PSLE English Tuition: July Vocabulary List (Advanced)

PSLE English Tuition: July Vocabulary List (Advanced)

Here’s the vocabulary words related to a composition with the theme “A Thoughtful Act” to aid Primary 6 students in their PSLE English tuition preparation. Below is a list of vocabulary words that can be used for the composition:

eduKate’s PSLE English Vocabulary Monthly List: July

  1. Altruistic: Unselfishly concerned for the welfare of others.
  2. Benevolent: Showing kindness or goodwill.
  3. Compassionate: Feeling or showing sympathy or concern for others.
  4. Empathetic: Understanding and sharing the feelings of another.
  5. Generous: Showing a readiness to give more than is expected.
  6. Gratitude: The quality of being thankful.
  7. Heartwarming: Eliciting warm feelings, especially feelings of affection.
  8. Considerate: Thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others.
  9. Selfless: Having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.
  10. Kind-hearted: Having a kind and compassionate nature.
  11. Magnanimous: Generous in forgiving; free from petty resentfulness.
  12. Philanthropic: Showing a desire to help others by giving gifts; charitable.
  13. Genuine: Authentic and sincere.
  14. Gracious: Pleasantly kind and courteous.
  15. Sacrifice: The act of giving up something one values for the sake of something else.
  16. Gesture: A movement or action that expresses a thought or feeling.
  17. Appreciation: Recognition of the value or importance of something.
  18. Caring: Displaying kindness and concern for others.
  19. Noble: Having high moral qualities; dignified.
  20. Beneficial: Producing good results or effects.

Using these words can help to enrich the composition and provide a more in-depth exploration of the theme. Please encourage students to use these words where relevant, but also remind them not to force them into the composition. The narrative flow and natural use of vocabulary are essential for a well-written essay.

Have a look at some of our English Tutorial materials here:

This Vocabulary Lists is supplementary to this:

Red Swastika School 2022 PSLE Prelim Composition title “A Thoughtful Act”

Below is the table format with the vocabulary words related to “A Thoughtful Act” and their respective usage examples:

Vocabulary WordExample of Usage
Altruistic“Her altruistic nature led her to volunteer at the orphanage every weekend.”
Benevolent“The benevolent gentleman donated a significant amount to the school’s scholarship fund.”
Compassionate“His compassionate response to her situation showed he truly understood her pain.”
Empathetic“Listening to her friend’s problems, Maria was truly empathetic and offered a shoulder to cry on.”
Generous“Despite his modest income, he was remarkably generous with his contributions to the community center.”
Gratitude“She expressed her gratitude by writing a heartfelt thank-you note.”
Heartwarming“It was a heartwarming sight to see the community come together to help the family in need.”
Considerate“He was always considerate, making sure to keep the noise down when others were studying.”
Selfless“Her selfless act of saving the puppy from the storm made headlines.”
Kind-hearted“The kind-hearted teacher often stayed back to help students who were struggling.”
Magnanimous“Despite the insults hurled at him, he was magnanimous enough to forgive his detractors.”
Philanthropic“The philanthropic actress started a charity foundation to support underprivileged children.”
Genuine“His genuine concern for the environment led him to plant trees every month.”
Gracious“She was gracious in defeat, congratulating the winners with a smile.”
Sacrifice“The mother made a huge sacrifice, working two jobs to ensure her children got a good education.”
Gesture“His simple gesture of bringing her breakfast in bed meant the world to her.”
Appreciation“The artist blushed with appreciation when the crowd gave him a standing ovation.”
Caring“Her caring nature was evident when she stayed up all night to nurse the sick kitten back to health.”
Noble“His noble act of rescuing the drowning child was lauded by the entire community.”
Beneficial“Reading regularly has been beneficial for his language skills and overall knowledge.”

These examples should help illustrate the appropriate context and usage of each vocabulary word.

Vocabulary for Red Swastika School 2022 PSLE Prelim Composition title “A Thoughtful Act”

As we approach the crucial PSLE Examinations, dedicates the month of July to ensuring every student becomes proficient in this indispensable skill. With only a quarter of a year left, our aim transcends basic comprehension. We strive for students to internalize and master this skill, arming them with the most beneficial tools for the upcoming PSLE composition at Red Swastika School. The 2022 PSLE Prelim Composition title is “A Thoughtful Act”. This piece serves as a vocabulary and idioms supplement to the primary article.

