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MELICA (Model Essays for Lower Intermediate Candidates of SPM 1119/2) is back after a hiatus for a long time (If you have no idea what MELICA is all about, please check the past sharing in this blog; MELICA Part 1 – Part 9). This time MELICA highlights Part 3 and one of the focused areas is to guide candidates to write essays which require them to present ideas about advantages and disadvantages. This focus is chosen based on these two learning standards: 4.1.2 and 4.1.3.

No doubt, some weak or lower intermediate learners do not know the meaning of certain words like advantages, disadvantages, organise, organiser, exhibition and booth. Similarly, they may also be unfamiliar with cohesive devices like on the other hand, however, moreover, furthermore and in addition. The solution is simple; teach, reteach and reteach. After some time, they will understand the meaning of those words and know how to use them.

The following three model essays are for SPM 1119/2 candidates who have limited vocabulary and may not have the ability to write long sentences. Considering their low proficiency, the vocabulary and sentence structures used in the model essay are carefully chosen to suit them. Even the ideas and details are simple ones. Definitely, the model essays are not for potential A candidates. In this write-up, there is only one model essay that highlights advantages and disadvantages. More will be shared in the future.

Teachers, you can copy and further edit the model essays to suit your candidates’ ability, needs and teaching and learning contexts. What kinds of teaching and learning activities that you can do with your learners? Allow me to suggest a few:

  1. Let your weak learners copy the model answers. In a group of four, they will translate every single sentence in the essay to ensure they understand what they have copied.

  2. Print the essays for them and examine each essay. You may have one focus at a time, for example, ask them to identify the main idea and relevant details. Perhaps they present the ideas and details in the form of a mind map.

  3. Weak learners can also be asked to underline the cohesive devices used in the essay. Then, ask them to add any relevant details by using suitable cohesive devices.

  4. Allow the lower intermediate learners to add their own ideas in the essay. For example, the exotic pet in the essay has no name, thus, let the candidates suggest a name. It is also good to ask the candidates to suggest a different exotic pet of their choice and write about advantages and disadvantages of having that pet. Similarly, based on another essay question, they may also change the beach cleaning project to a new gotong royong project held outside school.

  5. Ask the weak learners to write their own essay. The same question may still be used, for example, they still write about the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet. However, they choose a different pet. Or, a new question can be given to them. Perhaps the question focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of owning a motorcycle among teenagers or fifth formers. Allow them to reuse or apply certain vocabulary, cohesive devices and sentence structures found in the model essay.

Essay 1

Write your answer in 200 – 250 words in an appropriate style in the space provided. Write the question number in the box at the top of the answer space.

You see this notice on the board outside the school office.

Write your article.

Do you have a pet? If yes, what pet do you have? If no, would you like to have a pet? Is having a pet good?

Some people say having a pet is good. There are some advantages to have a pet. First, our pet can be our friend. If we have a pet, we can always talk to our pet. We can tell our pet what happens in school. Besides, we can also tell our pet our secrets. Moreover, our pets can teach us to be caring and loving individuals. When we have a pet, we must take care of our pet. We must make sure that our pet eats well. We must make sure that our pets are always safe. In short, we must love our pet.

On the other hand, some people say there are disadvantages to have pets. I think we have to spend more money when we have pets. First, we must buy foods for our pets. Pet foods are not cheap. Furthermore, when our pets are sick, we have to take our pets to a clinic. That costs money too. Another disadvantage is that our house may be dirty if we do not take care of our pets well. Sometimes, our house can be smelly too.

In my opinion, I wish to have an exotic pet. I wish to have a snake. I want to buy a yellow snake at a pet shop near my house. I will give a name to my snake. I want to play with my pet. I want to eat with the snake. Besides, I want to sleep with my snake in my room. I also want to take photos with my snake and share the photos with my classmates.

In conclusion, I can say that having a pet is good. We must know how to take care of our pet well.

[305 words]

To: The Principal, SMK Nilam From: Head of Beach Cleaning Project

Teluk Nibong Beach Cleaning Project The students of SMK Nilam always love to do gotong royong. The students love to help people. Moreover, the students love to do good things because they are happy when they do good things.

Last week, 30 Form 5 students went to Teluk Nibong Beach to do a gotong royong project. There were 12 boys and 18 girls. We went there on 27 October. It was a Saturday. We went there to clean the beach. We went there by a school bus. Five teachers went there too. Mr. Leong, Madam Pushpa, Madam Nurul, Mr. Siva and Mr Kamal joined the project.

We arrived at Teluk Nibong Beach at 8.30 am. There were three groups. There were ten members in each group. Teluk Nibong Beach was dirty. We collected rubbish on the beach. We collected plastic bottles, cans, polystyrenes and boxes. We had a short break at 10.00 am. We had fried rice and sandwich. Besides, we had watermelon juice. After that, we cleaned the public toilet at Teluk Nibong Beach.

We finished our activities at 12.00 p.m. It was very hot. The students learned a lot from the gotong royong project. First, they learned to work together and help each other. Moreover, they learned that it is important to help each other. Next, they learned about discipline. They must listen to their leaders. In addition, they must follow the time to do their work.

We hope we can have one more gotong royong project in future. We just love teamwork.

Reported by,


Project Head,

Teluk Nibong Beach Cleaning Project

(266 words)

Books, books, books! Many people love reading books. My parents love reading books. My brothers and sisters love reading books too. Moreover, my best friend, Mikael, loves reading books.

Yesterday, Mikael and I went to a book fair at Pelangi Mega Mall. The fair started at 9.00 am. It was a big book fair. There were twenty-nine booths at the mall. I saw many students. I also saw many parents at the book fair.

I like the book fair. Firstly, I could easily get the books that I was looking for. I bought all the revision books that I wanted. Moreover, I loved the fair because I got discounts when I bought my English, Science, Mathematics, History and Geography books. I know the book fair is good, however, I do not like two things about it. First, it was only held for one day. Many of my friends missed it because they said they did not know. Next, the book fair ended at 5.00 p.m. They should have it until 10.00 p.m.

How can the book fair be better? First, the book fair organiser can have more booths. They should invite more book shops such as Popular Book Store and Hasani Book Shop. Next, I suggest they improve their publicity. They can send a letter to schools early so that more students know about it. Furthermore, the book fair should end at 10.00 p.m., not at 5.00 p.m.

In short, in my opinion, the book fair is good. My friends and I want to go there again because we love books. [255 words]


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