’s qualifications?
The qualification of the teachers is an important factor when choosing an English course. A teacher’s qualification and training background, such as CELTA and TESOL, will determine their ability to impart knowledge and teach you effectively.
In a language school, it is beneficial for the English teachers to be native speakers. This is because, practicing the language with a native speaker during your English lessons exposes you to dialects, idioms and slang, aside from teaching you the correct language use and pronunciation.
What is the average class size?
Usually, the smaller a language class, the better it is. But then it shouldn’t be too small since learning in a diverse environment is stimulating and can enhance comprehension. An ideal class should have about six to nine students so you can still get the attention of the teacher in class to help you understand better.
Does the school provide classes for internationally recognised tests?
Aside from enrolling in English lessons for personal or business reasons, you may also wish to enrol in IELTS or TOEFL courses to prepare for the exam. These academic tests are highly useful in the academic and professional level, to test your ability in English. These courses are different from regular English classes as it guides test-takers with exam preparation materials to be familiar with the exam format and develop more confidence in answering the questions.
What other activities does the school organize to help you understand?
Many language schools include various socio-cultural activities in language programs just to help students understand and enhance their skills. The institution may organize cooking competitions or outings to museums or other sites that have a cultural connection with the English language.
This is the fun part of learning any language, and perhaps the most effective part. Therefore, take time to probe on how diligently the school organizes and executes these activities. If possible, check out the reviews from previous students and make a judgment.
To conclude, the above questions focus on what the school provides. However, you also need to ask yourself if you are ready for the English course? Have you blocked out class time? Are you ready to practice? The answers will help you sift through and enrol in the best English courses in Singapore.