I was in the waiting area in a doctor’s clinic the previous week and I overheard “Wait how long more..?”
I knew what the lady meant..
She meant: ‘How long more do I have to wait?’
After all, it is common to hear a true-bred Singaporean omit parts of speech amongst other deletions in their conversations with others
Besides,the use of right grammar comes more easily to some than others – perhaps the latter were ‘drilled’ since they were little, or they were fortunate to have good speech models ..
But then again, others may comment : why be so ‘strict’ about the way one speaks?
They explain, ‘It will affect my communication, you know..’
Their stand is : developing interpersonal relationships requires one to ‘customise’ a way of communicating with their audience – and if using the ‘correct’ grammar is just going to hold back that relationship, then this whole idea of using good grammar in speech is not a good idea…
However, I must explain my viewpoint of the need to be mindful of good grammar in our speech useful site. I teach English to a spectrum of students aged 7 to 16 years old: there really are certain grammatical structures that are harder for a student to understand and actively use because they are so used to using the previous (incorrect)version that they find it hard to remember the rule ; depending on the age of the child, certain wrong habits are just harder to overturn..
For example, the sentence ‘I got ten UPON ten for my spelling today’ versus
(the correct structure) ‘I got ten OUT OF ten for my spelling today’
And that is just ONE of the many other right forms a student has to learn ! Not easy !!
Of course this issue of speaking correctly is of more concern to parents who are preparing their children for school exams. The exams evaluate the child’s competency of English as a subject.
And then there are others that may not be worried about such a topic because they know what they wish to communicate… all’s good for this group..they can alter their speech to the ‘right’ version anytime!
Therefore , 2 compelling reasons why anyone would be keen on this topic is:
- A parent who would like very much to support their child in their learning of English especially so in secondary school when it becomes a compulsory subject which the child must gain a credit in before he can be promoted to the next level.
2. Others who view it important in their careers to speak correctly as they realise the importance of developing better interpersonal relationships with effective communication.
So where do we go from here since there are quite a few views pertaining this topic?
I truly believe in lifelong learning and unless there might be something destroying one’s love for continual learning, reviewing grammar structures in speech from time to time with a view to improve is something anyone can do.
In fact, in the 2014 Speak Good English Campaign, with their emphasis on good grammar as a theme that year, there were so many courses recommended then that if I had not decided to blog about this topic to trigger awareness, I would not have known the zealous efforts of the team behind the campaigns to encourage Singaporeans to habitually practise good grammar habits.
For myself, I have extracted one page from the ‘Speak Good English’ website which I have decided to review -as a start to speaking more elegantly and knowledgeably.
I am convinced adopting good habits is the way to go rather than lapsing into wrong forms in my everyday speech and having to ‘remember’ the correct forms when I need it.
Feel free to visit the link below :
One can also ‘like’ the Facebook page of the Speak Good English campaign just to stay on top of the use of good English – every day.