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FORECASTING CONTINUOUS WRITING QUESTIONS IN SPM 1119 2019: AN INSIGHT

October 27, 2019

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PROVIDING A ROADMAP THROUGH “KC” TO FULFIL ESSAY REQUIREMENTS IN CONTINUOUS WRITING

Continuous Writing questions are getting tougher these days. SPM candidates have to fulfil two or three requirements to complete their essay. Some candidates are careless that they do not fulfil one of the requirements. Consequently, their essay is marked down or given a penalty. Their case is regarded as partial treatment of subject matter and the essay falls under Band D (20-25 marks). Even if their language quality is good, the highest mark could just be 25/50.

 

 

 

 

Before I share more about KC, let us examine some of the past Continuous Writing questions in SPM.

 

SPM 2014

 

Describe an important family celebration (PART 1) and how you felt about it (PART 2).

 

SPM 2015

 

Write a story about someone you know who took a big risk (PART 1) and had a good result (PART 2). Begin your story with: “Everybody said that the plan would never work. It was far too risky...”

 

SPM 2016

 

There are many things to do after your SPM examination. Write about your plans for the next three months (PART 1) and the challenges you might face (PART 2).

 

SPM 2017

 

Describe the first time you went on a camping trip. You should write about the activities at the camp (PART 1) and explain how you felt about the experience (PART 2).

 

SPM 2018

 

Describe a problem you once had while you were travelling (PART 1). Explain what you did to solve the problem (PART 2) and what you have learnt from the experience (PART 3).

 

Some people complain that they have no free time. Discuss the reasons why they might say this (PART 1) and suggest how they could use their time better (PART 2).

 

Write a story about a teenager who had an unusual hobby (PART 1). Explain what was the hobby and how the teenager’s friends became interested in it (PART 2).

 

Imagine you went to a big sports event. Describe what you saw (PART 1), what happened (PART 2) and how you felt on that day (PART 3).

 

 

How can ESL teachers help SPM candidates to be extra careful so that all requirements are fulfilled when they write their continuous essays? Well, in this write-up I would like to share a newly developed strategy which I name KC. KC stands for Keywords & Columns. It is a simple yet effective tool to ensure learners do not miss any of the important parts in their essay. These are the steps to be taken by them to apply KC:

 

  1. Underline keywords

  2. Make columns based on the number of keywords

  3. Write each keyword on top of the column

  4. Plan details in each column – write short notes (However, in the examples shared below, I write the details in complete sentences as they are taken from my PowerPoint slides which are used to explain to my own learners).

  5. No. 1-4 above must be done in less than 7 minutes. Therefore, SPM candidates must be given enough practices to make preparations in less than 7 minutes.

 

Sample 1:

 

Describe a problem you once had while you were travelling (PART 1). Explain what you did to solve the problem (PART 2) and what you have learnt from the experience (PART 3).

 

 

 

 

Sample 2:

 

Imagine you went to a big sports event. Describe what you saw (PART 1), what happened (PART 2) and how you felt on that day (PART 3).

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

KC is a tool developed recently based on the feedback from 1119/1 examiners who revealed that many 2018 SPM candidates were marked down due to their failure to fulfil all the requirements in the essay question. KC may not be the best technique in your own teaching context but it surely helps my own learners.

 

This technique acts like a roadmap for learners before they start their ‘writing journey’. The details in each column provide clear directions for their journey. They will cover all the important details throughout their ‘writing journey’ and optimistically will bring them to their destination safe and sound; gaining the best score and grade for their continuous essay.

 

It is obvious KC is more applicable for descriptive and narrative essays or any essay questions which have 2-3 parts that candidates must fulfil. As ESL teachers, it is our duties and responsibilities to guide, coach and assist our learners in whatever way we can so that they can get the best mark and grade for their Continuous Writing. Hopefully, KC can also be implemented in other teaching and learning contexts effectively and stories of success will reach me one day, in shaa Allah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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