IGCSE PAPER 2 DIRECTED WRITING – HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL LETTER 

Are you a student taking iGCSE this year or interested to learn how to write a formal letter? In today’s blog, we are sharing a model response for IGCSE 0500 PAPER 2 Directed Writing.  

0500 ENGLISH IGCSE PAST YEAR QUESTION PAPER 2 DIRECTED WRITING

(SUBMITTED BY STUDENT FROM HWA CHONG INTERNATIONAL) 

FORMAL LETTER WRITING TO HEADMASTER WITH SUGGESTED RESPONSE

Sample IGCSE ENGLISH 0500PAPER 2 Directed Writing Question:

Imagine you are a pupil in a school who just heard a speech by your headmaster during assembly, announcing that the school will be banning the use of Wikipedia in school. This means that students will not be able to access Wikipedia on all Personal Learning Devices (PLD). 

His main reasons are:

  1. Wikipedia is not a credible source as compared to printed books like Encyclopedia Britannica, which is a most respected reference book in the history of the world as the contents published have been checked by eminent professor
  2. Wikipedia is not a credible source as you do not know who writes the articles in Wikipedia and the writers lack credential. Additionally, the content on Wikipedia can be modified anytime and it can ‘be here today and gone tomorrow.’
  3. Students who use Wikipedia do not fact check and are not aware if the content they are reliable or not. 

Task: Imagine you are a iGCSE student from Hwa Chong International. Your task is to write a letter to your headteacher on behalf of yourself and your fellow students, protesting against the ban and arguing why it should be lifted. 

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In your letter, you should

  1. Provide the pros and cons of using Wikipedia 
  2. Explain with reference to the texts, why access to Wikipedia in school is necessary for your education
  3. Argue against the main points of your headteacher’s speech 

Begin the letter with the following template:

Dear Headteacher, 

         On behalf of all students in the school, I am writing to you to reconsider your decision to ban Wikipedia from the school’s computer network. 

APPROACH FOR WRITING DIRECTED WRITING IGCSE 0500 FORMAL LETTER RESPONSE

Subject: Request to Reconsider the Ban on Using Wikipedia in School

Dear Headteacher, 

I am writing to express my concerns regarding the recent decision to ban the use of Wikipedia as a resource in our school. While I understand your concerns about students using Wikipedia, I believe that in today’s digital age, Wikipedia offers valuable benefits that should not be overlooked.

(Topic Sentence: Link Headmaster’s first concern here and explain your point of view) Wikipedia is a vast repository of knowledge on a wide range of topics, making it an invaluable resource for students like us when we are doing research for our coursework or seek a further understanding of certain topics. This provides students with a comprehensive overview of complex topics like science. 

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Topic Sentence 2 : Link Headmaster’s second concern here and explain your point of view) Although we recognise that  Wikipedia may have been subject to skepticism in the past regarding the reliability and credibility of its content, Over time, Wikipedia has made significant efforts to enhance the accuracy and verifiability of articles on the platform. Take for instance, Wikipedia’s rigorous editorial processes, including the use of citations and references, help ensure the reliability of its content, making it comparable to traditional academic sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Instead of an outright ban, the school can harness the educational potential of Wikipedia and empower our students to become critical thinkers who are equipped to navigate intelligently when confronted with a vast sea of information available in this digital age.

Conclusion

In light of these considerations, I respectfully urge you to reconsider the ban on using Wikipedia in Hwa Chong International. Instead of banning Wikipedia, the school can consider making this a teachable moment. The school can conduct media literacy workshops for HCI students, educating us about the importance of fact checking and to examine information provided from Wikipedia with a few other sources. 

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Thank you for considering my perspective on this matter. I am available to discuss this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]
[Your Position/Grade]
[Your Contact Information]

Important Note: 

To get a better understanding of the question requirements, students need to refer to the inserts modified by the school / provided by iGCSE for this question. This suggested formal letter response was made with reference to inserts. Candidates are reminded to write about 250 to 350 words.

