Date: April 21, 2018
The mid-term SA1 is coming soon.
The PSLE is coming real soon too.
I think it is time to do Chinese Composition Marathon revision with Jay.
This is how I trained my son to do Chinese composition. And I guess it works for English composition too.
With the iPhone. (other phone should be able to do so too, with the correct app and dictation)
- Make use of Notes app on your iPhone.
- Change the keyboard language to Chinese.
- Tap the (Dictation icon) on the bottom right of the app screen.
- Start speaking Chinese/Mandarin to your phone. And your phone dictation feature will start to dictates what you speak into text.
- Can use any assessment book, as long has 5 pictures and a question mark.
- You also need a “teacher” (daddy or mommy) to come up with a modal composition so to compare. the modal composition has to use those words you think they will know and understand in their P6 context. Cannot be too chim.
The pros and cons of this method.
- Using the dictation method, we can cover together even more composition stories. Because this method will be very fast. No need to write it down. Only need to read it out. If you don’t know how to write, you can spell it out on your digital dictionary and obtain the words or proverbs from there.
- It also at the same time, test your Oral communications. If your pronunciation is not right, the choice of words displayed will be wrong. So, it kind of force you to speak correct Chinese. And if you can do this well, your sure have no problem in your Oral.
- It gave a chance to repeatedly using a certain sentence structures and a certain commonly used words. The more Jay saw this sentence structures, the more he will remember and bit by bit it build up his vocabulary and quick thinking.
- I usually will time him, so that he knows he can only spent 1-2 minutes to “summarise” the 5 pictures. Another 2-3 minutes to think about what to write for the last question mark unknown scenarios. Then, spent another 5-10 minutes to construct the composition. Lastly check and recheck. That leaves 15-20 minutes of writing time. The whole purpose is to learn how to quickly come up with the idea of writing by looking at the 5 diagrams and conceptualise the last question mark scenarios.
- Because he will lack of writing opportunity. So, his writing might be slow.
- Because he will lack of writing opportunity. So, his writing may be wrong.
So, today, we have 2.5 hours of Python programming at Da Vinci Lab, 2 hours of Badminton training at Chuo Chu Kang, and another 2.5 hours of Drone programming at Suntec Da Vinci Lab again. So, there will be at least 4 sessions of car travelling time. So, he make good use of these 30-40 minutes travelling time and do it in the car.
We just started today, but as we finished the 4th compositions, he is getting much better. Let’s take a look at his 4th attempt.
Here is the composition picture.
This is his attempt. So, we did this at the same time at home. He writes his own version and I write my own version. Then we see which one is the best composition.
I pointed out to him…
- He uses the word 东西 too much.
- He come up with the story of eating oily and fried food will weaken our body. Not too bad of the story. But he miss out the “flies” in at least of the two picture above. I think flies is the main issue for mommy don’t want to buy the food.
- I don’t really like when he fill the word requirement by putting something that is not related, i.e. buying the pen.
- I do like the idea of mommy telling him, we can’t go to the night market as we might spent a lot. The “hahaha” closing statement is funny.
I can tell that he has indeed improved the way how he thinks and writes.
Now. This is what I showed him. This is what I would write.
- It is best if you can remember something “local”. Clementi night market. It is a relevant name, it is local and I think the marker might like it.
- I explained to him, he needs to describe the environment of the night market. I noted a big speaker playing loud music. I also noted a lot of cheap price tags. So, the night market must be selling a lot of cheap goods.
- So many people in the picture. This is where you use “people mountain people sea”. hahaha, he missed out that.
- I asked him to use logic. Why so many people? because it is beside a MRT station. Remember the five W’s. Where… where… where…
- It does not need to say you and your mom visit the night market right from the beginning. You can start to describe the night market, then, and the middle of the story, you then say, your mom bring you to the night market.
- Remember to write how you feel. Very happy. To visit the night market.
- Always use conversations to easily write the story. This is where I tell the story of a very observant mommy notice a lot of flies flying on top of the food.
- When mommy says that, my eyes look at the same direction. And INDEED a lot of flies. That is how you lengthen your composition. By inserting things that is RELEVANT to your story.
- The next sentence, I have used almost all the suggestion words. Buying cheap and suitable clothing.
- Now, here comes my Question Mark story. I told the story of I read a news about food poisoning and those residence who eaten the food from the night market some has gotten food poisoning.
- I thank mom for stopping me buying dirty food. and mom explain why. why. why.
- end of story.
Let’s check out the 3rd compo.
This is actually a hard one for Jay. He is not very good in writing about people. And this one needs to write about his mother.
OK. This is what Jay wrote. And do you think it has 100 words there? Hmmm… Why so short? hahahahahaha
One sentence for each picture. And there is no compelling story for the question mark.
I wrote my modal composition. This is how I would write it.
- You must learn how to describe your mother.
- You can write about her teaching in school. Write it short. Next, she cooked for us.
- But wait, you can add more stuff here. When you say about she cooking for us, how is her cooking? What do you like to eat? What is his best dish? And how you know it is best dish? Because I ate two big bowl of rice whenever she cooked my favourite curry chicken.
- Nothing to talk about cleaning the house.
- When I have difficulties in my home work, she will teach me how to do those question. How she teach?
- Here you can add more. When I am not happy, she encourages me.
- So, here come the question mark story. When I grew up, I want to do all the right thing she expected me to do.
- Then, to end my story, I added in another paragraph of Mother’s day. And talking about future is way too long. Let start by making a Mother’s day card for her.
Let’s check out the second composition.
A very interesting story.
We work together on the story line. But he uses too short of the sentence to describe the story.
He has memorise the first paragraph. So, I told him, if you want to use this, at the end you must have a conclusion telling people why you cannot forget what you did.
- Again, I told him must specify a local location. Clementi Popular Bookstore.
- My whole head is thinking about that new comic book I wanted to buy.
- My story is getting nicer. I blamed myself for spending all the pocket money to eat instead of buying the new story book.
- I purposely make the story book to have a value of $10.
- Then, the story of the motorcyclist dropping his package.
- He has to shout that is why an exclamation mark is behind.
- The driver tells Jay that the package meant a lot to him. So, he wanted to reward Jay.
- I remember what mommy taught us. We don’t do a certain thing because we wanted to ask for any rewards.
- I added that the motorcyclist say I am a good boy.
- I also added that a lot of uncles and aunties also said I am a good boy.
- So the question mark story is… I actually needed that $10 to buy my book. But, it conflict with my morale. But eventually, I am happy because I did a good thing.
This is the first one. His first composition is quite bad. I stroked off a lot of things. Let’s see what I have wrote after I improved his composition.
I too have an interesting story for this.
- That is Jay favourite opening sentence. He cannot forget what he did before.
- My story started with I scored a low mark for Chinese.
- While walking home, my brain didn’t stop working and trying to come up with all kind of excuses. No body knows what happen.
- When I go back home, my face was red when I tell my mom how I did in my Chinese exam.
- I was giving some lame excuse.
- Here is my exciting story. Suddenly, my cat jump onto my bag and something dropped form the bag. It was my Nintendo switch game console.
- I saw it, and mommy saw it too. So, no choice, I need to tell mommy the truth.
- The good thing is, mommy did not scould Jay. Instead, she encourage him.
- And 果然, he scored an impressive points in his Chinese exam in the following year end exam.
let’s check out another composition we did just last Sunday.
As you can see, what I am trying to do is to make him realise that he can re-use a lot and a lot of sentence structure, words in his Chinese Composition.
Let’s hope that he can score even higher points. 🙂