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The Comprehensive Guidebook on PSLE Stimulus-Based Conversation

July 7, 2022
StudySmart Team
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A student is expressing his opinion for the question asked by the instructor for the PSLE oral exam. The boy is happily sharing his experiences with the teacher.

What is Oral Stimulus Based Conversation in PSLE English?

Stimulus Based Conversation or SBC is one of the two parts of the PSLE Oral Component in the PSLE English paper. The other part is the Reading Component. However, our topic of discussion in the PSLE English Oral Stimulus Based Conversation.

What should your Primary 6 student expect in this section of the English paper? Basically, in the exam, your child will have a conversation with the examiner, who will ask questions based on a picture. This picture is the "stimulus". The first question is directly linked to the stimulus, followed by broad-based questions linked to a general topic conveyed in the picture.

What are the objectives of the English Oral Stimulus Based Conversation? According to Singapore's Ministry of Education, which drafts the PSLE syllabi, the main objective of this exam is to assess the student's ability to:

  • Read with clear pronunciation, articulation, and the right intonation
    to convey the passage's message, feelings, and ideas.
  • Make a well-paced, fluent reading of the passage.
  • Express their ideas, feelings, and opinions orally, clearly and concisely.
  • Speak with grammatical accuracy using a range of vocabulary and structures.

The student's ability to orally express their ideas, opinions, and feelings and fluently converse with the examiner in good English is the main criteria to ace this exam. This criterion applies to direct and broad-based questions. Students should also aim for brownie points by adding value to their answers by drawing parallels to the given passage with other anecdotes, movies, or stories.

Primary 6 students and parents are often curious about what questions they may face during the exam. We have compiled a list of possible PSLE stimulus based conversation sample questions for your benefit. So, read on.

What are the Questions to Expect From SBC?

Let's first deal with the Direct Question because that is how the exam commences.

What to Remember About Directly-Linked Questions

  • The first question is usually a direct question based on the stimulus.
  • Direct questions are more predictable than broad-based queries.
  • Answers MUST refer to the details and texts given in the picture.
  • The first question is usually followed by a "Why" question.

A girl is thinking on how to express her thoughts for the question raised by the teacher. The teacher seems to interact to make her comfortable in answering the question.
Directly-linked questions are of two types:

1. Choice-based questions

  • What will you choose and why? ( For pictures with multiple choices.)
  • Will you buy this product and why? (For product descriptions and advertisements.)
  • Will you attend this event? Why? ( For announcements or brochures about meetings, camps, or movies.)

2. Function and Purpose

  • Where will you see this, and why do you think so? (For instructions, signages, etc.)
  • What is this used for, and who uses it? (For Product Descriptions.)

Tips for answering directly-linked questions in English Stimulus Based Conversation:

  • Complete your response by sharing a personal anecdote, story, or news related to the picture.
  • Provide a good ending to your response and link back to the question.
  • Examine the given picture and the texts in detail before providing your answers.

Also Read : 11 Ways to Help Your Child Ace PSLE English Composition

What to Remember About Broadly-linked Questions

Broadly-linked questions are typically asked after the first or second question has been answered. These questions elicit the students' opinions, ideas, experiences, and suggestions. Your child should have no trouble answering these broad-linked questions if they are an avid reader of current affairs and general topics.

Under broad-based questions, there are four categories your child should anticipate and prepare for. They are:

1. Favourites

  • What is your favourite .........? ( Movie, sport, colour, or dish)

2. Previous Experiences

  • Have you attended ............ before? (meeting, rally, party, movies)
  • Elaborate your experience when you visited.................. ( A place of worship, tourist spot, or a competition.)

3. People Questions

  • If you can bring some with you, who will it be and why? ( For a vacation or an event.)
  • If you can give this object to someone, whom will it be? ( A brochure or an item in the brochure.)
  • If you are to introduce this to someone, whom will it be? ( An activity or promotion.)

4. Opinion and Reflection

It is slightly harder for children to grasp "Reflection and Opinion" questions, which require them to react quickly and justify their decisions. Encourage them to ask such questions regularly and discuss them with their family and friends. Here are some examples of questions in this category.

  • Why do you think this is important? ( Practise water safety and recycling.)
  • What advice will you give in this situation? ( To your siblings about road safety or safety in the swimming pool.)
  • What can you do to promote the activity? (The recycling activity or social awareness activity.)
  • Do you think possible in the future? Why? ( Travelling in space or living on Mars.)

What are the Other Stimulus Based Conversation Topics to Expect?

The best way to ease primary students into SBC is to ask them questions based on various topics. Given below are some of the stimulus-based conversation samples you can train your child on.

Personal questions

  1. How do you spend your leisure time?
  2. What are your favourite hobbies?
  3. What are your favourite books?
  4. What do you do during weekends?
  5. Which country do you wish to visit? Why?
  6. Tell me about a happy memory that you cherish.

Health-related questions

  1. How do you maintain your fitness?
  2. Tell us about your first dental checkup.?
  3. What is your favourite dish? Does it aid good health?

Family-related questions

  1. Do you help with household chores?
  2. How do you spend time with your family?
  3. Which is your favourite festival? Why?

Outings/School-related questions

  1. Tell us about a country you have visited.
  2. Tell us about your first zoo visit.
  3. Tell us about a school activity you enjoyed participating in.

Community-based questions

  1. Have you done something special for someone? Tell us about it.
  2. Has someone helped you? When and why?
  3. Do you like participating in social awareness events?

Tips for parents to help children with broad-based questions:

  • Initiate conversations with your children based on the above topics.
  • Help them elaborate on their answers with the right vocabulary.
  • Allow them to label their feelings with the right adjectives.
  • Encourage them to converse with you in Standard English whenever possible.

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