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English Language ( Handling the GCE O- and N- Level Examinations 2013). Mr Joseph Guo Level Head (English Language). EL Examination Codes. EL 1127 (old syllabus) --- 5N(A) EL 1128 (new syllabus) --- 4 Express EL 1190 (new syllabus) --- 4 N(A) EL 1195 (new syllabus) --- 4 N(T)

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English Language ( Handling the GCE O- and N- Level Examinations 2013)


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    1. English Language (Handling the GCE O- and N- Level Examinations 2013) Mr Joseph Guo Level Head (English Language)

    2. EL Examination Codes • EL 1127 (old syllabus) --- 5N(A) • EL 1128 (new syllabus) --- 4 Express • EL 1190 (new syllabus) --- 4 N(A) • EL 1195 (new syllabus) --- 4 N(T) The skills and techniques presented apply to all streams.

    3. EL 1128 Paper 1 • Duration: 1 hr50mins • 3 Sections: Editing (10 marks), Continuous Writing (30 marks) and Situational Writing (30 marks) • Total marks: 70 (35% of EL Paper)

    4. EL 1128 Paper 1 (Section A – Editing) • Editing text consists of continuous prose of not more than 250 words • Candidates identify (circle) and edit grammatical errors by writing the correct word in the spaces provided (on the right of the page corresponding to that line). Errors in punctuation and spelling will not be tested in this section. • Correct word cannot change original meaning of sentence. • If there is no error in a line, put a tick in the space provided.

    5. Enhancing Performance in Editing Section • Students need to be constantly exposed to accurate written language, whether in reading of novels or newspapers. • Test candidates on tenses (rescue VS rescued), word form (miraculous VS miracle), and usage of correct word/connectors (the VS a, so VS but, now VS then)

    6. Editing Sample

    7. EL 1128 Paper 1 (Section B –Situational Writing) • Situational Writing: Students need to use information from visual stimulus (taken from newspapers, flyers, internet webpage, tourist brochure, advertisements etc), and information from the question itself in their own words as far as possible to answer the question. • Compulsory question (can take the form of informal letter, formal letter, speech, newsletter, proposal, report, e-mails etc)

    8. Paper 1 (Section C – Continuous Writing) • ContinuousWriting (Essay): Choose 1 from 4 essay types/topics (personal recount, one word, argumentative, descriptive, expository) • Narrative essay topic may not appear in Continuous Writing. • Shift towards argumentative/expository essays.

    9. Enhancing Performance in Situational and Continuous Writing • Cont Writing --- Students need to expand their real world current affairs knowledge through reading the Straits Times (home, headline, world news) and using them as examples to support their points in expository/argumentative essays. • Sit writing --- being exposed to newspaper advertisements, flyers or any visual text with persuasive language, and being able to justify their choices by developing their points in detail with proper paragraphing.

    10. Paper 2 • Duration: 1 hr50mins • 3 Sections: Section A Text 1 (5 marks), Section B Text 2 (20 marks), and Section C Text 3 (with summary) (25 marks) • Total marks: 50 (35% of EL Paper)

    11. Paper 2 Section A (5 marks) • Section A: Candidates respond to a variety of questions testing comprehension, on the use of visuals, and the use of language for impact, based on Text 1, a visual text (webpage) • EG --- The webpage begins with “The Learning Prism – Expanding the Spectrum of Your Potential”. What effect is this intended to have on the reader?[1] • No one fixed answer. Any logical/reasonable answer based on the webpage and given info is acceptable. • Students need to learn how to extract info from webpage, and make inferences based on the given info.

    12. Visual Text

    13. Paper 2 Section B (20 marks) • Section B: Candidates answer questions testing comprehension, vocabulary in context, and the use of language for impact, based on Text 2, a narrative. • EG --- Paragraph 4 begins with “From this daylight nightmare I was awakened ….” What is unusual and effective about the phrase “daylight nightmare”? [2] • Ans: Unusual because nightmares usually happen at night/when asleep/in the dark. [1] • Effective because it shows how unreal/strange/terrifying the experience can be. [1]

    14. Paper 2 Section C (25 marks) • Section C: Candidates answer questions testing comprehension, vocabulary in context, and the use of language for impact, based on Text 3, a non-narrative, (10m) and write a summary of about 80 words. (15m) • Section C’s compre question types are quite similar to the old syllabus compre questions. • EG --- How has our knowledge of the ocean floor changed? (Literal qn) • EG --- What does the new knowledge tell us about life on the ocean floors? Answer in your own words.

