Oral Excellence Part 1 Recitation Tips for PSLE Chinese

Oral Excellence Part 1 Recitation Tips for PSLE Chinese

Every Year a lot of students focus on passing the Oral conversation but a lot of students think that oral recitation is not important as it so hard to improve. I view it totally differently as oral recitation is THE FASTEST way to score full marks with enough practice. That mean that oral recitation is the lowest hanging fruit in a oral examination with high possibility of full mark 20/20. (Yes its possible but the student needs to go through some tough oral reading training to easily get full marks.)

How to Score full marks in Oral recitation?

You need to know that Oral recitation tests three very important skills in oral and that is a reasonable huge vocabulary, fast word recognition and an understanding of various reading techniques.

How to have a reasonable huge vocabulary?

Well I would start reading and understand with the students on the textbook passages and go on to reading with understanding of the various composition books. Yes I train students to read a composition every day, and i test their understanding now and then. Some students have to record their reading so I know they truly can read out loud. And to stop students from relying on the hanyu pinyin of the compositon book or textbook, I require students to complete the paragraph in 1 minute, no matter the length of the passage. As students have time limit, they cannot rely on hanyu pinyin completely.

After 3 months of reading, students would develop a habit of reading composition daily. Then they will find that they can read a passage (even if they had not read it before) quickly and without hesitation. This completes phase one of building vocabulary.

*AIM: Build a habit of reading composition/textbook daily.

How to read a passage without stopping to recognize the words?

At phase 2, students are trained to read with time limit daily. So students must instantly read out the words sentence by sentence with not thinking. This will be repeated in sessions until all sentences of the passage is done and repeated at least 3 times. students need to read a passage 3 times with ZERO wrong words. This phrase needs a teacher or parent to take down all the wrong words and repeat every passage 3 times with 1 sentence at a time. (you do not need to ensure students are correct, just tell them which words are wrong and let the student repeat the right pronunciation with you for 7 times.)

Why 3 times/7 times? that is because i believe that repeating is the mother of learning, when a word is repeated in a day for more than twice, students will tend to remember them better for the long run. Scientific research shows 7 times are better, but nowadays we cannot afford such long time.

*AIM: Zero pronunciation error!

Which reading techniques to train?

There are Just 3 Very simple reading technique.

Reading speed and expressions

First is the reading speed training. There are 4-5 types of reading speed to express different emotions.

NormalNormal like a news castor.
Reading speed and emotional expression

There are subtle ways to use speed of reading to express your emotion. This part you need a teacher to guide or you can read more books or listen to more news and stories.

    啊,我接过书害羞得不知应当如何对他表示我的感激,他却若无其事地走开了。” 林海音《窃读记》



Conversations are powerful expressions of emotion

“Romance of the three kingdom” clip “three visits to Mr Zhu Ge”. There is a lot of conversation, you must observe the ways the characters say their words, the words reflect the persons’ character, and their perspective of life. (Mr Liu is is always polite and soft spoken. Mr Zhang is quick tempered, fast in reaction, and impulsive. Mr Guan is silent, yet his words are very factual and practical. The Servant boy is very blunt, disregards Mr liu’s very long title.


**If you look at the English translation, its very bad. So just ignore the English translation.

Gain a sense of Language: know when to stop and when to continue a sentence.

Every students had met with a situation when the sentence is so long and they just stop as and when they like. That is bad as you lack a sense of the Language. Now lets see how to read the first sentence in 《背影》by 朱自清.
“我与父亲不相见已二年余了,我最不能忘记的是他的背影” The reading starts from 22 second to 32 seconds. It was read this way:
“我与父亲 // 不相见 // 已二年余了, 我最不能忘记的 // 是他的 // 背影”

You will notice a pattern, the broken parts are meaningful parts of the sentence, you do not break it like this: 我与 //父亲//不相//见已//二年//余了, which is totally meaningless. The last part are read in two words to emphasis the keyword in this sentence.

This sense of language is a very hard skill to impart and its gain when students read a lot of passages and gain experience and knowledge which will develop the students sense of the language. (This happens to English students too.)


We know skills are learnable and Oral recitation tests three very important skills in oral and that is a reasonable huge vocabulary, fast word recognition and an understanding of various reading techniques. So if you invest yourself to learn those skills, they will help you in your oral examinations and more.

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