Sunday, September 30, 2012 0 comments

Informal Letter - Invitation to Kota Tinggi Waterfalls


The name of the sender has been changed.

From: *** <***>
To: "nuhazyun@yahoo.com" <nuhazyun@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:56 PM
Subject: Hi , teacher .Please check my essay . Thank yoou

C874, BA1/4,
48100 Batu Arang,
Selangor.
                                                                                  

26 May 2012

Dear Uncle Sam,
How are you? I hope you are in the pink of health. My family and I are fine over here.
I am sorry because I didn’t reply your letter earlier. As the exam is just around the corner, I was very busy as a bee preparing for my exam. Don’t worry uncle , I achieved my target and passed the exam with flying colours.  My strenuous effort finally pays off and I’m elated over here.
Dear my beloved uncle, it’s been ages since we went out together. So my family and I have a big plan for us to spend these holidays together. I really want uncle, Aunt Rose , Daniel, Eve, and Lana to join us this fun.  Besides , we must seize this golden opportunity to relax our mind and soul after tiring weekdays. I am pretty sure that Rose, Daniel, and Lana will be ebullient to join us !
After scouring the newspapers for the best holiday destination and a few clicks for information in the Internet , we chose Kota Tinggi Waterfalls. For your information, Kota Tinggi Waterfalls is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. I saw the images of the waterfall and it really makes my jaw drop. The waterfall is a shady and cool place. If we go there, we will be caressed by cold breeze which will make you feel fresh. This serene waterfall is framed by lush green forest.
We will feel very calm as it is a peaceful  and blissful tropical wonderland. The sounds of birds chirping happily and the sounds of crickets will make you fall in love with the beauty of nature. Unlike the angry birds making noise in the city.
Moreover,  this heavenly waterfall is just 20km from the bustling Johor Bahru town .The mini markets are located just a stone’s throw away from the waterfall. The mini markets sell a variety of souvenirs  , so we can buy some as a rememberance  of  this outing.
In addition, the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls do not compromise visitors on the facilities and comfort although it is in the middle of the jungle. Lana and Daniel will be excited as there is a wonderful playground. We do not have to worry about the hygiene there as it is a very clean and serene waterfall. The waterfalls have really hygienic restrooms. We do not have to bear the nasty smell of diapers full of poops thrown everywhere in the toilet like the last time when we went to another waterfall at Terengganu ! Do you still remember? The incident stands out prominently whenever my mind travels to the past and I still laugh my lungs out remembering it.   
I am very sure that this time it would not be a boring journey.  We will be having a lot of enjoyable and challenging activities there. The most exciting activity is to swim in the crystal blue water which sparkles like stars when the sunlight shines on it. In the night, we will have barbecue party and I can’t wait for it! For adventurous and challenging activity, we can go jungle trekking at the thick forest nearby.  Get ready for the rush of adrenaline and some itchy mosquito bites.  The interesting part is if we are stuck in the middle of the jungle, we have to think out of the box to figure the way out.  Let’s see how good our brain works coping with adversities in the middle of a jungle!
Before I pen off this letter, send my regards to all at home. Don’t forget to share the pictures and brochures that I have attached to this letter with everyone. I hope you give me good decision!
Sincerely,
Venice

My reply:
Hey ***, I've checked your essay. Excellent job!

C874, BA1/4,
48100 Batu Arang,
Selangor.

26 May 2012

    

Dear Uncle Sam,

How are you? I hope you are in the pink of health. My family and I are fine over here.

I am sorry because I didn’t reply your letter earlier. As the exam is just around the corner, I was very busy as a bee preparing for my exam. Don’t worry uncle, I achieved my target and passed the exam with flying colours.  My strenuous effort finally pays off and I’m elated over here. (I don’t understand. You said that the exam is just around the corner. That means, you have not sat for the exam yet. How could you know that you’ve passed with flying colours? Let me rephrase this paragraph)

I am sorry because I didn’t reply your letter earlier. As the exam is just around the corner, I was very busy as a bee preparing for my exam. Don’t worry uncle, I believe that I’ll achieved my target and passed the exam with flying colours.  Please pray that my strenuous effort will pay finally pays off.  If my prayers are answered, and I’m going to be elated over here.

Dear My beloved uncle, it’s been ages since we went out together. So, my family and I have a big plan for us to spend these holidays together. I really want uncle, Aunt Rose, Daniel, Eve, and Lana to join us this fun.  It’s going to be fun. Besides, we must seize this golden opportunity to relax our mind and soul after the tiring weekdays. I am pretty sure that Rose, Daniel, and Lana will be ebullient to join us!

