CRITICAL SCRUTINY OF MODEL ESSAYS: A STRATEGY TO BOOST CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION AMONG LOWER INTERME
This strategy DOES NOT ONLY require lower intermediate learners to simply copy model essays of their level and proficiency. It is more than that. When lower intermediate learners are coached to examine essays critically, there are benefits for them to gain. One thing for sure, based on my observations and experiences, the whole process of copying, examining and scrutinising model essays do develop their confidence and motivation to write.
Copying model essays is helpful and it works in various contexts. Model essays show lower intermediate learners the kinds of sentences they should write as well as the techniques and ways to present and develop their own ideas. Instead of merely copying the model essays, teachers can always implement any of these activities for their learners:
Revise the 7 techniques to develop ideas (posted in this blog on 22.10.2018 https://zanurinms.wixsite.com/englishzone/single-post/2018/10/22/GORENG-20-ENHANCING-DEVELOPMENT-OF-IDEAS-AMONG-WEAK-AND-RELUCTANT-ESL-WRITERS
Create a mind map (or any suitable i-Think map) on the contents of the essay.
Choose a paragraph and then highlight a sentence which tells about the main idea and the other sentences which provide details for the main idea.
Choose a sentence which is taken from the essay and formulate a question. For example, the sentence is “We went to the museum by bus”, so the question should be “How did the pupils go to the museum?”
Analyse the sentences and relate them to the writing techniques taught before. Perhaps, they need to name the technique such as 42211.
Underline all the verbs and pupils work collaboratively to make sure all weak learners in the class understand the meaning of each verb.
Underline all the nouns in the essay and make two lists; singular and plural nouns countable nouns.
Identify feelings stated in the model essays and perhaps add their own sentence to further describe the feelings.
Identify adjectives which are used to describe the characters in the model essays.
Discuss in a group and decide on additional details / sentences which they wish to add in the model essays.
The following are some model essays for lower intermediate learners which are composed based on past SPM 1119 questions:
SPM 2019: If you had the chance to be someone else, who would you choose to be? Explain what would be good about being that person, and what might be difficult.
I want to be Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. She is my idol. I like her very much. I like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza a lot. She can sing. She can dance. She can sing Malay songs. Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza can sing English songs. She can also sing Chinese songs. Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza has many popular songs. I love Cindai, Anta Permana, Purnama Merindu and Wajah Kekasih.[64 words]
My father also likes Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. He says she is very beautiful. my mother likes my idol too. my father says my mother looks like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. My mother says she is more beautiful than Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. I think my mother is wrong. I know my mother is pretty but Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza is prettier than her. [60 words]
If I can be Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, I can be popular. I want to be popular. It is good to be popular. If I go to a mall, people will come to me. If I go to the night market, my fans want to take photos with me. If I go to restaurants or hotels, many people want my autograph. I am happy to be popular. I am happy people know me. It is my dream.[76 words]
One more thing I like to be Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza because I can get a lot of money. I love money. My father loves my money. My mother loves my money too. I want to work hard to get a lot of money for me and my parents. Like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, I get a lot of money when I sing many songs. People must pay me RM10000 for one song. I can sing at hotels. I can sing at concerts. Many of my fans will come to my concerts. [90 words]
I know it is not easy to be Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza. Firstly, I must be patient. I may not have enough privacy. People always want my autograph. People always want to take photos with me. I have to smile to everybody. If I do not smile, my fans will not be happy. My fans will be angry. I think it is also difficult to be popular. I have to work hard. I have to work days and nights. I will not have enough rest. I think it will be difficult for me to be Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza because I am lazy. I only know how to eat and sleep.[109 words]
Total: 399 words
SPM 2018: Describe a problem you once had while you were travelling. Explain what you did to solve the problem and what you have learnt from the experience.
Last week, I travelled to Tanjung Malim. I went by bus. It was a big bus. My seat number was 11A. I sat next to a Malay man. He was old. He looked like my uncle. His name was Pak Kob. He was going to Tanjung Malim. He wanted to visit his brother. His brother was Pak Chop. Pak Kob was a good man. He talked a lot. [68 words]
Our express bus stopped at Tapah rest area. I went down. I went to the toilet. The toilet was clean. I saw many people. I saw some Koreans. Pak Kob went down too. We went to the toilet together. Then, I bought some food. I bought burger, fruits and Coca Cola. Pak Kob bought some mangoes. He loved to eat mangoes. Then, I bought ice-cream. I was happy. Pak Kob was happy too. [73 words]
Fifteen minutes later, i walked to the bus. Pak Kob was talking to the driver. The bus driver was handsome. He was a small man. His name was John Labu. I checked my wallet. I was shocked. My wallet was missing. I could not find my wallet. I told Pak Kob. I told John Labu. I was very worried. I wanted to cry. John Labu told me to relax. [69 words]
Pak Kob helped me. Pak Kob and I walked back to the fruit stall. I asked the man at the fruit stall. He did not see my wallet. Then, we went to the burger stall. The man at the burger stall also did not see my wallet. I was very worried. Pak Kob asked me to relax again. I could not relax. [62 words]
I called my father. I called my father three times. He did not answer my call. Then, I called my mother. She answered my call. I told my mother about my problem. I cried. My mother told me not to cry. I cried again. My mother asked me to tell her the last place that I went. I told her I went to a shop and bought ice-cream.[68 words]
Then, Pak Kob and I went to the ice-cream stall. I found my wallet! It was there! The man found my wallet. He kept it. His name was Pak Borhan. Pak Borhan was a good man. I thanked Pak Borhan. [40 words]
Then, Pak Kob and I walked to the bus. I was very happy. I smiled to John Labu. I learnt good lessons. I must be very careful. I must take care of my wallet. I also learnt there are good and kind people like Pak Borhan. Thank you Pak Borhan. [50 words]
Total: 430 words
SPM 2016 - There are many things to do after your SPM examination. Write about your plans for the next three months and the challenges you might face.
