How do I improve my inference skills for PSLE English Comprehension Paper 2?

Mastering inference skills is crucial for excelling in PSLE English Comprehension Paper 2, as the questions posed often require students to make connections and draw conclusions that are not explicitly stated in the text. The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) place substantial emphasis on these skills in the PSLE examinations to assess students’ critical thinking and reading comprehension capabilities.

Improving inference skills involves several steps. Firstly, students must acquire a solid foundation in the English language, ensuring command over vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. The ability to understand the literal meaning of the text forms the stepping stone for deeper comprehension and inference.

Secondly, regular reading of a diverse range of texts is highly beneficial. Exposure to different genres, themes, and writing styles equips students with a broad base of knowledge and improves their ability to understand different types of texts. This practice should be paired with active reading strategies, like highlighting, annotating, summarising, and questioning, to enhance comprehension and inference.

Thirdly, understanding context is key. Students need to cultivate the skill of looking beyond the words and identifying cues from the overall context of the text, including the characters’ actions, feelings, thoughts, and motivations. It’s essential to read between the lines and deduce underlying meanings or messages.

Fostering a habit of critical thinking is another crucial step. Encourage students to ask questions, make predictions, and draw connections to personal experiences or knowledge. This active engagement with the text aids in the development of inference skills.

Finally, consistent practice is crucial for mastering inference skills. Regular exposure to PSLE-styled comprehension questions, preferably under exam-like conditions, can provide students with ample opportunities to apply their skills and receive feedback on their performance.

Tuition can be a beneficial tool in this regard. Experienced tutors can guide students, provide tailored instruction, expose them to a variety of texts, and offer practice with past PSLE papers. They can explain different strategies for making inferences, demonstrate the application of these strategies in various contexts, and provide constructive feedback for improvement.

Remember, the MOE and SEAB design the PSLE examinations to assess not just students’ knowledge, but their understanding and application of that knowledge. They value the ability to think critically, understand deeply, and draw logical conclusions based on the information provided. Therefore, developing strong inference skills is crucial for success in PSLE English Comprehension Paper 2 and beyond.