O-Level English

PSLE marks the graduation of Primary school students and their entry into Secondary schools as teenagers. Discuss all issues about Secondary schooling here.
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rylee
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Re: How to score A in English for GCE O Level

Post by rylee » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:41 pm

eo1668 wrote:My son usualy score B3 for English, any tips on how to score A in English for GCE O Level? All advice appreciated.


Hi eco1668, my son do have problem in English as well. His usual score is B3/B4. His other subjects are in the A1/A2 range. don't know how to help him beside putting him on English tuition? Regards.

try
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Re: Improving O levels English to A1

Post by try » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:24 pm

Have your children asked the school teacher? Can the school teacher give some one-to-one help?

Quill
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Re: Improving O levels English to A1

Post by Quill » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:52 pm

Hi, I'm a student who has just graduated from secondary school. I've always loved English. I feel that English is a living subject, it's not something that one can score well at through rote memorisation.
English exams consist of:
Writing: situational letter, free writing
Compre
Summary

I have to admit that compre and summary is quite tough. The only way is to start early by doing TYS and finding a GOOD teacher for consultations. There are a few different but standard types of compre questions. It'd be good to note how the question starts (5W1H) and whether or not there is a degree needed. It's good to brush up on vocabulary for the 5 marks at the end of the compre paper, as well as the 1mark 'Find another word in the passage that has the same meaning as X'. Also, the 2marks 'Answer using your own words' question will occasionally require students to replace words. With hard work, it's possible to score for compre! Same concept for summary. Read the question carefully, and when you highlight points, keep in mind whether the point answers the question directly. And rephrase occasionally! Most schools have different methods of their own for summary, so do take this advice with a pinch of salt.

As for situational writing, it's recommended (by my teachers) to score well for it as there is a higher chance of scoring well for situational writing rather than for free writing (paper 2).

In paper 2, there are usually 4/5 topics (I forgot, sorry). You can write discursive, expositional, descriptive, narrative etc on the topic of your choice. It depends on what you're good at. Some of my friends who preferred writing discursive and expositional essays would read Newsweek, Times etc. I think that to excel in discursive essays one should be able to support strong points with evidence, which is where the extra reading comes in handy.

Oh and read. Read story books, novels, etc. When reading, you'll eventually absorb a few good phrases and words. :) It's good to master grammar as well so you won't be penalised for grammar errors in compre/summary/essays.

Interest helps as well.

I scored an A1 for English in the recent o levels, but I don't claim to be very good at English. These are just my personal experiences while studying English in secondary school.

zhenx
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Re: Improving O levels English B4 to A1

Post by zhenx » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:25 pm

twilight wrote:Thanks everyone. :)

Another thing I find highly beneficial is to read examiners' report. Some teachers will flash it to their students (students are not allowed to retain a copy of it as it's supposed to be confidential) but others might not.
http://younisfarid.wordpress.com/
This site does have a lot of examiners' report. However, it is for the UK O levels. Though it's different, I highly believe examiners marking the UK paper and Singapore paper are either the same ones, or they have gone through similar training (speculation from similarities spotted in both Singapore and UK O levels examiners' report). Whatever that's pointed out there pertains to our local O levels as well.


Thanks twilight. I think this is a very unique & valuable piece of information.

TheLanguageLeague
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O-Level English

Post by TheLanguageLeague » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:51 am

Hi Parents,

The majority of you perhaps aren't aware that 2012 will be the last year of the EL syllabus 1127. From 2013, the English O level papers are going to be a little more challenging with Syllabus 1128.

We'd be glad to take any questions you may have about the different papers and components.

Regards
The team at The Language League


rubydoll
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Re: New Sec English Syllabus 1128- We'll answer your questio

Post by rubydoll » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:00 pm

HI
Please let us know what are the changes? What do you mean by challenging?
Is that going to be a change in marking scheme or in the syllabus or mark allocation.

TheLanguageLeague
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Re: New Sec English Syllabus 1128- We'll answer your questio

Post by TheLanguageLeague » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:49 pm

It is a totally revamped syllabus with changes in the exam format for every paper.
There is a new paper-the listening comprehension paper which is Paper 3. Paper 4 is the Oral component but it no longer has the picture and conversation as different sections. Instead, a visual stimulus will be given as a springboard for the conversation.

Paper 1 and 2 will have additional components of editing and a visual stimulus. The visual stimulus tests students' ability to read between the lines in advertisements and also tests inferential and language skills. Many of the questions are literary in nature too.

The compo paper will have 2 passages, but one will asks questions that focus on language and literary understanding. This is where teachers with a Lit and EL degree will be able to coach their students best.

In the secondary schools, even the EL teachers are not all trained in Lit and many of them are only just starting to train the Sec 3s for their O levels in 2013. MOE has started with their in-school workshops to get the teachers prepared for this massive revamp in teaching and marking.

So when you pick a tutor/teachers in a learning centre, our advice is, pick one who is an English graduate, preferably with Literature as well. And someone who is well-versed with the new marking descriptors that Secondary School teachers have. It's a totally different ball game now. Diploma holders won't suffice. In-depth knowledge of the English Language as well as the technicalities of grammar rules are vital to teaching this new syllabus.

As for your kids, get them NOT just to read the newpapers. Get them to read novels. It will help with the 1st passage in the comprehension paper. Those who offer literature at Upper Sec level will have a slight advantage though.

Hope this answers your questions.

autumnbronze
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Re: New Sec English Syllabus 1128- We'll answer your questio

Post by autumnbronze » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:07 pm

Kekekekeke ....

So it has been made official then .....

To think that I was setting literary based questions in my comprehension exam papers some years back when I teaching .... :smile:

Is the new EL syllabus up on the MOE website??

What about the marking scheme??

rubydoll
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Re: New Sec English Syllabus 1128- We'll answer your questio

Post by rubydoll » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:33 pm

Thank you Language league. Any novels to recommend for secondary levels.

TheLanguageLeague
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Re: New Sec English Syllabus 1128- We'll answer your questio

Post by TheLanguageLeague » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:38 pm

No problem :)

We normally recommend that our students without any literary background start with local writers. There are some good ones out there. Try Island Voices or Telltale:11 Stories. These are anthologies of local writers that are being used for the O levels. These stories make literature a little more appetising for students who aren't offering Literature but who want to read a little wider. As I said, the newspapers are not going to be adequate for the new syllabus.

Marking schemes won't be made available to everyone. Unless you know an EL teacher, or your tutor is a current or ex-teacher (who recently left), you probably won't be able to get your hands on such precious commodity :)

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