What does the Oral Communication component consist of?

The Oral Communication component of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) English test plays a pivotal role in assessing a student’s proficiency in spoken English. This component, as outlined by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), is composed of two segments: Reading Aloud and Stimulus-based Conversation.

ComponentDurationSub-ComponentsAssessment FocusMarks AllottedWeightage
Paper 4: Oral Examination10 minReading AloudStudents are evaluated on their aptitude to pronounce words with clarity, articulate words correctly, and read the provided passage with appropriate fluency, expression, and rhythm.1015%
Stimulus-based ConversationStudents’ ability to provide a personal response to a visual stimulus, thematically connected to the “Reading Aloud” passage, is assessed. Following this, students engage in a dialogue with the examiner on a topic related to the theme of the visual stimulus.20

The Reading Aloud segment is designed to evaluate a student’s pronunciation, articulation, and fluency skills. Students are required to read a provided passage aloud with appropriate expression and pace, reflecting their understanding of the text. This task aims to gauge the student’s ability to correctly interpret and deliver the nuances of the written English language, thereby providing a measure of their vocal fluency, language mastery, and comprehension.

The second segment, Stimulus-based Conversation, aims to test a student’s ability to engage in a discussion based on a visual stimulus or a theme. The objective here is to evaluate the student’s interactive communication skills, reasoning abilities, and proficiency in expressing their ideas and opinions in English. The conversation typically begins with the examiner asking general questions related to the theme, encouraging the student to make observations and express personal experiences or viewpoints. This segment reflects a more interactive and dynamic aspect of language usage in real-life situations.

The Oral Communication component is crucial as it provides a platform for students to demonstrate their mastery of spoken English in a structured setting. This goes beyond the ability to simply understand and use correct grammar and vocabulary, extending to the use of appropriate tone, pace, and body language, all of which are essential elements of effective communication.

To excel in this component, students should focus on enhancing their reading and conversation skills in English. This can be achieved through consistent practice, active listening to fluent English speech, engaging in regular discussions on various topics, and seeking feedback for improvement. The objective is to nurture confidence, clarity, and coherence in expressing oneself in English, thereby enhancing overall communicative competence.

Therefore, parents should encourage their children to read aloud, engage in meaningful conversations, and develop a deep-seated curiosity about the world around them. This not only prepares them for the Oral Communication component but also equips them with essential skills for their academic journey beyond the PSLE English examinations.