after effects of ES2007S (part1)

Wow, i’m definitely recommending this module to my other science friends/juniors for the upcoming semesters. I can see and feel the positive effects of this module already.

Klara (also from Group 8 :D) posted on the Facebook group wall a few days back, saying that she had went for an interview for a job/internship(?) at Duke-NUS and it went extremely well! In fact, she was hired on the spot 😀 CONGRATS KLARA XD

Inspired by her and her story, I too decided to apply for an internship position at a new start-up company which happened to be calling for interns as well. The intern position was something which I was interested in, so that was another factor which encouraged me to apply. Remembering what I had learnt in ES2007S, I applied whatever I could, the only difference was the ‘cover letter’ was the ’email-letter’, since the company wanted applicants to convince them ‘why would you would be the ideal person for hire’. Of course, I had attached my resume for good measure and wrote the email as if it was the cover letter.

I was pleasantly surprised that the company reverted back to me in less than 12 hours, with a reply to invite me for an interview for the internship position 🙂 As this job had been posted up where many NUS students could see this advertisement (more than 2600 people viewed the post), I thought my chances of being called up for an interview were at best, slim, since many people probably applied for the same intern post. (even if 5% of 2600 people applied, that would 130 people :O )

Since the next step would be the interview, its time for ‘preparing and performing’ XD I am totally excited and looking forward to applying my new-found interview skills during this interview. Its not 100% guaranteed that I would be hired, but it is indeed a good step forward and a chance to practice what we have learnt 😀

*but really i should be focusing on exams instead for now XD*


American English versus British English?

Recently, I’ve read an article which really set me thinking. In the article, former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had raised the point that Singaporeans should start to adapt to the usage of American English. At the opening of the English Language Institute of Singapore, he said that “I believe we will be exposed more and more to American English and so it might be as well to accept it as inevitable and to teach our students to recognise and maybe, to even speak American English”.

Being a student who was brought up to use British English, does it mean I need to start panicking and relearn the pronunciation or spelling of certain words? I don’t think so, but I should be worried about another matter instead.

After reading this article, I went on to tweet the following tweet on my personal Twitter account.

“erm, can you tell the difference if im saying ‘realise’ or ‘realize’?”

A friend of mine, who is currently studying linguistics at NTU replied : “/re-uh-laiz/ or /rear-laise/? Hehehe.” and followed up with this tweet “haha shouldnt have a diff!! Unless you’re talking abt noun-verb distinction but even so……….. :/ no diff…”

What appears to be more important and relevant to me at this time is not whether my written/spoken English is in American or British, but whether I am being understood regardless of ‘what-type-of-standard-English’ I am using. We should also be worried about the standard of English used instead, since Singlish is a very dominant part of every Singaporean’s lifestyle. In the heartlands or at home, it would be natural and totally fine to speak Singlish/Mandarin/dialects. But under workplace and school conditions, the use of proper English would be more appropriate. What we need to learn is to know when would be the most suitable times and scenarios to use which language.


It would not cause confusion if you used the word ‘color’ or ‘colour’  when speaking to an American or Briton, but you would definitely confuse him if you spoke in Singlish.

pre-post #2

Currently planning and thinking through about our 2nd official post on interpersonal conflicts. I was just searching around about the types of interpersonal conflicts as I felt that there were many types of interpersonal conflict.  Most of such conflicts are due to miscommunication, so I just wanted to get an idea how these conflicts can be categorized, how it is directly related to poor communication and how it can be resolved.


I managed to get an rough idea from this weblink for a start:


Main types of interpersonal conflict stated on the webpage above are:

  • People-Focused VS Issue-Focused
  • Personal Differences
  • Informational Deficiencies
  • Role Incompatibility
  • Environmental Stress
Ok, time to think it through clearly for the 2nd official post!





What does communication skills have to do with the Presidential Election 2011?

After a  neck and neck race between 2 worthy presidential candidates ( Dr Tony Tan and Dr Tan Cheng Bock), Dr Tony Tan has been officially named the next President of Singapore after a recount of votes. Of course, we cannot forget about the other 2 presidential candidates, Mr Tan Jee Say and Mr Tan Kim Lian. So, what does communication skills have to do with any of the 4 candidates?

Mr Tan Kin Lian was the first to concede defeat after the voting had ended on the 27th of August, after visiting a few of the vote counting centres. After announcing that he was unlikely to win the presidential race, he had posted up a survey on his blog to gather feedback about his presidential campaign. I personally felt that his poor communication skills was  one of  the reasons why he had received the lowest number of votes among the four candidates, and this reason was also brought up by the people who had given feedback to him.

The following article by Straits Times ( had been aptly titled ‘ High five and excessive blinking hurt Tan Kin Lian’s campaign’. Even Mr Tan himself said that “The high five is not suitable for adults – handshakes are better.” In some sense, Mr Tan’s non-verbal communication was poor, as he chose a relatively unsuitable way to present himself. Given the seriousness of a Presidential Election, a high-five could have been seen as a informal action, something which people with authority will not usually do. Maybe people felt that his high-fives had indirectly signaled to them that Mr Tan was not sincere or serious about the presidential race, even though Mr Tan had campaigned wholeheartedly. In addition, his ‘excessive blinking’ might had misled people to think he was not confident or sure about himself (since excessive blinking might be due to nervousness or panic). Hence, these non verbal actions most likely had a negative impact on his image and eventually the number of votes he eventually received.

