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5 Fun School Holiday Activities To Improve PSLE / O-Level English

by | Nov 8, 2022 | 0 comments

5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English  – Introduction

Most students would treat the holidays as a time to let loose, as they should be. However, a month-long holiday without spending one time on your studies may be detrimental to your learning when school starts. When it comes to learning English, one needs to continuously expose oneself to new vocabulary and good writing or speaking in order to improve. Most importantly, one needs to practise using the language. However, this does not mean that you need to do workbooks or write additional essays on top of your holiday homework. One can learn English by reading books, watching TV shows and playing games. Read on to find out more!


1. TV Shows to Watch During the Holidays | 5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English


1.1 Arthur

Arthur is a classic show for primary school children to learn English. This show depicts the daily adventures of a family of aardvarks. It is ideal for children who have a good grasp of the English language because the speed at which the characters speak is slightly faster than most children in this age group will be used to. This makes it an ideal show for those who wish to be quicker at comprehending spoken English. The completed series can be found on YouTube. Each episode is around half an hour. You may reward yourself with an episode after finishing your school homework.


1.2 Our Planet – narrated by David Attenborough

For lower to upper secondary school students, documentaries are recommended since your argumentative essay component requires general knowledge. One recommended documentary is Our Planet which is a nature documentary about Earth’s diverse natural habitats. Each episode introduces an environment, such as forests and rivers. It crucially captures the beauty of Earth’s environment. The narrator uses clear and concise language, which is a good example to follow. In addition, the content of the documentary is thought-provoking as it makes you wonder about the state of the environment and how it changes due to human activity. Climate change and sustainability is a hot topic now and this may be useful to build knowledge and opinions on this issue. Who knows? A related topic may appear for your O-Level essay or oral exam and you will have an advantage.


1.3 Ted Talks

Alternative to documentaries, you may choose to watch Ted Talks on YouTube. Ted Talks are short 20 to 30-minute presentations by a single oral presenter on their opinions on social issues. These presenters are extremely knowledgeable and have done extensive research on their topics of interest.  These talks are fantastic for learning new information and learning how to craft thought-provoking arguments. The oral presenters are extremely engaging as well. These talks are excellent for your O Level essay preparation where you need general knowledge to build arguments for your essay. It can also prove to be useful for your O Level Situational Writing where you may be asked to write speeches.


2. Books to Read During the Holidays | 5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English


2.1 Wipe-Clean First Spellings: Start School with Topsy and Tim

For primary school children, going for a holiday without any practice in spelling is not ideal. There are books that provide fun ways to learn spelling so that you will not feel like you are studying at all, during the holidays. Wipe-Clean First Spellings is an entertaining spelling-book for beginners in the English Language. This book provides a diverse range of new words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and numbers) that children can learn to spell. With guided practice, children can boost their confidence in their spelling skills.


2.2  James and The Giant Peach– Roald Dahl

Not every child enjoys reading, but there are fun and engaging story books out there. As children are occupied with schoolwork most of the time, the holidays is an opportune time to appreciate reading. A recommended book is James and The Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl.

The Plot: This story is about a young boy who leaves his abusive family’s home. He chanced upon a giant magical peach where he forged new friendships, and experienced new yet dangerous adventures. The peach was like a safe haven for James and his friends until the peace rolls into the sea and gets eaten by sharks. The story follows with many more dangerous obstacles that James has to overcome. Read on to find out how he devised a plan to save the peach from the sharks!  This book is fun, engaging and exciting to read for all ages.

Why should you read it? The style of writing in this book is simple and clear, accessible for children of all ages. There is also a lot of imagery and figurative language that excites one’s imagination. Imagery and figurative language are some Show Not Tell techniques. This can definitely help children to develop skills in creative or narrative writing.


2.3 Chrysalids – John Wyndham

The Chrysalids is written by John Wyndham. It follows the narrative of David, who is born into a post-apocalyptic world where all forms of abnormalities are considered abominations. His best friend has physical abnormalities and is hunted by his village. David later finds out that he has mental abnormalities. He is telepathic, and he was outed by a village member as well. David and his friends must escape his village as their lives are on the line.

Why should you read it? This book is suitable for secondary school students for its complex themes that consist of ethics, morality and social conformity. The language used is also more complex, which is fantastic for those with a strong foundation in English but would like to stretch themselves.


