Preparing P4-P6s For Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) In English Oral

January 9, 2023

Preparing P4-P6s For Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) In English Oral

The English Oral examination accounts for 15% of your child’s PSLE English grade. It is split into two main sections: Reading Aloud (10 Marks) and Stimulus-Based Conversation (20 Marks). Students are given five minutes to prepare for both sections before meeting the examiners.

While Reading Aloud is simple enough to understand, some parents may be unfamiliar with the Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC).

What Is The Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) In The English Oral

The Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) is a task in the English Oral examination which requires students to participate in a conversation with the examiner based on a given stimulus (typically picture).

The goal of the SBC is to assess the student’s ability to provide a personal response to the stimulus and to be able to engage in relevant and meaningful conversation, using appropriate language and conversational strategies.

Students are usually given a theme and picture before being asked three questions. For example, the theme can be “Recycling”, with a poster of a recycling day event.

Three questions would then be asked such as:

  1. Would you consider going to the event being advertised? Can you explain your reason for attending or not attending?
  2. Can you describe how your family implements the principles of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in their daily life?
  3. What steps would you take to motivate your classmates to adopt the 3Rs in their household routines?

How To Approach The Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) In The English Oral

Here are two main steps students can follow to approach the SBC during their English Oral examination:

Step #1: Read and understand the stimulus

Students should start by carefully examining the stimulus. Be sure to understand the main idea and any key details on the picture.

The first question of the SBC is typically directly linked to the stimulus itself, so it’s best to use details from the stimulus to back up their response. It’s also important to add in an additional explanation or personal response to the stimulus, instead of simply stating the details on it.

Step #2: Generate responses based on PEEL format

Next, students should brainstorm responses to the remaining two questions in an organised way. The best way to answer the questions would be through the Point, Evidence, Explain, Link with personal opinion (PEEL) format.

To illustrate this, let us consider the above question “What steps would you take to motivate your classmates to adopt the 3Rs in their household routines?”

The model answer with the PEEL format is as shown:

Firstly, I’d start with a short presentation on how reducing, reusing, and recycling can positively impact our environment. Through this, my classmates can learn how their efforts will directly or indirectly help preserve our environment. My presentation will also include videos and skits to make it more memorable.

Next, I’d provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to incorporate those habits into their daily lives at home. I’d do so by handing out posters for reference. Some examples of the 3Rs they can carry out at home include avoiding plastic bags, using reusable bottles, and recycling scrap paper.

Last but not least, I’d lead by example to motivate others. By personally reducing, reusing, and recycling daily, I can demonstrate to my friends that these practices are practical and possible to do so everyday.

I believe in the power of small changes by individuals to make an impact on a larger scale. By encouraging my classmates to adopt simple practices like reducing food waste, reusing household items, as well as recycling materials at home, our collective contribution to sustainability would be much greater (Link back with personal opinion).

How To Prepare For The Stimulus-Based Conversation (SBC) At Home

To give your child the best chance of success for his English Oral examination, it’s important to do some simple exercises or even attend English enrichment classes in advance.

Tip #1: Practice makes perfect 

The best way to prepare your child for any exam is practice—and that applies to their upcoming English Oral exam as well. Have them practise by reading aloud from storybooks or articles, or talking about topics that interest them. This will not only help with their pronunciation but also bolster their confidence in speaking out loud and nurture their love for reading. Additionally, you can have them practise in front of family members or friends who can give constructive feedback and provide moral support.

Tip #2: Role play

Role playing is another great way to prepare for an English Oral exam. Have your child come up with a few different scenarios that could be posed during their exam and practice responding as if they were in the actual situation. For example, if the examiner asked them about their favourite book or movie, how would they respond? Role playing these kinds of conversations will help build your child’s confidence in speaking off-the-cuff and make them more comfortable answering questions on the fly.

Tip #3: Enrol in an English enrichment class in Singapore

If your child needs additional help to prepare for the English Oral, why not send them to English enrichment classes conducted by MindChamps Enrichment? Our research-backed lessons tackle oral communication, listening comprehension, writing, as well as language use and comprehension for all primary schoolers, including P4, P5, and P6 students.

We also offer PSLE – The Champion Mindset Way classes which prepare P5 and P6 students for the PSLE examination by helping to improve their reading, writing, and oral concepts using our proprietary Optimal Flow Method™.

Register today to give your child a headstart in preparing for and acing his PSLE English Oral!