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Scaffolding ESL Leaners for Content: Series 2 (Focusing on HOTS Questions)


Source/credit to: https://pmskills.com/index.php/2021/11/08/10-critical-thinking-skills/


This article continues to share topics/issues to be discussed or revised with the SPM 1119 candidates which focus more on nurturing learners’ critical thinking skills. We cannot deny the fact that some of our learners need our guidance to develop their critical thinking, reasoning, comparing and contrasting and predicting skills.


With reference to Unit 3 and Unit 4 of the Full Blast Plus 4 textbook, several topics are listed for learners to discuss with and present to their classmates. I would suggest the presentation is done in groups and after the presentation, group representatives are given some time to type the content at home (maybe in Word, Padlet, PowerPoint or any suitable form) the content/ideas already presented.


As mentioned before, the SPM writing and speaking questions are always linked to the topics found in textbooks. For the exposure or perhaps revision, depending on a number of factors such as learners’ readiness, availability of time as well as learners’ needs, teachers may divide learners into a few groups, let them discuss the topics/issues below and then present the ideas to their classmates. The following are some of the possible topics/issues which candidates should explore or re-visit based on the Form 4 English textbook Unit 3 (Buy It!):


  1. What are the dos and don’ts when going shopping?

  2. How can shoppers/ consumers be more responsible when they go shopping? Explain.

  3. Suggest an item that your best friend should buy for you. Give three most convincing reasons why the item should be bought.

  4. What kind of product which will be very popular among teenagers in five years’ time? Why do you say so?

  5. Imagine there is a new mall in your hometown. Give three convincing reasons why your classmates and their family members must go there.

  6. Compare and contrast shopping at second-hand shops and malls.

  7. What are three major differences between shopping in the past and at present?


The following are some of the possible topics/issues which candidates should explore or revise based on the Form 4 English textbook Unit 4 (Being a Teen):


  1. What is the biggest challenge being a teenager? Why do you say so?

  2. Suggest three effective ways for teens to deal with peer pressure.

  3. What are the three different adjectives which can be used to describe teenagers in Malaysia? Explain.

  4. Which three most important skills which you think teenagers should improve? Explain.

  5. How would teenagers prefer to learn in the classrooms? Give your suggestions.

  6. Compare and contrast digital learning and conventional learning.

  7. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of:

7.1 studying in a group and alone/on your own.

7.2 doing homework


Group discussions and presentations based on the topics/issues above are indeed encouraged especially among Form 5 SPM 1119 candidates because their discussions on those topics should equip them with ideas/content on topics which they are familiar as well as less familiar with. It is of ultimate hope that their discussions will also be able to nurture and polish certain skills such as reasoning and critical thinking skills. Moreover, any discussion on pros and cons will also coach candidates to use cohesive devices such as however, on the contrary, despite and even though.


Note: To be continued with topics/issues based on Unit 5 and Unit 6 of Full Blast Plus 4. When all Form 4 units are covered, I shall proceed with the Form 5 units.

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