(A) Current situation
Parents have always think that their children cannot read the passage and/or their children cannot understand the passage thereby their children cannot score in Comprehension. The fact is their children did not have the Vocabulary and the topical knowledge to understand the passage, full stop. And the solution is just to build their vocabulary and expand their knowledge.
Some teachers who dive into the chapters and topic of the textbook and think they have taught the “skill” of comprehension to their students. In fact, those comprehension “skills” are techniques or short cuts to the really useful skills of gaining knowledge or vocabulary. Those skills are unique to certain questions and question types pertaining to certain examination condition. It would be quite useless in life.
“She (Natalie Wexler, education journalist) found that cognitive scientists have agreed for decades that the most important element of reading comprehension is knowledge and vocabulary about the topic.”Why Deeply Diving Into Content Could Be the Key to Reading Comprehension BY Katrina Schwartz
“If kids don’t have the vocab and knowledge to read the passage in the first place, they’re not going to be able to find the main idea, or whatever,” Wexler said.Why Deeply Diving Into Content Could Be the Key to Reading Comprehension BY Katrina Schwartz
In the present situation, every P6 children’s parent wants their child to perform well but most are not willing to invest their children’s time and energy to increase their children’s vocabulary (of Chinese words in the P5 and P6 textbooks) by just studying a few words diligently daily. This is an investment not a waste of time, and if your child does not invest in it then your child just have to be satisfied or be contended with the results they are having now.
(C) Topical knowledge is important too
Next is the important of Topical knowledge in PSLE Chinese examinations. Children who are more aware of topics can say more and talk more about the topic and I have always point out the Oral examinations in PSLE Chinese language is about how well one knows about the topic. Yes, you can prepare for PSLE oral topics before hand by acquiring the necessary vocabulary and sentence structure of certain topics so that you are not caught off guarded.
You need to deeply dive into the contexts of the textbook and its vocabulary to fully appreciate the beauty of Chinese and excel in it.