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How to write a complaint letter for Situational Writing (G3 English Syllabus 1184) 

In G3 English Paper 1, students are expected to learn a myriad of formats from an informal email to formats like Formal Letters, Articles, Speech and more. 

As part of formal letter writing, students may be needed to write complaint letters in a variety of scenario such as giving feedback on bad service at a restaurant or a defective product that you bought from a merchant.

Complaint Letters and Email are part of Formal Letter Writing for Situational Writing (English Syllabus 1184). Whether it’s addressing issues with products, services, or experiences, the ability of students to articulate concerns in an appropriate formal tone is essential. In this article, we will provide useful phrases that you can use for writing complaint emails or letters. 

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Useful Phrases for G3 English Situational Writing Complaint Formal Letters / Emails 

How do I conclude a complaint letter?  Useful Phrases for Conclusion

Hope these Situational Writing Tips have been useful.

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Get in touch with us for a tutor today. Our tutors are highly experienced, former MOE teachers trained in IB Language Literature, English Literature, General Paper, O’levels Secondary English and more.

Want free resources? Check out our FREE G3 Secondary One Resources and Test Papers English 1184 Syllabus 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations to all PSLE 2023 students for accomplishing a significant milestone!

Secondary School life is going to be the best four years of your child’s life as they embark on another exciting milestone, carving their own identity and developing their interest holistically. To help our P6 students navigate through this exciting new journey, here are some free resources and some candid insights to the currently revamped Secondary One English (EL Syllabus). 

What will my child learn for Secondary One English? 

Starting from next year, your child will be part of the first 2024 Secondary 1 cohort to fully experience Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB), this simply means that students will be posted through Posting Groups 1, 2 and 3 respectively instead of being streamed into Express (G3), NA (G2) and NT (G1). 

What will be tested for Secondary One English (G1, G2, G3)?

Regardless of which banding your child is in, your child will be encountering these components 

  • Essay writing
  • Situational writing
  • Comprehension
  • Editing
  • Orals
  • Summary writing

The topics covered for Secondary English will include:

  • Education and the environment
  • Global issues and social trends
  • Arts and the humanities
  • Local issues, Family and Friends

What is new for Secondary English (G1, G2, G3)?

Secondary One students will be required to take English Literature as a subject (or a component under HEM for students taking G1 Humanities) and they will be exposed to genres like poetry, prose and drama. Depending on your child’s school, they will be reading different texts from familiar titles both international like Animal Farm to the Boy in Striped Pyjamas or local like Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed which essentially is a collection of three local plays especially made for lower secondary students. This is an examinable subject which most students will take some time to adjust to but it is most certainly worth it as English Literature will help your child to sharpen their analytical skills and critical thinking skills, preparing them better for challenges in this information-overload world. 

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For students taking G1 Humanities, they will study Social Studies and Humanities Exposure Modules (HEM) in Geography, History, and Literature in English to give students the opportunity to gain exposure to the different Humanities disciplines.

What subjects will my child take if he or she took foundation courses at PSLE?

According to MOE, for students who took English, Mathematics and/or Science at Foundation level at PSLE, they still stand a chance to choose subjects that they can take at a G3 level (provided that they make the grade requirement) or they may still be able to take may choose to take these subjects at a less demanding level (i.e. G2), in consultation with their secondary schools.

How can I help my child prepare and excel at Secondary One English?

For a start, how about some free resources? You can download our selection of FREE testpapers

For English, your child will need to take 4 Papers and you can get some free resources for English below: 

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English G3 Syllabus 1184 Paper 1: Writing

Free Model Essays

English G3 Syllabus 1184 Paper 2: Comprehension

How to score in Visual Text (With a free Visual Text Practice from St Margaret’s Secondary School Prelims 2023)

English G3 Syllabus 1184 Paper 3: Listening Comprehension

Listening Comprehension at Secondary Level is a whole new ball game, click here to check out the new syllabus EL 1184 Specimen English Listening Comprehension Paper

English G3 Syllabus 1184 Paper 4: Oral Examination 

As the current EL syllabus (EL 1184) is still very new, you will notice that most assessment books in bookstores like Popular are still selling the old syllabus. Fear not, at the Learning Space, we provide you firsthand insights on the new English Syllabus, you can download some of our free resources here or check out our youtube channel for more.

