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Weak and reluctant ESL writers have a host of issues when it comes to writing. ESL teachers need to develop their confidence to construct English sentences first. Only then, they can be introduced to paragraph writing. Previously, I shared a strategy named ‘Goreng’ but now it is updated and enhanced. ‘Goreng 2.0’ offers ESL teachers clearer ideas on how to coach their learners to write more. There are seven techniques which should allow weak and reluctant learners to develop ideas in a very simple manner:

Technique 1: Give 3-5 examples

Technique 2: Repeat the verb

Technique 3: Feeling/s

Technique 4: Mixed

Technique 5: Sight

Technique 6: Traits

Technique 7: Foods and drinks



My birthday party was great ….

My birthday party was great. Many people came. My best friends came. Kamal, Joe, Faridah, Nisha and Vince came (TECHNIQUE 1: Give 3-5 examples). My teachers also came. Mr Chin, Mdm Siti Aishah and Miss Lina came. My mother prepared a lot of foods. My mother cooked chicken rice. My sister cooked pie. My neighbours cooked macaroni (TECHNIQUE 4: Mixed - Repeat the verb/ foods and drinks). I got many presents. My father gave me a smart phone. I got a novel from my sister. I was surprised to get a motorcycle from my mother (TECHNIQUE 1: Give 3-5 examples). (80 words)


I wanted to make all my friends happy….

I wanted to make all my friends happy. I took them for a holiday. We went to London, Paris, New York and Maldives (TECHNIQUE 1: Give 3-5 examples). We were so happy (TECHNIQUE 3: Feeling/s) loved Paris. My friends loved New York. My friends also loved London very much (TECHNIQUE 2: Repeat verb). I gave them presents to make them happy. I gave a Porche to them. They were very excited. I also gave a Rolex watch. I gave them cash too. My friends were very happy. (TECHNIQUE 4: Mixed – feeling/ repeat verb/examples) (75 words)


It was my first date with Lisa …..

It was my first date with Lisa. Lisa was very beautiful. She looked like Selena Gomez. Lisa wore red blouse. The blouse was simple but nice (TECHNIQUE 5: Sight). We talked about many topics. We talked about our hobbies. We also talked about our families. Moreover, we talked about our schools too (TECHNIQUE 2: Repeat verb). Lisa was a good lady. She was kind. She was also responsible. Lisa was hardworking too (TECHNIQUE 6: Traits). We ordered our lunch. Lisa ordered pizza and chicken chop. I ordered spaghetti and cheese cake. I ordered orange juice. Lisa ordered coconut shake (TECHNIQUE 4: Mixed – foods and drinks / repeat verb) (90 words)




Last week, my friends and I joined our school programme. Boboi, Yaya, Gopal, Ying and I joined our school language camp [TECHNIQUE 1: GIVE 3-5 EXAMPLES]. The camp was held at a two-star hotel in Ipoh. The hotel was new. The hotel was big. We saw many cars. We saw many people [TECHNIQUE 4: MIXED – SIGHT / REPEAT VERB]. We did not have to pay anything. Everything was sponsored. There were ten groups. I was in Group 10. The members in my group came from different classes. But all of us were form 5 students. [79 words]

Seri, from Class 5 Permai, was our group leader. Seri was a very pretty girl. Seri looked like my cousin. I liked her so much. [TECHNIQUE 5: SIGHT] I knew the other boys also liked Seri. We named our group Seri Bombastic. In the first activity, we created our group‘s logo, motto and song. When we presented our song, everybody liked it. I was happy. Seri was also happy. I was very happy when Seri was happy.[TECHNIQUE 4: MIXED – FEELING/ REPEAT VERB] [77 words]

On the second day, we had many language games. We had spelling competition, vocabulary game, drama and scrabble [TECHNIQUE 1: GIVE 3-5 EXAMPLES]. Our group won the drama competition. We presented a very good drama. We presented a story about a princess who fell in love with a fisherman. Seri played the role of a princess and of course I was the poor but handsome fisherman. The activities went on until 10.00 p.m. We were very tired but we were happy. [TECHNIQUE 3: FEELING/S] enjoyed ourselves a lot. [80 words]

On the third day we had a jungle trekking in a forest nearby the hotel. I saw many big trees. I saw some monkeys. I saw beautiful and colourful flowers [TECHNIQUE 5: SIGHT]. We had to climb hills. We also had to answer many difficult questions. It was very challenging. Seri was not feeling well. She looked sad. She looked tired. I was sad [TECHNIQUE 4: MIXED – SIGHT/ FEELING]. She could not walk fast. I had to walk slowly. I did not want Seri to be alone. Finally, we reached our destination. Seri smiled at me. She gave me her photo and thanked me. [96 words]

I was very happy. Seri was happy too. After the language camp, Seri and I got closer. We planned to join the language camp again next year. [27 words]



SPM 2005 - Describe an enjoyable weekend you have experienced.

