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The Comprehensive Guide To A Level H1 Chinese In Singapore

Learning a new language can be exciting, but it is not as easy as it sounds. That is because there is a lot you need to learn to understand a new language and use it in your daily life. Singapore offers its students Chinese in A Levels so that they can learn a new language and lay a strong foundation for it.

H1 Chinese will allow you to lay the groundwork for what you will learn next in the language. So, if you want to know more about A Level Chinese, you have come to the right place. Here is your complete guide that will help you understand what is required of you when you take this subject in the A Level syllabus.


Why Learning Chinese In A Levels Is Important In Singapore?

Before we move on to what it is, you might be wondering why it is important for students to learn this language. Here are the top reasons learning this language is important in the country:

Multilingual And Cultural Society

One of the best things about Singapore is that it is a multilingual and cultural society. English is used as the primary language for speaking and instruction. However, the history of the place and the geography make it important to learn Chinese in the country.

That is because there are a lot of people in the country that speak this language, making it crucial for communication. Besides that, the neighboring countries of Singapore include Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, which is why learning this language can help in the future. If you want to do business or be part of the diplomatic circle in the future, then this language will come in handy.

Connecting With The Heritage And Culture

All of us should be familiar with our roots, and language is a great way to be in touch with those roots. You will notice that a lot of the policies of the Singapore government also stress the importance of learning this language. That is because you might have seen various campaigns, which include Speak Mandarin Campaign and more.

These programs are there to help people understand their identity and be proud of their heritage and culture. Because of this, it is more important than ever for the young generation to learn this language. It allows them to know where they come from and where they will go in the future.

A Brief Overview Of A Level Chinese

Now that you know the importance of this language, it is crucial to understand the structure to help you achieve the best grades. You will notice that both H1 and H2 levels of A Level have Chinese. The H1 level allows you to have the basic building blocks on which you learn the language.

This includes skills such as writing, reading, speaking, and listening. On the other hand, the H2 level focuses on advanced skills, which include communication, analysis, and more. We will focus on the H1 level so that you can understand what is expected of you when you enter A Levels.


What Are The Goals Of Taking A Level H1 Chinese

When you have an aim in mind, it will provide you with a direction that will allow you to achieve good grades. There is a reason why the government has added this subject to A Levels. As you take this course, here are some goals you will achieve when learning H1 Chinese:

  • Understanding various reading materials in Chinese, such as books, newspapers, magazines, and more
  • Using the language in daily conversations and topics
  • Writing Chinese to describe daily life, situations, and experiences
  • Fluently communicating in Chinese with a rich vocabulary
  • Responding to people speaking in Chinese in an appropriate manner
  • Using the right expression tools to communicate in Chinese

Once you are done with A Levels Chinese, you will easily be able to fulfill all of these objectives. It might be a difficult language to learn, but you will come out stronger if you pay attention and utilize the right tools. Such goals will help you create a schedule that will allow you to learn this language without any issues.

Paper 1 Chinese Explained

There are two papers you will have to give for your Chinese exam, which includes Paper 1 and 2. Paper 1 includes writing and comprehension while 2 includes oral and listening. Here is a breakdown of Paper 1 for you to understand what is expected of you when you start studying for this exam:

Writing (Part 1 Of Paper 1)

The first paper is divided into two parts, which include parts 1 and 2. Part 1 is all about your writing skills. The paper is sixty marks, and it will last for an hour and thirty minutes.

There will be four questions, and you will have to choose one and write an essay of five-hundred words on a theme or topic. There can be different themes that can be asked of you to write on. These can include pictures, argumentative, explanatory, or narrative essays.

During this time, you will also be allowed to use a pre-approved dictionary to help you out. So, you have to practice your writing skills to ace this part of Paper 1.

Comprehension (Part 2 Of Paper 1)

Comprehension is the second part of paper 1, and it consists of eighty marks. You will also get an hour and thirty minutes to complete this part of the paper. The paper includes:

  • Section A: This will be of twenty marks and ten fill in the blacks with a passage
  • Section B: This consists of twenty marks and six questions. There will be one or two short passages and you will have to provide appropriate answers from the passage.
  • Section C: This consists of forty marks and nine questions. You will have to answer questions based on the passage and then summarize the passage in seventy words

Make sure that you practice appropriately for each of the sections so that you can ace it without any problems. Practice is what will help you reach perfection.