Need more help?

G3 Secondary English Tuition by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore 

Get a private tutor for your child today! We have a strong team of over 100 MOE teachers both current and ex teachers. They are highly experienced and will be able to guide your child to their academic success! 

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Alternatively, you can sign up for our Secondary English Online Group Tuition every Friday 5pm to 630pm or 7pm to 830pm and Sunday from 11am to 1230pm or 2pm to 3.30pm, contact us on Whatsapp for more details. 

Click here to know the tuition rates and contact us for 1 on 1 in-person lesson/group lesson or go Online 1 to 1 lesson / online group lesson. 

 

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The Visual Text also known as Text 1 and Text 2 under the New Secondary School English Syllabus 1184 constitutes 5 marks in Paper 2 of the Secondary English Comprehension Paper. For PSLE English, Visual Text 

In view of MOE’s new EL Syllabus 2020 which targets is to develop effective and affective language use in students hence promoting critical thinking amongst our youths, this section has been revamped to one with a comparative nature.

Text 1 is a visual text type such as a poster while Text 2 is a short blurb / extract that can be anything from something akin to a Straits Times forum post or a blog entry by someone. 

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What is Visual Text Comprehension?

In this media-saturated world, our student’s sense of reality about the world is often warped through the prism of the media we consume daily. These can be in the form of visual texts which are used to convey messages and communicate ideas in a variety of ways. These texts include print media such as posters and flyers as well as non-print ones like websites and online advertisements.

Visual text comprehension refers to the ability to understand and interpret information presented in visual formats, such as images, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, and other non-verbal representations. Students need to try to make sense out of the visual elements such as the design of the artwork or photograph used in the poster in Text 1 and try to extract meaning and drawing conclusions from the visual information presented. 

How to do well for Visual Text? 

Understanding how to process and think critically about the messages that we encounter both online and offline is an important skill that students need to have in this 21st Century.  The visual text precisely test the students’ ability to process and interpret both visual and written texts. Mastering Visual Comprehension skills will also help us deepen our skills needed for scoring in the entire Paper 2. This is because the question and answer techniques are similar and can be applied across the different texts.

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Here are three tips to score for your Visual Text

  1. Know your PAC (Purpose, Audience and Context) 

Understanding the context in which the visual text is presented is crucial. It may involve considering the source (who produce the poster/advertisement?), what is the objective or purpose of producing such a poster or writing the blog? Who are the audience for the poster?  For Text 2, students must look closely at the accompanying textual information to fully comprehend the visual content.

   2. Extracting Information in relation to the question

Students must study the images or pictures carefully and read the questions closely so that students can extract relevant information from the visual text, which may involve reading numerical values, identifying the symbols or logos in the visual text drawing conclusions based on the visual cues. 

3. Be clear and precise in your answer

Very often in Visual Text, creators of the visual text may use words that are intended to have impact, also known and imparted to you by your English Teachers as “Language for impact” . This simply means the visual text uses  language in a way that captures the audience’s attention, conveys the intended meaning clearly, and leaves a lasting impression. Students must be sensitive to any metaphors, similes, and other forms of figurative language can add depth and vividness to the text. They must be able to the explain the effect fully to suit the questions requirements.

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Thank you for reading the entire article, to reward you for all that eyeballs, here’s a Free English Comprehension Sec 4 Prelims Visual Text Practice from St Margaret Secondary School with answer from our 2023 Secondary 4 English Prelims Papers based on the latest MOE Syllabus 1184. Looking for more free test papers

The Learning Space SG SMSS 2023 Prelims Visual Text with answers 

Are you looking for more help? 

English Tuition by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore 

Sign up for our Secondary English Online Group Tuition every Friday 5pm to 630pm or 7pm to 830pm and Sunday from 11am to 1230pm or 2pm to 3.30pm, contact us on Whatsapp for more details. Prepare for your O’levels English with our team of MOE/NIE-trained teachers today. You can get an experienced teacher to guide. Click here to know the tuition rates and contact us for 1 on 1 in-person lesson/group lesson or go Online 1 to 1 lesson / online group lesson. 

