Do you think your kids are prepared for their PSLE Chinese exam? Do you think they can handle the PSLE oral Chinese? With this affect their preparation for PSLE English and other foreign languages?
Don’t fret. We compiled 10 tips to help your children ace their PSLE Chinese exam. You may apply some of these methods when helping them study for other exams aside from PSLE oral Chinese.
Before I share, I would just like to clarify that the ‘acing’ here refers to scoring a distinction for the subject and this article is probably more directed at advising your child on how to manage examinations.
10 Tips to Help Your Children Study for the PSLE Chinese Exam
As parents, we should know our children best and be looking at progress instead of perfection. Many children are late bloomers, so give them time and lots of love. Believe in them and they will definitely soar.
Moreover, we aim to create the best atmosphere for our kids to help them prepare for their PSLE oral Chinese or PSLE Chinese exam. Fortunately, you can support them and study with them by following the 10 tips we compiled below.
Keep Them Happy and Healthy
Without health, we can forget about everything else. So, keep our children healthy by letting them eat right, and giving them sufficient rest and exercise. To ace their PSLE Chinese exam, they need a clear head.
Bring them outdoors and to get in touch with nature, let them run and sweat. Though this might be a challenge due to our hectic lifestyle, we should not neglect the “play” part of our children. This also helps ease the stress that comes with the PSLE Chinese marks breakdown.
We must remind ourselves that they are not results churning machines but our children. Don’t you feel happy when you see their smiles?
Attitude Determines Altitude
As parents, we should inculcate the right attitude in our children. With this, they can comfortably prepare for their PSLE Chinese exam.
Parents’ greatest challenge nowadays would probably be that their children hate Chinese.
As a teacher, I have long accepted this but would often explain to my students that hating or liking something doesn’t affect the amount of effort they would put in. The key word is “Responsibility”, we would do our best if it is our responsibility.
To be honest, how many adults actually love their jobs? Attending meetings? Preparing for presentations on topics they have no interest in? But do we call it quits just because we dislike what we are doing? No. We are still going to do it and do the best we can.
It’s challenging to change our environment but we can always change our mindsets.
They can choose to do the things they hate or love the things they do. You kids may also choose to escape and hide in fear (of Chinese) or conquer and scale their mountain of fear.
On the other hand, not paying attention during class (because they are so bored with the Chinese lesson)all boils down to their decision. However, they might also work together with the teacher to improve themselves. It’s our choice at the end of the day.
“天下无难事，只怕有心人”- Nothing is impossible as long as you have a willing heart.
Okay, now that we have laid the foundation well, let’s get to work. Chinese at Primary School level is very manageable.
Just remember to keep things simple for them so they can feel at ease when studying for PSLE oral Chinese. Revise regularly to ensure that they are able to recognise the characters that they have learnt.
Without word recognition, we can’t progress because every other component will be affected. If your children have problems with word recognition, then they would need to put in more time and effort to revise the words that they have learnt in lower primary levels.
It’s not very difficult, just dig out their textbooks and ensure that they know the words taught. (All the words that they are required to recognise and write are listed at the back of their textbooks ).
The words listed here are very important.
“认读字” refers to the words that you would need to understand and recognize.
“ 识写字” refers to the words that you would need to understand and be able to write.
So do refer to this list when revising.
Sometimes, all they lack are the right examination techniques to score points. We can’t instantly know how our children plan to ace their PSLE Chinese exam. So, do pay attention to their teachers to master these techniques.
Read – 1st time for a general impression, 2nd time to search for answers.
Underline – Underline the keywords in the question – Who? When? What? How? etc and then underline the answers found in the passage.
Check – Read and check their answers to see if they have made any careless mistakes.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
For composition, they have 2 questions to choose from, 1 is about a given topic and another question is a picture composition in which they have to write a story according to the given 5 pictures, the 6th picture is left blank for them to complete the story.
If possible, choose the picture composition as most children have a higher probability to score.
The reason being the structure of the story is already available for the students’ reference. It saves them the time to think of a storyline and it’s also very unlikely that they will go out of point.
Perhaps some may think that the picture composition is very restrictive. However, we are talking about the PSLE Chinese marks breakdown here. Leave the risks and unleash your creativity during your daily lessons.
I know it is a great challenge. So if they don’t read Chinese books, at least read lots of good essays written by their classmates.