After scouring the newspapers for the best holiday destination and a few clicks for information in on the Internet, we chose Kota Tinggi Waterfalls. For your information, Kota Tinggi Waterfalls is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. I saw the images of the waterfall and it really makes made my jaw drop. The waterfall is a shady and cool place. If we go there, we will be caressed by the cold breeze which will make you feel fresh. This serene waterfall is framed by the lush green forest.

We will feel very calm as it is a peaceful and blissful tropical wonderland. The sounds of birds chirping happily and the sounds of crickets will make you fall in love with the beauty of nature. Unlike the angry birds making noise in the city. (This sentence doesn’t sound right.) Unlike the city, there are many angry birds making noise.

Moreover,  this heavenly waterfall is just 20km from the bustling Johor Bahru town .The mini markets are located just a stone’s throw away from the waterfall. The mini markets sell a variety of souvenirs, so we can buy some as a rememberance remembrance of this outing.

In addition, the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls do not compromise visitors on the facilities and comfort although it is in the middle of the jungle. Lana and Daniel will be excited as there is a wonderful playground. We do not have to worry about the hygiene there as it is a very clean and the waterfall is serene waterfall. The waterfalls have has really hygienic restrooms. We do not have to bear the nasty smell of diapers full of poops thrown everywhere in the toilet like the last time when we went to another waterfall at in Terengganu! Do you still remember? The incident stands out prominently whenever my mind travels to the past and I still laugh my lungs out remembering it.  

I am very sure that this time it would not be a boring journey.  We will be having a lot of enjoyable and challenging activities there. The most exciting activity is to swim in the crystal blue water which sparkles like stars when the sunlight shines on it. In the At night, we will have a barbecue party and I can’t wait for it! For adventurous and challenging activity, we can go jungle trekking at in the thick forest nearby.  Get ready for the rush of adrenaline and some itchy mosquito bites.  The interesting part is if we are stuck in the middle of the jungle, we have to think out of the box to figure the way out.  Let’s see how good our brain works coping with adversities in the middle of a jungle!

Before I pen off this letter, send my regards to all at home. Don’t forget to share the pictures and brochures that I have attached to this letter with everyone. I hope you give me will come to a good decision!

Sincerely,
Venice 

[Marks: A – 21]

Interesting words/expressions:
1. in the pink
2. just around the corner
3. busy as a bee
4. pass the exam with flying colours
5. strenuous effort
6. elated
7. seize this golden opportunity to relax our mind and soul
8. ebullient
9. scouring
10. the hustle and bustle of the city
11. jaw drop
12. caressed by the cold breeze
13. This serene waterfall is framed by the lush green forest.
14. ..blissful tropical wonderland.
15. The sounds of birds chirping happily
16. this heavenly waterfall is just 20km from the bustling Johor Bahru town
17. a stone’s throw away
18. remembrance
19. ..do not compromise visitors on the facilities and comfort
20. hygienic
21. to bear the nasty smell
22. The incident stands out prominently whenever my mind travels to the past
23. ..laugh my lungs out remembering it.  
24. to swim in the crystal blue water which sparkles like stars when the sunlight shines on it.
25. ..the rush of adrenaline
26. to think out of the box
27. ..coping with adversities in the middle of a jungle

References:
1. A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Fifth Edition (1998), Oxford University Press
                                                                                                                                                
3 comments

Oh My Grammar!


I received quite a mind-boggling email from a student, asking me to clarify some of his confusions related to grammar. Even though I did some research from several websites, I find that understanding grammar can be really overwhelming. Please share your views.

Here is his email:

Salam Teacher Nuha,

I was reading and doing some exercises from 'fokus Sukses PMR 123' English book. It was on page 61. Few questions has confused me.

The answer for question,

5. Last Saturday, we went to our grandparents' house because they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Why not,
    Last Saturday, we went to our grandparents' house because they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

6. The secretary printed out the documents and gave them to me last week.
Why not,
    The secretary was printing out the documents and was giving them to me last week.
or,
    The secretary was printing out the documents and gave them to me last week.

8.  This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I borrowed from the library earlier today.
Why not,
     This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I have borrowed from the library earlier today.
or
     This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I had  borrowed from the library earlier today.

9. Sarah cried all night long because her cat had died of food poisoning.
Why not,
    Sarah was crying all night long because her cat had died of food poisoning.
Is this sentence correct?
    Sarah is crying all night long because her cat has died of food poisoning.

***


My reply:


Salam ***. Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for asking the questions. Check out my response.


