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Coaching ESL Writers To Construct Complex Structures: Part 2



 

Practice makes perfect. Though it is a cliché, it does make a lot of sense. Personally, I prefer this; PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS. This posting is a continuation from the previous posting which focuses on coaching pupils to construct complex sentences. I will share five more practices which should reinforce the progress intermediate, above intermediate or advanced pupils should have made after completing five practices shared previously. These five practices could be more demanding if compared to the previous five practices.

 

Remark: Practices 1-5 are shared in the previous posting.


PRACTICE 6


1.      In pairs or individually, construct a complex structure. Underline the main idea.

2.      Exchange your sentence with any two classmates. Check each sentence to ensure they are complex structures.

3.      Notes:

3.1   Teacher may select 5-10 complex structures (with or without errors) to be written on the whiteboard.

3.2   Each sentence on the whiteboard is examined.

3.3   Pupils determine whether each sentence is accepted as a complex sentence (pupils identify main and subordinate ideas)

3.4   Pupils identify the errors (if there are) and correct them.


PRACTICE 7


1.      Study the photo given to you.

2.      Construct at least 3 complex structures based on each of the photos.

3.      Be creative and imaginative in constructing your sentences.

 

 

 

Sample complex sentences:


  1. Misha who is the youngest in the family celebrates her seventh birthday.

  2. The hall is decorated with balloons by Misha’s uncle whom she calls Uncle Sam.

  3. Even though Misha’s mother is not good at baking, she bakes a chocolate cake for Misha.

  4. The birthday party starts after the heavy rain stops.

  5. Misha invites some of her friends since they are her neighbours too.


Other photos such as the ones below may be given to the pupils for complex sentences. If it is done in groups, each group will get a different photo.



 

 

 

PRACTICE 8: SPM 2021


Your class has been discussing the ways people can show kindness to others and your teacher has asked you to write an essay on it:

In your essay, you should write about:

·        an act of kindness you experienced

·        why we must be kind to others

·        how to encourage people to be kind

Use all the notes above and give reasons for your point of view. Write an essay in 125-150 words in an appropriate style.


Instruction to pupils:


Individually, construct at least two complex structures based on each of the tasks above. Then, share your complex structures with at least 3 classmates. At the end of the activity, you should have at least 5 complex structures in your exercise book.


Sample complex sentences:


Task 1: an act of kindness you experienced

i)       I was lost in Kuala Lumpur after I stopped to admire a unique t-shirt at a shop.

ii)      A stranger who looked like my uncle offered help.

iii)    Despite needing help, I did not easily trust the stranger.

 

Task 2: why we must be kind to others

(Let the pupils attempt to construct and share the sentences with their friends)


Task 3: how to encourage people to be kind

(Let the pupils attempt to construct and share the sentences with their friends)

 

PRACTICE 9: SPM 2022


Your class has been talking about the various cultural traditions in Malaysia and your teacher has asked you to write an essay on it.


In your essay, you should write about:

·        some cultural traditions that are still practised

·        why it is important to appreciate our cultural traditions

·        ways to encourage young people to keep the traditions alive


Use all the notes above and give reasons for your point of view. Write your essay in 125 – 150 words in an appropriate style.


Instruction to pupils:


In pairs, construct at least three complex structures based on each of the tasks above.

 

Sample complex structures:


Task 1: some cultural traditions that are still practised


i) Despite living in a new millennium, most young Malaysian still hold strong to their cultural traditions.

ii) Many Malaysians still eat rice using their hands because it is a part of their cultural traditions.

iii) Asking for forgiveness which is done with parents and siblings is a common practice.

 

Task 2: why it is important to appreciate our cultural traditions

(Let the pupils attempt to construct and share the sentences with their friends)

 

Task 3: ways to encourage young people to keep the traditions alive

(Let the pupils attempt to construct and share the sentences with their friends)

 

 

PRACTICE 10:


Write a short paragraph of about 30-50 words based on the first sentence given. There should be at least two complex structures in each paragraph.


1.      Something must be done to protect the dying Mother Nature.

2.      Teenagers should read e-newspaper daily. …

3.      It is extremely important to save money. …

 

Depending on the pupils’ readiness and ability, teachers may assign their pupils to write longer paragraphs such as the ones shown below.

 

Write a short paragraph of about 50-80 words based on the first sentence given. There should be at least four complex structures in each paragraph.


1.      There are a few ways for a school to create and maintain its good image. …

2.      Mental issues among teenagers must be addressed well. …

3.      Extreme sports should be encouraged among teenagers. …

 

The implementation of activities 1-10 is not for a short duration. I am not suggesting all or most of the activities must be conducted in 1-2 months. However, to me, those ten activities could be carried out within a period of perhaps 5-7 months so that revision and reinforcement can always be done to ensure that pupils know, remember and master complex sentences. If the ten shared activities are insufficient, then by all means teachers, you can always add more practices on your own. Whatever it is, complex structures should be mastered by the pupils especially those who have the potential to score an A-, A and A+ in the SPM 1119 paper.

 

If interested, you may download the material for your pupils.


Complex structures Part 2
.docx
Download DOCX • 895KB

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