It is really different reading model essays in assessment books and model essays written by their classmates because it seems more real to them! They learn more by relating mock-ups of their PSLE Chinese exam with their experiences.
Meanwhile, some children get enlightened after reading their friends’ essays. They will pick up a few good phrases along the way and these will certainly make their essays more interesting to read.
Instead of writing “他觉得很伤心。” (He’s very sad.), why not write “他的心沉到了谷底。” (literally means that his heart sank to the bottom of the pit)
“一寸光阴，一寸金，寸金难买寸光阴” reminds one that time is precious and no amount of money can buy us time.
I also share good phrases on my Instagram account @pistachiogoh.
After learning these good phrases, try to use them consciously every day in your conversations. This helps improve your children’s PSLE oral Chinese exam.
My advice is to learn a few phrases and perfect them (zero error). Use the phrases frequently when writing.
Memorise them so well that it becomes second nature when using them. Some students like to use good phrases but yet unwilling to practise writing them so in the end they get penalized for it during examinations because there are too many mistakes.
It is a double-edged sword, if you want to use it, then learn it well.
Converse With Them
I always tell parents that oral training doesn’t start at p5 and 6. In truth, it starts now, no matter how old your child is. Yes, and for my case, oral training that prepares kids for PSLE oral Chinese has already started for me with my 9 months old boy.
Talk to them a lot. You can talk about anything under the sun and please don’t think that they are too young to understand. Most of the time, we underestimate them.
Encourage them to voice their opinions, give suggestions, identify their own feelings, put themselves in other shoes and view things from different perspectives. These little moments will accumulate to train up their higher order thinking skills which will also help them in their comprehending skills.
The biggest problem I see today isn’t about the mastery of the language (also a problem) but children nowadays are apathetic. Their lives revolve around getting good grades and computer games.
They read a book and throw it aside, they watch a movie and forget about it. They read news articles (if they ever read) and think that the things happening are on the other side of the world and will never happen in Singapore.
They lack reflection and self-awareness. Hence, it is a great challenge for them to have a conversation with meaningful content with the teachers during oral examinations. They also face difficulties in grasping the deeper meaning of comprehension passages.
Image Source: iStock
It is not impossible for them to score full marks for the reading component during the oral examinations so grab as many marks as you can! It is not difficult at all! However, they would need to work on their fluency and not be monotone.
There are 4 tones in Chinese, students usually read the 4th tone too low. Try finding a sentence and identifying all the 4th tone words and then try reading them at higher tones, they will sound much better.
You may think that only younger children read aloud but older children practise silent reading. However, I would suggest that even at Primary 6 level, they still continue to read aloud, more so if they do not speak Mandarin at home.
Reading aloud would improve their fluency and increase their confidence. This tip especially applies to parents with kids who need particular help with PSLE oral Chinese.
A Race Against Time
How do you ensure that you maintain your standard when you are pressed for time and not let anxiety overcome you? The magic word is “Practice”.
It is not enough that you do your paper well or write an excellent essay piece. The question is did you complete the PSLE Chinese exam within the time limit?
So as the PSLE Chinese exam approaches, it helps a tonne to do lots of practice papers to familiarise yourself with the examination format.
When practising at home, ensure that you complete the papers and compositions within the time limit by timing yourself. Do not forget to set aside time to check your papers.
Practice makes perfect. Every minute and second counts in the examinations, make full use of your time.
Image Source: iStock
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
I always tell my students that facing PSLE Chinese exam is like prepping for a battle. We prepare ourselves well and do whatever we can but we never underestimate our “enemy”.
Every single section in the PSLE Chinese marks breakdown counts. Do you think PSLE Chinese exam components like “Listening Comprehension” sound easy?
Students stumble precisely because they think it is easy and lose unnecessary marks by being careless. Getting into band “A” is easy because the range is wide but if you want to score an “A*”, all components must be done well.
We remain humble and fight till the end and we never relax till PSLE Chinese exam ends. The fruits of your labour will taste all the sweeter if you have worked hard for them.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Last but not least, it isn’t the end of the world if you can’t get into the secondary school you want. For all you know, it might be the start of another amazing journey. The road ahead is long and life has many more lessons for you to learn.
Be happy and stay healthy!
This article was updated by Kaira De la Rosa.