What are the expectations for a Primary 1 English Student?

What are the Expectations for a Primary 1 English Student Under the STELLAR 2.0 MOE SEAB English Syllabus?

With the dawn of the new era in language learning, the English Language (EL) Syllabus 2020 launched by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) underscores the key learning goal of providing a robust foundation in English for students at the primary level. The new syllabus is a significant paradigm shift from traditional methodologies, favouring an integration of skills and the comprehensive development of language competence. The primary aim is for students to effectively apply their English knowledge, skills, and strategies. As such, parents may be curious about the expectations for a Primary 1 student under the refreshed curriculum, the Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) 2.0.

The latest PSLE MOE Comprehension syllabus as of 2023 here

General Beliefs and Principles Underpinning the EL Curriculum

The foundation of the new syllabus lies in a holistic understanding of language learning. Language, in the context of the syllabus, is seen as a means of generating meaning and fostering communication. The approach emphasizes that language learning does not occur in a linear manner; instead, it often overlaps with the interplay of meaning. The curriculum design facilitates teachers to provide coherence and multiple contexts for making and creating meaning, highlighting the interconnectedness of language skills across all areas of language learning.

The curriculum introduces students to a wide range of text types, including print and non-print texts, emanating from diverse sources. These texts, encompassing monomodal, bimodal, and multimodal forms, enable teachers to expose students to the rich and diverse patterns of language use. The syllabus regards grammar and vocabulary not merely as standalone entities, but as vital resources in language development and use.

Moreover, the STELLAR 2.0 syllabus underscores the significance of developing positive attitudes and behavior towards language learning, emphasizing the importance of affective engagement, interaction, and creative self-expression. With this perspective, teachers facilitate exploratory talk, encouraging students to engage in critical responses and promoting a love for the English language.

Developing 21st Century Competencies through EL

The advent of the digital age necessitates language learning to be in tune with the evolving landscape. With this in mind, the EL Syllabus 2020 fosters the development of 21st-century competencies across all areas of language learning. It places great emphasis on multiliteracies, involving linguistic, cognitive, socio-cultural, and developmental dimensions. This expanded notion of “literacy” takes into account the multidimensional nature of literacy. Teachers are encouraged to teach multiliteracies by drawing attention to the changing nature of texts, their corresponding text functions, and their different semiotic modes.

Another vital aspect of the syllabus is the promotion of metacognitive strategies. Teachers guide students in using both bottom-up and top-down information processing strategies in all language learning situations to strengthen and regulate their responses to learning. This approach fosters self-directed and independent learning, equipping students with the ability to adapt and apply learning strategies to new information.

The STELLAR 2.0 syllabus also recognizes the power of dialogue in deepening language learning. Teachers facilitate collaborative learning, employ various questioning techniques and thinking routines, and engage learners through inquiry-based dialogue. This approach encourages students to actively participate in the learning process, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Areas of Language Learning (AoLL) in EL Syllabus 2020

The EL Syllabus 2020 outlines five key areas of language learning (AoLL) for the development of literacy: Listening and Viewing, Reading and Viewing, Speaking and Representing, Writing and Representing, Grammar, and Vocabulary.

Listening, reading, and viewing are receptive skills, required for making meaning from ideas or information, while speaking, writing, and representing are productive skills that enable the creation and communication of meaning. Listening and speaking focus on the power of the spoken word and encourage students to respond actively, develop empathy, and participate with respect, conviction, and sensitivity.

Students are also expected to read a variety of texts of increasing difficulty, to explore a range of issues and perspectives. Teachers encourage students to read, listen to, and view texts for enjoyment, knowledge, and learning, both in and out of the classroom.

Writing and representing are equally crucial. Students learn to create a broad range of cohesive and coherent texts appropriate to purpose, audience, context, and culture. A significant focus is placed on developing grammatical knowledge and rich vocabulary for the purposeful use of language.

The syllabus also integrates the skills of viewing and representing with listening, reading, speaking, and writing. This approach connects conventional literacies to multiliteracies and the different semiotic modes in language learning and development.

In Summary

Under the STELLAR 2.0 MOE SEAB English Syllabus, a Primary 1 student is expected to immerse themselves in an engaging and comprehensive language learning environment. The syllabus not only focuses on imparting knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary but also emphasizes the practical application of language skills, fostering a love for the language, and encouraging independent and creative thinking. Ultimately, the goal of this syllabus is to build a strong foundation for English learning and enable students to apply their knowledge, skills, and strategies to communicate effectively and demonstrate learning and mastery.