5. (a) Last Saturday, we went to our grandparents' house because they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Why not,
    (b) Last Saturday, we went to our grandparents' house because they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Explanation:
In my humble opinion, I think both 5 (a) and (b) can be accepted. However, both sentences indicate a different meaning to the readers.

In 5 (a) we can understand that, 
Last Saturday, your grandparents invited you to their house. When you arrived at your grandparents' house, they were celebrating their anniversary. 
(Sabtu lepas, atuk dan nenek kamu menjemput kamu ke rumah mereka. Apabila kamu tiba di rumah atuk dan nenek, mereka sedang menyambut ulangtahun perkahwinan mereka.)

In 5 (b) we can understand that, 
Last Saturday, you visited your grandparents' house because they celebrated their anniversary. 
(Sabtu lepas, kamu berkunjung ke rumah atuk dan nenek kerana mereka menyambut ulangtahun perkahwinan mereka.)


6. (a) The secretary printed out the documents and gave them to me last week.
Why not,
    (b) The secretary was printing out the documents and was giving them to me last week.
or,
    (c) The secretary was printing out the documents and gave them to me last week.

Explanation:

6 (a) is correct.

The sentence:  The secretary printed out the documents and gave them to me last week.

In 6 (a) there were two actions which happened in sequence: 

Action1: The secretary printed out the documents. 
Action2: Then, she gave the documents to me. 
When Action1 had finished, Action2 took place.

In  6 (b), it's illogical for both actions to happen at the same time.
The sentence: The secretary was printing out the documents and was giving them to me last week. (Sekretari itu sedang mencetak dan memberi dokumen itu kepada saya.)
Action1: The secretary was printing out the documents.
Action2: The secretary was giving the documents to me.
If Action1 had not finished, how could Action2 take place?

The same goes to 6 (c). The sentence sounds illogical.
The sentence: The secretary was printing out the documents and gave them to me last week. (Sekretari itu sedang mencetak dan memberi dokumen tersebut kepada saya.)
Action1: The secretary was printing out the documents.
Action2: The secretary gave the documents to me.

For 6 (b) and (c), in a normal situation, I believe that the secretary will wait for the printing to completely finish before handing it to a person, rather than printing and handing it at the same time. That's not an efficient way to do their work! 


8.  (a) This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I borrowed from the library earlier today.
Why not,
     (b) This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I have borrowed from the library earlier today.
or
     (c) This evening, I will be reading a book about elephants which I had  borrowed from the library earlier today.

Explanation:

8 (a) is correct. When the past tense "borrowed" is used, the time you borrowed the book is indicated which is "earlier today".

For 8 (b), if we want to use "have borrowed", normally the time you borrowed the book is not indicated. The phrase "earlier today" is omitted. Therefore, the correct sentence would be:
This evening, will be reading a book about elephants which I have borrowed from the library.

For 8 (c), I strongly believe that "had borrowed" is not suitable for the above situation. In order to use "had borrowed", another related event should take place. For example:
had borrowed the book from the library before the library was closed. I will be reading the book this evening. 


9. (a) Sarah cried all night long because her cat had died of food poisoning.
Why not,
    (b) Sarah was crying all night long because her cat had died of food poisoning.
Is this sentence correct?
    (c) Sarah is crying all night long because her cat has died of food poisoning.


Explanation:

9 (a) We know that two events have taken place in the past. 

Event1: Sarah cried all night long. (Sarah menangis sepanjang malam.)

Event2: Her cat had died of food poisoning. (Kucingnya telah mati disebabkan keracunan makanan.)

In 9 (a), we don't know when both events happened specifically. We just know that both events had already happened in the past. 

9 (b) okay.

9 (c) the sentence doesn't sound right.
Sarah is crying all night long. (The phrase "all night long" can be omitted.)

Therefore,
Sarah is crying because her cat has died of food poisoning. (Sarah sedang menangis kerana kucingnya telah mati. - Sarah sedang menangis sekarang kerana kucingnya baru saja mati)

Reference:
0 comments

Lesson Plan - Teaching modal verbs "can/cannot", Teaching prepositions


Good morning teachers. Share your great lesson plans with us.

I received another facebook message on how to write a lesson plan (LP):


***
  • tqvm for sharing teacher nuha...i really appreciate ur ideas...actually, i am a trainee teacher, and this is my 1st time doing lesson plan...here in my university, we are given the LP format where we have to have Set Induction>Presentation>Development>Closure>Follow-up...actually, what should come under the presentation stage? is it the teacher should give all the input and explanation for that particular lesson, or we should proceed with the activity, let say we ask students to work in pairs then distribute the lyrics then ask them to fill up the missing words in the song lyrics which we asked them to listen during the set induction stage.?

