...My girl is not very good in composition writing so it does not matter whether it is creative writing so long it can help her on her writing.
I have been looking around but none seems to impress me. My girl was in Jan and Elly for P1 for half a year but I do not see much of improvement in her writing so I want to change her to other place.
Hi snowyqueen, that is precisely my point with regards to how we parents do not really understand what we are signing up for and what exactly is the problem we are trying to solve. We need to spend some time with the child to assess what the real problem is first, before delving into an "enrichment solution".
There is a difference between learning-to-write (which focuses on grammar and punctuation) and writing-to-learn (which focuses on using the written language for effective communication). During the first 3 years of Primary school, almost all teachers focus on learning-to-write. A child that has unbridled imagination will likely score poorly during these years if he/she does not already have a good foundation of standard English. If this is that case, a creative writing class is unlikely to help the child do better in composition tests.
At the same time, children's writing start from:
"labelling" (ie. ability to use nouns and link them together with grammar to form sentences - preschools
"recounting" (ie. ability to narrate an observation - lower Primary
"expository" (ie. ability to explain or put forth an idea or concept - upper Primary
As such, early Primary school English compositions are more of the narrative style, which in turn tend to be chronological in nature (eg. This happened, and then it causes another event, and then... and finally... ). If you listen to how your child describes his day in school to you, you'll get what I mean from all the "and then"s that come from him. In fact, most teachers encourage the application of the chronological style, and frown on other, possibly more interesting, writing styles.
This means that if you are looking for your child to do well in composition for Primary school, all you really need to do is to get picture composition assessment books from the bookstore, and do the following for each of the stories:
1. Get your child to verbally narrate to you the action in sequence.
2. Get your child to write down the following on a working sheet of paper.
- Players: Identify the actors/entities in the story, and their relationship
- Setting: Describe the place where the story happened
- Event: Describe the action
- Conclusion: Describe the resolution and learning (moral of the story)
3. Get your child to start writing the composition based on his notes and in the following sections:
- Introduction (Players and setting)
- Body (Event - What happened?)
- Conclusion (So what?)
Try to get the child to supply details in his description through a generous use of adjectives.
If your child do enough of these picture compositions, there is a strong likelihood that he may even get a story with a familiar theme for the exams.
In my humble opinion, I do not believe that courses that teach creative writing can actually help improve composition skills for lower Primary levels, especially if they are true to their goal of encouraging creative writing! Can you imagine all novels having the same Intro-Body-Conclusion format