SINGAPORE, 10 March 2005 - The Straits Times believes that the newspaper is an invaluable resource for teaching the English language and promoting a deeper understanding of current affairs, both local and foreign.
That is why it started weekly lesson plans for upper secondary and junior college students in September 2003, showcasing the works of Susan Long, Janadas Devan and other senior writers, in which they examine thought-provoking issues such as whether a class system exists in Singapore and the link between religion and science.
Now The Straits Times, with sponsorship from the Press Foundation of Singapore, has gone a step further and compiled an edited selection of 25 of these lesson plans into a book: No Sweat. The Straits Times Guide to Good English and Greater Knowledge, to be launched on March 16.
Each chapter, like in the newspaper version, will come in three parts: The story, the workplan and the worksheet. In addition, the book will feature interviews with the authors, giving their take on developing good writing techniques.
Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang said: “This book is a labour of love for us. We’re committed to getting more students to read more widely and to appreciate good writing.”
The series which ran for over a year in ST, was drawn up by Mr Philip Geer, the author of numerous texts on English, including Simons Saga for the SAT I Verbal.
It drew an extremely encouraging response from our readers. Students in their feedback welcomed it for the many useful writing tips it offered and said it helped them in acquiring a better understanding of issues and concepts. Many teachers found the series an engaging additional resource to aid further discussions and debate in the classroom.
The book version will be launched by Mr Han at a one-day conference titled Making News: Teach All About It! Newspapers For An Integrated Curriculum at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.
The conference, organised by the Press Foundation of Singapore and the English Language and Literature Teachers Association, will be attended by 500 teachers.
Mrs Sng Ngoi May, General Manager of the Press Foundation of Singapore, said it was pleased to contribute to the production of the book as part of its on-going efforts to promote newspapers as an innovative learning and teaching tool.
“By showing how The Straits Times can be used to improve mastery of the English language and knowledge of current affairs, we hope this book would inspire the creative use of newspapers in literacy and literary enrichment as well as in helping to connect textbook lessons with real-world happenings,” she added.
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About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading news and information provider, offering quality content for print, Internet and radio. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and 63 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy some 300 million pageviews a month. SPH also operates two UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English,
under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.
About The Straits Times
The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for 160 years. Launched on 15 July 1845, its comprehensive coverage of happenings in Singapore, the region and beyond, makes it the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It has a daily circulation of 390,000 and readership of about 1.3 million. The Straits Times’ key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 10 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news
to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective.
About Press Foundation of Singapore
The Press Foundation of Singapore, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was set up in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The first contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. For more information about the Foundation, please visit its website at