My reply:



    • 40 minutes ago
      TeacherNuha.blogspot.com
      • Yes, the presentation stage is where Teacher gives the input. To answer the rest of your questions, let me share a LP, which I used during my practicum, to get some ideas. You may adopt & adapt. I used this LP when I was nominated for the "rentasan cemerlang" (cross competency) in practicum. If you would like to use it, you may need to omit some of the activities as the LP is too long - that was what the lecturers told me smile.

    • 29 minutes ago
      TeacherNuha.blogspot.com
      • LP on teaching prepositions:
        • 8may.docx
        • 8may_attachment.docx
        • missing subjects_timetable dictation.docx
        • we r the champion_answer.docx
        • 8may_ppt.pptx

        • Download the zip files here: Lesson Plan - Teaching Prepositions

  • Picture source: http://www.teachinfo.net/LessonPlan.jpg



3 comments

Grammar - Teaching Adjectives

How to make teaching adjectives (or other grammatical items) more interesting? Share your ideas here.

I received the following facebook message regarding the above matter.

***
  • salam..teacher nuha, could you share some ideas on how to make teaching adjectives more interesting..

    My reply:

    • Waalaikumussalam ***.. First of all, let me be honest that I'm no grammar guru.. However, here are some ideas that I have in mind:

      1) Teach grammatical items in context. Start the lesson with a song or a short passage that contains the grammatical item that you would like to teach. If you choose a passage, try to use a material which is close to the students' hearts - K-POP, football, justin bieber, etc. I think with songs, you can get students to do some listening activities like arranging lyrics, filling in the blanks, etc. After that, bring students' attention to the grammatical item that you wish to focus. For instance, adjectives.. By using simple explanation, tell students what are adjectives.. Get them to find the synonym, acronym, write new sentences.. This technique is called the didactic approach.

      2) You may also use pictures. Get students to brainstorm the adjectives from the picture.. You may do this in the form of a game in groups. The group which gets the most adjectives wins.. Again, get them to write sentences, find acronym, synonym, etc.. Students need to have some ideas on what adjectives are if this strategy is being utilized..

      3) Play games / Watch movies. You may adapt some ideas from the following websites:
      http://www.azargrammar.com/materials/FWG_TOC.html

      http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.com/search/label/adjectives

      I'm sure there are tonnes of language games that you can find on the internet.. As teachers, we need to adapt, make some changes to ensure that the activity suits the proficiency level of our students.

      All the best ***!

Sunday, September 23, 2012 0 comments

Story Writing



From: *** <***@hotmail.com>
To: "nuhazyun@yahoo.com" <nuhazyun@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 6:09 PM
Subject: Hi Teacher Nuha!


Hello Teacher Nuha!
Can you help me to mark my essay. I wrote it in the exam and get 17% - B. I hope teacher can mark it again and how to improve it. Thanks!

Highlighted = original word.
____________________________________________________________

          It was a beautiful morning. Many birds are chirping on the tree. Puan Suzani was going back to her house. She bought many things from a shopping mall. She waited at a bus stop. After 5 minutes, the bus arrived . The bus was full of passengers. Puan Suzani carried her bags and went into the bus.

          When Puan Suzani was finding a seat, one of her bags accidently hit a man near the entrance. She quickly apologised to the man. However, the man continued staring at Puan Suzani. There were many butterflies in Puan Suzani's stomach. She fely very scared and nervous. She wanted to get off from the bus.

          After 30 minutes, the bus reached a garden which was just a stone throw away from her house. She was scared and she hurriedly got off from the bus. However, she saw the man again. The man was running andd trying to folllow Puan Suzani. She was shocked and quickly ran away at the drop of a hat.

          Then , they reached a porch. The man held up the bag to Puan Suzani. She felt exhausted. She apologised to the man again. She took the bag that she dropped in the bus, She thanked the man. Then, she went back to home.

_____________________________________________________________

Some of the error i had noticed but i write it in original and same as my exam paper.
Thanks teacher!

Teacher Nuha's reply:

Hi ***, I've already checked and graded your essay. Good job!


A narrative is written in the past tense.


It was a beautiful morning. Many birds are were chirping on the tree. Puan Suzani was going back to her house. She bought many things from a shopping mall. She waited at a bus stop. After 5 minutes, the bus arrived. The bus was full of passengers. Puan Suzani carried her bags and went into the bus.

