Practise for the P.6 TSA Oral Exam

7 May

Every pirmary school teacher knows it’s BS to say there’s no need to practise for the TSA exams. On the contrary, teachers spent most of their time to do the drilling and training with the P.3s and P.6s. I am not here to lament over the exam oriented edu system. Well, If you can’t beat them, join them !

There’s no way you can enhance your students’ oral procifiency if you just drill them before the exam, for sure. I prefer to use other meaningful speaking activities during normal lessons. ( Highly recommend Scott Thornbury’s ‘How to teach speaking’. It was my course book. I learnt a lot of theories as well as practical activities from it.)

But then right before the exam, students should know everything about the TSA oral exam e.g. Paper 1 (Reading aloud + student-teacher interactions) or Paper 2 (Presentation). 

This is the official website where teachers can get all the past TSA papers and making schemes:

I printed out the 2009 speaking past paper to practise with my kids during the ERS lesson today.

Most of my kids think Paper 1 is easier. (2 mins preparation and 3 mins reading and interacting with the teacher) They are used to reading aloud English text (although they may mispronounce some words, they show no hesitation in reading them out) and they are not afraid of answering questions in English.

Presentation becomes their weakest link. (3 mins preparation and 2 mins presentation) It’s probably not the problem of their speaking proficiency. Some of them simply freaked out. They don’t believe that they can make up a speech in such a short period of time. And the more they want to get their grammar right, the more they got messed up and couldn’t even express their ideas.

After their tryouts, I asked them to watch their own performance and reflected on it .I just want them to know their English is fine, but their lack of confidence may ruin their performance.

They are afterall just primary six girls. However, we have no choice but train them to get used to interviewsand presentations. Most of all, learn to endure the stress of having exams. Endless exams.

P.S. 2009-10 P.6 TSA Oral Exam is on 11/5 (Next Tue)


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