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A Practical Guide to Score Better in PSLE English Orals

With her fingers on her chin, a primary school girl student thinks about PSLE english exam

Primary 6 PSLE English has a separate segment for the oral examination which focuses on reading aloud. This article is for parents who want to help their child to score high in the PSLE English oral. We have consolidated all that you should know when reading a passage to excel in this exam.

Examiners expect the student to read the provided passage smoothly, and clearly with expression during PSLE English oral examination. A few of the important criteria every examiner looks into are:

  • Good pronunciation
  • Clear articulation
  • Appropriate intonation
  • Fluent and well-paced reading
  • Voice Clarity

Importance of Good Pronunciation & Clear Articulation in PSLE English

If you want your child to read a passage accurately and clearly during the PSLE English oral exam, you must ensure that they:

  • Have clarity in pronouncing end consonants.
  • Identify tricky endings and read appropriately.
  • Read the long and short vowels rightly.
  • Practice the sound of ‘th’, which is found at the beginning, middle or end, as they sound different.

Help your child read aloud at home as practice is the key to performing the exam confidently. Teach them to use a dictionary for correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

How to Ace PSLE English Oral Examination With Appropriate Intonation & Fluent Reading

Appropriate intonation and fluent reading are two important factors to score high in the PSLE English oral examination.

1. Appropriate Intonation

Intonation is injecting feeling into reading and making the passage sound interesting to the examiner. Strategies to help your child read with appropriate intonation in PSLE English oral exam are given here.

  • Stress on a few words to draw the attention of the examiner. Doing so will convey the proper information of the passage.
  • Change the voice wherever the passage contains direct speech. This conveys the feelings of the people or characters in the passage. To become well-versed with this, you can make your child listen to stories online and see how the reader narrates a story. Regular practice will help your child develop the expressiveness required for any passage.

2. Fluent Reading

Fluent reading means reading at a consistent speed, which means not too slow or fast. If your child reads quickly, there are chances that they commit a careless mistake or skip words. However, if they read slowly, it will not interest the listener. Therefore, pausing at the right place is necessary while appearing for the PSLE English oral session. A few of the rules to be followed here are:

  • Pause after punctuation marks like commas and full stops.
  • Pause before connectors like but, because, etc. This helps to break the entire sentence into manageable parts.

Failing to pause at appropriate places in a long sentence will lead to running out of breath and being forced to pause in the wrong place. Students must breakdown a sentence into meaningful chunks so the listener will understand the passage better. If your child is a beginner, ask them to use a pencil to mark where they will have to break the sentence and pause. Encourage them to read more passages aloud to master the art of well-paced and fluent reading. While pausing, you must teach your child to count to two for full stops. Ask them to count to one for commas and connectors.

Significance of Expressiveness, Voice Quality & Direct Speech Usage

On a whiteboard, a young boy is writing I love English.

Expressiveness comes with varying tones and volume. Students must learn to read a passage confidently without stumbling to gain high scores. Appropriate stressing improves voice quality and conveys meaning effectively. Students must learn to read the passage right from the beginning with emotion. A simple trick to do so is help them imagine that they are in the scenario. Reading with intonation and appropriate stress is done by emphasising certain words and increasing the volume up and down whenever necessary. You have to avoid flatlines during every PSLE English oral examination.

Children must pay more attention to direct speech while reading passages aloud. Oral exams test the ability of the student to convey the feeling of the characters involved in the passage. Thus, students must change their tone and pitch depending on the excitement, sadness or fear expressed in the direct speech.

Tips Students Must Follow While Reading a Passage

Students must be aware of a few points while reading a passage aloud during the PSLE English oral session. They include:

  • Take five minutes in advance to prepare. Look out for things mentioned above in this article so that the reading happens flawlessly and confidently before the examiner.
  • Practice the passage without reading aloud during the allotted five minutes. This ensures that the students nearby are not disturbed.
  • Continue to read even while committing small errors during reading.
  • Read with confidence and good body language as it gives a good impression to the examiner.
  • Project the voice and articulate the words clearly at an appropriate volume. Doing so will ensure that the examiner hears the pupil clearly and grades them accordingly.
  • Groom well and appear presentable on the day of the examination.
  • Reduce unnecessary examination fear and stress by sleeping well the previous night.

Wrap Up

Improve your child’s reading skills by making them listen to numerous audio stories which are widely available on the internet. Independent practice with useful resources will help them score well in PSLE English. Teach them that success is the end product of hard work. Inculcate book-reading habits in them. Ask your child to record their own reading and grade themselves so that they know where they stand. Reach out to Studysmart, an excellent PSLE app for students in Singapore. We have numerous resources available online that help them gain high scores in their examinations.

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