English PSLE Oral Exam

I have started preparing my students for the oral examination and I would advise parents to do the same. Many would think that if a student scores well in Paper 1 and Paper 2 they should automatically score well in oral. Alas, no.

P5 and P6 oral components consist of a Reading Passage, a Picture Discussion and a Topic of Conversation.

All the parts require practice- one-to-one practice. A child who reads well may not say much (if anything at all) during the Topic of Conversation.

I always begin by letting the group know what is expected of them in each part. Then, I take them aside and test them one by one. It is essential to practice.

I also provide model answers, just for them to read over and better their vocabulary but I always build upon their own ideas and words first. I am not a believer of memorising model answers for English. A child must learn to express his ideas and I am there to help him or her build upon and perfect what they have already formulated on their own. This is true for oral and composition writing.

Let me share with you some of my rules for Oral :


1) Articulation

When reading, make sure to give each letter, each syllable and each word its full and proper sound. Don’t rush through the passage. Make each word seperate from each other and pronounce those ‘d’s and ‘ts’!

2) Emphasis

A particular force given to certain words. Found especially in speaking parts of the reading passage.

3) Inflection

This is the bend or slide of the voice. In other words, do not read with the same tone throughout the passage. This is my biggest emphasis to my students who do not have a strong accent.


1) Interpretation

– Organised in description
General description first, then into specifics and conclusion

– Interpretation
“In my opinion”..”I think..”

2) Language and vocabulary

Using idioms or phrases and appropriate vocabulary

3) Prompting

Responds quickly to prompting


1) Personal Response

– Gives interesting and INTELLIGENT opinions

2) Fluency

Speaks with confidence

3) Language and Vocabulary


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