Of course, credit must be given to the fact that he still had some idea about good communication skills, since he did create a survey for Singaporeans to feedback  to. It shows that he knew he had to learn from the feedback and find out whether he had been sending the ‘correct messages’ to Singaporeans all along. Also, Mr Tan has a blog post ( related to communication skills, so he is aware of the importance about communicating well. He has stated that he wants to continue to be the voice of the people via other various channels,  so I do hope that his communication skills improve so he can do so.

And to everyone out there, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! 🙂


PS: I am not pro/anti Mr Tan yah 🙂

word limit and barriers in communication

I’m currently multi-tasking, reading fellow classmates blogs and replying to my customers queries on twitter/email.

*extra background information : I’m currently running a blogshop and I mostly deal with my customers online via twitter, email or sms*


I have realised sometime ago that the word limit on twitter (140 letters) was a form of communication barrier between me and my customer. Sometimes 140 letters is just not enough for me to explain to my customer certain details or information, so to be safe and for everyone’s benefit, I would use TwitLonger (  so that I can write and explain more. Of course, I would thoroughly reply my customers should they enquire via email, but I would try to keep it concise since no one would like to see a lengthy email for a reply right?


Recently, I had queries from 2 customers (who happen to be my repeat customers and friends, hohoho), one via twitter and one via email. But with both of them, I have already encountered communication problems with them T.T

Although I have tried my best to explain as clearly as possible initially, somehow they do not seem to understand or catch what I have been trying to tell them, so they shoot the same question back at me. In turn, this leads me to provide them with an even longer reply, hoping that by being more detailed, it will give them a clearer picture. Alas, they still do not understand what is going on. It makes me rather frustrated, given that they were my repeat customers and what I was telling them were exact the same things I had told them in the past and they had understood and everything was okay back then.

Whether the encoding or decoding part had gone wrong, I am not too sure, but I am trying to find out. On my part, it may have been possible that my choice of words were inappropriate(?) or too difficult(?) for them to understand. Luckily, I have a good friend/partner who is helping me with the replies (and she too is appalled by the queries which these same customers have sent in repeatedly). Oh, what would be the best solution then?

*Or maybe the customers are just trying to be difficult? XD*

haha, this post sounds like a complain XD

nope, it is still not the 250-300 word ‘academic post’

Ok, maybe I’m starting to abuse this blog slightly, since one of our ‘homework’  was…..

“For your first post, survey the various topics and skills that we will cover in this course. Next, explain clearly and concisely in 250-300 words why effective communication skills are important for you.”

Ok, clearly my first post (and my second post 😦 ) has nothing much to do with es2007s (sorry!), but I GUESS its indirectly related?

The current hot topic in Singapore is about the Singapore Presidential Election 2011, since for the first time since 1993 there will be a polling day for all eligible Singaporeans to cast their vote for any of the 4 presidential hopefuls. I’ve paid great interest in the General Elections this year and the same goes for this round of Presidential Elections. Oh what an exciting time we live in XD

BUT OF COURSE, if given an opportunity, I would recommend to all 4 candidates to take a course similar to es2007, not that they aren’t speaking well or are poor communicators. It’s just that maybe with better communication skills, in the future they may be able to reach out to Singaporeans better, be able to present their case better to the parliament/government and even be able to communicate more effectively with other leaders around the world. There is no other better person to define ‘professional’ in ‘Professional Communication’ then the President himself.

Earlier this afternoon, I was following Channel NewsAsia’s coverage of the Presidential Nomination Day process closely. A few of candidates (thou shall not name names) confused me slightly when answering reporters’ questions or when they were giving their 2 minute long speeches. Maybe they were nervous/hyped up/excited/too fast when they were speaking, but I did not get the grasp of what point they were trying to make, simply because whatever they were saying was repeated/out of context/random. At a time like this, it dawned upon me how important communication skills were.




Please do not flame me T.T These are just some of my random thoughts and I just thought it was somewhat related to this module…

*PS AGAIN – this is just a random post! The post answering the above question will be up soon! I promise! 🙂*


hohoho, 1st post on my new blog!

This time, this blog is for this module I’m currently taking in AY11/12 Semester 1. This is probably my ‘nth’ blog I have created and will be managing currently. Woah. And this is the 2nd blog created for ‘academic purpose’ so far during my time in NUS (the 1st one being created last year for another module I took. Any curious souls, here’s the link

With so many different sites to blog on (Blogger, Tumblr, Livejournal etc), I’ve chosen WordPress this time as I’ve recently moved my blogshop from Livejournal to WordPress platform. Might as well take the chance to learn more about WordPress, since it will benefit both ES2007S and my blogshop XD

Ok, time to email Mr Brad my link and to write my post soon!