Many Singaporean students are weak at reading and understanding chinese text, this causes them to lose a lot of marks in the exams as many parts test the students ability to understand what the passage is saying, such as comprehension and cloze passages. The way to score high marks is to thoroughly understand what the passage and question is asking for.
As such, I teach my students to recognise common chinese words that appear in passages and question and how to guess the meaning of the words. Many idioms (成语 & 谚语) will be explained so that students will learn its meaning and undertstand what the passage is talking about. I encourage my students to ask for explanation of words they don't understand.
Students who are weak in the fundamentals of chinese language often finds it hard to phrase their answers accurately, as such they lose marks since they miss out important points of the answer. Answering skills can be learnt very quickly through practice. There is a certain format to phrase your answers that helps gain marks and make the answer more complete.
The best way to teach students how to answer comprehension, close passge and short answer questions accurately is by correcting their mistakes and show them the model answer. As such, I provide my students with ample practice which I will mark and explain to them their mistakes. Lastly, I encourage my students to analyse and learn from the model answer.
For students who are already good at chinese, writing good essays is effortless as they know the exact words and phrases to get their meaning across. However, most singaporean students use very basic words and phrases in their essays which causes them to score very low marks.
Improving the quality of the essay cannot be done overnight. Improving the fundamentals in chinese requires a very long time hence I encourage students who want to improve their chinese essay grades to memorie certain phrases. These phrases are often versatile and can be used in many context. Certain 成语 and 彦语 that are common should also be memorised. In some chinese essays like 报章报导 for secondary school students, the 过度句 can be memorised entirely.
Oral is a very important component in chinese exams, however, most schools do not prepare their students for oral until the last minute when the exams are approaching. The 2 components of oral, reading and conversation, cannot be improved overnight.
As a result, I encourage my students to read passages out loud during my tuition lessons so that I can correct their pronounciation and pace. To show my students how to improve their reading skills, I read the passages to them as much as I can. Conversation skills can be honed through practicing speaking chinese in daily lives. All my chinese tuition lessons are conducted entirely in chinese to encourage students to use chinese more often in their daily lives.