Read this article about English and answer the six T/F/NG Questions.


Will you read the article first?
Will you read the questions first?
Will you do them at the same time?
Are the headlines, captions (writing under pics) and photos helpful in understanding the article?
Think about your strategies and which ones are helpful to you.

Note: As in an IELTS test, the questions / answers will be in the order you read. The answer for question two is below the answer for question one. The answer for three is below two and so on.



Singapore’s government has long insisted that everyone in the island nation should speak English – it’s the language used in schools, at work, and in government. But in practice many people speak a hybrid language that can leave visitors completely baffled – Singlish.

Singapore is known for its efficiency and Singlish is no different – it’s colourful and snappy.

You don’t have a coffee – you “lim kopi”. And if someone asks you to join them for a meal but you’ve already had dinner, you simply say: “Eat already.”

Singlish first emerged when Singapore gained independence 50 years ago, and decided that English should be the common language for all its different races.

That was the plan. It worked out slightly differently though, as the various ethnic groups began infusing English with other words and grammar. English became the official language, but Singlish became the language of the street.

Repeated Speak Good English campaigns, drummed into Singaporeans in schools and in the media, have had only limited success. Singlish has not only shrugged off these attacks, it has thrived.

It’s been documented in a dictionary and studied by linguists. And it has been immortalised in popular culture. Take for example the 1991 comedy rap song Why U So Like Dat? by musician Siva Choy, which dramatises an argument between two schoolchildren.

“I always give you chocolate, I give you my Tic Tac, but now you got a Kit Kat, you never give me back!” sings Choy.

“Oh why you so like dat ah? Eh why you so like dat?”

Over time, Speak Good English campaigns have evolved from trying to stamp out Singlish, to accepting that properly spoken English and Singlish can peacefully co-exist. The language has even come to be seen as part of Singaporean identity and heritage – it appears in advertising campaigns for SG50, the big celebration of Singapore’s Jubilee Year, and will feature on floats in Saturday’s National Day Parade.

This story is from:
Click to see the full story with video and a Singlish quiz. 


Are the statements true, false or is the answer not given? (T / F / NG)

1. Singaporeans don’t have coffee.
2. Fifty years ago English was promoted as the common language in Singapore.
3. Singlish is now the official language of Singapore.
4. There will continue to be ‘good English’ campaigns in the future.
5. There is a Singlish dictionary.
6. Singlish is now widely accepted in Singapore.


In the article you may have noticed some unfamiliar vocabulary. Do you know these words?

to stamp out –> to stop something that is widespread
drummed into –> taught repeatedly
hybrid language –> two things are joined and features of both co-exist
to leave someone baffled –> puzzled


  1. F (They don’t say ‘have coffee,’ they say, ‘lim kopi.’)
  2. T
  3. F (It is the street language)
  4. NG (We can probably guess, but the answer is not provided.)
  5. T
  6. T

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