 

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Listening Comprehension – English Language O-Level Syllabus 1184 

 

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to O-Level Listening Comprehension for Syllabus 1184. 

Calling all Sec 3 and Sec 4 students, are you ready to elevate your O-Level English performance to new heights?

Conquer the challenges of the O-Level exams with confidence and finesse with the help of our teachers, get help now and find a tutor for yourself today. We have both online and in-person tuition sessions available.

We all know how hard it is to practise for Listening Comprehension when you don’t have the resources. To help you along with your English Comprehension, we have prepared a series of English Listening Comprehension Practice for you. 

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2023 English New Syllabus 1184 Listening Comprehension Specimen Paper Video/Audio

  1. Part 1: MCQ 1-6 Three Recordings
  2. Part 2: Questions 7 -12 Six Recordings
  3. Part 3: Questions 13-22 Joe Fenton
  4. Part 4: Question 23 Brasilia

Visit our youtube channel to find the audios and videos for 2023 O’Levels Listening Comprehension Specimen Paper.

Before you click on the video, be sure to download the specimen paper pdf. Subscribe and like our channel and videos so that we can create more quality free resources for you! 

Looking for O’levels English Syllabus 1184 Oral materials?

Check out our tips for getting distinction in Planned Response and a list of O’Levels English Oral (Syllabus 1184) questions and their suggested approaches. 

Check out our O’Levels English Syllabus 1184 oral videos too 

Need more help? Looking for English tuition in Singapore? Reach out to our team of tutors today. From online classes to 1 on 1 private tuition, you will be guided by our team of capable ex and current MOE teachers. Click here to find a tutor today. 

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2023 O’LEVELS ORAL ENGLISH 1184 DAY 8: ORAL QUESTION (TEAMWORK)

 

Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min video of a group of youngsters playing a ball sport.

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

“Do you think the activity shown in the video has any value? Why or why not?” 

Suggested Approach

Candidates need to briefly state how the video shows participants playing ball sports which involve games and activities that revolve around using a ball as a central element. Candidates can illustrate how these activities can promote physical fitness, skill development, teamwork, social interaction, and overall well-being especially during times of stress. 

Others may argue that they feel the activity lacks value because they may lack a personal interest and may not see the appeal or value in participating in the activity. Candidates may add that such  contact sports can be violent or how it lacks intellectual value due to their own experiences. 

Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on building two PEEL paragraphs and relate the video (briefly) to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have personal observations / examples. The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL 1 adjective + explain with evidence)

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Spoken Interaction (Teamwork)

  1. Are there opportunities for you to learn to work with others? 

Suggested Approach: Candidates can start their opinion clearly and briefly explaining the avenues available to them to collaborate with others. From classroom projects, CCA to outdoor camps adventures, candidates can cite how they worked together with others such as they collaborate on projects like making videos for literature project or working together to volunteer at a home doing cleaning or similar activity.  

Important Note: You should use strong expressions, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) Do you think schools should focus more on team or individual achievements? Why do you say so? 

Suggested Approach: 

State your stand clearly. 

Candidates should note that question is asking about what schools should focus on. For those in support of team achievements, candidates can cite examples of how focusing on team achievements benefit the school as a greater whole and how it builds towards values like a more supportive, caring society, nurturing students who focus more on collective good.

On the flip side, those in favour of individual achievements can argue that schools should dedicate more emphasis on individual achievements because in doing so, they recognises and values the unique strengths, talents, and efforts of each and every student. By acknowledging individual accomplishments, it will boosts students’ self-esteem and confidence. Candidates can explain how this mirrors the roles of schools and how school is a place where it  nurtures the unique talents of each student and empowers them to be their authentic selves hence individual achievements should take precedence. 

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2023 O’LEVELS ENGLISH ORAL DAY 7: (SPORTS)

Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min video of two boys playing table tennis. 