  1. What is the MOE (Ministry of Education) and its role in primary education?
  • The MOE is the governing body responsible for overseeing education in Singapore, including primary education.
  • Its role includes developing policies, setting curriculum standards, and ensuring quality education.
  1. What does SEAB (Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board) do?
  • SEAB is responsible for designing and conducting national examinations, including the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
  1. What is the PSLE, and why is it important?
  • The PSLE is a national examination taken by primary school students in Singapore.
  • It plays a crucial role in determining their placement in secondary schools.
  1. What are the key subjects covered in the PSLE syllabus?
  • The PSLE syllabus includes English, Mathematics, Science, and Mother Tongue (e.g., Chinese, Malay, Tamil).
  1. What are the specific expectations for a Primary 1 English student?
  • Primary 1 English students are expected to develop foundational language skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • They should be able to understand basic instructions, express themselves using simple sentences, and develop a love for reading.
  1. How does the curriculum support the development of English skills in Primary 1?
  • The curriculum focuses on building vocabulary, developing phonics awareness, and improving comprehension skills.
  • It incorporates interactive activities, storybooks, and language games to engage students and enhance their language proficiency.
  1. Are there any specific assessments for Primary 1 English?
  • Primary 1 English students may undergo formative assessments, such as class tests, quizzes, and oral presentations, to monitor their progress.
  1. How can parents support their child’s English learning at home?
  • Parents can read to their child regularly, provide a print-rich environment, engage in conversations, and encourage writing activities.
  1. Are there any resources available for parents to reinforce English learning?
  • MOE and other educational websites offer resources like storybooks, worksheets, and interactive games to support English learning at home.
  1. How can parents track their child’s progress in English?
  • Parents can communicate regularly with the child’s teacher to receive feedback on their language development.
  • They can attend parent-teacher meetings and review progress reports to stay informed.
  1. Are there any recommended enrichment programs for English?
  • Various educational institutions and private organizations offer enrichment programs focused on English language development.
  • Parents can consider these programs to provide additional support and exposure to the language.
  1. What are some strategies to help improve a child’s English speaking skills?
  • Encourage conversations at home, engage in role-playing activities, and provide opportunities for public speaking.
  • Expose the child to different English-speaking environments, such as through movies, TV shows, and educational apps.
  1. How can parents help their child with English reading comprehension?
  • Parents can read together with their child, discuss the story or text, and ask questions to enhance comprehension.
  • They can also encourage regular reading habits by providing access to age-appropriate books and visiting libraries.
  1. What can parents do to promote a love for reading in their child?
  • Set aside regular reading time, create a cozy reading corner, and allow the child to choose their books of interest.
  • Parents can also be role models by reading themselves and sharing their reading experiences.
  1. How can parents assist in improving their child’s writing skills in English?
  • Parents can encourage writing activities such as journaling, letter writing, and creative writing.
  • Provide feedback and guidance on grammar, vocabulary, and organization to help improve their writing.
  1. What are some effective ways to enhance a child’s English vocabulary?
  • Engage in word games, puzzles, and vocabulary-building activities.
  • Encourage the use of a dictionary and teach the child new words encountered in daily life.
  1. Is there any specific grammar knowledge expected in Primary 1 English?
  • Primary 1 English focuses on basic grammar concepts such as sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, and pronouns.
  • Students are expected to understand and apply these concepts in their writing and speaking.
  1. How can parents support their child in learning grammar?
  • Reinforce grammar concepts through practical examples in daily conversations.
  • Encourage the child to practice grammar exercises and review their school materials.
  1. Are there any technology-based resources available for Primary 1 English?
  • There are numerous educational apps, websites, and online platforms that provide interactive English learning resources for primary students.
  • These resources can be used to supplement classroom learning and engage the child in independent practice.
  1. How can parents help their child overcome difficulties in learning English?
  • Communicate openly with the child’s teacher to address any concerns or challenges.
  • Provide a supportive and encouraging environment, offering assistance and seeking additional resources if needed.
  1. What are the expected outcomes for a Primary 1 English student?
  • By the end of Primary 1, students should have a solid foundation in basic English language skills.
  • They should be able to communicate effectively, read independently, and write simple sentences with proper grammar and spelling.
  1. How does the Primary 1 English curriculum prepare students for future levels?
  • The Primary 1 curriculum lays the foundation for further development of English language skills in subsequent grades.
  • It introduces key concepts and provides opportunities for practice, setting the stage for more advanced learning.
  1. Are there any changes or updates to the Primary 1 English curriculum?
  • It is essential to stay updated with MOE’s guidelines and announcements regarding curriculum changes.
  • Regularly check MOE’s website or consult with the child’s school for any updates or modifications.
  1. What should parents expect in terms of homework and assignments in Primary 1 English?
  • Primary 1 students may have regular homework assignments to reinforce their learning.
  • These assignments may include simple writing exercises, reading tasks, or language-based worksheets.
  1. How can parents provide constructive feedback to their child without demotivating them?
  • Focus on positive reinforcement and highlight areas of improvement.
  • Offer specific feedback, praise effort, and provide guidance on how to enhance their English skills.
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