P3 Chinese Compo – Few More Tips

Date:  Oct 8, 2015

A big Happy Birthday to Jay Jay!  Today is the actual day for his birthday.

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As usual, we did a Chinese Composition practice during the drive between Millenia Walk and Home.

My aim was to build it Jay Jay’s thought process when writing a Chinese Composition.

Tip #1.  Sometimes, the 参考词语 (helping words) can be useful, but most of the time, it can bring some damage.  So, I told Jay, if you see some words that you are not familiar, you can choose not to use them.  You don’t have to use all the words given.  Those words are given to help you write, but most of the time, the examiner already have a story in mind which is not shown in the pictures and they thought you can write the story they want to see.  Unfortunately, P3 is the first year they really learn how to write.  So, one must know how to crawl first before walking.  Don’t stress your kid too much.  Give them guidelines, such as P3 only need to write 30 words, As long as you describe 2-3 picture correctly with some excellent words, it is fine.  Don’t imagine and describe too much.  写多错多.  And try to get rid of the “Direct translation from English” habit.

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Tip #2.  Write as simple as possible for a start.  P3 only requires 80 words.  So, if you write 120-150 it is enough.

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Tip #3.  Of course, Jay Jay uses dictation to write his composition.  You have to trained your kid to first clean up the thoughts before he or she can write out.  So, this easy method has help him come up with the skeleton of the story fast.  In fact, I timed him, give him only 10 minutes to look at the picture, look at the helping words, put the helping words beside the picture, imagine what you going to write, cross out those helping words that you not going to use, and count in mind do you have 15-20 words for every picture.  That’s it.  Once that is done, he will repeat the sentence for the picture in his mind, and uses the other 10-15 minutes to write or dictate the composition.

He wrote this down within the 30 minutes back and forth ride.  And I am truly so proud of him.  It is getting there.  So, there are one more week for the Composition paper 1.  These few days we going to go thru all the words that he had been given 听写 (Spelling) so that he knows how to write those words fast.  And of course, train him 1-2 times not using dictation, instead write it down.  So, if he can construct the story in his mind within 20-25 minutes, he should be able to write it down within the next 20-25 minutes.

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Tip #4.  Build the confident up.  Not to destroy it.  I don’t care at the moment, what is his teacher’s expectation.  To me, for P3, they need to produce error-fee writing for minimum 80 words which best describe the story.  So, I don’t actually allow him to read the modal answer.

Yeah.. this book come with modal answer.

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Building the base is very important.  So, why show the kid a perfect composition, while you already think he did a good job in writing his own version.

Because, you do not know what your kid will think when he reads the modal answer.  So, I usually cover it up and I have never ask him to take a look at the modal answer.  

This is to send a message to him that Daddy expectation is for him to write well for 80 words, not more than that.

And the book is always on his desk.  He can read the modal answer himself.  

So, the tip is never ask the kid to read the modal answer.  The kid is learning how to write, and they have to learn it with his own pace.  Forcing him to learn from modal answer is not a good move.

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Tip #5.  Listen more.  Read more.  To help Jay Jay to read more.  I recorded down my reading on all the story in his text book.  Jay Jay has been listen to these readings every day bit by bit.  Once he listen many times, I will ask him to read to me aloud.  You only need to ask him to read it once a day.  Not twice or thrice.  only once a day.  On a few chapter, and then, ask him to read aloud.  By doing so, the kid become more confident in reading, and understanding of Chinese will be better.  The online material from the school has the reading too.  But it is read by a Chinese (from China).  So, sometimes they do read too fast.  So, I decided to record my own voice, as it is very familiar to him, so that he can learn Chinese in a familiar way.  You can search my blog on this, try search “Learning Chinese” in MiniLiew.  Of course the 字卡 (Flash Card) is very important too.

If you don’t mind listen to my not so sexy voice, here are all the recordings for P3.


Good luck in teaching your kid Chinese.  This is probably the last blog entry from me on this Chinese Composition for P3.  Have fun!


  1. Hi Minilew. Your sharing very insteresting as I also experience the same thing. May I know what book do you use for practicing Chinese composition writing? Thanks

    • I think I just grab any Chinese Compo Assessment book from popular bookstore… I see those very easy to understand pictures one, I grab.. haha

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