Explanations, Triggers and Prompts

Let’s provide explanations and context for each of the words tailored for a Primary 6 student preparing for the PSLE English examination.

Objective: To help students memorize and understand vocabulary words in context by using descriptive settings or storylines as prompts.


  • Vocabulary table with storyline prompts (as provided below).
Prompt for Parents (Setting/Storyline)Vocabulary Word for Student to Say
A girl always volunteered at the local orphanage during her free time and was well-known in the community for her selfless nature.Altruistic
A king who reduced taxes for his subjects and often distributed food to the poor.Benevolent
When a boy saw a wounded bird on the street, he felt a strong urge to help it.Compassionate
Understanding and sharing the feelings of another, especially when a friend loses their pet.Empathetic
Someone who always gives more than is expected, like offering their lunch to a friend who forgot theirs.Generous
The quality someone feels after receiving a surprise gift.Gratitude
A story about a reunion that brings tears to everyone’s eyes.Heartwarming
Making sure to turn down the music when others are studying.Considerate
Doing acts of kindness without expecting anything in return.Selfless
A person who goes out of their way to help others, even if they don’t know them.Kind-hearted
Someone who easily forgives others, even if they made a big mistake.Magnanimous
A person who donates large amounts of money to build schools in underserved communities.Philanthropic
Acts of kindness that are sincere, without any hidden motives.Genuine
A host who warmly welcomes all guests, even unexpected ones.Gracious
Giving up a favorite toy to a younger sibling because they wanted it.Sacrifice
A movement of the hand to offer a seat to an elderly person on the bus.Gesture
Recognizing the hard work someone put into a handmade gift.Appreciation
Always looking out for friends and making sure they’re okay.Caring
Displaying high moral qualities, like standing up against bullying.Noble
Doing something that results in good outcomes for others, like planting trees in a community park.Beneficial


  1. Setup:
    • Print out or display the table so that only the “Prompt for Parents (Setting/Storyline)” column is visible to the student. Parents or educators should be able to see both columns.
    • Ensure the student is comfortable and ready to begin. They should have already reviewed the vocabulary words at least once before this activity.
  2. Introduction:
    • Briefly explain to the student what will happen: “I’m going to describe a situation or tell you a short story. Based on that, you’ll have to guess which vocabulary word best fits the description. This will help you understand and remember the word in context.”
  3. Activity:
    • Start with the first prompt in the table. Read out the “Prompt for Parents (Setting/Storyline)” to the student.
    • After reading the prompt, wait for the student to respond with the vocabulary word they believe fits the description.
    • If they guess correctly, offer positive reinforcement like, “Great job!” or “Exactly right!”
    • If they’re unsure or guess incorrectly, gently guide them towards the right answer by providing an additional hint or rephrasing the prompt. You can say things like, “Think about a word that describes someone who always thinks about others,” or “This is a word that means showing kindness without expecting anything in return.”
  4. Progression:
    • Continue with the subsequent prompts in the table. Depending on the student’s confidence and familiarity with the words, you can shuffle the order or skip around to make it more challenging.
    • Periodically, you can also ask the student to use the word in a sentence of their own after they guess it correctly. This further reinforces their understanding.
  5. Wrap-up:
    • Once all the prompts have been covered, congratulate the student on their effort. Discuss any words that were particularly challenging or interesting.
    • Recommend reviewing the words again after a day or two, using the same method or integrating them into writing exercises.
  6. Tips:
    • Keep the mood light and encouraging. The aim is to make vocabulary learning engaging and less daunting.
    • Pace the activity based on the student’s comfort level. If they’re finding it too easy, increase the pace or ask them for more detailed explanations. If they’re struggling, slow down and spend more time discussing each word.

By linking vocabulary words to descriptive situations, students can form stronger memory associations. This method engages their imagination, making the learning experience more dynamic and memorable.

Vocabulary Response Exercise: “In Their Shoes”

Objective: To engage students in an interactive activity where they respond to scenarios by placing themselves in the shoes of characters, using the target vocabulary.


  • Wordlist (as provided above).
  • Prepared scenario cards or descriptions (based on the table).


