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PSLE English 2015

Changes To PSLE English Language – Implications and Perspective

The MOE announced recently changes to the assessment components in PSLE English as part of the overall review of the English curriculum and language instructional processes in schools. The changes are 1 year away to give schools, students and teachers ample time to gradually prepare and implement the new assessment modes in class.
The changes are not critically major and should be viewed as a refinement of learning outcomes and enhancing language teaching and testing in schools.

What It Means

One must remember that PSLE is a summative assessment of learning taken place over a total period of 6 years, so the acquiring of language competencies begin quite early in a student’s learning experience and not just a few months before. To be prepared and confident for PSLE, a student’s capacity and competence must be developed through a range of reading, oral, writing, thinking experiences and be equipped with the skills to use language as tools for various forms of expression of thoughts.

A good grounding in vocabulary and grammar is essential but a student’s performance will be just limited to the structures and forms of language rules. The student will not be able to perform at a higher level if he/she is not able to through language, generate ideas, interpret contextual clues, understand information relationships, identify causes and consequences and reframe facts through articulation and writing logically. And that is what PSLE aims to determine with the current and future changes in English assessment.

The Changes in 2015

Continuous Writing – instead of two questions with fixed scenarios for candidates to choose from to write a narrative, one topic is offered which can be approached from any one of several perspectives. To help candidates think about the different perspectives of the topic, visuals will be provided.

Comprehension – a new Visual Text Comprehension in Paper 2 in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQs). One such example would be questions based on a poster.
In Comprehension Open-ended section in Paper 2, the types of questions will now be varied and could include, for example, tables which candidates will fill in using information from the passage.

Oral/Conversation – will be replaced by the Stimulus-based Conversation component. Students will give their personal response to a visual stimulus that is thematically linked to the Reading Aloud passage. Students will then move on seamlessly to a discussion on a relevant topic.

Listening Comprehension
– will have more items with graphic representation compared to
the existing paper

Moving Forward

Students preparing for the changes in PSLE should not be unduly stressed or be worried. Early preparation, sustained practice and greater focus on the higher skills sets necessary for language mastery would ensure success at the end.
Competent students seek to understand the intricacies of the language and consistently reinforce learning and application in purposeful activities. I would urge students to concentrate on an English programme of sustained effort, focused practice and developing confidence in a positive learning experience. This will imbue the student with a repertoire of skills for success and construct effective mental models to tackle different levels of reading, listening, writing and speaking performance tasks however challenging at PSLE.

James Chow
English Tutor
Kent Ridge Tutors @ Jurong

For more information, please contact us via

Jurong West Branch (KRTC@JW)
Email : jurongwest@krtc.com.sg
Hotline : (+65) 6397 0444

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