I REFER to Ms Jessica Walker's letter on Tuesday, 'Teachers can't do it alone'.
The problem started when we had the campaign to do away with dialects. Most families tried hard to accommodate the campaign, believing that speaking only Mandarin or English at home would make learning easier for their children when they started school.
However, when the campaign started, the language proficiency level of most parents was poor at that time (and even now). Therefore, broken English or broken Mandarin became more and more widespread. It has now come to a point where we have newly invented Singlish words every other day. I cannot even make out most of the new words.
If we had continued with dialects at home, things might have been a little better. Children would have learnt to speak properly from their teachers instead of from their 'half-bucket' parents.
I am not surprised that Miss Ris Low claimed that she scored A1 in English and Communications. I have met people who can write well but are unable to speak well in terms of diction and pronunciation.
There is something I must praise Miss Low. Her pronunciation may not be up to the expectations of most Singaporeans considering she was a Miss Singapore World, but she is quick to answer with reasonably good content. Put aside her character flaws, she is indeed a strong representative of us Singaporeans.
Jane Chan (Miss)
This article was first published in The Straits Times.