  1. Setup:
    • Ensure each student has access to the wordlist. This could be a printed handout or displayed on a board.
    • Prepare scenario cards. These are short descriptions or situations based on the wordlist but without explicitly using the word.
  2. Introduction:
    • Explain the activity to the students: “Today, we’re going to do an exercise called ‘In Their Shoes’. I will describe a situation, and you need to imagine how the person in that situation would feel or act. Your response should use one of the words from our wordlist.”
  3. Activity:
    • Read out the first scenario, e.g., “Imagine you’re a king who wants to help his subjects by reducing their burdens and offering aid. How would you describe your actions?”
    • Wait for the students to respond. They should use the word “Benevolent” based on the scenario.
    • Students can either raise their hands to answer or write down their answers on a piece of paper.
  4. Progression:
    • Continue presenting scenarios, allowing students to respond using the vocabulary words.
    • If a student uses a word incorrectly, gently correct them and explain the right context.
    • For added engagement, after a student responds correctly, ask them to expand on their answer. For example, “Great job using ‘Benevolent’. Can you now use it in a full sentence describing the king’s actions?”
  5. Wrap-up:
    • Review the words and scenarios. Discuss the words that seemed to be more challenging or that generated the most interesting responses.
    • Encourage students to create their own scenarios for peers to answer. This can be a fun way to reverse roles and let them test each other.
  6. Tips:
    • Make sure the atmosphere is positive and encouraging. Students should feel comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.
    • To make it more competitive, consider keeping a score or offering small rewards for correct answers.
    • Introducing a time element can also make the activity more dynamic. For instance, give students 10 seconds to come up with an answer.

By making students think actively about each word and its meaning, this exercise helps reinforce vocabulary understanding. The interactive nature ensures engagement and promotes better retention of the words.

Let’s Do It! “In Their Shoes” Vocabulary Response Exercise:

Instructions for Educators/Parents: Read out the scenarios to the students. Ask them to respond with how the person in the scenario might feel or act, using one of the words from the wordlist.

Wordlist for Students: Altruistic, Benevolent, Compassionate, Empathetic, Generous, Gratitude, Heartwarming, Considerate, Selfless, Kind-hearted, Magnanimous, Philanthropic, Genuine, Gracious, Sacrifice, Gesture, Appreciation, Caring, Noble, Beneficial


  1. Imagine you’re a young woman who spends her weekends helping at a local shelter, without expecting anything in return. How would you describe your actions? Expected Answer: Altruistic
  2. As a leader of a community, you’ve decided to support your people by lowering their daily costs and providing aid. How would people describe your nature? Expected Answer: Benevolent
  3. You’re walking in the park and come across a distressed animal. Your heart urges you to help it immediately. How would you describe your feelings? Expected Answer: Compassionate
  4. Your friend just lost a family member, and you deeply feel and understand their sorrow. What would describe this understanding? Expected Answer: Empathetic
  5. At lunch, you notice a classmate has no food. Without hesitation, you offer half of your lunch. Your action is…?Expected Answer: Generous
  6. Your neighbors surprised you by mowing your lawn while you were on vacation. When you returned, you felt immense…? Expected Answer: Gratitude
  7. You attend a surprise reunion for two long-lost siblings. The scene is so touching; it can be described as…? Expected Answer: Heartwarming
  8. You’re studying in a room with others. Noticing that someone is trying to read, you decide to turn off your loud music. This action is…? Expected Answer: Considerate
  9. For the community’s greater good, you decide to donate anonymously to a local project. Your action is…? Expected Answer: Selfless
  10. Despite being busy, you always make time to help others, even strangers. People often describe you as…? Expected Answer: Kind-hearted

(And so on for the rest of the words…)

The exercise can be continued in this manner until all vocabulary words have been covered. Remember to always provide feedback to the students, praising correct answers and gently guiding them when they’re unsure. The scenarios can also be modified or expanded upon based on the needs and understanding of the students.