Next month is my SPM examination. I am worried. I am not ready for my examination. I want to study but I am lazy. I sleep in class. I sleep a lot. I hope I can get straight As in my SPM examination. I wish. [45 words]
I have some plans after my SPM examination. I want to work part-time. Maybe I want to work for one month. Maybe I want to work for two months. I want to work at my father’s café. My father has a small café. It is a popular café. Many people like to go to his café. They love the chicken rice there. It is the best chicken rice in town. I want to be a cashier. I want to take care of the money. I love to hold money. However, I have one problem. My father does not trust me. I think he will ask me to wash the plates. Maybe he will only ask me to be a waiter.[120 words]
After working part-time, I want to take my driving license. I like my father’s car. He has a BMW. I love his car. I like to drive his car but he is worried when I drive his car. My father is always angry when I want to borrow his car. But not my mother. She always supports me. She always gives to me my father’s car key secretly. When I get my driving license, I want to drive to Kuala Lumpur using my father’s BMW. However, I know there is one big challenge. Will he say yes? Will he be happy? [101 words]
Then, I want to go to Langkawi Island with my friends. I want to enjoy myself with Boon, Kim, Gina, Badrul and Hafiz. They are my best friends. I plan to stay at a five-star hotel. I want to go to the spa at the hotel. However, I do not have enough money. Perhaps, I just stay at a budget hotel. Maybe, I just relax at Pantai Cenang. Pantai Cenang is a great beach. It is a beautiful beach. I will buy chocolates for my mother. I love her a lot. Maybe I will buy one KitKat for my father. [100 words]
I have some plans after my SPM examination. I love all my plans. [13 words]
SPM 2015 - Describe what makes you happy and explain why.
I love going to shopping malls. I am happy to go to malls. I love to go to Sogo, Pavillion, Bintang Mall and Lot 10. Last week, my mother and I went to a shopping mall. We went to Maju Shopping Mall. It was a new shopping mall. The mall was very big. There were many people. I saw a group of old ladies. They were shopping at Parkson Grand. They were having a lot of fun. They smiled all the time. They laughed too. One lady looked like my aunty.[91 words]
I also love shopping. Shopping is fun. Shopping at malls makes me happy. My mother loves to shop too. My mother is a housewife but she looks like a celebrity. She is pretty. My mother is the best mother in the world. To me she is the most beautiful mother in the world. She is the best cook in the world too. Last week, I bought two pairs of blouses her. She smiled all the time. She was very happy. [80 words]
I love going to malls because every mall has a food court. I love eating. I love to eat pizza, chicken rice, soup, fried chicken and spaghetti. I love to eat at KFC. Sometimes I go to McDonald and Chicken Rice Shop. I am happy when I can eat my favourite foods. I am also happy when I can drink my favourite drinks. I love to drink soya bean, Coca Cola, orange juice and hot coffee. Last week, my pretty mother paid for all the food that I ordered. I ordered chicken rice and pizza. My mother ordered burger and fried rice. We were very happy. We enjoyed our food. [110 words]
Before we went home, my mother went to a boutique. She looked at all the clothes there. She loved beautiful clothes. She spent one hour there. We went home at 7.00 p.m. I bought a lot of things. I bought t-shirts, blouses, shirts and jackets. I bought a t-shirt for my brother. I bought a blouse for my sister. I bought a jacket for my father. I was happy when they were happy.[73 words]
Total: 354 words
SPM 2014 - Describe an important family celebration and how you felt about it.
I have a happy family. I love my family. I love my siblings. I love my mother and father. I also love my grandmother and grandfather. My grandfather is 80 years old. My grandmother is 70 years old. They are still healthy. They like to walk at the playground. They walk and exercise every morning and evening. They eat healthy food. They do not eat junk food. [67 words]
Last week, my family had a very important celebration. My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a big event. I helped my parents to make preparations. I booked a room at Della Vista Hotel. It was a five-star hotel. The hotel was a new hotel. It was a very big hotel. I felt very happy because we could celebrate the anniversary at a five-star hotel.[67 words]
17 July was the memorable date. 50 years ago, my grandparents got married on that date. On 17 July 2016, all my family members gathered at Della Vista Hotel. We went there at 6.00 p.m. We went there one hour early. I was very happy to see my uncles, aunties and cousins at the hotel. Some of them came from Singapore. Pak Long Din and his family came from Johor Baharu. Pak Long Din was still handsome. He looked like Dato’ Jalaluddin Hassan. Mak Teh Kiah and her children came from Kuching, Sarawak. Her daughter, Mia Sara, was very beautiful. She looked like a princess. Everybody loved her beauty. All of them brought gifts. I was very happy they came from far just for my grandparents.[126 words]
We started the celebration with a prayer. We prayed for the best for my grandparents and our family members. Then we had our dinner. We had rice and different types of dishes. There were fried chicken, fish head curry, mixed vegetable and butter prawns. The foods were delicious. I felt very happy because everybody enjoyed the foods a lot. My grandfather loved butter prawns. My grandmother loved fish head curry. After dinner, my grandparents cut a cake. We ordered the chocolate indulgence cake from the famous cake shop in town, Anas Cake Empire. Everybody loved the cake. I could not stop smiling when my happy grandparents told me they loved the cake very much.[114 words]
My grandparents gave a speech. They thanked everybody. They thanked my parents and me for working hard to organise the event. I felt very happy. I felt very proud too. After that we had games and karaoke session. Everybody was so happy. I was the happiest grandchild in the world that night. [52 words]