Following the rise of China, Chinese has become an increasingly popular second language to learn. As part of the syllabus, all students have to take Mother Tongue classes in primary and secondary school, whether that is Chinese, Malay or Tamil. However, it is not uncommon for many students to struggle with Chinese. As English is the main language of instruction in school, students may have limited opportunities to practice their reading, speaking and listening skills in Chinese. On top of that, many Chinese families tend to speak English at home, meaning that studenrs have even less interaction with the language.
Therefore, in order to score well in PSLE Chinese, many parents are turning to Chinese tuition to strengthen their children’s foundation in the language. Under the guidance of an experienced tutor, students will be able to spend more time on the subject and receive more personalised attention than they can expect in school.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about PSLE Chinese, including some top tips and tricks that will boost your child’s chances of scoring their desired grade!
Even if your child is doing well in their other subjects, scoring a low grade for PSLE Chinese can bring down their overall score and affect their chances of getting into the secondary school of their choice. In addition, as students will have to continue with Mother Tongue in secondary school, a weak foundation can end up causing them more frustration down the line. Because all other subjects are taught in English, it’s important for students to carve out time to strengthen their Chinese proficiency when they can.
As a parent, you may have noticed that many Singapore adults struggle to communicate clearly in Chinese. This is something you do not want for your child – as a growing language of commerce, being proficient in Chinese can open up many doors for them in future. As this is not something that can be acquired overnight, starting from a young age is key. If your child is weak in Chinese or not doing as well as they should, do not wait until the last minute to seek additional help for them. Get started early with primary school tuition so that by the time PSLE rolls around, your child will be ready and prepared.
By the end of Primary 6, all students should be able to meet the PSLE Chinese objectives set by MOE. These include:
In the PSLE Chinese examination, students will have to complete a total of three papers. These are:
In Paper 1, students can take their pick from two essay questions. Regardless of which option they choose, a minimum of 100 words is required. Below are the two types of essays students can take their pick from:
This paper is divided into two sections
The main purpose of this paper is to test students’ listening abilities as well as how well they can express their thoughts verbally. Find out more about each individual section below:
There are many different reasons students may struggle with PSLE Chinese. One of the most common reasons is that some students tend to think in English before translating what they want to say into Chinese. Naturally, this doesn’t always work out and can result in a lack of fluency and coherency.
Here are some of the common challenges faced by students when taking on PSLE Chinese:
If any of these challenges sound like what your child is going through, it’s always wise to engage additional assistance for them as soon as possible. Whether that is signing them up for classes with a tuition centre or engaging a private tutor who can come to your home, parents should never underestimate the importance of seeking help for your child who struggles with Chinese.
Now that you are aware of the common pitfalls experienced by students taking the PSLE Chinese paper, you may be looking for some tips and tricks to help your child improve their grade.
Below are some top tips to keep in mind when devising a revision plan for your child:
Now that you know some of the best ways you can maximise your child’s grade, it’s time to come up with a revision strategy in advance of PSLE rolling around. This is especially true if your child requires additional help with more than one subject, whether that is English, Maths or Science. As they say, the early bird catches the worm and by starting early, you are giving your child the best chance of scoring their desired grade and getting into the secondary school of their choice!
If your child is doing well enough in Chinese that he or she has been encouraged to take on Higher Chinese at Primary 5, you may be wondering if this is a good choice for them. As long as they are able to cope with an additional workload and have a strong enough foundation in Chinese, taking on PSLE Higher Chinese can benefit your child. Although it does not count towards the overall AL score, taking on this additional paper means that your child will be given priority admission to a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school should they score well.
SAP schools are schools that are dedicated to the promotion of Mother Tongue, and many of them are highly rated. Some examples of SAP schools include:
Of course, priority admission to a SAP school should not be the main reason your child is taking up Higher Chinese. If they are already struggling to do well in Chinese, it is not recommended that they take up Higher Chinese – in fact, this can end up heaping additional stress on them. The Higher Chinese syllabus has been specially prepared for students who already have an existing aptitude and interest in the language and your child’s teacher will be able to advise on whether it’s a good choice for them.
In comparison to standard PSLE Chinese, the Higher Chinese paper does not come with an oral and listening comprehension component, so students taking up the subject can rest assured that they won’t need to prepare for and go through Paper 3 twice.
Both parents and students can come under an immense amount of stress when preparing for PSLE Chinese, especially if you are an English-speaking household. It can be tough going out of your way to converse in Chinese, especially if you are not particularly fluent in it. However, your child will need all the exposure they can get if they are to improve their linguistic skills. Here is where you may want to consider hiring a tutor or sending your child for tuition classes. Online tuition is also an option if you find it hard to fit classes around your child’s busy schedule or do not have time to fetch them back and forth every week.
There’s no shame in seeking help for yourself or your child in the subjects they struggle with. After all, your end goal is for them to achieve an AL score they are happy with and to enter a secondary school of their choice. Let Tutor City recommend a tutor who will tick all the right boxes and save time on doing the research yourself. The best part is that you don’t have to commit until you are sure the tutor is the best fit for your child – all you need to do is pay for the one lesson your child has tried out if you decide not to continue with the recommended tutor.
Feel free to check out our blog for more information on examination- and tuition-related topics and remember, you are not alone in this ride! Many generations of students have sat for the PSLE and achieved good results, and you can too!