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs for Composition Theme “A Thoughtful Act”

Here’s a table of idioms and phrasal verbs related to the theme “A Thoughtful Act” that can aid Primary 6 students in their PSLE English tuition preparation:

TypeIdiom/Phrasal VerbMeaningExample of Usage
IdiomGo the extra mileTo do more than what is expected“To make her friend feel better, Sarah really went the extra mile by baking her favorite cookies.”
IdiomA shoulder to cry onSomeone who listens to one’s troubles“When she was feeling down, her brother was always a shoulder to cry on.”
IdiomLend a helping handTo offer assistance“The community came together to lend a helping hand to those affected by the flood.”
IdiomHeart of goldA very kind and good nature“John, with his heart of gold, always volunteers at the elderly home during weekends.”
IdiomWear one’s heart on one’s sleeveTo openly express one’s emotions“She always wears her heart on her sleeve, especially when she sees someone in need.”
Phrasal VerbReach outTo offer help or support“She reached out to the new student, making sure he felt welcome in the school.”
Phrasal VerbLook afterTo take care of“Even though they were just neighbors, Mrs. Tan would always look after the children when their parents were away.”
Phrasal VerbGive backTo return something or contribute to the community“Every Christmas, the family would give back by donating toys to the local orphanage.”
Phrasal VerbPick upTo collect or to improve someone’s mood“She would always pick up litter in the park during her morning walks.”
Phrasal VerbCheer upTo make someone feel better“He tried to cheer up his friend with a surprise gift after the test.”

Incorporating these idioms and phrasal verbs can enhance the richness of the students’ compositions and showcase their grasp of the English language in an authentic manner.

Benefits of Enriching Vocabulary for PSLE English Examination: A Deeper Analysis

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a significant milestone in the academic journey of Singaporean students. English, as one of the core subjects, plays an instrumental role in shaping a student’s linguistic capabilities and cognitive skills. The composition section, in particular, challenges students to articulate their thoughts eloquently, cohesively, and convincingly. With this context in mind, the curated list of vocabulary words related to “A Thoughtful Act” offers students a competitive edge. Let’s delve into the reasons for this collation and the myriad benefits it brings.

1. Why This List Was Collated?

A. Addressing a Common Theme: Themes revolving around acts of kindness, empathy, and altruism frequently appear in PSLE compositions. “A Thoughtful Act” is representative of such themes, prompting students to weave stories around good deeds, sacrifices, and acts of compassion.

B. Enhancing Expression: Vocabulary is the bedrock of language expression. A robust vocabulary enables students to paint vivid pictures, evoke emotions, and convey intricate nuances, making their compositions stand out.

C. Comprehensive Preparation: By focusing on a specific theme and related vocabulary, students can become adept at approaching similar topics with confidence and creativity during the actual examination.

2. Benefits for PSLE English Examination Students:

A. Distinguishing Narratives: The vocabulary list allows students to create more sophisticated and engaging narratives. For instance, using words like “altruistic” or “magnanimous” can elevate a simple act of kindness narrative, making it memorable for examiners.

B. Improved Cohesiveness: Rich vocabulary aids in weaving a seamless narrative. Transitional phrases, descriptive adjectives, and varied sentence structures, backed by an expansive vocabulary, ensure a cohesive flow.

C. Enhanced Analytical Skills: Learning words in context improves analytical thinking. For instance, differentiating between ‘compassionate’ and ’empathetic’ requires understanding subtle nuances, thereby honing analytical skills.

D. Boosting Confidence: Mastery over an expansive vocabulary naturally boosts a student’s confidence. Walking into an examination room, armed with the tools to articulate any idea, can significantly alleviate anxiety.

E. Achieving Higher Scores: The PSLE English paper assesses students on language use and comprehension. Demonstrating a command over diverse vocabulary can potentially fetch higher scores in the composition section.

F. Preparation for Secondary Education: Beyond the PSLE, an enriched vocabulary is invaluable. As students transition to secondary education, their linguistic capabilities will be further challenged. Building a strong vocabulary foundation now prepares them for future academic endeavors.

The vocabulary list related to “A Thoughtful Act” is not just a mere compilation of words. It’s a strategic toolkit, empowering students to unlock their full potential in the PSLE English examination. By integrating these words into their compositions, students not only elevate their writing but also develop a lifelong appreciation for the richness of the English language.

