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  • Vanita Pal


Have you ever thought that improving quickly in your English Paper is a near-impossible task? Did it ever make you feel tired just thinking about it?

Well, let me tell you that I understand your thoughts completely. Absolutely.

I’ve been teaching students for year and written a few books to help them to get through those hurdles and nothing makes me more empathetic than to see someone struggle in vain.

Why should you struggle in vain? That’s not necessary at all when there are strategies and tools available to get you through that difficult hurdle and make it easy for you to sail through to a successful finish.

Improving in your English Paper depends on ONE factor really.


That factor is to build up a good basic vocabulary and grammar foundation at the start. This will really make it easy for you to analyse ANY kind of passage/ text from ANY source. Trust me. This is like a passport to the world of English Communication. This basic foundation is like laying the brickwork for an astounding and unbelievably charming house filled with light and appeal.

And exactly how do you build up this foundation? It should have been done at the early stage when you were starting your preparation for your English language subject.

And what if you had not done it at the start? What now?

Do not despair dear students. Even if you had not done the preparation at the start, it means that you have not had the Traditional Preparation.

The traditional preparation is wonderful for parents who want to get their young children off to a good start.

Basically, the task for parents is to ensure that,

a) their children are exposed to as many story books as possible

b) they are exposed to news media and documentaries in English which engage them on science, history etc levels.

Once, children are exposed to books and instructive media, the rest of the learning portion is relatively easy. They will not only be able to write really well but they will speak fluently and engagingly too. English will be second nature to them and they will need to spend very little time revising and preparing for English exams.

2. TIP NUMBER TWO – The Intervention Way

If you have not had that early start where you had that guiding angel to get you on that path to a good vocabulary and grammar foundation, do not despair.

You could be 16 years old, about to sit for your O levels or you could even be an adult.

If you are an adult and you are reading this about trying to gain self-improvement, this is the right blog for you. Please read on very carefully.

Well, you could be at a juncture where you have poor grammar structure and only basic vocabulary.

Your writing skills are very basic and your vocabulary tends to be repetitive as you are constantly using the same words. There is not depth in your writing and you have very little impact in your writing.

You really wish that you could be more dynamic and creative in your writing. And the way you speak is embarrassing as others speak more fluently. You wish that you could be like them and win over your teachers, your boss, your colleagues, your friends and astonish your family.

Would that not add to your self-esteem?

Speaking well is the best way to project yourself. Believe me, this is the age of communication technology and the best man or woman is the one who can impress with words. The first thing about you that people see is the way you talk, the way you present yourself isn’t it?

Please take a deep breath and read further.

You can speak and write impressively if you follow these simple exercises.

All you need to do to improve in your grammar and vocabulary is to do some simple grammar and vocabulary exercises. Not any exercises from assessment books but the type that an experienced tutor will set in view of your exams and your challenges in your life.

The words have to be tailor-made to what you will face in your exam questions or your working life if you are an adult. So, I am talking about specific vocabulary and grammar exercise here.

Once you start doing these exercises, you will notice your standard improving. It will be tough at first but perseverance is the key to success.

Trust me, in just a couple of months you will see the results. You will begin to speak like a Pro. And your writing will be incredible to your teacher as your standard would have risen.

3. TIP NUMBER THREE – The Creative Method

Ok, you say. These are 2 tips. Are there any other tips?

You could be one of those who does not like to start at the bottom or go through all those tried and tested steps.

You want a short cut which is both interesting and quick?

Alright, there is such a way but you will have to work for it. There is no easy way for anything good.

All good things can happen only when you have the Patience to go through with it.

My last tip is something I put together myself and it has worked with every one of my students who followed it religiously. I meant religiously as in follow it truthfully. 😊

Now, there are a few steps to get this done properly.

The first step is to watch the news channels eg CNA, CNN, BBC etc either on tv or radio. Just listen to the major headlines portion. Listen carefully to their choice of words, the adjectives they use when they describe something shocking, amazing, enlightening or mind-boggling.

Observe how they switch their language when describing something happy and something inhuman and unsettling. What is their reaction? How do the people whom they interview talk? What are their reactions? Words used?

This is a great way to speed up your use of adjectives and phrases. This type of language is both proper English and street-talk. They are powerful words/ phrases which you can use in both your speech and essays.

The second step is to watch drama shows which have a strong theme. It could be about someone who wants to achieve her goals or an elderly person who is trying to get back on the work force. Or it could be a history drama about someone who was a Prime Minister or a stateswoman.

Such shows have very strong moral views and you can use them to express your opinion when you write. They can contribute to a theme you wish to write on or your conversation.

The third step is to do quizzes or puzzles where you will be asked to stretch your vocabulary knowledge to its limits.

And if you have no idea exactly how to proceed with TIP TWO or THREE, engage help. Get someone to help you instead of procrastinating.

Procrastination is one of the worst things to do. It will stand in the way of your future accomplishments. Make the first step and start these vital exercises which will help you to become a really prolific writer and proficient speaker. Become someone different and dazzle the world.

I have listed some tuition centres which will lend you a genuine ear in helping you to get going in the right direction

1. Eduscore Tuition at Potong Pasir – they have a holistic syllabus and you will be able to ask someone on tips for writing and speaking

2. Stepping Stones – They have a relatively low budget tuition service for those on a shoe string budget.

3. Wizpals Education – They have exercises for vocabulary and grammar and the creative way to get results. Try giving them a call today.


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