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

“Do you think training has taken the fun out of playing table tennis for the two boys? Why or why not?”

Suggested Approach

Candidates should take a clear stand and explain why they feel that training is important or it is unnecessary and kills joy. 

Some candidates can share their own experience of how they stopped playing sports because it became demanding, lamenting how the enjoyment is gone as the pressure to compete is too overwhelming.

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Others may assert that enjoyment is about the happiness derived from pursuing your potential and your passion. It’s about getting better at the sport and how training helps one to get there.  Anyone who runs marathons knows that distance running is not always pleasurable, but it can bring great joy. 

Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on building two PEEL paragraphs and relate the video (briefly) to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have your own personal observations / examples.

The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL paragraphs)

Spoken Interaction (Sports)

  1. Do you think it is beneficial to play competitive sports?

Suggested Approach:

Candidates can start with giving personal accounts or observations of peers, siblings who play sports and how it benefited them in terms of character building, fostering teamwork and more. For those who play soccer, candidates can share how they joined a competitive soccer team in their school (playing in NSG if applicable and how as training for NSG is demanding, they learn to organise time better).

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Candidates can explain how their participation in sports contributed to various positive changes in their life such as building tenacity, fostering a better sense of teamwork and learning to collaborate with others. Success in competitive sports is often determined by factors like skill, strategy, teamwork, physical fitness, and mental strength.

Candidates can point out how while the goal is to win, competitive sports also emphasise fair play, respect for opponents, and the development of valuable life skills such as discipline, perseverance, and leadership.

Other candidates who are of the opposing view can cite how factors like

  • Competitive sports can sometimes be toxic or overly aggressive competitive sports culture which may foster unhealthy rivalries and diminish the positive aspects of sportsmanship. Candidates can give example of their experiences in their CCA to substantiate)
  • Balancing intense training and competition with academic or professional commitments can be highly exhausting both mentally and physically. To commit to training hours required by competitive sports can be challenging and may adversely affect other aspects their lives.
  • Risk of Injuries: Competitive sports often involve physical contact and high-intensity activities, increasing the risk of injuries, particularly in contact sports.

Important Note: You should use strong vocabulary, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) We place too much emphasis on academic achievements compared to sporting talents. What are your views?

Suggested Approach:  

To compete in a highly competitive global landscape, a country facing scarcity in natural resources like Singapore will be more inclined to prioritize academic excellence to ensure their population are well-prepared for the challenges of the future.

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Candidates should consider the different stakeholders (individual basis, societal and governmental basis). Candidates can share how they experience first hand how academics are often prioritised over sports (e.g. emphasis on STEM).

At the same time, they can point out how they are witnessing gradual changes which are in place reinvigorate sports participation such as the announcement by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong last year that $20 million will be committed to a plan to ramp up and cater to the increasing demand for sport.

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2023 O’LEVELS ORAL ENGLISH DAY 6: ORAL QUESTION (TECHNOLOGY)

Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min video of robot singing and entertaining a child.

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

“Has your opinion of technology changed after watching the video?” Why or Why not? 

Suggested Approach

Candidates can briefly share their own or illustrate how a common opinion that most would have about technology is that it lacks authenticity. After watching the video, it seems to suggest the capabilities of robots are capable of building and genuine connections. They may point out that in this modern age with families have fewer children or how increasingly children are inundated with stress, robots can provide emotional support and can help children alleviate stress/boredom during a time of high stress such as being cooped up at home during the pandemic. 

Other candidates may posit that they still believe that virtual interactions and online experiences cannot match the depth and value of in-person interactions even after watching the video. 

Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on building two PEEL paragraphs and relate the video (briefly) to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have personal observations / examples. The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL 1 adjective + explain with evidence)

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Spoken Interaction (Technology)

  1. Can technology replace teachers? 

Suggested Approach: Candidates can start their opinion clearly and briefly explaining the context of this digital era and how with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual classrooms, and personalized learning platforms may result in some arguing that technology has the potential to replace teachers in the future. 