Worklist for PSLE English Students

Given the theme “A Thoughtful Act” and the vocabulary enrichment for PSLE English tuition preparation, a strategic worklist for parents can play an instrumental role in ensuring their child’s holistic development. Let’s leverage the potential to craft the most efficient workflow:

WeekActivityDescription/KeywordsExpected Outcome
1Vocabulary IntroductionIntroduce 5 words from the vocabulary list. Use flashcards, visuals, and simple sentences.Child recognizes and understands the meaning of new words.
2Contextual Vocabulary UsageEncourage the child to craft sentences using the newly learned words. Discuss real-life applications.Child can use the words in proper contexts and constructs meaningful sentences.
3Idioms & Phrasal Verbs IntroductionIntroduce 2-3 idioms and phrasal verbs from the list. Use stories or scenarios to explain their meanings.Child grasps the essence of the idioms and phrasal verbs and understands their contextual relevance.
4Thematic ReadingRead a short story or article related to “A Thoughtful Act”. Discuss the plot, characters, and moral of the story.Enhances comprehension skills and contextual understanding of the theme.
5Vocabulary ReinforcementRevisit the introduced words. Engage in word games, quizzes, or crossword puzzles related to them.Reinforces memory and recall of vocabulary words.
6Drafting a CompositionAsk the child to draft a short composition using the theme. Offer a prompt to initiate thought.Child starts structuring thoughts and ideas, and practices narrative construction.
7Composition Review & FeedbackTogether, review the composition. Focus on vocabulary usage, idioms, and the overall flow of the narrative.Offers constructive feedback. Improves the child’s self-editing skills and boosts confidence.
8Real-life Application of “A Thoughtful Act”Engage in a charitable or compassionate activity. Reflect on the experience.Integrates theory into practice. Enhances empathy and understanding of the theme.
9Group Discussions (Virtual/Physical)Connect with peers. Discuss various interpretations of “A Thoughtful Act”. Share experiences and stories.Encourages peer learning. Expands perspective on the theme.
10Final Composition WritingWith all the knowledge and practice, the child drafts a final composition on the theme.Observing the improvement in narrative construction, vocabulary usage, and thematic understanding.

Note for Parents: This workflow is designed for progressive learning, ensuring that each week builds upon the previous one. Regular feedback, real-world applications, and continuous engagement are key. Adapt and customize the plan based on your child’s pace and preferences. The aim is not just to excel in the examination but also to internalize the value of “A Thoughtful Act” in life.

A Parent’s Insight: Navigating “A Thoughtful Act” in PSLE English Preparation

By Lily Chen, a devoted parent who experienced the educational journey firsthand

Navigating the intricate corridors of the PSLE English preparation for my child felt akin to embarking on an adventure. When introduced to the theme “A Thoughtful Act”, I recognized its potential in not only enhancing linguistic skills but also in instilling essential life values. In the hopes that my journey might illuminate the path for others, I wish to share my experiences, the strategies we adopted, the delightful successes, and the inevitable challenges.

1. The Commencement: Understanding the Theme

When first confronted with the theme, I admit to feeling slightly overwhelmed. The broad nature of “A Thoughtful Act” can be both a boon and a bane. While it offers creative freedom, it also demands precision in understanding and expression.

Advice: Dive deep into conversations with your child about kindness, empathy, and everyday acts of goodness. It will not only clarify the theme but also instill these values.

2. Vocabulary Enrichment: The Heart of Expression

The curated vocabulary list was our treasure trove. Words like “altruistic” and “magnanimous” seemed daunting at first. However, flashcards, visuals, and daily application made them a part of our everyday conversations.

What Worked: We developed a routine. Every evening, we would discuss the events of the day, intentionally incorporating the new words we learned. This practical application proved invaluable.

3. Embracing Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Stories! That’s the secret. To understand phrases like “heart of gold” or “go the extra mile”, I narrated tales where characters embodied these qualities.

Advice: Make it interactive. I often paused and asked my child to predict outcomes, pushing him to think and relate.

4. Composition Crafting: Practice Makes Perfect

Drafting compositions became our bi-weekly ritual. Starting with rough ideas and evolving them into structured narratives was a joy to witness.

What Worked: Peer reviews. Inviting his friends over for group discussions expanded perspectives and fostered a collaborative learning environment.

5. Real-world Integration: Living “A Thoughtful Act”

We didn’t restrict our learning to books. Visits to charity homes, participation in community service, and random acts of kindness turned theoretical knowledge into lived experiences.

Advice: Encourage reflection. Post every activity; we sat down to discuss feelings, learnings, and ways to articulate those experiences in words.

