In the last article, we have looked at the four domains that will be assessed in Paper 4 and explored the Do’s and Don’ts in the Group Discussion task. After the Group Discussion, the examiner will ask each candidate a follow-up question based on the discussion task. Each candidate will have 1 minute to answer the question.
In Part B Individual Response, candidates may be required to:
- make suggestions
- make and justify a choice
- decide on and explain a course of action
- argue for or against a position
Tips for success:
- Listen to the question carefully.
- If you have difficulty in understanding/ answering the question, you may:
- ask the examiner to repeat the question (“I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question, please?”)
- ask to be given another question (“I’m afraid I don’t really know how to respond to this question. Could you ask me another question, please?”)
But remember, this is included in the one-minute response time so try not to do so unless you think it is necessary.
- Start your response with a nice and clear opening.
- Avoid starting with formulaic (公式化的) expressions like “Thank you for your question” ✘ / “This is a good question” ✘/ “Today, I am going to talk about…” ✘
- Give comprehensive (詳盡的) responses:
- Step 1. state your opinion Step 2. give reasons to explain why you hold such an opinion Step 3. expand on (進一步說明) your answers by: – elaborating it with interesting examples
– relating to your personal experience (個人經驗)
- To end: just say “Thank you” instead of “This is the end of my presentation” ✘
Possible opening phrases for different question types:
|Common Question Type||Past Paper Question||Possible Opening Phrases|
|To make suggestions||“What space-saving tips would you give to a person moving to a flat in Hong Kong?””If you were in charge of a kindergarten class, where would you take the children for the day?””If you had the power to make a new rule in your school, what would it be?””What can the Government do to encourage more people to cycle in Hong Kong?”||“If I were to…I would…”“To…, I recommend that…”“My suggestion would be to…”“I suggest (verb+ -ing)…”“I would suggest (verb+ -ing)…”Examples:“If I were asked to give space-saving tips to a person who’s moving to a flat in Hong Kong, my first suggestion would be…”“To encourage more people to cycle in Hong Kong, I recommend that the government take three actions. The first one is…”|
|To make and justify a choice||“Would you prefer a job working alone or working as a team?””Do you prefer indoor camps or outdoor camps?””Which do you spend more time on: your studies or extra-curricular activities?””Would you prefer a school tour that was educational or entertaining?”||“If I had to choose between (sth.) and (sth.), I would go for…”“Between the two options/choices given, I believe that (sth.) is better.”“I would definitely prefer (sth.)|
to/over (sth.).”Examples:“I would definitely prefer an educational school tour to an entertaining one. My first reason is that…”“If I had to choose between working alone and working as a team, I would go for a job that allows me to work alone/as a team…”
|To make and justify a choice||“Should Form Six students be banned from extra-curricular activities?””Should celebrities be given stricter penalties if they break the law?””Should chewing gum be banned in schools?”||“Personally speaking, I believe that…My first reason is that…Another reason is that…”“If you ask me whether….I would definitely say…”“It is obvious/clear that…should/shoud not be…”Examples:“Personally speaking, I believe that Form Six students should/should not be banned from extra-curricula activities. The first reason is that…”“If you ask me whether celebrities should be given stricter penalties for breaking the law, I would definitely say yes/no.”|
- Make full use of the one minute given.
- Maintain appropriate eye contact with the examiner.
- Try not to repeat what you have already said in the discussion.
- There are no right or wrong answers but candidates who give an irrelevant (不相關的) response would not be awarded a high mark in domain 4 (Ideas & Organisation).
Source: HKDSE English Language Paper 4 Marker’s Comments (2015-2018), HKEAA