Have you started revising for your SA2 Oral component? The Oral component is divided into Reading & Stimulus-based Conversation (SBC). The reading part of this component is worth 6 marks while the stimulus-based conversation is worth 10 marks. The TREES approach is a great way for students to manage the SBC portion of this component. I have tweaked the approach slightly to help our younger students understand how to use it for their Oral examination. Below is a SBC on a common Oral theme – pets. We will use this as an example on how students can use the TREES approach to answer the questions.

Illustration for the English Oral model on Pet Shop

English Oral model Pet Shop - Primary 4 illustration


When the examiner asks a question, the student needs to give his or her thought based on the question asked. The first question is usually related to the poster. For example, the above poster is based on the theme of Pets so, the first question would be – Which animal would you choose for a pet and why?

The student then gives her or his thought – I would choose the...

Below are other ways that students can phrase their thoughts :

Yes, I would attend this…

No, I would not attend this..

I would choose this…


Students are expected to give reasons for their answers (thought). I usually recommend that students give at least 2 reasons for their choice. For example, if there are a few pictures to choose from, students can talk about why they made their choice and why they would not choose the others (elimination).


Students should elaborate on the reasons given. I encourage my students to not only give one line answers. During class and individual practices, they are expected to elaborate on every reason given.

Below are ways students can phrase their reasons and elaborate on them:

I would attend this because….

I would choose this because….

I would not choose this because…

(Personal) Experience

Giving a personal experience based on the question asked is a good way for students to add more to the conversation. They should talk about a similar experience, a family member, a friend whom they know as part of their personal experience. It is important to note that their experience should be based on the theme and the question that the teacher has asked them.

Below are ways to phrase their personal experience

Last year, I went to…

My parents gave me my hamster when I was in Primary 2

My cousin owns a …

Suggestions/ Opinions/ Conclusion

To end off the conversation, the student should offer a suggestion, give an opinion or simply conclude the question asked. My P4 students are all encouraged to end with an opinion or suggestion. If a student is nervous and can’t think of any suggestion or opinion, then a simple conclusion to the question will suffice.

Below are ways to offer a suggestion, give an opinion or conclude

I suggest that all children

In my opinion, being a responsible pet owner is important

In conclusion, I would

Now that we know what the TREES approach is all about, read on to see how we use it to answer the questions based on the SBC on Pets.

Question 1: Which animal would you pick for a pet and why?


I would pick the puppy!

Reason 1 & Elaboration:

I am an animal lover and if I could pick all the animals, I certainly would. Unfortunately, my mother doesn’t allow me to have any pets yet as I am too young. She said that I can have a pet when I am older and have become more responsible. I especially love dogs. I think that they are great animals to play with. They are also very loyal and loving. I have read many books about dogs and I especially loved the movie A dog’s life. My dream is to own a dog of my own one day.

Reason 2 & Elaboration:

I would not pick the rabbit and the terrapin as both these animals tend to be quiet and are not very playful animals. While I really like cats as well, my younger sister is allergic to the fur of cats so having a cat at home is out of the question. She will start sneezing uncontrollably whenever she is near a cat!

Personal Experience: 

My cousin has a golden retriever called Pepper and twice a month we go over to their house for dinner. I love playing fetch with Pepper. She’ll jump on me when she sees me and we will roll on the floor together. After dinner, my cousin will allow me to take Pepper for a walk around the estate. My father will come along with us as Pepper is a big dog and I may need help to control her when we are out for a walk. It is a big responsibility to own a dog but I would still like to own one and will sacrifice my time to take care of it.


Both my parents work and my sister is always staying back in school for her CCA. I think having a pet like a dog can make me feel less lonely at home. So even though the puppy is the most expensive animal at the pet shop, I would still buy it.

Question 2: Would you attend the free workshop?


Yes, I would attend it.

Reason 1 & Elaboration:

I think it is important to know how to care for our pets. We should know the right diet to feed our pet and how to care for it well. Different animals require different nutrition and we should not feed our pets food that they are not supposed to eat. We should also learn how to keep our pets clean and comfortable and I think that I can learn a lot from this workshop.

Reason 2 & Elaboration:

This workshop is also free which is great. Buying and keeping a pet is expensive so attending a free workshop after the purchase can be useful to the new pet owner. Workshops are usually expensive so I would definitely not miss the opportunity to attend this workshop.

Personal Example:

My cousin takes her dog for a walk twice a day. It is a lot of work but she says that it is important that her dog goes out of the house daily. She told me that it is also important to know the right way to care for pets. Pets are not humans and so they should not eat the same food as us. If we keep feeding them the wrong types of food they can fall ill and die.


I want my dog to be happy and healthy so I will attend the workshop. I also think that it is very responsible of the pet shop to hold a workshop so that new pet owners can be educated on how they can be good pet owners

Question 3: What makes a good pet owner?


I think a pet owner must be willing to sacrifice their time to take care of a pet. They should also be patient and loving towards their pet and not scold them or abuse them.

Personal Example:

When my sister and I told our mother that we wanted a dog, she asked us to think carefully and write down how we were going to care for the dog and how many hours a day we were willing to give up to be good pet owners. My sister and I decided that we would take turns to walk our dog when we get home from school. If I have an activity in school, she will do the job. We will feed our dog and groom it at home. If the dog food finishes, we will remind our parents to go to the pet store. Most importantly, no matter how busy I will be in the future, I will always play with my dog and pat it and tell it how much I love it.I think that many people buy or adopt animals without realising what a great responsibility being a pet owner is! I hope that I will be a good pet owner one day.

Don’t Miss Any Future Post!

2024 P4 English Tuition Timetable

Bukit TimahWED3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahTUE (Starting Term 3)3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahSAT9 am to 11 am
HougangTUE3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
HougangSAT3.30 pm to 5.30 pm

Get in touch with us at 8879 7370