To ace the Spoken Interaction (20 marks out of the full 30 marks) segment of your Oral exam, many students grapple with brain block, either due to exam anxiety, or that the examiners are too charming! In my own world, I’d like to think it is the latter. *awkward silence* Anyway!
In this resource, I will be sharing with you on how you can structure your spoken interaction in an orderly and complete method. I call it the “Tri-circle” model, just because it sounds scholarly. As referenced above, your sharing can be done in 3 parts, starting from your most personal experiences (in relation to the activity or key theme you’ve identified in the given picture), and building towards your worldview.
Essentially, teachers are assessing students for their ability to identify key themes from the picture, and relate them to their personal experiences and opinions. The most skilled students will weave their experiences with the activities shown in the picture, as well as their personal opinions on their observations and their ideals.
You should start your sharing off by giving a brief description of what can be observed in the picture. This is also an opportune time to hint of the theme you will be homing in during your sharing. For example, a picture of a young school boy helping an elderly cross the road, the themes you could try homing in are “helpfulness in youth”, “respect for elderly”, “gratitude for seniors and their contributions to this country”, “rapid development in this fast-paced society”, etc. You would realise that the themes are often broad. Hence, when you share through your personal experience pertaining to the picture you observed, refrain from being too myopic on that one activity/experience, but keep in mind that you’re building your sharing towards a theme.
This segment is a build-up from what happened to you, or what you observed first-hand to what you observe about your communities in general. Your communities are basically any groups of people you belong in, or you find a sense of belonging to. Your communities are for instance, your school, your neighbourhood, your group of friends, your country, your religion, your race, etc. So, if you had picked a theme to focus on earlier, say, “respect for elderly”, you can now zoom out and share about how your communities respect their elderly. Are there any pertinent differences in the way different communities show their respect for elderly? Note that you are still in the theme that you have discerned from the picture. This is important for you not to go out of point and share about something interesting yet grossly out-of-point. The most competent students will show how the theme that they’re sharing about is in-line with the picture. Teachers want to see how the picture relates to the student, and vice-versa.
The last segment of your sharing is often the part that leaves the longest after-taste, the impression of how well you shared. Here, you would want to zoom out to the larger scheme of things, the world as you see it. Riding on the same theme of “respect for elderly”, you can explore sharing in general what is the world like today in this regard. Do we respect our elderly less often than we should. Did the developments of this rapidly advancing world consider the well-being of the elderly, or are they conveniently left behind for the social work agencies? Most competent students will provide an insight to the gap between their observations and their ideals. Beyond whether can the world do better, but how it can do better. Students might even suggest solutions that they hope to see, or that they are planning to do in contribution to the grander scheme of things.
In my lessons, I will be walking through with students techniques on identifying the themes, how to weave them into their sharing, and how to identify the gap between observation and ideals. Students in my class, be ready!