Secondary 3 English Singapore: Detailed Guide To Reading and Understanding the Passage Clearly

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In Secondary 3 English, you will be faced with a wider syllabus. 

Your Secondary 3 English comprehension texts may range from narrative extracts to extracts from a science magazine or a political article. 

You will be faced with diverse topics.

I will examine the variety of texts which will be part of your syllabus.

Different Types Of Texts In Secondary 3 English

Narrative passages are actually easier to read as they are an extract from a story.

Therefore, they are more engaging. 

There is always a protagonist and sometimes an antagonist. 

It could be a solitary type of excursion in the mind of the protagonist or an action-filled extract full of suspense. 

Such passages are interesting to read.

Students still have a difficult time assimilating the finer points of such texts because the text has dialogue. 

And the text will have ‘hidden meanings.’ 

All these are the finer points of writing and Secondary 3 English students have to explore the inner workings of the character’s mind in order to understand. 

Your vocabulary has to be rather good to understand this and you will need to practise your skills.

Descriptive passages are related to current affairs. 

They deal with more focussed topics relating to science, the environment or points of view regarding the way society may be improved. 

It is statistic-based and has solid evidence. 

When you read, the reading may be devoid of ‘hidden meanings’ but you will need to understand what the arguments are about.

secondary 3 english

How To Read A Text

Reading a Secondary 3 English passage can be done in 2 ways. 

You may skim through it or read it thoroughly.

I will advise doing both. 

You will need to skim through it during your first reading. 

And then read it more painstakingly during your second reading. 

Only when you have done that will you be able to really understand the passage or text.

Reading A Narrative Passage

There are 2 parts to a narrative passage in Secondary 3 English. 

The narrative part and the dialogue part. 

Both parts are equally revealing in their own ways.

The narrative part sounds discussive and will trace the expansion of ideas. 

The dialogue portions will reveal how the character evolves and it will have some hidden meanings. 

That is the way people generally talk isn’t it? 

More can be understood from what is implied rather than what is said.

In dialogues, it is often a blessing sometimes as you may have subtle clues which will reveal some of the answers. 

So, you need to look carefully.

When 2 characters are engaged in a conversation, they will have a difference of opinion. 

Most characters reveal the theme or what is supposed to happen. 

They may also reveal by not saying anything. 

Silence sometimes imparts more information.

Most Secondary 3 English narrative extracts will have a highlight in the text. 

That is the part where something important is being relayed and you will have to understand what that is. 

It may be that the character is trying to do something secretly and that someone else is trying to discover it. 

This may not seem very important in the grand scheme of things but every detail in the narrative text is to be scrutinised carefully. 

Even a simple idea such as the character’s need for secrecy becomes an important theme in a narrative text.

Reading A Descriptive Passage

Descriptive passages are chock full of information. 

It is your task to dissect the information till it makes sense. 

All such texts are extracts too so you will need to understand what it is leading to. 

Understand what the main evidence is. 

After all, descriptive passages in Secondary 3 English are based on news or actual events. 

Try to understand what the main point of the text is. 

There will be a main point or two. 

For example, it could be how people find famous tourist spots that are in need of maintenance and how tourists contribute to income but also destroy it through their careless ways. 

You will need to understand the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ when you read such a text. 

There will usually be 2 sides to this in a debating style and you will need to understand both advantages and disadvantages.

All this entails a careful rereading of certain parts which have more evidence. 

Reading and understanding a descriptive text is easier than a narrative as there are hardly any hidden meanings but you will have to unravel the chunk of information given.

Both texts have their advantages when you read them. 

Try to find your favourite one! 

Reading through twice is always the safest bet. 

And make sure that you understand the themes after your second reading.

Good luck!

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