How You Can Score Well On Paper 1 of H1 Chinese

Now that you know the exam format, you might be wondering what you can do to get the best marks in this exam. Well, here are some steps you can take to improve your skills to get good grades in this exam:

1. Read More Chinese Materials

The first thing you can do is read more materials in Chinese. This will help you build a strong foundation, as you will boost your vocabulary and learn how sentence formation works. It will also expose you to more content in Chinese, which will allow you to build a solid foundation for your speaking and reading skills.

2. Practice Essay-Writing

You have to write an essay of five hundred words on Paper 1, which is why it is crucial to keep practicing this skill at home. Make sure that you cover all the themes and topics to help you write an essay in every style. Once you have command over this, you will ace this part of the paper without any issues.

3. Read Essays Written By Others

Another way to score well in essay writing is by reading the essays of other people on various topics and themes. This will help you understand how you can write in different styles and the vocabulary you can use. If you need help, you can always opt for a tutor who can help you read and write different essays to gain a command over Chinese.


Paper 2 Chinese Explained

You know all about Paper 1 by now, and it is time to understand Paper 2 and what is expected of you in this exam. The components of this paper include oral and listening. Here is a breakdown to help you understand each:

Oral (Part 1 Of Paper 2)

The first part of Paper 2 is the oral exam. You will get ten to fifteen minutes for this, and it will comprise fifty marks. Before the exam begins, the examiners will provide you with ten minutes to watch a short video that will be a minute or so.

After you are done watching the video, they will ask you to prepare an oral report of what you saw. Keep in mind that you can watch the short video a few times and jot down the key ideas that you see. Then, you can create a report from those ideas.

  • Report: The report will consist of twenty marks, and you will have two minutes to present this oral report
  • Discussion: This will be of thirty marks, and the examiner will ask you questions regarding the report you created. It is done so that you can have a discussion in Chinese with the examiner

Make sure that you work on your oral Chinese skills before you give this paper. The more confident you are in speaking the language, the better you will do on this exam.

Listening (Part 2 Of Paper 2)

Finally, the last component of the exam will be the listening part you will have to give. This will consist of ten marks, and you will have thirty marks for this paper. The exam will include three comprehension chapters, one short dialogue, one paragraph, and ten multiple-choice questions.

You have to listen to the recording that the examiner will play for you and then answer the questions. You don’t have to worry about the content you will listen to because this includes news reports, conversations, interviews, and more. You can keep listening to these at home to gain a command over how you will score in this part of paper 2.


How You Can Score Well In Paper 2

The exam format of paper 2 is not too complicated. However, there are students that face a few challenges when they have to give this exam. This is why it is crucial to know how you can score well in this exam.

Here are a few tips that will help you get a good grade so that you can score well on your H1 Chinese paper:

1. Speak Chinese With Peers

The best way to do well on the oral exam is to work on your oral skills. You can do this by speaking in Chinese with your peers. If you can’t do this, then you can always hire a Chinese tutor who can speak this language with you.

It will allow you to become fluent so that you have no issues with speaking. Once you do, you will do incredibly well in this exam and score a high grade.

2. Practice The Oral Component Within The Time Limit

It is crucial to follow the time limit in the exam because you will not get more time than what has already been given. This is why you should practice giving yourself the same time at home. It will allow you to keep practicing.

You can also watch short videos at home and practice the component in the same way. In the long run, practice will help you manage time and get good grades.

3. Get The Help Of A Tutor

Finally, if you are struggling with Chinese, then we recommend that you opt for a chinese tutor. They will provide you with the best techniques and practice that will help you become confident in your skills. Such confidence will help you ace your paper without any issues.


Final Thoughts

That was everything you needed to know about A Level H1 Chinese in Singapore. A new language can be challenging, but you can always overcome this challenge by following the right guidelines and resources that will help you achieve the best grade. Once you do, you will ace this exam and get a good grade.

It will allow you to have a solid foundation that will also help you in H2 Chinese. So, make sure that you are studying right and getting all the help you need for this exam.

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Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.