6. The Challenges: Every Rose Has Its Thorns

While the journey was immensely rewarding, it wasn’t devoid of challenges. The vastness of the theme occasionally led to narrative digressions. Additionally, in the enthusiasm to use rich vocabulary, the essence of simplicity was sometimes lost.

What I Learned: Balance is key. It’s essential to strike a balance between sophisticated vocabulary and the natural flow of thought. Also, it’s okay to accept that not every method will work. Flexibility in approach can make a world of difference.

The PSLE English preparation, centered around “A Thoughtful Act”, was more than just an academic endeavor. It was a life lesson, a bonding experience, and a journey of growth for both my child and me. To every parent embarking on this voyage, I’d say: Cherish the moments, embrace the learnings, and remember – every effort you put in now will shape your child’s future in ways more profound than you can imagine.

Preparing 12-Year-Olds for a Theoretical Future: The Impact of Primary English Tuition in an Ever-Evolving World

The future is an enigma. Rapid advancements in technology, changing socio-political landscapes, and unpredictable global events make it challenging to envision precisely what the next decades will bring. However, for today’s 12-year-olds sitting for the English examinations, the foundation laid during their formative years will play a pivotal role in navigating this uncertain future. In this analytical piece, we will explore the potential trajectories of these students’ futures and how Primary English Tuition, especially an enriched vocabulary, prepares them for the world ahead.

1. The Changing Landscape of Education

A. PSLE MOE SEAB Alignments: As the educational policies of Singapore evolve, there’s a noticeable shift towards holistic development, critical thinking, and adaptability. The PSLE, under the guidance of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), is likely to further adapt to prioritize these skills.

B. Lifelong Learning Paradigm: The future will herald an era of continuous learning. Traditional educational boundaries will blur, with students expected to be perpetual learners, adapting to new skills and knowledge throughout their lives.

2. The Theoretical Future: Gazing into the Crystal Ball

A. Integration of Technology: Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, and Virtual Reality might become standard tools of learning. As English is the lingua franca of many technological domains, a profound understanding will be crucial for deciphering complex concepts.

B. Global Interconnectedness: With the world becoming a global village, cross-cultural communication will be the norm. English, as a global language, will be indispensable for forging connections.

C. Diverse Career Trajectories: Traditional job roles might be replaced by more dynamic, multifaceted professions, many of which might hinge on excellent communication skills.

3. The Role of Primary English Tuition

A. Building a Robust Foundation: By emphasizing vocabulary enrichment, such as the list centered around “A Thoughtful Act”, tuition equips students with the tools to express complex ideas succinctly and persuasively.

B. Developing Critical Thinking: Words aren’t just words. Each vocabulary term represents a concept, an idea, or a sentiment. Understanding nuances between similar terms like ‘compassionate’ and ’empathetic’ lays the groundwork for analytical thinking.

C. Cultivating Adaptability: A rich vocabulary allows students to approach unfamiliar scenarios with confidence. Whether it’s understanding a new piece of technology or interpreting a global event, words provide the framework for comprehension.

4. Vocabulary: The Bridge to the Future

Learning words associated with “A Thoughtful Act” benefits students in multiple ways:

A. Empathy in a Digital Age: As virtual interactions potentially become dominant, understanding and conveying human emotions (like altruism, compassion, gratitude) will be vital for maintaining genuine human connections.

B. Navigating Ethical Dilemmas: Words related to kindness, sacrifice, and nobility will aid students in grappling with the moral and ethical quandaries of a technologically-driven future.

C. Universal Applicability: Regardless of how much the world changes, the essence of these words will remain relevant, be it in personal relationships, professional settings, or global diplomacy.

While the future remains a tantalizing mystery, the values and skills instilled at the age of 12 through Primary English Tuition will undoubtedly serve as a beacon. The rich tapestry of vocabulary, more than mere words, will guide them through uncharted terrains, helping them shape, adapt to, and thrive in a future we can only theorize about today.

Decoding the Vocabulary Conundrum: The Pros and Cons of Advanced Vocabulary in PSLE English Examinations

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a milestone in a Singaporean child’s academic journey. But how advanced should one’s vocabulary be when it comes to English compositions? Let’s delve into the intricacies of using sophisticated vocabulary for a 12-year-old sitting for the PSLE English examination.

