How is secondary school chinese different from primary school chinese
For upper primary school students who have heard intimidating stories about how much harder secondary school chinese is compared to primary school chinese, their concerns may change after they read this article. Secondary school chinese requires a different set of skills to succeed and the requirements of the paper is quite different. If you are already certain that you need help with the subject, chinese tuition classes and reading sources are widely available.
Lessons and curriculum
1. Less textbooks, more practice
Secondary school teachers structure their lessons very loosely on textbooks and workbooks need not be completed fully. Unlike primary school exams which uses words from text book passages and Zuo Ye, secondary school exams do not use words from textbooks at all, students are no longer advised to study textbooks for their chinese exams.
More of the lesson time for secondary school chinese is spent on reading passages and articles from various sources. More lesson time will be spent on practicing actual exam papers and writing essays.
2. No more Ting Xie (spelling test)
Spelling tests are no longer required when a student enters secondary school. Although some teachers may voluntarily arrange spelling test to expand student’s vocaulary, they are no longer a routine compared to primary schools.
As secondary school students are expected to have an understanding of common chinese words and phrases as well as able to use the dictionary for essays, spelling tests are no longer important for them.
3. More homework
Expect more homework as you enter secondary school. If you are taking O levels, you have less time to prepare compared to primary school. Upper secondary school students are given 3-5 assignments per week. The workload will also increase as you approach exams.
1. No more Hanyu Pinyin
In primary school exam papers, even up to primary 6, Hanyu Pinyin (汉语拼音) can be found in the papers. No more of those in secondary school papers. For those who are weak in Hanyu Pinyin, that would be good news for you.
2. No short short MCQ questions
Short MCQ questions which test your Hanyu Pinyin and vocabulary are all gone. Although MCQ questions still exist in secondary school exam papers, they appear in long cloze passages and after comprehension passages. The MCQ questions are trickier as the options are similar to one another.
3. More open-ended comprehension questions
The Comprehension MCQ section still exists but there will be 1 more Open-ended comprehension section with longer passages and longer questions. Weightage of the comprehension for secondary school chinese is greatly increased as there are less sections.
There is also a greater variety of comprehension questions with a greater number of them focued on careful reading and inference skills. Vocabulary comprehension questions, which require students to explain meaning of phrases in their own words, is also new to secondary school chinese.
The key difference between primary and secondary school exams is that without adequate comprehension skills, primary school students may still ace their exams but for secondary school students, passing the paper will be a challenge.
Hence, an effective chinese tuition teacher will focus on honing the student’s comprehension skills. Primary school student’s with a strong foundation in Chinese will tend to score higher marks in comprehension.