How much time per week should my child dedicate to Primary English tuition?

Optimising Weekly Tuition Time for Primary English: A Comprehensive Analysis


“How much time per week should my child dedicate to Primary English tuition?” is a question that often surfaces in the minds of many parents. To answer this question effectively, one needs to consider several factors, including the child’s current level of proficiency, other commitments, and their overall well-being. This article, centred around the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board’s (SEAB) Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) English syllabus, offers a unique perspective on the appropriate allocation of weekly tuition time for Primary English.

Understanding the PSLE English Syllabus

The MOE SEAB examinations’ PSLE English syllabus aims to cultivate students’ mastery of English across four main areas: Oral Communication, Listening Comprehension, Composition Writing, and Reading Comprehension. Its objective is to nurture a love for the English language, alongside developing skills needed to use it effectively for academic and everyday communication.

Determining Weekly Tuition Time: Factors to Consider

  1. Child’s Proficiency Level: If the child is struggling with English, they might need more tuition hours than a child who is relatively proficient.
  2. School Workload: If the child’s school workload is already heavy, allocating too many tuition hours could lead to burnout.
  3. Other Commitments: Consideration should be given to the child’s other commitments, like co-curricular activities, hobbies, and family time.
  4. Learning Pace: Every child learns at a different pace. Some may benefit from more hours of tuition, while others may thrive with fewer but more intensive sessions.

Potential Benefits and Drawbacks

Balancing tuition hours can be challenging, as both insufficient and excessive hours come with potential pros and cons.

Benefits of Adequate Tuition Time:

  1. Reinforces Learning: Regular tuition can reinforce what the child learns at school, promoting better understanding and memory retention.
  2. Personalised Attention: Tuition can provide personalised attention, essential for addressing the child’s specific learning needs.
  3. Boosts Confidence: Regular practice during tuition can boost the child’s confidence in their English skills.

Drawbacks of Excessive Tuition:

  1. Burnout: Overloading the child with too many tuition hours can lead to stress and burnout, impacting their overall performance and well-being.
  2. Limited Personal Time: Excessive tuition can encroach on the child’s personal time, needed for relaxation, hobbies, and socialising.
  3. Over-reliance: Too many tuition hours may lead to over-reliance on tutors, hindering the child’s development of self-study skills.

Striking a Balance

Given these considerations, how then can one strike a balance?

  1. Quality Over Quantity: Focus on the quality of tuition hours rather than the quantity. A few hours of focused, productive learning can be more beneficial than multiple hours of distracted, unengaged tuition.
  2. Regular Short Sessions: Instead of lengthy sessions, consider regular short sessions that can keep the child engaged without overwhelming them.
  3. Regular Reviews: Regularly review the child’s progress, workload, and well-being to adjust the tuition hours as needed.


Deciding on the optimal weekly tuition time for Primary English necessitates a nuanced understanding of your child’s needs and a thorough grasp of the MOE SEAB’s PSLE English syllabus. The goal is not merely academic excellence, but fostering a sustainable, holistic learning journey that instils a deep-rooted love for English and equips the child with the skills to excel in the language beyond the PSLE.