Candidates can share their own experiences of them being able to access information online or learn through MOOC (Khan Academy, Coursera) hence replacing the function/need of having teachers. Some may point out how youtube and other social media has provided an abundance of online resources. Those who feel that teachers cannot be replaced can cite personal examples of pastoral support they received from teachers, memories built in school, influences they felt from their teachers and how once actions of their teachers has touched their hearts, something that technology will never do. 

For well considered responses, candidates need to recognise the how certain capabilities (of teachers) can be supported by technology, however to say that it will replace would be too far fetched. 

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Important Note: You should use strong expressions, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) Technology has greatly improved teaching and learning in schools. What are your views?

Suggested Approach: 

State your stand clearly. 

Candidates should first point out what has changed with technology, some may cite technology being a facilitator or SLS/HBL which has made learning more fluid and interactive. A past and present comparison approach will be good as candidates can cite examples of how without technology, in the past, classroom learning is monotonous. Now with Kahoot! and other quiz apps, learning has been gamified.

On the flip side, technology is double edged sword which sometimes distract students, pulling them away from the learning goals or misinformation lurks and students need to know how to evaluate the reliability of a website.

Candidates need to be mindful that the question ask about ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’. On aspects of learning, candidates can point out how some apps have allowed them to break down complex content or skills into manageable chunks and how these apps using algorithms, can provide students with practice in recalling important information.

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Want to improve your grades? Get professional help now. Reach out to our team of professional and highly experienced tutors for 1 to 1 Private Tuition to help you get the distinction you deserve. Contact us today.

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 Some Stufd

2023 O’LEVELS ORAL ENGLISH DAY 5: ORAL QUESTION (EDUCATION)

Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min of students in a science lab.

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

“Would you and your friends prefer hands-on-learning as shown in the video?” Why or Why not? 

Suggested Approach

Candidates can briefly share their own experiences on how and why experiential learning is preferred with reasons like less mundane and more engaging. Most can share experiences like how hands-on experience in science labs help them to master content and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts they are learning compared to pure regurgitation of content or being confined in the walls of classrooms. Some may even share how in the scenario of classroom learning, the sound of the teacher’s voice may become a drone after an hour of class, or the words in a passage of text may blur together as eyes become tired. 

Candidates should be able to recount their own ALP experiences in school where they had the opportunity to delve into real-world projects. For instance, (Maker Workshop / Design Thinking Workshop). Some candidates can share their hands-on learning experiences in constructing science-related modules like building a solar toy car or learning coding with Microbits so as to solve a real-world challenge related to “Energy” or “Aging”. 

For well considered responses, candidates should point out while traditional methods of learning have their merits, there is something uniquely captivating and enriching about engaging in hands-on experiences that invigorate their curiosity and ignite their passion for knowledge.  

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Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on building two PEEL paragraphs and relate the video (briefly) to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have personal observations / examples. The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL 1 adjective + explain with evidence)

Spoken Interaction (Studying)

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of studying in groups? 

Suggested Approach: Candidates can start with briefly explaining the pros and cons of studying in a group such as distractions in group setting or how some members in the group can be more dependent on others / contribute less to the group.

Merits could include how group study allows students to collaborate and learn from each other. By discussing concepts and sharing ideas, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Candidates need to share their own experiences such as how they managed to benefit from group studying. For instance, candidates could have struggled with understanding science concepts and decided to form a study group with a few classmates. In their study group, each member took turns explaining specific topics they had researched, and they engaged in lively discussions to ensure everyone understood the concepts thoroughly. 

Important Note: You should use strong vocabulary, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) Some say that academic grades are not as important as what you learn in school. What do you think?

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Suggested Approach: 

State your stand clearly. Some candidates may lament that in a hyper competitive society that we live in, it is hard to not place emphasis on academic grades (given the pressure society and parents (ourselves) put upon us). Others may also mention how grades open doors, how the civil service for example look at grades first before even extending any opportunities for interviews or scholarship. 

For well considered responses, candidates should acknowledge how some may feel this way but go on to assert their own views. They may point out how the goals of education such as importance of schooling lies in the learning experiences that shape individuals into well-rounded and capable individuals.

