For students in Singapore, the study of a second language was made compulsory under the Bilingual Policy. In a primarily English-speaking society, many students, no matter their educational level, often face difficulties in mastering their Mother Tongue. With A Level examinations just around the corner, many JC students might feel stressed over doing well on their Chinese papers.
While it may be a challenging subject to master, it is undeniable that having a solid foundation in the language has benefits that go beyond achieving excellent academic grades. With China being the world’s second-largest economy, improving your Chinese can give you that competitive advantage when you eventually enter the workforce after completing your studies.
However, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the pressure to perform well, fret not. To help you out, we have compiled a list of 3 ways you can sharpen your Chinese language skills to ace the upcoming A Level examinations.
1. Cultivate a good habit of reading
Reading is one of the most effective ways to develop a stronger command of Chinese. By exposing yourself to Chinese novels or news articles regularly, you are improving your vocabulary.
Beginning to read Chinese materials can feel daunting and understandably so, especially if you have not been doing so prior. It may even feel frustrating at times when you are not able to understand the text fully. In these instances, remember that improving your language skills will take time. Try to read through the text slowly and underline key words or sentences that may help you in your learning. It could also be helpful to keep a journal noting down all the new vocabulary you have learnt and their respective meanings for future reference.
Knowledge of various writing styles and vocabulary from reading can help you immensely in your essay writing paper. Students often struggle with penning down their ideas in Chinese. Having been exposed to Chinese content, you would be able to communicate your ideas well in your essay with the appropriate grammar, vocabulary and sentence structures, which would undoubtedly result in a good grade.
2. Practice the language regularly
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
Try to make it a habit to speak as much Chinese as possible with your family members and peers. It would be even more beneficial if you had someone fluent in the language to communicate with, for they would be able to correct any mistakes you make on the spot.
Having conversations in Chinese can help to improve your speaking skills for your oral examinations, especially in the discussion portion (which accounts for 30 out of the total 50 marks). Being able to engage in an active discussion with your examiner fluently will certainly boost your overall grade!
Another fun way you can practice the language regularly is by watching Chinese TV shows in your free time. This can help you improve your comprehension skills as you would have to listen attentively to understand the show’s plot. Not only would this be helpful for your listening comprehension examinations, but also for your main paper, where you would have to answer questions correctly based on a given text.
3. Engage an effective private tutor
As with any language, there are various components to Chinese – from oral communication and listening to essay writing and comprehension skills. Most school classrooms hold about 30 to 40 students per class, making it challenging for school teachers to focus their attention on every individual student. What’s more, school teachers have a fixed curriculum to follow and a stipulated timeline to deliver the lesson plans. For students who are already struggling to master the subject, this could result in them lagging behind even further.
On the other hand, a Chinese home tutor in Singapore is able to customise lesson plans based on your needs and learning pace. Require more help in creative writing? Your private tutor can easily tweak lesson plans to focus solely on teaching you writing techniques and styles for you to ace your examinations.
Preparing for your A Levels can indeed be stressful. Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to improve your Chinese and ace your examinations! However, do remember to take breaks every now and then and check out tips to tackle exam stress and anxiety. What is most important is that you take care of yourself and try your best!
If you are looking for effective JC Chinese tuition, Premium Tutors has got your back. We are a home tuition agency in Singapore offering private tuition services for a range of subjects and levels. We have a comprehensive pool of Chinese tutors who are equipped with the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you pass your A Levels with flying colours.
Contact us today to schedule a lesson with an effective Chinese tutor.