Improve your English at ST masterclasses

ST journalist Angelina Choy will be conducting the Executive Edition of The Straits Times English Masterclass on Dec 7.
ST journalist Angelina Choy will be conducting the Executive Edition of The Straits Times English Masterclass on Dec 7.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - In business, a well-written e-mail could mean the difference between landing a deal and leaving empty-handed.

To write well, executives and managers must first learn how to write simply, and effectively.

"Why use four or five words when one word will do? Why make people guess what you mean because your writing is not clear? Communication is a life skill and the better we are at it, the easier life is," said ST journalist Angelina Choy, who will be conducting the Executive Edition of The Straits Times English Masterclass, on Dec 7. (See event details below)

The Executive Edition masterclass is aimed at professionals, managers and executives who want to improve their English language skills for professional communication.

The masterclass is suitable for those who need to write in the course of their work, from e-mails to minutes, presentations and reports.

Ms Choy has over 30 years of experience in sub-editing, writing, visual journalism and training. She will guide participants on topics such as writing shorter sentences, avoiding common grammar and spelling mistakes, and how to craft better e-mails for work.

Learn the difference between "it's" and "its", and why you should not use phrases such as "close proximity" and "small minority".

"Concise writing that effectively gets your message across shows your boss, clients, colleagues and people you deal with that you have a clear mind and that you are considerate of their time," said Ms Choy.

The Executive Edition masterclass will also include a segment by SPH Information Resource Centre librarian Lim Yeong Yeong on advanced techniques for searching information online. Ms Lim has over 30 years of experience in research and also in training journalists on using resources for news reporting.

She will show participants how to better use Google to search for relevant information, and talk about local and global resources available for business research.


Students can learn techniques for better essay writing at the ST English Masterclass Secondary School Edition, organised in collaboration with The Write Corner. The Write Corner specialises in English and writing classes for kindergarten, primary and secondary students.

There will be two masterclasses conducted by Ms Louise Tay on Dec 2. Ms Tay, who teaches at the Write Corner, has a bachelor's degree in English linguistics.

She will cover topics such as using ST news reports to substantiate arguments in essays, and essay writing techniques for exams.

She said: "Some students may find the idea of following current affairs intimidating, but it need not be if they are taught the right approach to reading news, how to extract information and use it to write better essays.

Ms Tay will guide students on how to craft convincing arguments using facts from ST news articles and compose well-structured sentences, and techniques for writing effective introductions.

Each student masterclass will include a tour of the newsroom.

EVENT: ST English Masterclass Secondary School Edition

VENUE: SPH News Centre Auditorium at 1000, Toa Payoh North

WHEN: Dec 2 (Saturday)

TIME: 10am to 2pm or 3pm to 7pm

FEE: $199 per student

To sign up, go to

EVENT: ST English Masterclass Executive Edition

VENUE: SPH News Centre, Tower Block, Level 8, Training Room 8.1

WHEN: Dec 7 (Thursday)

TIME: 10am to 4pm

FEE: $399 per person

To sign up, go to