top of page

Singapore Primary English: 6 Requirements You Must Know

a teacher is teaching english

In Singapore, the demands of social and economic development make it imperative for students to be proficient in English as a lingua franca. In addition, the increasingly competitive international environment demands continuous improvement in language proficiency and communicative skills. As such, English language learning is very important in Singapore. The Singapore Ministry of Education has also stated that the focus of the Primary English Syllabus (latest edition: 2020) is to consolidate and extend students' language skills in the primary years through an enjoyment of the language and the promotion of extensive reading; and to develop students' language knowledge and enhance their ability to apply language independently by leveraging their speaking, reading, and writing skills. If you'd like more details on the Primary English Syllabus 2020, please read through the article!

There are totally 6 aspects of requirement.

  1. Listening and Viewing

  2. Reading and Viewing

  3. Speaking and Representing

  4. Writing and Representing

  5. Grammar

  6. Vocabulary

1. Listening and Viewing

student wearing headphone to listen

A. Listening and viewing closely with a positive disposition

  • Develop positive listening and viewing attitudes and behaviours

  • Develop auditory skills to discriminate meanings from others’ words

  • Develop listening and viewing skills for understanding by focusing on literal and inferential meaning

B. Listening and Viewing Critically

  • Develop critical listening and viewing by focusing on implied meaning, higher-order thinking and evaluation

C. Listening and Viewing Extensively

  • Listen to, view and respond to a variety of texts

2. Reading and Viewing

students is reading together

A. Reading and Viewing Closely

  • Develop reading and viewing readiness, word recognition skills, accuracy, fluency and positive reading and viewing attitudes and behaviour

  • Process and comprehend age/year level appropriate texts by focusing on literal and inferential meaning

B. Reading and Viewing Critically

  • Analyse, evaluate and appreciate age/year level appropriate texts by focusing on implied meaning, higher-order thinking and judgement

C. Reading and Viewing Widely and Extensively for Different Purposes

  • Respond to a wide and extensive range of texts for enjoyment and understanding how grammatical/lexical items and semiotic modes are used in diverse contexts

3. Speaking and Representing

a children is speaking through micophone

A. Knowledge Base for Speaking and Representing

  • Develop knowledge and awareness of the features of speaking and representing

  • Develop accuracy and fluency in speaking and representing

B. Speaking and Representing Confidently and Effectively

  • Explore, generate, develop and organise ideas respectfully as individuals and collaboratively in planned and/or spontaneous situations

  • Speak and represent confidently, coherently and cohesively for a variety of purposes, audiences, contexts and cultures

  • Monitor, review, revise and refine responsibly before, during and after speaking and representing

4. Writing and Representing

a student is writing on a paper

A. Acquiring the Mechanics of Writing

  • Develop writing readiness and handwriting to write accurately and fluently

  • Use accurate and consistent spelling

B. Writing and Representing Creatively and Critically

  • Generate, select and organise ideas for writing and representing creatively and critically

  • Develop, organise and express ideas coherently, cohesively, creatively and critically in writing and representing to produce texts for a variety of purposes, audiences, contexts and cultures

  • Review, revise, edit and proofread to improve writing and representing

5. Grammar

an ancient grammar book

A. Use of Terms

  • Use metalanguage for learning and talking about language structures and language in use

B. Grammar at Word, Phrase and Sentence Levels

  • Apply knowledge of grammatical rules at word and phrase levels

  • Apply knowledge of grammatical rules at sentence level

C. Grammar at Text Level

  • Show understanding of how the purposeful use of language shapes meaning in texts

6. Vocabulary

a english to other language dictionary

A. Developing Rich Vocabulary Knowledge

  • Develop word consciousness and use metalanguage while building vocabulary knowledge

  • Build rich vocabulary knowledge that supports the development of listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and representing skills

B. Using Vocabulary

  • Use words appropriate for purpose, audience, context and culture


These are the requirements for learning English in primary schools as outlined in the Singapore 2020 Primary English Syllabus. You and your child can get a first glimpse of the six areas of English learning before entering primary school, to better adapt to the school curriculum. You can also contact Mindworks if you and your child need any help with English learning!

22 views0 comments


bottom of page