Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 English

Filling the apple of knowledge

Filling the apple of knowledge

English is a subject that I’m more comfortable teaching the kids.  Being an  English teacher , teaching this subject comes rather naturally to me as I’ve been doing so for more then 10 years.

Staying in a predominantly English environment the kids have ample chance to practice speaking English with our friends and family.  This makes it very easy for them to practice their spoken English on a daily basis.

The problem that Monkey boy faces  at the moment  is  him slipping into Singlish or broken English  at times when they talk. This is certainly a no-no in my book as it hampers both their spoken and written ability in this language.


English Examination Format

English Examination Format


Weightage for the different components of the English examination format has remained relatively similar for  Primary 5 as compared to Primary 4. The  main difference is the allocation of marks for the various sections.

In Primary 4 the total marks is 100 marks while in Primary 5 this has been doubled to  a 200 marks total.

New item for Oral– Stimulus Based Conversation.

This component has been newly  introduced this year to the P4 and P5 students .

The  student is assessed based on the following

– Ability to speak fluently and with grammatical accuracy, using a range of appropriate vocabulary and structure.

– The ability to express their personal opinions, ideas and experiences clearly and effectively in conversing with the examiner.

– Ability to maintain good eye contact with the examiner.

This can be quite challenging for a child if he is not able think on his feet and draw out suitable words to use based on  scenarios that he has been exposed to prior.

Focus tip : Expose your child to a variety of scenario. This could be through personal experiences or role play . This would build up his ability in story telling.


English Composition Format

English Composition Format

Since 2015 there has been a change in the way a student has to write his composition.  They are no longer focusing on the old 3 pictures and a question mark type of composition questions and one  to a  system where it is more open ended.

I’ve covered the changes to PSLE composition format in my series on – English Composition  and therefore will not be repeating it here.  If you are just looking at how continuous writing looks like now you can read this post here. 

The main focus here would be for Monkey boy to improve on his command of English and expand his  vocabulary word bank.

He would also need to write a longer essay as the minimum  word count has increased from 120 words to 150 words.

He would also need to make sure that he speeds up his speed of writing as he has to do both  Situational  Writing and Continuous writing within the given time frame of  1hr 10 min

Changes in the Paper 2

Changes in the Paper 2

One of the main difference in Paper 2 is the introduction of Visual Text Comprehension and a more comprehensive  Open Ended Comprehension section.

What is  Visual Text comprehension?

It is an assessment which tests a students ability in grasping the main ideas, key details, punctuation, textual elements and how the relate visuals to text.

The range of skills assessed include in the child while getting them to answer questions are

– skimming the passage for gist/ main ideas.

– Scanning for details

– Making inference based on the visual/contextual clues given

– Making simple generalisation based on the information given.

Even though the other components of Paper 2 are not new to Monkey boy he will need to pay special attention to answering questions in the Comprehension OE section.

Based on my teaching experience this is the section which most students struggle as they are unable to score due to their inability in giving complete answers to the questions posed.

What is assessed in Comprehension OE?

In the section the student has to be able to do the following.

– Distinguish between cause and effect.

– Compare and Contrast

– Categorise and classify given details.

– Identify fact and opinions

– Draw conclusions based on evidence given.

– Interpret and integrate information

– Identify problems- solution in a text.

More higher order thinking questions are given and been able to analyse and rationalise are key factors  to ace this section.

In the follow up post  I will be sharing the methods and resources that I use to  help Monkey boy improve in his English.


 Bridging the GAP

1) Bridging the Gap- An Introduction

2) Bridging the Gap-  Identifying the Gap in Chinese Language ( P4 to P5 )

3) Bridging the Gap- Reinforcing the Learning of Chinese

4)Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 English.

5)Bridging the Gap- Learning of English in Upper Primary

6) Bridging the Gap- Identifying the Gap between P4 and P5 Maths

7) Bridging the Gap –  Modelling and Methods  in Maths (Part 1) 

8) Bridging the Gap- Modelling and Methods in Maths ( Part 2)

9) Bridging the Gap- Upper and Lower Primary Science

10) Bridging the Gap-  Moving from Lower to Upper Primary

11) Bridging the Gap- Moving from Lower to Upper Primary ( Part 2)

3 Tips on Encouraging Reading in Reluctant Readers

© Renata Osinska /Photoxpress

© Renata Osinska /Photoxpress

Getting your child to read can be something really difficult to do. This is especially the case when he/she is not one that likes reading.

Seeing  words and more words in the book switches them off and it is a losing battle trying to get your child to cooperate and read as it is not a task which interests them.

How then can you encourage your
reluctant reader?

Here are three tips for you based on what I have personally tried out with my own kids.

  1. Use interactive books

Nowadays there are numerous books available for reading via the iPad. Many of these have interactive features like -Reading aloud with text being highlighted, puzzles and other games related to the storyline.  Elfishki and the Giant Cake and the other stories by Elfishki are 10 minutes stories which will appeal to kids who are used to seeing lots of interactivity.

If you are looking for graded readers to read along or for reading independently do check out the FarFaria Stories of graded readers where for a subscription you can get access to 100 over books and new books are added in every month.

I recommend this source for kids age 2-7 years old.

2. Audio Books

Photo courtesy  of Tales4all.com

Photo courtesy of Tales4all.com

If you are not big on interactive stories or wish to listen to stories on the go Audio books are something which you should check out. You can play the tunes in the car or iPod for your child as  he commutes to school and back or during waiting time in between activities.

Treebobs Audio books has a great series of books to stimulate the young mind.  The narrator and the audio cast use their voice to portray the different characters and their various actions in the story.

By listening to the stories the child brush up on their listening skills and learn to focus and concentrate while developing their own associations to what they are listening to. They create their own notion of what is happening in the story based on their prior knowledge and creativity.

I recommend this for kids age 7 and above.

3.Reading half chapter- half picture books

From the Super Soccer Boy Book

From the Super Soccer Boy Book

Having graphics within a book make it easier for the child to visualize how the story is like.  Younger kids relate easier to visuals then the static word. Having pictures relating to the storyline on each page breaks up the monotony of reading and helps them understand better what is happening in the story.

Another inner page

Another inner page

Super Soccer Boy and the Monster Mutants by Judy Brown is the book that I featured in the pictures above. This particular book has 12 chapters and it makes for an easy read for a 2nd grader.

Doggie boy and I read through the book together. We spend about 10 minutes each weeknight on the book . We read a chapter a day and he and I alternated between reading the different pages of the chapter.

Inner page of Dragonbreath

Inner page of Dragonbreath

Having comic strips within a chapter book also increase the interest a book for a child. Dragonbreath was another book which Doggie boy and I recently read. Initially he wasn’t interested to read the book together with me.

Another inner page of the book

Another inner page of the book

When he saw comic strips  and read how fun the conversations were between the different characters his interest in the story grow. He was even looking forward to the nightly 10 minute reading routine which we had set up recently.

I recommend this for kids 6 and up.

Disclaimer: We borrowed the books Dragonbreath and Super Soccer Boy and the Monster Mutans from the National Library for the kids to read.This post has a compensation level of 3. Please visit Dominique’s Disclosure page for more information.