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Schools get children talking the Stellar way

Role play helps to hone pupils' ability to speak clearly and confidently

Published on Mar 31, 2014 8:12 AM
Primary 6 pupils of Punggol Primary School taking part in a mock press conference with English teacher Priyadakshini Surendiran. Some posed as reporters and others as characters in a story about Sallamah, a Chinese girl adopted by a Malay family. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Four pupils sit facing their classmates, their lips tightly pursed, looking ready and certain of what is to come.

"How did you feel when you met your long-lost daughter?" "Who did you decide to stay with in the end: your foster or birth parents?" Questions poured forth.

The Primary 6 pupils from Punggol Primary were having a mock press conference, with some posing as reporters and others as characters in a story about Sallamah, a Chinese girl adopted by a Malay family.

"Sometimes I got stuck but I used my imagination to answer questions, based on how I thought the character would feel," said Nivrithi Ganesh, 12, who played Sallamah.

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"I pick up interesting phrases as I read and use them in my compositions."

- Da Qiao Primary pupil Celyna Teo, 11, said she has learnt to read the news through a weekly 30-minute segment where everyone presents newspaper articles


"I used to be very shy in lower primary, especially during show-and-tell when everyone was looking at me. But presenting in front of my class helps me to be brave. I can now talk to people I'm not familiar with like some relatives."

- Punggol Primary pupil Lim Jin Kai


"We're looking at a new economy in Singapore, where communication skills - the ability to express what you know - are really important."

- Dr Elizabeth Pang, MOE's programme director for literacy development


"We're testing pupils on their ability to speak off the cuff and think on their feet, which are critical life skills."

- Madam Shakila Jamal Mohamed, 45, an English teacher at Da Qiao Primary