Polish up communication skills by signing up for Straits Times English Masterclass

Straits Times Forum editor Angelina Choy (centre) will be conducting the Masterclass, assisted by Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - You have ideas. You want to make an impact with them. But do the words sometimes seem to get in the way?

When it comes to communicating, often it is best to keep it clear and simple.

This is what The Straits Times English Masterclass (Executive Edition) aims to help you do - spot and avoid the common pitfalls in the language so you can write and communicate better.

"The trick is just to write simply, but many people find that difficult," said Straits Times Forum editor Angelina Choy, 60, who conducts the course.

A veteran ST staffer, Ms Choy edits scores of readers' letters before they are published in the newspaper and has more than 30 years of expertise in editing, writing, visual journalism and training. She is assisted by Straits Times Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon, 54.

More than 2,000 adults have attended this course since it began in 2019.

Mr Tan, who also oversees the ST Masterclass programme, said of the one-day in-person workshop: "Companies and organisations that want to engage better with their stakeholders should send those responsible for their communications to our course so that they can pick up some nifty tips."

For those interested in the use of infographics and numbers to tell a story, there is a Visual Masterclass taught by deputy art editor Simon Ang, 56. The award-winning infographics journalist, who will use hands-on exercises during the session, said: "The course will prepare beginners to handle graphics on the get-go.

"They will determine which visuals to pair with information and data. Tips and methods will also be shared to enhance their presentation skills, along with case studies."

Those who are short of time can consider shorter courses lasting two to four hours each, such as Business Presentation, Cyber Security and Creative Writing for adults, and English Writing, Creative Writing and Public Speaking for students.

Secondary school students who want to write better can sign up for the online Essay Writing Masterclass conducted by Ms Debra Ann Francisco, 45, a teaching specialist with The Straits Times Schools, who uses news reports to impart critical writing skills.

Ms Francisco was an English and literature teacher at Ministry of Education schools for more than 14 years, and has been a news-in-education teaching specialist and educational content developer for The Straits Times IN and Little Red Dot student publications for the past 10 years.

She said: "The class aims to teach students how to incorporate current affairs to make their writing content more authentic.

"It will also sharpen their understanding of the world and build their vocabulary for essay-writing through ST news stories."

  • Go to stskills.sg to sign up and to find out more about the ST Masterclasses.

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