Bilingual Speaking – Oral Exam Preparations

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As Monkey Boy returns back to school for a new term it’s time to ramp up and accelerate my academic coaching with him.  This semester we will be adding Oral practice to our  to-do-list.

It can be rather daunting for a little kid to be tested on speaking in front of an adult on a given topic and carry out a conversation without much preparation. Therefore to make him more at ease in his speech, I will be doing quite a bit of scenario practice in both English and Chinese.

The best way for a child to describe and talk about a situation is for him to experience it first hand. Through personal experience the impact on him would be more long lasting and easier to relate to for Monkey Boy.

I use the same material/scene for both English and Chinese oral. Eg: After an outing to the supermarket I get Monkey Boy to  talk about his experience to the supermarket. I initially started of with him talking in English as it’s his more dominant language as compared to Mandarin (Chinese). However now I’m getting Monkey Boy to start off in Chinese then repeat back to me once again in English.

My aim is to get him speaking more fluently in Chinese and be able to use grammatically correct sentences and not direct translated sentences from English to Chinese.  As sentence formation in Chinese differs from those made in English. If Monkey boy directly translated from English they would be horrendous as he will be using the wrong sentence structure and the flow of his ideas/thoughts would be disjointed. He has to get use to forming simple sentences before he is able to use more complex ones.

By being able to speak well in oral will relate to being able to write better at composition as one already has  mastery of formation of sentences. It will also help Monkey boy in expressing himself more clearly.

I bought for him  this book and some other similar books for him to practice.  My aim is to let him get use to the intonation and speeds of various speakers. I also got a similar one in English for him.

My next aim would be for him to be able to relate accounts/experiences in Cantonese as he too has to be able to speak our dialect to communicate well with the older relatives and his other cousins.

How do you prepare your child for their Oral Assessment?