For instance, candidates can point out how they learn about character development in schools through camps, CCE lessons and how values such as empathy, resilience, and ethical decision-making are being instilled in school. All these being essential skills they need to thrive in their future careers, much more than just grades. 

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Our planet’s alarm is going off, and it is time to wake up and take action!

 

O’LEVELS ENGLISH DAY 4: 2023 ORAL QUESTION (ENVIRONMENT-HAZE)

 

Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min of haze in Singapore with people walking around in their masks

(As you should already know, the sound in the video is immaterial. Focus on the content and subject.)

How to tackle the Oral Planned Response Question:

For planned response, students must present a 2-minute response (usually this means two PEEL Paragraphs) to answer the question. You can refer to your written notes. Use 5Ws and 1H when you are brainstorming for answers. Be certain to answer the prompt, identify keywords and present your thoughts confidently. Refer to our earlier post on O’levels 1184 Planned Response Format

Planned Response Question:

How do you think the haze will impact people who live in the city?”

Suggested Approach

Candidates can mention how people of different health conditions, ages and trades are affected by the haze. From productivity, cancellation of school events, school closures to respiratory illness spikes and cancellation of travel plans, all these are consequences of haze upon people who reside in the city. Candidates need to ensure that they elaborate on their points rather than list down all the problems. For instance, candidates can point out that haze worsen the air pollution in city and exacerbate the respiratory health problems of those with asthma.

Candidates can cite how haze will limit their outdoor activities. For instance, haze may have affected their school’s sports day / CCA. With the air quality deteriorated dramatically due to haze caused by forest fires in the region, people limit their outdoor activities finding themselves confined to indoors / at home /in classrooms, feeling a sense of frustration and helplessness. Others may cite the lack of visibility affects driving conditions and how drivers may have problems navigating around and they may resort to drive with full headlights on a brightly-lit street due to the thick haze. 

Note: You should address the examiner’s question directly and focus on using strong adjectives to relate the video to the question. The two points for your answers should not be too similar and it should have personal observations / examples. The planned response is around two mins long. (2 PEEL 1 adjective + explain with evidence)

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Our planet’s alarm is going off, and it is time to wake up and take action! – Leonardo DiCaprio

Spoken Interaction (Environment)

  1. Do you think that protecting the environment is important to us? 

Suggested Approach:

Candidates can point out being a young person, they/we are the ones who will bear the brunt of climate change impacts in the future. It is hence pivotal for youths to prioritise protection of the environment as this would mean that we/they are safeguarding their own well-being. From a personal perspective, one can cite how one have a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature. By caring for the environment, they ensure that posterity can continue to enjoy and be inspired by the wonders of the natural world.

Important Note: You should use strong vocabulary, provide examples / own personal experience to substantiate your points. Do not get flustered if oral examiners ask you additional questions. 

2) Do you think that human activities are carried out at the expense of the environment?

Suggested Approach: 

State your stand clearly.

Candidates can start by briefly explaining what type of human activities they are going to cite—the burning of fossil fuels, extensive land and water use, overfishing, deforestation—all of these have been increasingly disruptive to Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surface over the past 50 years, before moving on to cite how these disruptions pose serious threats to human health and wellbeing.

Those in agreement should state that although they are aware that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of human activities yet clearly with the rise of global warming, this is clear evidence that anthropogenic activities is deepening the climate crisis.

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For well considered responses, candidates need to point out there are positive human activities and sustainability efforts are on the rise by governments (Singapore 2030 Green Plan), corporations and how individuals to work towards sustainability. For instance, Singapore is expected to get its first hydrogen-ready power plant by the first half of 2026 as the Singapore transitions its power sector into one using less carbon-emitting fuels.  Countries are adopting renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power for electricity generation reduces reliance on fossil fuels and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Individuals are embracing a minimalist lifestyle by reducing consumption and these human activities can have a positive impact on the environment.

Remember as always, we are listening out for your ability to organise your points with clear articulation and style, your ability to engage the examiners with sound, interesting and relevant content will push your grades further to distinction. 

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