Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tackling Oral Examination [ Part 2 ]

Gotta tackle that oral examination again at this time of the year? Here are more tips, sharings and of course... resources to share with all.
For 1st timers in this oral examination, the school teachers would have provided some practice sessions in class as well. Parents can also replicate the oral examination setting at home while preparing children for the oral examinations. For example, children are usually called in twos. One sitting in front of the teacher... (ie. the one being tested) and another who will be next in line... sitting on another desk a slight distance away from where the teacher + the one tested are seated. Children who are next in line are given approximately 5 minutes to read through the passage silently. There are some who whisper out the passage as well.

So, parents can allow for exam seating arrangement as above in the home while preparing for oral examinations. Two separate sitting areas, maybe one in living room area and after 5 minutes are up... move on to the dining area where the examiner mommy/daddy is.

Children can be coached at home to make use of the 5 minutes given to practice silent reading (reading to themselves). Read with proper pronunciation and also to provide expression during the reading as much as possible. This helps to ease the anxiety when his/her turn comes next.

As there are 3 components to an oral examination.......

1. Passage Reading (Aloud)

2. Picture Conversation

3. Oral Conversation (Based on a topic given by the teacher)

...... next comes the picture conversation preparations. Parents can also help children prepare for this using resources from newspapers, oral practice books available from bookstores and also from books. Pssst... will share a few later on.

Coach children to look at any picture given very carefully... for me, i usually ask my girls to scan the picture from top left going clock-wise so as not to miss out details. Some children look everywhere and all over the place the minute they are presented a picture. Somehow, this will entail in messy details when the child starts the picture conversation.

Children are to think of as many things they want to talk about with reference to the picture given. The more ideas the better. As for the nature of the sentence construction, there have been teacher-friends who allow the sentences to begin with, "I can see..." while others may find it unnecessary as IT IS a picture and YES, WE DO SEE IT.. lolz... so i usually check with my girls how their teacher coached them in class. The teacher-friends who do not practise the "I can see..." sentence starter once shared she deduct marks for when a student repeatedly says that.

When the 5 minutes time frame is over, parent(s) are to prompt the child to come over to the examiner's table be it at the dining area or a fixed desk for the "live" practice session. Before the child is seated, remind the child to greet the examiner. A smile is definitely extra! Just a simple good morning or good afternoon will suffice. As the teacher/examiner may sometimes still be doing some inputs based on the last child that has finished the exam, children should only start when the teacher says "You may begin..." to ensure that the teacher is indeed ready to commence the oral exam.

Here are some resources to share!

1. English Oral & Listening Comprehension Primary 1 by Geetha Menon B.A, P.G.D.E

By Educational Publishing House P/L [ SGD $2.00 ]

Content :

> Oral passages for reading aloud

> Picture conversation with notes and samples

> Listening comprehension worksheets

The main book

Pupil's Worksheets

An audio CD accompaniment

(In case ya think you cannot do/read Queen's English)

The voice provides the step by step guide to what the children

have to do for the different sections in the pupil's worksheets.

It will read out all the instructions ala dictation, complete with

a bell sound upon finishing every section.

Fancy a peek inside? Here... some sample pages...

8 oral passage pages

8 picture conversation sets

Listening Comprehension Practice (Section A) ala cloze passage.

Listening Comprehension Practice (Guide for teachers/parents)

Picture Matching Activities

More resources coming up! To be continued...

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