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In the second part of my “how to improve Chinese oral” series, I’m going to share 5 helpful tips to help you improve your Chinese speaking skills for your oral exam.

Many Primary 6 students in Singapore find the video oral component in their PSLE oral exam more challenging than the passage reading component.

I agree too.

If the purpose of the oral exam is to test your proficiency in conversational Chinese, then this is the part is the most telling. No wonder it has a higher PSLE Chinese oral weightage in the national examination.

Ready to sound like a pro Chinese speaker?

Top 5 tips to improve your Chinese speaking

1. Identify the main theme in the oral video, followed by the details

All e-oral videos that you see in your Chinese oral exam will revolve around a theme. Hence, it’s going to be extremely helpful if you can identify what that theme is as you are watching it.

As you are watching, look out for any details in the video (for example, the location, time, characters, actions etc) too.

Once you have a good overview of the theme, it’ll be easier to brainstorm the relevant vocabulary to speak about it.

2. Recycle good Chinese composition phrases for Chinese oral

Who says that the good phrases that you’ve learnt for your Chinese compositions can only be used for compo writing?

To fully utilise what you’ve learnt in your Chinese class, reuse the good Chinese compo words and phrases for your Chinese oral conversations. It’s called killing two birds with one stone.

Using these good phrases during your e-oral videos will not only make you sound more interesting, but also enhance your examiners’ impression of your Chinese speaking skills.

3. Imagine your examiners as friends or watermelons

Having a conversation with your examiners doesn’t have to be stressful.

Imagine yourself talking to your friends rather than taking an exam. This helps you feel more relaxed and speak more naturally in conversations.

If you get nervous easily, try looking at your examiners’ forehead instead of looking at them in the eyes. You can also imagine yourself talking to watermelons (just be careful not to burst out laughing halfway).

4. Don’t be afraid to ask the oral examiner to repeat the question when in doubt

When you are nervous, you tend to hear extra things or mishear things.

If you didn’t catch the questions your examiners are asking the first time, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat. You won’t get penalised for it anyway.

Understanding what is being ask helps you answer it better instead of responding wrongly because of your assumption.

5. Take your time to speak when answering the oral questions

Most examiners do not expect you to give an immediate response when a question is being asked. No marks will be deducted if you take your time to pause and organize your thoughts before answering.

Hence, take your time to think and speak during your oral, This will make you appear more confident and you have more time to think about your choice of words and bring your points across more clearly.

How confident are you about your Chinese oral speaking skill?

Now that you’ve learnt all these tips for your Chinese oral exam, don’t forget to u practise them regularly to improve your chinese speaking skills. Let me know how your conversations went.

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