The Upside: Advantages of Using Advanced Vocabulary

  1. Demonstrates Proficiency: Using an advanced vocabulary showcases a student’s grasp over the language, indicating their proficiency and setting them apart from peers.
  2. Enhances Expressiveness: Words are tools for expression. A richer vocabulary allows a student to articulate thoughts, feelings, and narratives with greater precision and flair.
  3. Elevates Composition Quality: Advanced vocabulary can uplift the quality of a composition, making it more engaging and insightful.
  4. Boosts Confidence: Knowing and correctly using sophisticated words can be a confidence booster for students, preparing them for more advanced levels of education and communication in the future.

The Downside: Pitfalls of Misusing Advanced Vocabulary

  1. Marks Deduction for Incorrect Usage: Using a word incorrectly can be worse than not using it at all. Misuse can lead to deduction of marks, especially if it alters the meaning or coherence of a sentence.
  2. Risk of Verbose Narratives: Over-reliance on advanced vocabulary can make compositions verbose. This not only affects the word limit but also makes the writing cumbersome and less engaging.
  3. Compromised Clarity: While a sophisticated word might sound impressive, it’s of no use if it doesn’t fit the context. Misplaced vocabulary can muddle the narrative, confusing readers and examiners.
  4. Potential Overemphasis on Vocabulary Over Content: There’s a risk of students focusing too much on showcasing vocabulary at the expense of plot development, character portrayal, or thematic depth.

Striking the Right Balance

The key lies in balance and appropriateness. For a 12-year-old, it’s crucial to understand that while advanced vocabulary can be a powerful tool, the primary objective remains effective communication. The composition should tell a compelling story or convey a clear message. Vocabulary should aid this process, not overshadow it.

Tips for Students:

  • Understand Before Using: Always ensure you understand the word – its meaning, nuances, and correct grammatical usage – before incorporating it into your composition.
  • Practice in Context: Regularly practice using new words in sentences and mini-essays to get comfortable with them.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly get your compositions reviewed by teachers, parents, or peers. Feedback can help identify areas of misuse or overuse.

Training Programmes to Enhance Vocabulary Usage and Composition Skills for Students

Given the outlined student tips, a series of training programmes can be tailored to help students hone their vocabulary and composition skills effectively. Here’s a curated list of programmes:

  1. Vocabulary Bootcamp
    • Description: A focused, intensive course designed to expand students’ vocabulary.
    • Activities:
      • Word of the day drills.
      • Vocabulary quizzes and games.
      • Exploring synonyms, antonyms, and usage in different contexts.
    • Outcome: A broader vocabulary with deeper understanding of each word’s meaning, nuances, and correct usage.
  2. Contextual Comprehension Workshops
    • Description: Workshops aimed at ensuring students not only know the words but can also use them aptly in various contexts.
    • Activities:
      • Sentence formation exercises.
      • Role-playing sessions.
      • Reading passages and identifying appropriate vocabulary replacements.
    • Outcome: Proficiency in using vocabulary in context, ensuring words fit naturally and meaningfully into sentences.
  3. Mini-Essay Marathons
    • Description: Regular sessions focused on writing short essays or paragraphs, emphasizing the integration of new vocabulary.
    • Activities:
      • Timed essay prompts.
      • Group brainstorming sessions.
      • Vocabulary challenge: Incorporating a list of words into a cohesive narrative.
    • Outcome: Enhanced comfort and skill in weaving new vocabulary into longer pieces of writing.
  4. Peer Review Circles
    • Description: An interactive, group-based session where students review each other’s work.
    • Activities:
      • Pairing or grouping students for feedback sessions.
      • Structured review templates highlighting vocabulary usage, content, and coherence.
      • Open-floor discussions on common mistakes and best practices.
    • Outcome: Insights into common vocabulary pitfalls and improved self-editing skills through constructive criticism.
  5. Feedback Forum with Educators
    • Description: Sessions where educators provide individualized feedback on students’ compositions.
    • Activities:
      • One-on-one review sessions.
      • Group discussions on prevalent vocabulary and composition challenges.
      • Guidance on improving specific areasof writing.
    • Outcome: Personalized feedback helping students identify and rectify their areas of weakness.
  6. Parent-Child Collaborative Workshops
    • Description: Workshops promoting collaborative learning between students and their parents.
    • Activities:
      • Joint vocabulary games and quizzes.
      • Collaborative story-building exercises using target vocabulary.
      • Group discussions and feedback sessions.
    • Outcome: Enhancing the learning experience through parental involvement and fostering a supportive learning environment at home.
  7. Digital Vocabulary Platforms
    • Description: Leveraging technology, this programme introduces students to digital tools and apps that enhance vocabulary learning.
    • Activities:
      • Interactive vocabulary quizzes.
      • Digital flashcards with audio-visual cues.
      • Online community forums for discussions and feedback.
    • Outcome: Familiarity with digital tools that facilitate continuous vocabulary enrichment and provide platforms for feedback.

