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prep gohwx 2014

NAME : ________________________________________

DATE : _____________________

AXCELL TUITION CENTRE


Diagnostic Test Two
Secondary Two (Integrated Programme)
Comprehension with Summary and Application Question

ENGLISH LANGUAGE
BOOKLET A

12 June 2014

Additional Materials: None

1 hour 30 minutes

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST


Write in dark blue or black pen on both sides of the Answer Paper.
Do not use staples, paper clips, highlighters, and glue or correction fluid.
Answer all questions carefully.
There are 8 comprehension questions, a summary question and an application question.
All questions must be answered
The number of marks is given in brackets [ ] at the head of each section.

This question paper consists of ____ printed pages including the Cover Sheet

Axcell Tuition Centre

The following passage is an edited version of an article which appeared in the magazine
SINGAPORE in December 1999.
NO SINGLISH PLEASE, WE ARE SINGAPOREAN.
Singlish is in the limelight again. TAN DAN WEI looks at the latest controversy on a form of
English that raises hackles but which every true-blue Singaporean can speak.

Singlish is not easy to define. Given the variety of languages spoken in SingaporeMandarin, Chinese dialects, Malay it is not surprising that a unique language has
developed, incorporating Malay and Tamil words and phrases, which is spoke in a
peculiarly Singapore-Malaysian pronunciation, and uses predominantly Hokkien
structures. Thus Singlish speakers commonly use verb endings which would be
incorrect in standard English, avoid past and future tenses, get agreements
between subject and verb wrong, use prepositions wrongly and omit or incorrectly
position the definite and indefinite articles. These errors can produce amusing
howlers-listening to his speech I soon became boring or he turned into a new
leaf- but more often they produce a language which no-one outside Singapore
would understand.
The unique form of pidgin English has recently become more popular with the
younger generation, largely owing to the success of the actor Gurmit Singhs
portrayal of Phua Chu Kang in a popular sitcom. PM Goh recently hit out at the
hero who has glamorised Singlish and moved not only students but many
Singaporeans to adopt phrases from the show such as dont pray pray (dont fool
around with me) and ah-baden (ah, but then). In trying to imitate life, Phua Chu
Kang has made the teaching of Proper English more difficult, he said. Gurmit
Singh can speak many languages, but Phua Chu Kang speaks only Singlish. If our
children learn Singlish from him, they will not become as talented as Gurmit
Singh. SM Lee made a similar point in a recent speech:
Singlish is a handicap we must not wish on Singaporeans. The better-educated
can speak English English to native English or Americans, standard English to
foreigners who speak standard English, and Singlish to less educated
Singaporeans. Unfortunately, if the less-educated half of our people end up
learning to speak only Singlish, they will suffer economically and socially.
The attacks on Singlish come on top of several disturbing signs that all is not well
with English standards in Singapore. Special English courses have been put on for
teachers to raise their competency in the language. Professor Raja Komaran, from
the National University of Singapore, complains his students seem to have little
interest in the art of communication; they are only interested in content. He fears
that their standard of English is not good enough for them to comprehend fully
important articles or reports. Keeping up to date with developments in their various
fields will be that much harder. Tertiary institutions from universities to
polytechnics now have English proficiency departments whose role is to help
beef up the English language competency of their students. Two thirds of
candidates who fail the qualifying tests for degree courses do so because of poor
English.
In his National Day speech, PM Goh warned of the dangers of speaking broken
English the world could not comprehend. This would make it harder for Singapore
to go global, and companies would lose their competitive edge to those with a
better grasp of English. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent, those
with a mastery of the international language of English will cut more deals and
weather more storms. 1000 million people now use English. The ability to speak
English gives its users access to this, the worlds biggest market and the biggest
pool of talent, as well as the greatest number of information sources- currently,
80% of web-pages and by far the greatest number of trade and scientific journals
are in English. Singapores drive towards a knowledge-based economy
underscores the need to have the linguistic skills to access this large body of
knowledge.
The issue of Singlish is not new. It has surfaced now and again but never with
such intensity as with the rise in popularity of Phua Chu Kang and the suddenly
hip image of Singlish. Even those who would normally speak English can now be
heard using it, albeit tongue-in-cheek. But PCK is not entirely to blame. 60% of
Primary One students come from homes where a non-English mother tongue is
the norm, and all young people are exposed to a lot of Singlish from their
neighbours, on TV and in the streets of Singapore. The fact that the linguafranca
of Chinese Singaporeans is still predominantly Mandarin means that many
Chinese children have difficulty in expressing themselves well in English.
PCK and Singlish have their defenders. They insist that Singlish is part of the