3. Games/Apps to Play During the Holidays | 5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English


3.1 Wordle

Wordle is a game that everyone has been raving about recently. Wordle trains your ability to recall and use vocabulary, spelling skills and logical thinking skills. Its difficulty levels are flexible across age-groups. Six-year-olds to twelve-year-olds can play the ‘Wordle for kids’. It follows the same rules as the original where given a clue, you are expected to guess a hidden word within six tries. The target word has three to eleven letters. The complexity of the target is not dependent on length, but the exposure or frequency of the word. The kids’ version is designed with target words that are generally more frequent, and age-appropriate, for children and teens up to 13 to 14 years old. If the task is too challenging, parents could step in to provide assistance, and teach the child new vocabulary. As family members can play Wordle together, it is a perfect stay-in educational game that one can play during the holidays.


3.2 English Learning Games

This English Learning Games app is ideal for those who want to expand your vocabulary. This game uses a dictionary of thousands of English words. These words were carefully selected and categorised according to age group. These categories are then used to rank the different difficulty levels you can attempt. There are at least 50 levels that you can unlock and advance to. This level-system encourages players to monitor their own progress. This game differs from other English vocabulary games in that it uses pictures and images to help you to learn. It also immediately provides you with the meanings of words that you do not know. Getting immediate feedback is a sure way to capture the players’ attention and desire to play even more since learning becomes super easy and fun. Like Wordle, this game is suitable for all ages, and you may fix an age-appropriate difficulty level for yourself. Another advantage of this game is that it can be played offline which is very convenient if you run out of data, or if Wi-Fi is not available.


4. Practise Writing by Reflecting on Your Hiking Experiences at Singapore’s Nature Trails | 5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English

Of course, you should not be spending your holidays just reading books and watching TV shows. You should also go out and have some fresh air. There are many trails that you can hike on. For instance, MacRitchie Reservoir and Bedok Reservoir. If you like a shorter trail path but one with high intensity, Dairy Farm Nature Park is famous for its steep slope at some point of the trail. Check these trails out with your family members. Exercise is essential for good physical, mental and emotional health.

How does this activity help you to improve your English? Other than exercising, going for hikes can be a good way for you to sharpen your observations about the world, and reflect on them. You should try to write short paragraph reflections on your hikes. This gives you an opportunity to practise your writing, and also improve your descriptive or narrative writing skills. Don’t forget to share your writing to your teachers to get constructive feedback on writing. They will be extremely impressed with your proactiveness in taking charge of your own improvements in English writing.


5. Visit Museums to Develop Intellectual Maturity for Essay Writing | 5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English

The school holidays are also the best time to explore different museums. During school semesters, you may be too busy to explore these places due to academic commitments and co-curricular activities (CCAs). You may visit the Arts Science Museum and attend the exhibitions to gain knowledge about a topic that you are interested in. The current Future World: Where Art Meets Science exhibition will bring you on an exciting journey through themes such as Parks and Sanctuaries. The museum is great because every piece of art that is displayed has its own short description. These are easy to read, and you can gain knowledge on abstract concepts relating to art and culture. Art works can be very difficult to describe, but the museum does it so well. Hence, it is worth spending some time to read the item display descriptions. It also exposes you to different concepts relating to world issues, and how artists make sense of them. This may be abstract, but it develops our intellectual maturity. Intellectual maturity is crucial for developing sound arguments in your essays. It is not just clear and concise language used but the ideas that you generate that can impress your reader.


5 Fun School Holiday Activities to Improve PSLE / O-Level English – Conclusion

It is crucial that you take some time off during your holidays to improve on your English with the above recommendations. Of course, the recommendations above are not exhaustive. Feel free to explore other games, books and TV shows as there are so many to choose from. You should also try to develop your own interests in different shows, authors and games. Speak with your teachers to confirm their educational value, and whether they can improve on your English. Now, you have a personalised repertoire of English-improving resources at your disposal to prepare for PSLE and O-Level English.

Learning Gems is a premium tuition centre that provides quality online English tuition classes to PSLE and G3 / GCE ‘O’ Level students in Singapore. Our teachers are well-versed with the latest MOE syllabus and have taught at various schools in Singapore. Be it the primary or secondary level, we possess the relevant experience and are fully qualified to help your child.

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