O’LEVELS ENGLISH DAY 1: 2023 ORAL QUESTION (YOUTH CHARACTER)
Video: Candidates were shown a 1-min of NS men in uniform at their Passing Out Parade
(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:
“Who do you think was watching this and what were they thinking?”
Candidates must pay attention to the setting and think where/what is this event and what’s going on? It is a safe assumption to think that the people who are watching these young men are their proud parents, relatives, friends. Candidates should mention briefly as precise as you possibly can to why you conclude these are the ‘audience’ before moving on to conclude why these loved ones who are standing at the sidelines with keen anticipation, beaming with pride as they witness a proud moment in these NS men’s lives.
For instance, you could say that this is a military passing out parade which is a moment of immense pride and honour, both for the new graduates and the armed forces as a whole. It is a ceremonious occasion held to mark the successful completion of rigorous training and the official entry of our NS men recruits into the military ranks.
Stronger candidates will be able to give different emotions and not dwell on similar emotions. They should also be able to weave in good expressions into their response such as citing how these military personnel often draw strength from the support of their families, friends, and the wider community. During a passing out parade, loved ones witness the fruition of the graduates’ hard work and sacrifices. The pride felt by the recruits is magnified as they see their families’ joy and sense of accomplishment in witnessing this significant milestone.
An interesting angle to add would be that the parents and older relatives may experience a touch of nostalgia during the passing out parade as they reminisce on the journey that led to this moment. They may remember the early years, the struggles, and the growth of their loved ones, which adds a sentimental aspect to the event. Candidates can also mention that parents may feel can also bring a sense of relief, especially if the training was physically and emotionally demanding. Seeing their children successfully complete the training reassures them that their children or friends are well-prepared for their new responsibilities.
Other possible responses include a sense of anticipation and hope as the passing out parade signifies the beginning of a new phase in the graduates’ lives, and parents and friends feel anticipation for the exciting opportunities that lie ahead as they embark on their next milestone.
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)
Spoken Interaction (Character Development / Youth)
- What can schools and parents do to develop the character of teenagers?
Suggested Approach: You can separate parents and schools if it helps you to organise your thoughts better.
- You can mention how schools can organise VIA / Service Learning Opportunities (Community Service / Empathy) which will allow youths to give back to their communities and allow them to foster a sense of empathy and social responsibility.
- Sports / Camps OBS (Sec 3)
- Offer Leadership Opportunities
- Internship Opportunities
What can parents do?
- Avoid being helicopter parents? Encourage autonomy, avoid mollycoddling and allow teens to develop a sense of agency. Provide them with the support they need to develop growth mindset in face of setbacks.
- Parents can also nurture resilience by creating a supportive environment (just like how schools can foster a culture ) that embraces growth when encountering setbacks.
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 every student should join Uniform Group (UG) CCA?
State your stand clearly.
Candidates should first point out how it is like to be part of UG CCA (how UG CCA tend to put traditions, seniority, discipline as a priority or how many uniformed groups engage in leadership training, physical and outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, first aid training, drills, and other adventure-based learning experiences. In view of this, candidates need to point out that due to our varied personalities, not all individuals will suit UG CCA. You can give personal examples like how your personality would not suit the rigorous training or discipline required in an UG.
For well considered responses, candidates need to point out the commonly acknowledged advantages of joining UG CCA yet explain how it may not suit everyone due to personality, interests, goals (such as how most students often look for CCA that align with their interests, passions, and personal development goals.) 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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