This week marks the start of some of my P6 students’ SA1 Oral component. At TF, oral preparation starts from the March holidays and continues all the way to the PSLE Oral. Students are tested as a class and individually. This will allow them to practice sharing their answers with confidence in front of a group of their peers and experience a simulated oral examination in front of an examiner (me). They will also be awarded marks with comments so that they are aware of their strengths and areas to work on.

Only 3 weeks have passed since we started training for this component but I already see growing confidence in our students. To excel in the oral component you will need an understanding of the techniques, planning of common SBC questions, and just plain old practice.

One of the ways that we prepare our students is by studying and discussing the list of themes of previous years’ SA1 and Preliminary themes that were tested in schools. These lists are compiled by our own students who had also benefitted from previous years’ lists. (Thank you to all my students who have contributed to these lists over the years).

Below is the 2021 Preliminary Oral List. Here are a few tips on how to use the list.

Study the questions

Q1 is usually related to the picture given to you. Would you attend this event? Do you think that this poster will encourage students to ..? Which course would you choose?

Then take a look at the following questions. The 2nd and 3rd questions, may not be related to the picture and sometimes not even related to the theme. For example, Q3 of Nanyang Pri was about how you spend time with your friends, even though the Q1 was about choosing two different activities.

Reflect on your answers

Every school has its own technique on how to answer SBC questions. At TF, we use the TREES approach. Our students will plan out their responses by using this approach.

While in the real oral examination, students will not have time to plan out the answers, practicing the approach in this way will allow each student to reflect on how to derive their responses or reflect on the best experience to use for different themes or even specific vocabulary to use. It will give them the practice to formulate personal opinions, something that many students their age do not have an opportunity to do in real life.

Make a list of common SBC questions

Common questions such as What is your hobby? How do you spend your time? What do you like to do with your friends? can be compiled in a list. At TF, such questions are complied for our students and given to them during the March holidays but you can do so by yourself at home.

Compile your questions and think of how you can answer them.

Do some research

If themes such as water conservation or how to save the earth are unfamiliar to you, then do some research on them. Nowadays, just by searching online, students can find a treasure of newspaper articles on any theme. Read up on them and use the information during your oral examinations.

Oral preparation begins as early as Primary 3 at TF. Our students start working on lists of themes in the above ways from Primary 4. It is a good and easy way to work on the oral component by yourself at home.

We wish all students sitting for their SA1 Oral component in the coming weeks, the best of luck!

2021 Preliminary English Oral Themes

Pei Hwa

Picture: Poster with 4 ways to conserve water

Q1: Do you think that this poster will encourage more people to save water?

Q2: Do you think that it is important to conserve water?

Q3: What are other ways to save the earth?

Pei Hwa

Picture : Poster about giving up your seat in the MRT and winning a prize

Q1: Would you want to participate in this contest?

Q2: Do you think that this poster would encourage more students to give up their seats?

Nanyang Pri

Picture : Poster about December holiday activities (rollerblading and skateboarding)

Q1 : Which course would you choose?

Q2 : How do you spend your holidays?

Q3 : What do you like to do with your friends?

Yew Tee Pri

Picture: Poster about viewing the art works done by primary 6 pupils & a talk by Dr Leslie Tong

Q1 : Would you like to invite a friend or family member to the event?

Q2 : If you would like to do a project, what project would you do?

Q3: Would you prefer to be a group leader or a group member?

Radin Mas / ACSJ / Greenridge Pri / CHIJ Toa Payoh/ CHIJ St Nicholas

Picture : Poster about designing your own kite

Q1 : Would you participate in this activity? Why or why not?

Q2 : Do you think that it is important to show appreciation to the people around you?

Q3 : Why do you think that there is no manual on how to make a kite?

Pei Tong

Picture: A sports event

Q1 : Would you be interested to participate in this event?

Q2 : Have you ever participated in any sporting events?

Bukit Panjang Pri

Picture : A poster advertising a workshop on photography

Q1 : Would you attend this workshop?

Q2 : Tell me about a time that you acquired a new skill

Q3 : Do you think that acquiring skills is important?

Chong Fu Pri

Picture : Poster about Games Day

Q1 : Would you take part in this games day?

Q2 : What does being a responsible student mean to you?

Q3 : What do you like about your school?

Mee Toh Pri

Picture: Poster of a musical

Q1 : Would you attend this musical?

Q2 : Have you ever attended a performance on stage before?

Q3 : Do you have any talents?

Kong Hwa Pri

Picture : A timetable for the June holidays

Q1 : Do you think that this timetable is effective?

Q2 : How do you manage your time?

Q3 : How do you encourage a friend who does not do his homework?

CHIJ St Nicholas (Day 1)

Picture : A talk on hygiene

Q1 : Would you take part in this talk?

Q2 : How has Covid-19 affected your life?

Q3 : What else can your school do to prevent the spread of Covid

Check the other articles from this section

P6 English tuition 2022 timetable

BranchDayStart timeEnd time
Bukit TimahTHU - FULL5 pm7 pm
Bukit TimahSAT - FULL9 am11 am
Bukit TimahSAT - FULL11 am1 pm
Bukit TimahSAT - FULL1.30 pm3.30 pm
Hougang PelikatFRI - FULL5 pm7 pm
Updated on December 7, 2021