It is a sad reality that many hardworking, determined and ambitious ESL learners do not know exactly what to do to enhance their language quality in writing. It is a waste as they have all the interest and enthusiasm but they lack knowledge and guidance. This drawback prohibits most of them from doing what they must do to polish their language quality. Language quality in this write-up refers to these aspects; language accuracy, sentence structures and vocabulary.
These poor (lack guidance to polish their language quality) learners normally give their best for other subjects such as Mathematics, Physics and Sejarah. No doubt, English 1119 and SPM Sejarah are two different subjects. For Sejarah, they have to read and revise a lot of Form 4 and Form 5 chapters and sub-chapters. They would do this and that to enhance their mastery of Sejarah topics. However, do they have a lot of Form 4 and Form 5 chapters for SPM English? Surely, the answer is “No”. When they do not have to read, revise and memorise numerous chapters like Sejarah, does it mean the learners have nothing to do? Most learners would tell that they have to do something (many will mention they need to improve their grammar) to enhance their language quality but their feedback lacks clarity and precision.
The quote above is indeed true. In relation to our ESL learners, be it below or above average, many of them fail to plan well to further improve their language quality. How can we know about it? It is simple. Their failure to give clear and convincing answers on how they can improve their grammar, vocabulary or sentence structures will reveal everything. What do I mean by clarity and precision in term of improving their language quality in writing? Their feedback will get a thumbs up if they are able to answer these questions convincingly.
It is not uncommon to hear some teachers saying “How can a Form 5 student give those types of feedback?” Yes, they are right. Initially, our learners will not be able to provide clear and convincing answers. Why is that so? It is simply because they are not guided well by their ESL teachers (Of course I am not saying all English teachers fail to guide their learners). However, if the ESL teachers take some initiative to explain clearly about the three aspects which are involved in improving their language quality, I am positive their average ESL learners who thirst for the best essay mark will not be in ambiguity or darkness anymore. Their learners should be able to give the desired feedback on how they can improve their language quality.
I always believe all ESL teachers have been doing and giving their best. Nevertheless, we are just humans who may overlook certain crucial aspects in our endeavour to help our learners improve their writing. If that is the case, there is no need to be alarmed. We just need to make some changes for betterment. Let us assist our learners, who possess all those positive qualities, to make plans for their grade A. They need to know the best strategy to choose, what they must focus on and how frequent the strategy must be implemented. Our inability to guide them well may result in their failure to get what they deserve. Surely, we do not wish that to happen, therefore, let us guide, guide and guide them. In shaa Allah, success will be theirs and ours as well.