SPM 2015 - Describe what makes you happy and explain why

(what makes you happy is to meet and go out with your idol)

I am a 20-year-old girl. My name is Lofa. I am cute. I am still single. I have many idols [TECHNIQUE 6: TRAITS]. One of my idols is Fatah Amin. He is a very handsome actor. Some of my friends say Shuib Sepah is more handsome than Fatah Amin [TECHNIQUE 5 TRAITS]. I disagree with them. I watch all his dramas and movies. Fatah Amin is my hero. He is my prince. Last weekend, I went to Bintang Mall for shopping. I went there alone. I went to my favourite boutique, Kaseh Atikah Boutique. I wanted to buy a blouse. It was the most enjoyable weekend. [100 words]

It was the best weekend in my life because I met Fatah Amin at the boutique! Fatah Amin was alone. He wanted to buy a dress for his sister. He came to me and said, “Excuse me, can you help me? Can you help me choose a dress for my sister?” I was too shocked to see my idol in front of me. I was so happy [TECHNIQUE 3: FEELINGS]. He was so handsome. He was more handsome than all his photos that I kept in my album! [TECHNIQUE 5: SIGHT]. I quickly said, “Yes!” I helped my hero to choose a pink dress for his sister. I walked close to him. I could smell his perfume. I was in heaven! [115 words]

I told Fatah Amin I was his great fan. I told him I watched all his dramas. I told him he was my greatest idol [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. He smiled. He thanked me. Then, Fatah Amin asked me to choose a blouse. He said he wanted to buy the blouse for me because I was his great fan. I was very happy. He was happy too. I wanted to cry [TECHNIQUE 3: FEELING/S]. I felt like I wanted to hug him but I knew I should not do that. I took his photos a lot. He was so sporting. I could take many photos with him [100 words].

Then, he asked me to have lunch with him. “OMG ….OMG…. OMG!!!” I was very happy. We walked to Mekar Cinta Café near the boutique. We walked together. We walked slowly. I walked close to him [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. I could still smell his perfume. It was really the best weekend in my life! I felt so happy. I wanted to hold his hand but I was afraid people would gossip us. Many people were looking at us. I did not know what was in their mind. [84 words]

I ordered chicken chop and apple juice. He also ordered the same thing. He said he wanted to eat what I ordered [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. Wow! He was so romantic! Suddenly, his mobile phone rang. He said he had an emergency. He had to leave. He quickly ate his food and then he left. He gave me his contact number. I continued eating alone but I was the happiest and luckiest girl that weekend! [71 words]



SPM 2006 - How to keep oneself healthy

SPM 2016 - What is the best way to help teenagers to stay fit and healthy?

I am Dean. I am 16 years old. I am a handsome boy. I am slim. I love to exercise. I have a girlfriend, Nina. I want to be slim and healthy all the time. I do not want to be fat [TECHNIQUE 6: TRAITS]. People always laugh at fat people. They must not do that. I know I must keep myself healthy. I must not eat a lot. I must exercise a lot. [71 words]

Firstly, I love to swim to exercise. I swim in the evening. I swim at Nina’s house [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. She comes from a rich family. She has a big house. Her house is beautiful. The house has a big swimming pool [TECHNIQUE 5: SIGHT]. I swim because I want to keep myself healthy, not to show my sexy body. I go to Nina’s house on Friday, Tuesday and Monday [TECHNIQUE 1: GIVE 3-5 EXAMPLES]. I swim from 10.00 a.m. until 11.30 a.m. sometimes I swim alone. Sometimes I swim with Nina. Sometimes I swim with Nina’s mother. Nina does not like to swim [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. She likes cycling. [96 words]

Sometimes, I also cycle to exercise. Nina likes to cycle so Nina always joins me cycling. She rides her pink bicycle. I ride my green bicycle. We always cycle in Taman Kempas. The roads in Taman Kempas are not busy. Sometimes we cycle in Taman Jati and Taman Kemuning [TECHNIQUE 2: REPEAT VERB]. Cycling is good for my health. Cycling makes me sweat more. I like to cycle in the morning. Sometimes, I start cycling at 7.00 a.m. If I wake up late, I will start cycling at 9.00 a.m. I do not like to cycle in the afternoon [95 words].

My friends get angry because I always exercise with Nina. They also want to exercise with me so sometimes, I jog with my friends. I jog with Nurin, Misha, Chung, Kent and Vishnu [TECHNIQUE 4: MIXED – REPEAT VERB/ GIVE 3-5 EXAMPLES]. They are classmates. We go jogging at the playground near my house. The playground has a good jogging track. There are many trees. Some trees are very big and tall [TECHNIQUE 5: SIGHT]. The air is fresh. We can breathe in fresh and clean air while jogging. It is a safe place too. We always jog for two rounds. Sometimes we jog for six rounds. All of us want to stay fit and healthy [104 words].

I love to exercise. I like to do many things to exercise. I know I must not stop exercising if I want to stay healthy.[25 words]



‘Goreng 2.0’ is not an ambitious strategy. It focuses on the simplest ways to develop ideas. As long as weak and reluctant learners are able to write, I am pretty sure ESL teachers will be gratified. Hopefully, the strategy shared here can benefit those who need it. If there is a necessity to adapt and adopt it, please go ahead. What matters is the significant progress made by our weak and reluctant ESL learners to write. What matters more is the ESL teachers' willingness and commitment to take all the necessary actions and persevere along the journey. It is teachers' perseverance that will ensure greater and more meaningful success.


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