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Class Discussion Questions

1. What is the definition of the above words which are underlined?


2. Do you agree that teaching proper English in educational institutions and thus allowing
Singaporeans to be able to code-switch is the way to go?

Answer all questions.


Read the article on SINGLISH in the insert and then answer these questions.
Note: When a question asks for an answer IN YOUR OWN WORDS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE and
you select the appropriate material from the passage for your answer, you must still use your own
words to express it. Little credit can be given to answers which only copy words or phrases from
the passage.
1. ...the less educated... will suffer economically and socially (lines 25-26).
What two kinds of handicap is Mr Lee thinking of here?
He
means
that
the
less
educated ............................................................................................................................................
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[2]
2. Professor Komarans students seem to have little interest in the art of communication; they are
only interested in content (lines 30-31).
Explain what this means.
The students .....................................................................................................................................
........................................................................................................................................................[2]
3. From lines 60 to 69 (It is not, after all... sense of rootedness.). Explain, in your own words as
far as possible, the three distinct arguments used to defend Singlish. Explain each argument in
no more than 10 words.
(i) ........................................................................................................................................................
.
(ii) .......................................................................................................................................................
..
(iii) ...................................................................................................................................................[3]
4. From the seventh paragraph, beginning at line 70, state, in your own words as far as
possible:
(i) the principal argument in favour of books, films or plays in Singlish:

............................................................................................................................................................
.
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..
(ii) the principal argument against books, films or plays in Singlish:
............................................................................................................................................................
.
.........................................................................................................................................................
[2]
5. From the eighth paragraph, beginning at line 84, explain in your own words as far as
possible why the heartlanders wonder what all the fuss is about.
............................................................................................................................................................
.
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[2]
6. ... the playing field for young Singaporeans would not be level if they did not or could not learn
to code-switch (lines 92-94).
Explain, in your own words as far as possible, what the writer is saying here.
............................................................................................................................................................
.
............................................................................................................................................................
.
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[2]
7. Now you have studied the whole article carefully, look again at the opening headline.
Explain what is ironic or contradictory about the headline NO SINGLISH PLEASE, WE ARE
SINGAPOREAN.
............................................................................................................................................................
.
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[1]
8. Give the meaning of the following words or phrases as they are used in the passage. You may
write your answer in one word or a short phrase.
peculiarly
4) ................................................................................................................................

(line

intensity
51) .................................................................................................................................

(line

image
52) .....................................................................................................................................

(line

finely
balanced
70) ......................................................................................................................

(line

consensus (line 90).........................................................................................................................[5]

9. Using only the arguments and facts from line 1 to 49 of the article, summarise the case for
believing that the increased use of Singlish and declining standards of English are harmful to the
interests of Singapore as a whole and to some of its citizens in particular.
Write your summary in no more than 120 words, not counting the opening words which are
printed below. Use your own words as far as possible.
The growing popularity
because .........................

of

Singlish

in

Singapore

is

harmful

development

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10. The attempt to discourage Singlish raises two issues:
how far such an attempt is practical and likely to be successful, and to what extent it is to be
welcomed.
Give your views on these two issues, illustrating your arguments by referring both to what you
have read in the article and to your own experiences.
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[8]