How We Should Prepare for the PSLE Oral Component

It is the CA1 season. I know because I too, am feeling the stress of preparing my students. While everyone is knee deep in the Paper 2 components, I am always on the look out for new Stimulus-Based Conversation topics. I know from experience that the more themes we cover, the more knowledge the students will gain on different topics and in turn, the more confident they will become during conversations.

By opening a Thinking Factory facebook page this year,   I have to read up on current articles about education in Singapore and around the world a few times a week. Sometimes, friends who come across interesting articles also send me the links.

This is a fodder of ideas for me as I prepare conversation topics for my students. I also print out the articles for later reading or ask my students to go home and read them online.


Why is it important to have knowledge of current news? 

1) No one can predict the topic of conversation for the PSLE and like last year’s PSLE SBC, a topic may start off with one theme and the teacher may introduce another in the third or fourth question. Thus, having a wider knowledge of current events is extremely helpful

2) Current events based on themes make for great examples during the conversation. Today I posted on Thinking Factory’s facebook page, a Straits Times article about school canteens serving healthier food:
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/more-school-canteens-serving-healthy-food-but-rising-prices-a-concern

The article also talks about how on the reverse side of healthy eating in school, the price of food is higher. Mentioning this as an example if the theme of Healthy Eating comes up will make for a good point!

3) To be a confident speaker, one needs to have knowledge of what one is talking about. This is so true for a child, who has yet to learn the way of ‘bluffing’ during a conversation. This is the reason why I do a great deal of individual oral training with my students. If they stammer and stutter about a certain topic with me and thus get a below average grade, it will simply be a learning experience and they will become stronger the next week.


How can you help your child at home?

1) Personally, I do not allow my children to read the whole newspaper on their own as certain news articles aren’t age appropriate (this is my own personal choice and opinion). I usually find interesting articles online or search for certain topics they are doing in school and get them to read those. Sometimes, the news can be in the form of videos.

If you search for Educational news in Singapore, you will come across a number of online articles that can be shared by email (if your child has an email account) or simply bookmarked and kept for later reading.

2) Think up of themes from the different articles and form 3 questions based on it.

Example based on the School Canteen article:

a) What is your favourite type of food?
b) What are the advantages of eating healthily all the time? Do you think that there are any disadvantages?
c) In your opinion, how do you think your school canteen can improve the food served?

3) Find some time during the weekend to test him on these questions.

If you can find the time, pictures are easy to obtain online or simply omit the picture and just work on the theme.

I hope this post has given you some ideas for the Oral component and do check out Thinking Factory’s facebook page for interesting educational news articles.