According to the examination format for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) announced by the Singapore Ministry of Education in 2017, the Language Application component has increased from 10 questions for 20 marks to 15 questions for a total of 30 marks. This constitutes a third of the total possible score for Paper 2, attesting to the importance of Language Application.

In terms of Language Application, students must first master their Chinese vocabulary. However, many words in primary school Chinese vocabulary have minute differences in meaning or usage. Students often find them difficult to differentiate. In fact, the usage of Chinese words typically follows a pattern, and if students apply effective learning methods while reading and practising regularly, they will form a strong linguistic foundation in time.

This book is written for primary students in Singapore, and designed to address the practical concerns and needs of these students in a practical, effective, and fun way. With this systematic approach targeting the Chinese words in their syllabus, students will learn to improve their learning efficiency and be better prepared for their examinations.

This book is divided into four sections:

Student Guide to Words P1P2_Sample11. Common Radicals: 40 commonly seen Chinese radicals are listed, along with explanations in both Chinese and English. Examples are also provided to enhance students’ learning.


2. Word Differentiation Techniques: Five effective methods are listed along with examples. Applying these methods, students will be able to analyse calmly even when faced with similar-looking words that they have never encountered before.

Student Guide to Words P5P6_Sample2

3. Word Differentiation Groups: Taking reference from the Huanle Huoban textbooks, approximately 157 frequently used words have been divided into 52 groups for comparison, and within each group:

  • Words have been arranged according to their order of appearance in the lessons.
  • Pronunciations of words have been indicated in hanyu pinyin.
  • Explanations are provided in Chinese and English to help students master these Chinese words.
  • Handy and interesting word tips in both Chinese and English help students to differentiate the words easily.
  • Practice questions that reference daily life, letting students enhance their ability in differentiating the words and mastering vocabulary. (Answers are provided at the end of this book.)

Student Guide to Words_Sample3

4. Combined Practice: 10 practice exercises modelled after the “Language Application” section of the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Primary School Leaving Examination are provided to help students familiarise themselves with the examination format and build their confidence. (Answers are provided at the end of this book.)


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