          When Puan Suzani was finding a seat, one of her bags accidently hit a man near the entrance. She quickly apologised to the man. However, the man continued staring at Puan Suzani. There were many butterflies in Puan Suzani's stomach. She fely felt very scared and nervous. She wanted to get off from the bus.

          After 30 minutes, the bus reached a garden which was just a stone stone’s throw away from her house. She was scared and she hurriedly got off from the bus. However, she saw the man again. The man was running and trying to follow Puan Suzani. She was shocked and quickly ran away at the drop of a hat.

          Then, they reached a porch. The man held up 
the a bag to Puan Suzani. She felt exhausted. She apologised to the man again. She took the bag that she dropped in the bus. She thanked the man. Then, she went back to home.
[Marks: B-18]

Comments:
  1. Fluent writing with minor errors. Language is quite simple.
  2. Writing contains interesting expressions like:  butterflies in Puan Suzani's stomach,  stone’s throw away,  at the drop of a hat, exhausted
  3. Suggestions to improve: Since PMR is drawing near, I suggest that you stick to your current style of writing. Check the spelling and make sure to use the correct tense. For future improvement, read more English materials to enhance vocabulary and learn different styles of writing from different authors.
Best wishes.

Teacher Nuha.

Interesting expressions:
  1. have butterflies in your stomach -  to feel very nervous
  2. a stone's throw away -  very close
  3. at the drop of a hat - immediately
  4. exhausted - very tired
1 comments

"had taken" or "have taken"


From: *** <***>
To: nuhazyun@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 8:36 PM
Subject: ENGLISH

Salam. Another question is,

On the first day of my trip in Malacca, we went to the historical sites of Malacca, A Famosa. We bought some souvenirs there.We have also taken3 photographs there. After visited visiting A Famosa, we went to visit the crocodile farm.

Why not, we had also taken instead of we have also taken.

***

Teacher Nuha's reply:

(my reply is based on a little research that I did from several websites)

Waalaikumussalam ***. Thanks for asking the question. Before answering your question, let me first explain to you about "present perfect tense" and "past perfect tense".




How to form the PRESENT perfect tense?

has/have + past participle [learn more about past participle]

For example:
  1. He has eaten his breakfast. 
  2. She has studied for the test.
  3. have taken the book.
  4. We have hidden the treasure.
How do we use the present perfect tense?
1. We use the present perfect tense to talk about an event which has happened in the past but we are not interested in the time in which it happened.

He has eaten his breakfast. (present perfect tense - the time is not stated) 
He ate his breakfast at 8.30 a.m. (past tense - the time is stated)

She has studied for the test. (present perfect tense - the time is not stated)
She studied for the test last night. (past tense - the time is stated)

2. We can use the present perfect tense to talk about experience from the past

3. So, in answering your question, we can write, "We have also taken photographs there." (using the present perfect tense)

4. Alternatively, we can also write, "We took photographs there." (using the past tense)

5. Question: Why not, "We had also taken photographs there." ? Please read more.

How to form the PAST perfect tense?

had + past participle 

How do we use the present perfect tense?
We use the past perfect tense to talk about two(2) relating events which have happened in the past. By using the past perfect tense, we can emphasise which of the two events happened first.

Event 1 : He ate his breakfast.
Event 2 : The bell rang. 

In these two sentences, we don't know which event happened first.

Read the following sentence,
He had eaten his breakfast when the bell rang. 

Explanation:
  • From this sentence, we know that Event 1 happened first followed by Event 2. 
  • Both events have already taken place in the past.
  • Event 1 is written in the past perfect tense because it happened first.
  • Event 2 is written in the past tense because it came next.

More examples:

1. When the car exploded, she had already gotten out from the car.
Event 1: She had already gotten out from the car. (written in the past perfect tense because it happened first)
Event 2: The car exploded. (written in the past tense because it happened later than Event 1)

2. They had slept when a burglar broke into their house.
Event 1: They had slept. (written in the past perfect tense because it happened first)
Event 2: A burglar broke into their house. (written in the past tense because it happened later than Event 1)




So in my humble opinion, why not, "We had also taken photographs there." ?  I guess it's not proper to use past perfect in this situation unless..

We had also taken photographs when suddenly it rained heavily. OR
Whad also taken photographs when the camera was out of battery. OR
Whad also taken photographs when my mother called for lunch.

HOWEVER, if we write, "We bought some souvenirs there. We had also taken photographs there." , the latter indicates taking photos prior to buying gifts. 

Keep on learning!

 
;