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CRITICAL SCRUTINY OF MODEL ESSAYS: A STRATEGY TO BOOST CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION AMONG LOWER INTERMEDIATE ESL WRITERS

March 27, 2020

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COACHING IN ESL WRITING CLASSROOMS THROUGH CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF SAMPLE ESSAYS

February 6, 2020

 

Coaching to write better essays among INTERMEDIATE ESL learners varies according to their stages of writing lessons as well their level of proficiency. For intermediate learners (those who have been getting C+, B, B+) whom I always believe are also potential A candidates (at least A- but most probably not A+), they can be coached to improve their essay writing. No doubt, there must be ongoing efforts to polish their grammar as this group of learners are definitely able to write but language errors are frequent.

 

Intermediate ESL writers also need help in term of content. Some of them do claim they do not have  enough ideas or content to be written in their essays. Based on my observation and experience, many intermediate learners tend to think of challenging ideas for their 1119 essays. Some of them choose questions or ideas which give them challenges to present and develop convincingly. One strategy which I am positive is always helpful and effective is by giving them sample essays.

 

We need to read and critically analyse each sample essay with our intermediate learners. Each paragraph should be examined in terms of sophisticated vocabulary, sentence structures and development of ideas too. Teachers need to highlight contents or ideas which are simple yet convincing or interesting. Our intermediate learners need to see and understand they do not have to present  ideas or contents like the A+ candidates for them to get an A- or A for their SPM 1119.

 

Hopefully, these two sample essays which are composed based on two SPM 2019 questions will be helpful to ESL teachers and their learners.

 

 

SPM 2019: Which do you think is more important, money or health? Compare the two and decide if one is more important than the other. Give your reasons. 

 

 

It is beyond doubt having money is crucial in life. Some may say wealth can cure sick people and in some cases it is having enough money that would allow patients to get the best treatment for their illnesses. To a certain extent, I would have to agree that money would be able to give happiness to people. For an instance, it is wealth that flies people to London, Seoul and Melbourne for their vacations. It is also wealth that permits them to shop till they drop in boutiques in Paris and New York.

 

However, if you ask more and more people what they actually need in order to be contented in life, the most common answer would be having good health. In my opinion, both are definitely essential for happiness, however, health wins hands down.

 

Firstly, health is more important than money because if you are physically fit, you will have a sense of well-being. That means that you will feel elated and gratified with life. Wealth or money does not necessarily do the same. Many people mistakenly think that they would be over the moon if they had a million Ringgit. They think that having more money will solve all their problems. On the contrary, it has been found that being wealthy can actually rob your peaceful mind and life. Rich people suffer from more stress, anxiety, suspicion and unhappiness.

 

Besides, having lots of money is useless without health. To understand this, we must look at why we gather wealth. The purpose of doing so is to be able to supply our daily needs and make ourselves radiant by spending luxuriously. Without good health, no matter how much one spends on material things, that person will not be able to enjoy them to the fullest. For example, a person who is unwell would not be able to eat everything he wishes for to even though he could afford to buy the most expensive food. A person who is bedridden will not be able to enjoy vacations in exotic places even if he owned a private plane. Therefore, health is more important than wealth as having tonnes of money is indeed useless without health.

 

Another point in favour of health is that it is only when you are healthy, you will be able to gain wealth. I believe, the reverse is not possible. If a person is healthy, he would be able to find work or carry out investments that could eventually make him wealthy. However, for a person who is wealthy but ill, even the best medical care that money can buy may not guarantee the return of that person's health. This fact alone is sufficient to support the view that wealth is less important than health.

 

In a nutshell, health is indeed more important than money because nothing compares to good health. (475 words)

 

Adapted from https://www.englishdaily626.com/lower_secondary_english_essays.php?403

 

 

 

SPM 2019: If you had the chance to be someone else, who would you choose to be? Explain what would be good about being that person, and what might be difficult.

 

When asked about someone that I would choose to be in this universe, I do not need to look at celebrities or any other big names in the society. Personally, if I had the chance, I would love to be my mother. We all have people whom we consider to be highly inspirational and influential to look upon, and in my case, my mother is an excellent example of these characters. She is an extraordinary person in my life because of her enduring strength that I dearly admire, and she is also benevolent as well as supportive.

 

One thing for sure I really admire about my mother’s strength, which appears to be resistant throughout hard times. My mother is a single mother, and she has managed to raise three children all by herself, providing us with a good life and education, while still balancing her work. For instance, when my brother and I completed or secondary school, only one of us hoped to join college because of our financial constraint, but she had two jobs to ensure that we enrolled in college. I hold great admiration for my mother because of her determination, how she never backs down, and the way she stands up for what she believes in no matter the hardships that come along. Therefore, being her would make me to be perseverant too.

 

My mother has a striking appearance, but behind this, she is very alluring and admirable. At first, one can conclude that she is a blunt and cold person because of her quiet nature, but after knowing her, she turns out to be amicable, warm-hearted, gentle, and philanthropic. My mother has been a dedicated individual in the society through volunteering in our residential area during weekends and holidays as well as helping in the local homeless shelters. Frankly speaking, I am not as dedicated as her, so being someone like her would allow me to be a kind-hearted and deeply-caring person. I always believe that it is upon me to help those in need whenever I am capable.

 

I am lucky to have a mother who always supports me no matter my misgivings. No matter what activity that I am engaged in or the decision I make, my mother is still there for me to give me advice and encouragement. She is at all times be by my side. I still remember I had a difficult time adapting to my first year in my secondary school, and I almost quit, but my mother listened to my grievances, and with her support, I managed to cope with my problems. Being compassionate and supportive like my mother is significant to me as this trait will always give me the strength to endure a lot of grim situations in life as well as learn a lot in what life has to offer.

 

My mother has her flaws too. I am sorry to mention this but she is a very stubborn lady. If I were to be her, perhaps, it will be difficult for me to listen to the opinions or advice given by others to me. Another thing which sometimes I am pissed off with my mother, she is adamant with her decision even though she knows her decision hurts me. I do not wish to be like that because I do not want to make decisions for others. I always prefer each individual is given freedom and chances to make his or her own decision.

 

I guess, it is a total truth when people say nobody is perfect. As humans, we do have our own drawbacks. Though my beloved mother is far from being flawless, I still wish to be her if I were given a chance to do so. (623 words)

 

Adapted from https://www.iwriteessays.com/example/sample-descriptive-essay-about-a-person-you-admire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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