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FORECASTING CONTINUOUS WRITING QUESTIONS IN SPM 1119 2019: AN INSIGHT

October 27, 2019

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CRITICAL REFLECTION AFTER SPM 1119 TRIAL EXAMINATION 2019: EPISODE 1

We do learn from our experience but definitely, we learn more from reflecting on our experience. The way ESL/EFL teachers reflect on the happenings around them does reveal who they are. One happening that concerns many ESL/EFL teachers at this point of time is the SPM Trial Examination 2019, of course, in particular the performance of the SPM 2019 candidates in 1119. By 22 August 2019, the English papers could be over in most schools and teachers could have started marking the examination scripts.

 

In about two weeks, complete results could be produced and analysis after analysis will be done. Depending on the teaching and learning contexts, the results for 1119 in the SPM Trial Examination could improve or drop. Analysing numbers and figures is one important issue but I believe there are other issues which should also be the concern of ESL/EFL teachers. In this write-up, I wish to share my thoughts especially with young and amateur English teachers who are given the responsibility to teach Form 5.

 

In my opinion, it is of utmost importance for teachers to reflect professionally and critically on their teaching no matter which level they teach. However, we cannot deny the fact that critical reflection matters more if ones teach examination classes. Critical and professional reflection should be done based on the learning issues portrayed by our learners such as below:

 

CASE 1: DIRECTED WRITING

 

Issue: Average or below average learners lose some content points because they construct meaningless sentences (sentences with distorted content points) in their attempt to use the content points given in the question.

 

CRITICAL REFLECTION TO BE DONE BY THE TEACHERS:

Have I taught them EFFECTIVELY how to construct a simple sentence to rewrite each content point given? How many times have I PERSONALLY COACHED my weak learners on how to score for content points?

 

CASE 2: DIRECTED WRITING

 

Issue: Potential B and A- candidates fail to elaborate each content point well.

 

CRITICAL REFLECTION TO BE DONE BY THE TEACHERS:

Have I coached them EFFECTIVELY how to elaborate each content point? Have I given them any SIMPLE AND PRACTICAL THINKING TOOL to generate ideas for elaboration?

 

CASE 3: CONTINUOUS WRITING

 

Issue: Weak learners still submit a blank paper for CW / They write very little for CW.

 

CRITICAL REFLECTION TO BE DONE BY THE TEACHERS:

Do I really KNOW EXACTLY THE REASONS for their zero or little attempt to write? Have I really TALKED to them or have I only been making ASSUMPTIONS? Have I really done my best to reduce their writing anxieties? Have I really tried to develop their confidence to CONSTRUCT SENTENCES EFFECTIVELY? Have i given SUFFICIENT WRITING PRACTICES AT SENTENCE AND PARAGRAPH LEVELS?

 

CASE 4: CONTINUOUS WRITING

 

Issue: Potential B and A- learners still have errors when they use verbs.

 

CRITICAL REFLECTION TO BE DONE BY THE TEACHERS:

Have I really drilled them with the correct use of past / present tense verbs on ONGOING basis? Have I given them CLEAR AND REPEATED EXPLANATIONS on basic tenses? HOW FREQUENT of grammar practices have I done with my potential B and A- learners?

 

CASE 5: CONTINUOUS WRITING

 

Issue: Potential A- and A candidates still lack merits in their CW.

 

CRITICAL REFLECTION TO BE DONE BY THE TEACHERS:

Have I seriously helped my potential A- and A candidates to ENRICH / WIDEN THEIR VOCABULARY? What VOCABULARY ENRICHMENT TOOL have I employed for their merit enrichment? How many FOCUSED SOPHISTICATED WORDS do I normally ask my learners to memorise on ONGOING BASIS? How frequent do I MONITOR THEIR PROGRESS on APPLYING sophisticated words for their merits?

 

CONCLUSION

 

Obviously all the questions posed above are for ESL/EFL teachers and they are based on 1119/1. No doubt, learners attitude, language proficiency and attendance during lessons play crucial roles too in determining their performance in examinations. However, this write-up only wishes to highlight the importance of teachers carrying out critical reflection on their own performance. In doing so, they need to pose relevant and meaningful questions based on each issue that they have identified among their learners. The issues and questions mentioned above are common examples among most SPM candidates and ESL/EFL teachers. If there are any other exclusive or isolated issues, then the teachers need to question their teaching practices accordingly.

 

To me, whoever we are; seniors, juniors, Master Teachers of English, highly experienced or novice teachers, carrying out critical reflection on our own teaching practice is truly an act of wisdom. As the saying goes, "the more reflective you are, the more effective you are". Therefore, based on the results which will be ready soon, we should not only be concerned about numbers and figures but what is more important is to reflect critically on our own teaching practices and make improvements!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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