The PSLE Chinese Oral examination is often seen as one of the most challenging exams students face. Not only does it test the student’s ability to read and identify a theme within a few minutes, he must also be able to think on his feet and express his thoughts and opinions to the examiners in Chinese— certainly quite a feat for twelve-year-olds!
However, with proper preparation and practice, it is manageable. In fact, it is even possible to ace the examination. Here is a Chinese oral exam guide to help prepare your child for PSLE.
Understand The Format Of The PSLE Chinese Oral Examination
The first step is to familiarise your child with the format of the Chinese oral examination. It is divided into two sections whereby students are given ten minutes to prepare: the Reading Passage (朗读短文) and Video Conversation/e-Oral (看录像会话).
Your child will then need to read aloud the passage in front of the examiner. Next, the examiner will ask three guiding questions related to the video’s theme, such as:
- The content of the video.
- The student’s thoughts related to the theme of the video.
- To share a similar experience or to extend the theme to society.
Candidates will be tested on their delivery, content, and language skills for both sections. To do well in the PSLE Chinese Oral exam, students must be able to read aloud the passage fluently, describe the video clearly, and carry out the conversations confidently.
Practise Each Section
Now that your child is more familiar with the examination format, it is important to practise each section accordingly.
For the passage, students will need to practise reading aloud more to increase their fluency. They should be able to read various Chinese characters and enunciate them clearly.
As for the Video Conversation/e-Oral, students should be able to use adjectives and adverbs to describe what they see as well as have a conversation about various topics. Having a few “stock” phrases to respond to common questions is helpful so they can be recalled easily during the exam. Students should spend some time familiarising themselves and practising their delivery with common oral topics, such as
- Favourite food, places, and hobbies
- School life
General PSLE Chinese Oral Examination Tips
1. Be familiar with common Chinese characters
It is important to be able to identify and read different Chinese characters. By familiarising your child with the most common characters, he will be able to recognise them quickly and easily when he sees them in text. Parents can help their child by encouraging him to read Chinese news articles and books, or study character charts.
For children who are weaker in the subject, it is helpful to first learn the basic strokes that make up each character. By understanding the structure of Chinese characters, he can recognise them more easily. There are over 50,000 Chinese characters in existence, but he only needs to know a few thousand to be able to read a passage. The more words he recognises, the easier it will be for the first half of the oral examination.
2. Practise more speaking aloud
The PSLE oral exam will test your child’s ability to use a variety of words and phrases in context.
Regularly converse with him in Mandarin, so he is more comfortable speaking Chinese. Not only does this improve his fluency, but it also helps him to communicate his ideas more clearly. Turn it into a game by challenging each other to see who can go the longest speaking only in Mandarin. Making it fun allows your child to be more receptive to the practice.
Your child should also practise answering questions orally under timed conditions closer to the examination date. This will help him develop his thinking speed and time management skills.
3. Learn to stay calm and collected
Any child taking an exam will be rightfully nervous. However, it is still essential for your child to learn to maintain his composure so he can enunciate his words clearly and speak slowly. To do so, your child can try to practise speaking in front of a mirror or with a parent so that he can get used to speaking in front of an audience.
For children who get nervous easily, remind him that the examiner is not out to trip him up, but is simply trying to assess his level of proficiency in the language. If he does not know the answer to a question, he should not be afraid to ask for clarification.
Ace The PSLE Chinese Oral With MindChamps Enrichment
For parents looking to build up their child’s Mandarin foundation, why not send them for Chinese enrichment classes at MindChamps Enrichment? Over here, we offer a comprehensive Mandarin course that covers all the essential topics, from grammar and vocabulary to reading and writing. Our Chinese tuition classes are designed to appeal to young learners, with a focus on developing language skills through engaging activities and practising their skills in a real-life setting. With MindChamps Enrichment, your child can develop a strong foundation in Mandarin that will serve him well in the future.
Besides Chinese enrichment, we provide various other tuition classes for children in Singapore, including English, Mathematics, and Science. We also have dedicated courses like PSLE – The Champion Mindset Way specially for P6 students to reinforce their concepts and hone their answering techniques.