Friday, July 15, 2011

Drilling on Writing Prior To PMR/SPM

PMR exam is just around the corner. I couldn't help but feeling so worried with my students' competence in writing compositions. I have gathered some ideas from my friends, who are also teaching English in other schools, on how they go about drilling essay writing to their students as a preparation prior to PMR/SPM. Here are some of the approaches that could be adopted/adapted based on the proficiency level of our students:

Idea #1:
  1. Get a good essay which is neither too long nor too short. 
  2. Give 1 copy to each student. 
  3. Ask them to read and understand the essay. Maybe you could get students to find the meaning of difficult words or focus on a certain grammatical item (Wh words / verb / noun / tenses / etc.) 
  4. Next, tell students to put the essay out of their sight. 
  5. The teacher then carries out a dictation activity in which he/she reads aloud the essay with the correct pronunciation and enunciation. At the same time, students need to listen and write down what they hear. This activity can be utilized not only to test your students' understanding on the essay but also in spelling and sentence structure. 
  6. Teacher reads aloud twice. 
  7. After the dictation is over, students correct their friend's work in pairs. Students would be very excited to correct their friends' mistakes. 
Idea #2:
  1. Analyse a model essay, how the parts of the essay is written.
  2. Drill students like mad on the format and elaboration of ideas. 
  3. Students write an essay based on the elaboration.
Idea #3:
  1. Pick a model essay that we would like to study with students.
  2. Erase some of the words/phrases from the essay. Let's say the essay is about recounting a flood incident. So, teacher could remove words/phrases which are related to flood. For example: flash flood, under water, inundated, rescue team, boats, relief centres, etc.
  3. Get students to brainstorm ideas on the topic. Teacher may write the ideas on the board.
  4. Then, give students a copy of the essay in which the words are erased.
  5. Students, in pairs or in groups, fill in the blanks in the essay with the words obtained from the brainstorming session. For weak students, teacher could provide more words option in which students could choose to fill in the blanks.   
  6. Finally, have students re-write the whole essay.
Idea #4
  1. Pick a model essay that we would like to study with students.
  2. Just like Idea #3, remove some words/phrases. In this activity, teacher could remove targeted grammar item such as prepositions, verbs, etc.
  3. Students write sentences based on the words/phrases given by using the missing prepositions.
Idea #5

  1. Give students a model essay. For example, an article about "A visit to an old folks home".
  2. Familiarize students with the format and the keywords used in the article. 
  3. Then, get students to write a similar essay. For example: Write an article about "A visit to an orphanage".
  4. Students refer to the model essay to help them write. 

If you have other interesting ideas that might work or have worked, share them here :)


Unknown said...

Askm Cikgu Nuha, I am very impressed with your blog and I'm happy to see someone dedicated to teaching in English. It's very hard to find someone so young and yet so dedicated like you.

I am involved in a volunteer teaching program for a children's welfare home in KL, teaching English every Sunday morning. The volunteers are made up of college students, young professionals and basically, non-teachers.

I was wondering if you'd like to drop by and visit on one of our sessions. It'd be a great to get your perspective on our progress.

Please email me on and check out our little blog

I hope to hear from you. Thank you!

Teacher Nuha said...

Wslm Amin Rahman,thanks for visiting my blog. I'm flattered & feel honoured by your invitation. We'll get in touch, InsyaAllah!

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