    15. Enhancing Performance in Comprehension • (1) Being exposed to both narrative (through reading of novels) and non-narrative texts (Straits Times) to improve reading speed and understanding. • (2) Ability to identify the different types of comprehension questions (literal, inferential, in your own words, language for impact etc) • (3) Usage of contextual clues in passage to get answers.

    16. Summary (15m) • Pick out 8 correct points to get a maximum of 8 marks for Content. (within 80 words) • Maximumof 7 marks for Style/Language/own words

    17. Enhancing Performance in Summary • Students need to extract relevant points from a section of any non-narrative text (EG --- newspapers) using own words and rephrasing text language while ensuring accuracy of language.

    18. Other key Differences in Paper 2 • Candidates need to be more aware of literary terms (similes, metaphor, personification) and the effect this have on the reader/audience. • The 3 texts need not be thematically linked. • No explicit Vocabulary section (contextual meaning of 5 words) • The new syllabus has more questions requiring greater critical thinking, and justification of view/opinion.

    19. Paper 3 (Listening) • New Paper (component) • Approximate Duration: 45 min • 2 sections: Section A (24m) and Section B (6m) • Total = 30 marks (10% of EL Paper)

    20. Listening Section A (24m) • Audio texts consist of a variety of text types, namely narrative, recount, expositions and information reports, and may consist of visuals where appropriate. • A variety of question types, including MCQ, matching, fill in the blanks, true/false/not stated, and filling in a graphic organiser, may be set. • Candidates will listen to the recording twice.

    21. Listening Section B (6m) • Listen to an audio recording of an informational text • Candidates complete a simple note-taking task. • Candidates hear recording only once.

    22. Enhancing Performance in Listening Paper • Students need to listen carefully to extract key words/contextual clues from the listening passage to get answer.

    23. Paper 4 • Oral Communication • 2 Components: Reading Aloud (10m), and Spoken Interaction (20m) • Both parts are thematically linked. • Weightage: 30m (20% of EL Paper) • 10 minutes preparation time for both components.

    24. Reading Aloud • A range of text types can be given. • The text may be a short narrative, news report, announcement, speech, or a mixture of types and forms.

    25. Spoken Interaction • Fusion of Picture Discussion and Conversation. • Candidates view a visual stimulus (picture), which is thematically linked to the Reading Aloud text, to engage in a discussion with examiners. • The first prompt for this component is directly related to the picture. (need to use picture to help you answer question.) • EG --- How do you feel about the elderly taking part in the activity in this picture?

    26. Spoken Interaction • The second and third prompts are thematically related conversation type questions. • EG --- What kind of activities would appeal to the elderly in your community? (expository type) • EG --- Some people say, “Life is what you make it to be and should not depend on your age.” Do you agree? (argumentative type---requires a stand and supporting reasons/arguments)

    27. Enhancing Performance in Oral Paper • Read the subtitles of Channel 5 news (930pm) after broadcaster has read it (to listen to good models of pronunciation and articulation) • Get parents/family members/friends to listen to and give feedback on student’s reading of a written text/news article. • All these expose students to real world current affairs knowledge, which is important in supporting their points in spoken interaction section.

    28. SEAB Website for All O- and N- Level Subjects (Paper Description, Scheme of Assessment) • http://www.seab.gov.sg • Click “Syllabuses for School Candidates” • Click “GCE N(T) Level or N(A) Level or O Level” • Select the relevant syllabuses examined in 2013

    29. Sec 4/5 EL Teachers • 4A --- Mr Joseph Guo • 4B --- Ms Charlotte Belcher • 4C --- Ms Jasmine Lim, Ms Brenda Nio, Mr Joseph Guo • 4D --- Ms Jasmine Lim, Ms Brenda Nio • 4E --- Ms Charlotte Belcher • 4F --- Mr Joseph Guo • 4G1 --- Ms Brenda Nio • 4G2 --- Mr Alvin Chua • 4H --- Ms Jasmine Lim • 5A --- Mr Alvin Chua