It’s the June school holiday and from here on, things will be moving pretty quickly for pupils sitting for the PSLE. Today, I will be giving you tips for the reading aloud component of the PSLE Oral exam which is applicable for children in the other levels as well.
The reading aloud component is the most overlooked component in the PSLE oral exam. Many parents encourage their children to practise the Stimulus-based Oral component more than the reading one since the reading aloud component carries just a third of the total oral grade. This wrong view can prove costly because the reading aloud component is the one where a child can hope to score the full mark easily if he knows what the examiner is looking out for. So what exactly are the examiners looking out for?
Put simply, the examiner is looking out for the following things:
Well-paced and fluent reading. This means reading the passage smoothly and clearly.
Accurate pronunciation and good intonation when reading in order to convey the right information, ideas and feelings in the passage.
So, before you get your child to practise reading aloud to you, here are some tips on how you can help him achieve what the examiner will be looking out for.
When it comes to argumentative writing, many students in RGC moan and groan. To some, argumentative writing is an unthinkable task. Some of them have told me that they have been discouraged to attempt argumentative writing because “it is a difficult genre” and were under the impression that if one is not good in writing, it is best not to attempt it.
They do not know where to start nor what to write about. How does one structure the essay? Are argumentative essays only for the better students?
I have not written anything regarding the educational landscape for some time. I would like to take this opportunity to address the three biggest changes in the educational landscape from this year (2019) to 2021.
2019: Cutting Down on School Examinations and Removal of Grading from Report Cards
In September 2018, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that they were cutting down on school examinations. All students from Primary 3 to Secondary 4 or 5 would also NOT have more than one graded assessment per subject per school term.
In my last blogpost, I talked about the structure of the stimulus-based oral conversation component and how your child can prepare for it. In this post, I will talk about the main problem children face when it comes to the PSLE oral examination and how you can help your child overcome it.
The PSLE Oral Examination is the first language component your child will be tested on as part of the English Language paper. Hence, I have written this article to help you guide your child as he prepares for it. The PSLE Oral component has two parts: the reading component and the Stimulus Based Oral (SBO) conversation component. This is the part of the examination that most children find daunting for one or more of the following reasons:
Speaking to a complete stranger about something is not a natural thing your child does
Sharing his opinion and ideas is not something your introverted child enjoys doing
Organising his thought process is something your child is having difficulty with
The open-ended nature of the stimulus based oral conversation creates anxiety in your child because he does not know what to expect
Welcome back to Part 4 of the ‘How to Ace Your Editing’ blogs. In our previous blogs, we covered three different common errors: Tenses, Word Forms and Pronouns. Today, we will be covering how to detect and correct the ‘Connector’ error.
WHAT IS A CONNECTOR?
Let’s get a basic understanding what a connector is. A connector is not recognised as one of the parts of speech; rather, it describes the function of two different parts of speech that play the role of connecting ideas or words: conjunctions and prepositions.
As connectors connect ideas in the passage, it is important that students read the entire passage and understand how one idea connects to another, or he / she would have difficulty spotting the connector error.
The tip presented here revolves around understanding the different relationships that ideas or words can have with each other in order to facilitate spotting the incorrect connector and replacing it with the correct one.
Everyone loves a good story. Everyone loves telling stories. Telling stories is what makes us human. As a child, I loved writing and I still do. As a teacher, I believe every child can be nurtured into a future writer even if writing isn’t exactly your child’s forte. There are no shortcuts to writing a good story but there are writing techniques that when applied effectively, help make for a truly outstanding story, one that will be remembered long after it is read.
In my previous blogs, I covered the first and second most common errors in Editing. We now move on to the third most common error – the Pronoun error.
Before we start, let’s understand what a pronoun is. Essentially, a pronoun takes the place of a noun. Usually somebody, something or some location had been mentioned, and a pronoun is used to refer back to what was mentioned. The prononun can sometimes be used even before the person, object or location was mentioned. Hence, it is important that student read the entire passage to figure out what the pronoun is referring to.
Welcome to our second blog about Editing. This blog will explain the Word Form error. This is the most difficult error to spot; unfortunately, it is the second most common error.
Editing: The Problem
The biggest problem students face, as mentioned in the previous blog is that students do not read for meaning. They do not connect the sentences together to read how individuals, events and ideas develop, connect and interact.
The Editing section of the secondary English paper requires students to pick out 8 errors and correct them from a short passage. It is worth 10 marks, and compared to the rest of paper 1, which consists of two essays of over 300 words, it seems well worth the effort. Afterall, it only requires eight corrections and two ticks.
Unfortunately, many students find it difficult. They struggle to score more than 6 marks and when asked, they reply that the passage ‘looks perfect’. There are no errors, they complain.