Can English tuition improve my child’s inferential skills in comprehension?

Unleashing Inferential Skills: The Role of English Tuition in Comprehension

Opening Thoughts: The Importance of Inferential Skills

In the realm of learning, one skill stands paramount – the ability to infer. Inferential skills are critical for comprehension, especially as they form an integral part of the PSLE English syllabus set out by the Ministry of Education Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (MOE SEAB). The question then arises – can English tuition help enhance these skills in your child? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. Let’s explore why.

What is Inferential skills for Primary English Comprehension

Understanding Inferential Skills and Their Role in Comprehension

Inferential skills are a critical part of our cognitive abilities, enabling us to understand situations or texts beyond their literal meanings. These skills are the cornerstone of effective reading and comprehension, playing an essential role in the education of children and even extending into adulthood.

Defining Inferential Skills

To put it simply, inferential skills are our abilities to deduce or conclude something based on evidence and reasoning rather than direct statements. These skills enable us to “read between the lines”, understand implications, predict outcomes, and extract meanings that are not explicitly stated. Inferential skills are closely tied to our critical thinking capabilities, allowing us to interpret, evaluate, and synthesize information.

For instance, if a child reads a story where a character leaves home wearing a coat, carrying an umbrella, and the sky is described as ‘grey’, they might infer that it’s going to rain, even though it isn’t stated outright. This ability to infer helps the child to understand the story better and engage with it more fully.

The Role of Inferential Skills in Comprehension

Comprehension, in its simplest form, is the understanding and interpretation of what is being read. It goes beyond simply reading words on a page and involves a complex process of extracting meaning, making connections, and creating interpretations.

Inferential skills form the backbone of comprehension in several ways:

  1. Deep Understanding: Inferential skills move understanding beyond the surface level. They allow readers to grasp underlying themes, motives, or ideas that are not directly expressed in the text.
  2. Connecting Ideas: By making inferences, readers can connect different parts of a text, or different texts altogether, understanding the overarching narrative or argument.
  3. Engagement and Retention: When readers actively infer as they read, they are more engaged with the text. This active engagement can increase their interest and enjoyment of reading and improve retention of information.
  4. Real-Life Application: The ability to make inferences is not only valuable for understanding texts but also essential for interpreting real-world situations. This makes inferential skills a key component of a child’s cognitive development and everyday life problem-solving.

While inferential skills are vital, they can be challenging to develop as they require a higher level of thinking. It’s not just about decoding words, but about thinking critically and making logical conclusions. This is where comprehension exercises and targeted reading programs, such as those offered by English tuition, come into play. They provide structured practice and feedback, helping students to gradually develop and refine their inferential skills.

In conclusion, inferential skills and comprehension are intricately linked, each reinforcing the other. By developing these skills, students can go beyond mere literal understanding, enjoy a more immersive reading experience, and cultivate a deeper, more critical understanding of the world around them.

A Close Look at the PSLE English Syllabus

In the MOE SEAB’s PSLE English syllabus, comprehension is a key component. Students are expected to read, understand, and interpret different text types. In addition to factual recall, the syllabus emphasizes inferential skills – the ability to deduce, predict, and conclude based on textual evidence.

English Tuition and Inferential Skills: The Bridge

English tuition plays a pivotal role in strengthening these inferential skills. Here’s how:

  1. Targeted Practice: Tutors provide a range of texts for practice, gradually increasing complexity to help students adapt to different levels of inferential thinking.
  2. Focused Guidance: Tutors guide students on how to draw inferences from the text, explaining the thought process involved.
  3. Immediate Feedback: Tutors offer real-time feedback, helping students understand their mistakes and rectify them immediately.

The Pros and Cons of English Tuition in Enhancing Inferential Skills

Like any educational strategy, English tuition for inferential skills comes with its own set of pros and cons:


  1. Customized Approach: Tutors can tailor their teaching methods to suit each student’s learning style and pace, ensuring effective comprehension.
  2. Consistent Monitoring: Regular assessments allow tutors to track progress and tweak teaching strategies accordingly.
  3. Confidence Building: As students master inferential skills, they gain confidence, which further boosts their comprehension abilities.


  1. Dependency: Some students might become too reliant on their tutors for answers, inhibiting their ability to infer independently.
  2. Pressure: The intensity of tuition might add to the academic pressure students already face in school.

How English Tuition Centres Approach Inferential Skills

English tuition centres employ a variety of strategies to enhance inferential skills:

  1. Guided Reading: Tutors guide students through the text, prompting them to make predictions, ask questions, and draw conclusions.
  2. Think-Alouds: Tutors demonstrate the process of inferring, sharing their thought process with students.
  3. Group Discussions: Through group activities, students get opportunities to hear different perspectives and enhance their inferential skills.

In Conclusion: The Power of Inference

In conclusion, English tuition, with its focused approach and personalized support, can indeed prove instrumental in enhancing your child’s inferential skills in comprehension. As students unlock their inferential thinking capabilities, they not only ace their PSLE English examination but also become astute learners, ready to comprehend and conquer the world around them.

%d bloggers like this: