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Postby The Alternative Story » Mon May 17, 2010 12:25 pm

Lynn2 wrote:Hi The Alternative Story

Wanna check with u this.

I have a pri five girl.She reads widely and the teacher told me she writes beautifully.But, to me I feel that she just lack something.Her compo is always around the range 30 to 34 over 50.May I know how we can help her to improve further?She loves writing.

Thanks


Hi Lynn2,

Just a check, is it 34 over 40 or over 50? Because the composition component is over 40 and the situational is over 15 so total marks for paper 1 is 55. :)

If her composition is around the range of 30-34 over 40, then she is writing very well. She probably has a wide range of vocabulary usage. She definitely has no problem with her grammar as well to get over 30 marks.

However, in order to score above 35, (we do know of students being able to get even as high as 39 in the PSLE from some of our previous experiences as teachers) your child would need to improve in the plot development and probably use writing skills then can hook the reader in. So her writing does not just look good but it has the ability to get hook the reader.

For example (for drowning):
("Jie Jie," my brother called out to me as I walked to the deckchair to get my goggles. Turning around, I saw to my horror, my 3 year old brother toddle out of the baby pool and began to make his way to the adult pool where he could see some children playing.

"No!" I shouted, fear making my voice squeak. My brother smiled his toothy grin at me and before I could run to him, he jumped into the adult pool. His happy grin was replaced by a confused look as he realised that he could not touch the ground.

I shrugged off my bathrobe and dived into the pool. The pool was serene, seemingly unaware of the drama unfolding in it. I could see my brother thrashing about. His tiny legs pumped up and down helplessly as he struggled to get air. I had to get to my brother, I had to. Almost there, I was almost there when a sudden intense pain made me almost double in pain. A leg cramp! Another intense bolt of pain ripped through my leg. I reached out to try to get my brother but the pain was unbearable. Surfacing for a quick gasp of air, I scanned the area for adults. No one. There was no one about except for a few young children happily laughing away.)

This short extract here is one where the reader will feel the urgency of the situation and the reader wants to read on to find out how the story ends, that is successful 'tension development'. It may not be overflowing with good vocabulary but the vocabulary used is appropriate to get the story across. Many children cram in as many good vocabulary phrases to try to score points but then their writing has a very unnatural feel to it and the reader is not able to get hooked as he needs to wade past a lot of phrases to get to the story.

If you have any more questions, you can ask us or you could write our part of your daughter's writing here and we could try to see what the problem is and how to help further enhance her writing.:)

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby buds » Mon May 17, 2010 2:05 pm

Wow! That short extract is already pretty engaging! :salute:
I like it! :wink: Hmm... i gotta check out your classes liao.
Too tempting!

buds
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Postby The Alternative Story » Mon May 17, 2010 3:06 pm

Hi buds,

Thanks! Yes, you can call us to find out more :) Looking forward to see or hear from you. Anyway if you have any questions relating to writing or English, do let us know, we can try to help you by answering them:)

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby Lynn2 » Mon May 17, 2010 3:13 pm

Hi

Thank you.

Its over 40.She just got back her p5 compo,sa1 marks.34/40 and top was 38 and we are wondering what happened.

Thank goodness she manage to do well in paper two , so overall still more than 90's

Do u have course that is suitable for her or maybe u can give some pointers that fine tune her compo?thanks


rgds

Lynn2

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Postby Lynn2 » Mon May 17, 2010 3:15 pm

Ok, I will do that when I get hold of her compo.Thanks

But, should u have holidays pro that can help to develop this area, I would love to send my girl there.thanks


rgds

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Postby The Alternative Story » Mon May 17, 2010 4:06 pm

Hi Lynn2,

Getting 90 over marks as an overall marks is very good and getting 35 is fantastic, so for her it will be very easy to improve to over 35. For pointers, I can give you but I need to know where her weakness is. Perhaps you can give me some idea on how she writes. Or you could come for our workshop:)

We have an intensive English Holiday course that may be suitable for her, we will put up the details later on the Happenings thread. Or she could join our Creative Writing course which is on Sundays - the Sunday class for upper primary is the class for the high ability students like herself.

We will update you of more creative writing tips when we do put them up on Twitter as well.

TAS

The Alternative Story
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Postby Lynn2 » Mon May 17, 2010 7:23 pm

Thanks again.I just show your write up to my girl and she smile and she says yes that is exactly the problem that she is facing...

Thanks for the great tips.

Look forward to hearing from you when there is a suitable class for her.thanks.Am hoping its just a holidays prog as she is pretty tied up during school days.


cheers

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Postby Lynn2 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:30 am

Hi "The Alternative Story"

I have pm u and hope u can share wif me some tips how a compo can be enhanced.thanks

rgds

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Postby The Alternative Story » Tue May 18, 2010 11:14 am

Hi Lynn2,

I read through your daughter's composition and grammatically, it is perfect, the vocabulary used is also great. It is also very innovative- the way she used the cockroach to resolve her situation. (She screamed when she saw the cockroach and that scream alerted the burglars but it also alerted her neighbour who called the police)

However, the reason that she probably did not score higher than 35 marks was that the situation of the burglary was resolved too quickly so as a reader, I am not totally engaged in the problem faced by the main character before the situation is resolved. The reader must feel for the character and be anxious to see that the character gets out safely. The character also did not seem very scared and so as the reader, I do not feel much for her.

So instead of saying that she was struggling with the burglar and then have Mr Tan the neighbour quickly came in to help, she could write something like this:

("Please don't hurt me," I whimpered as I saw the burglar walk menacingly towards me. Brandishing a serrated knife, he came closer and closer, laughing at my fear.

Run! The word seemed to explode on the inside of my mind but my jelly-like legs refuse to cooperate. Moving back slowly, I flinched at the look of malevolence in the burglar's eyes. His accomplice stood back, staring at me as well.

"I am going to take my time to silence you!" the burglar gave a sinister smile.

Sobbing, I backed away as far as I could. My legs were shaking and my hands were clammy. Looking around in desperation, I could see no feasible way out. Just as I found myself backing into the wall, I heard somebody call out, "Postman here, anyone at home?"

The interruption gave me all the strength I needed and I ran pell-mell, helter-skelter towards the front door, screaming for help. Thud, thud, thud..I could hear the burglar's footsteps follow behind me.

"Please help me, please!" I screamed in terror.

"I'm calling the police!" the postman bellowed from outside.

Almost there, I was almost at the door when big burly arms came around me. I was held in a vise-like grip and I could feel the cruel cold blade against my neck...)

Your daughter could go on to say that the burglar held her at knifepoint and how she was later rescued when the police shot his leg or something so her main focus is on the burglar and her and not so much on her moving around the house, looking for the burglar.

But I would also like to say there is no one perfect way to write, different writers have different styles, she just needs to write more and explore the different ways to make her writing more gripping:)

I hope this helps:)

TAS

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Postby Lynn2 » Tue May 18, 2010 5:34 pm

thank you.

Do u have holidays prog that can help her to fine tune her writing skills?

Did u manage to read on her second compo?thanks


rgds
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