Incorporating such training programmes can offer students a structured and interactive approach to mastering vocabulary and its application in compositions. By integrating feedback loops within these programmes, students can consistently refine their skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for any linguistic challenges ahead.

FAQs: Enhancing PSLE English Vocabulary Skills

Q1. Why is vocabulary important for the PSLE English examination?

A1. Vocabulary is a crucial component of the PSLE English examination as it demonstrates a student’s grasp over the language. A strong vocabulary not only showcases proficiency but also allows students to articulate their ideas more clearly and compellingly in the composition and comprehension sections.

Q2. How can advanced vocabulary benefit my child during the PSLE?

A2. Advanced vocabulary can set a student apart from their peers by elevating the quality of their compositions. When used correctly, sophisticated words can enhance expressiveness, making narratives more engaging and insightful.

Q3. Are there risks to using very advanced vocabulary in the PSLE English examination?

A3. Yes, while advanced vocabulary can be advantageous, there are potential pitfalls. Misusing words can lead to marks deduction. Over-reliance on sophisticated words might make compositions verbose or compromise clarity. It’s essential to strike a balance between using advanced vocabulary and maintaining clear, effective communication.

Q4. How can the ‘Practice in Context’ method help in PSLE English vocabulary preparation?

A4. The ‘Practice in Context’ method ensures students not only memorize words but also understand their appropriate usage in sentences. By regularly incorporating new vocabulary into sentences and mini-essays, students become more comfortable and proficient in using them during the examination.

Q5. How important is feedback in improving vocabulary skills for PSLE English?

A5. Feedback is pivotal. Regular reviews from teachers, parents, or peers provide insights into areas of misuse or overuse. Constructive criticism can help students identify their weak points, refine their vocabulary usage, and enhance overall composition quality.

Q6. Can digital platforms aid in PSLE English vocabulary preparation?

A6. Absolutely! Digital platforms offer interactive quizzes, flashcards, and community forums that make vocabulary learning engaging and effective. These tools provide continuous opportunities for enrichment and can be especially beneficial in the lead-up to the PSLE English examination.

Q7. How can parents support their children in enhancing vocabulary for the PSLE English examination?

A7. Parents can engage in regular discussions, introducing and explaining new words in everyday contexts. Playing word games, reading together, and participating in parent-child collaborative workshops can also be highly beneficial.

Q8. Are idioms and phrasal verbs essential for PSLE English vocabulary preparation?

A8. Yes, idioms and phrasal verbs are integral to the English language and can add depth and flavor to compositions. Familiarity with these can help students express ideas more vividly, potentially earning them higher marks in the examination.


While advanced vocabulary has its place, it should be the garnish, not the main ingredient. Students should be encouraged to focus on the heart of their narrative, using vocabulary as a tool to enhance, not dominate, their stories. Proper guidance, regular practice, and a focus on genuine expression will ensure that students make the most of vocabulary without falling into potential pitfalls.

In the PSLE English examination, vocabulary proficiency plays a pivotal role in determining a student’s linguistic grasp and expressiveness. While advanced vocabulary can be a powerful tool in elevating composition quality, there are inherent risks, such as misusing verbose narratives and compromised clarity.

Through training programmes like Vocabulary Bootcamp and Contextual Comprehension Workshops, students can expand their word bank and practice using new terms in context. Feedback, both from educators and peer review circles, is essential in pinpointing areas of vocabulary misuse or overuse. The integration of digital platforms also offers interactive avenues for vocabulary enhancement.

Parents, too, have a significant role in supporting their child’s PSLE English preparation, emphasising the importance of understanding words before use and encouraging consistent practice. The article underscores the balance needed in deploying advanced vocabulary, emphasising that while it can set students apart, the primary objective remains clear: effective communication.

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