You are on page 1of 70

Table of Contents

Introduction ............................................................................................................................ i
1 Sentence Construction ................................................................................................. 1
1.1 Simple Sentence ................................................................................................ 1
1.2 Compound Sentence ......................................................................................... 3
1.3 Complex Sentence ............................................................................................ 5

2 Directed Writing ........................................................................................................... 6


2.1 Speech/ Talk ...................................................................................................... 7
2.2 Report ............................................................................................................. 14
2.3 Article .............................................................................................................. 20
2.4 Informal Letter ................................................................................................ 33
2.5 Formal Letter ................................................................................................... 43

3 Summary .................................................................................................................... 54
INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES:

Welcome to the journey of writing techniques necessary for effective writing in English. It is
hoped that by using this module, learners would be able to:

 improve their competence in English;


 understand and utilize the strategies and skills given for effective writing for exams;
 write precise, grammatically correct English; and
 use appropriate writing techniques essential to meet the requirements of SPM
Paper 1.

HOW TO USE THIS MODULE:

This module consists of 4 units which encompasses Sentence Construction, Directed Writing,
and Summary. Hence, learners are introduced to a typology of writing techniques appropriate
in answering SPM English Paper 1 and 2.

We hope you enjoy using this module. Do not be discouraged when errors are made. Errors are
an important part of learning and an important part of life. Remember that each lesson is an
instructional sequence and not a test. Repeat the lessons as many times as you like.
Good luck with your studies!

Sept 2012| i
1.0 SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION

A sentence is a group of words that makes a complete statement.

1.1 SIMPLE SENTENCE

 It is also called an independent clause, contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a
complete thought.
 It can also contain a compound subjects or verbs and still express a complete thought.

Study these sample sentences :

a) Some students like to study in the mornings.


b) Juan and Arturo play football every afternoon.
c) Alicia goes to the library and studies every day.

The three examples above are all simple sentences. Note that sentence B contains a
compound subject, and sentence C contains a compound verb.

2
SENTENCE WORD ORDER

SIMPLE SENTENCES
SUBJECT
VERB GROUP/ ADVERBS OF
GROUP/ OBJECT PLACE TIME
VERB MANNER
SUBJECT

in the
Some students like to study
mornings

every
Juan and Arturo play football
afternoon

Mary bought a bag


yesterday

They can go home now

The bus driver shouted at us angrily

at the
Jane and I ate our meal in silence dining
hall

The boy with across


drove his sports car
red spectacles town

Now try these:


SUBJECT
VERB GROUP/ ADVERBS OF
GROUP/ OBJECT PLACE TIME
VERB MANNER
SUBJECT

3
1.2 COMPOUND SENTENCE

 It contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinator.


 The coordinators are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
(Helpful hint: The first letter of each of the coordinators spells FANBOYS)

Study these sample sentences :

a) I tried to speak Spanish, and my friend tried to speak English.


b) Alejandro played football, so Maria went shopping.
c) Alejandro played football, for Maria went shopping.

The above three sentences are compound sentences. Each sentence contains two
independent clauses, and they are joined by a coordinator with a comma.

COMPOUND SENTENCES

SUBJECT VERB OBJECT CONJUNCTION SUBJECT VERB COMPLEMENT

Jack fell off his bike but he was unhurt

He washed his car but did not polish it

stay in
We rarely for we cannot afford it
hotels

Alejandro played football , so Maria went shopping

4
tried
tried to
I Spanish , and my friend to Ennglish
speak
speak

Now try these:


SUBJECT VERB OBJECT CONJUNCTION SUBJECT VERB COMPLEMENT

1.3 COMPLEX SENTENCE

 It has an independent clause joined by one or more


dependent clauses.
 It always has a subordinator such as because, since, after,
although, or when or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or
which.
 When a complex sentence begins with a subordinator,
comma is required at the end of the dependent clause.
 When the independent clause begins the sentence with
subordinators in the middle, no comma is required.

5
Study these sample sentences :

a) When he handed in his homework, he forgot to give the teacher the last page.
b) The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error.
c) The students are studying because they have a test tomorrow.
d) After they finished studying, Juan and Maria went to the movies.
e) Juan and Maria went to the movies after they finished studying.
f) It is a shame that she has resigned from her job.
g) I am glad that you are feeling better.
h) The woman who called my mom sells cosmetics.
i) The book that Jonathan read is on the shelf.
j) The house which Abraham Lincoln was born in is still standing.
k) The town where I grew up is in the United States.

Now try these:

1…………………………………………………………………………………………………..…

2……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

3……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

4……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

5……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

6……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

7……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

8……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

9……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

10……………………………………………………………………………………………………

11……………………………………………………………………………………………………

12……………………………………………………………………………………………………

6
2.0 DIRECTED WRITING

2.1 SPEECH / TALK:

Here are some guidelines you should follow when giving a speech or a talk. Let’s look at a
sample question of a TALK.

You recently won the ‘Best Student Award’ in your school. You have been asked to give a talk
during assembly to share tips with the other students on what they need to do so that they too
can become successful students. Use the following notes to write your talk.

Suggestions:

 set goals

 be motivated

 pay attention

 ask questions

 be organised

 complete homework on time

 prepare well for exams

 take part in co-curricular activities

 obey school rules

 respect everyone
Avoid:

 wasting time

 skipping school

7
When writing your talk, you should remember to:

 address your audience

 state the purpose of the talk

 use all the points given

 end your talk appropriately

Example:

Introductory Paragraph:
1. Address your audience
2. Introduce yourself
3. State the purpose of your talk

Second Paragraph:
1. point 1 (set goals)
2. point 2 (be motivated)
3. point 3 (pay attention)
4. point 4 (ask questions)

Third Paragraph:
1. point 5 (be organised)
2. point 6 (complete homework on time)
3. point 7 (prepare well for exams)

Fourth Paragraph:
1. point 8 (take part in co-curricular activities)
2. point 9 (obey school rules)

Fifth Paragraph:
1. point 10 (respect everyone)

Sixth Paragraph:
1. point 11 (avoid wasting time)
2. point 12 (avoid skipping school)

Final Paragraph:
1. Conclude appropriately

8
Here is a sample answer.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH:
A very good morning to our beloved principal, Pn
Norashikin Tan, senior assistants, teachers and friends. On this glorious morning, I,
Muhammad Aliff, the recipient of this year’s “Best Student Award” am going to give a talk on
“How to Become a Successful Student”.

SECOND PARAGRAPH:
In my speech, I am going to share with you some tips on how you can be a successful
student. If you want to be successful, you must set goals. Research shows that people who
set goals accomplish more than those who do not. In deciding your goals, ask yourself “What
do I want to be?” and “What do I do to get there?” Besides, you must be motivated. When
you are motivated you will have a strong desire to do well and to achieve your goals. In
addition, you must pay attention in class. Listen actively and focus on what the teacher is
teaching. If you have disruptive classmates, sit in front of the classroom, away from
them. Always ask questions if you do not understand. Seek clarifications from your teachers
or your friends if you are shy to approach the former.

THIRD PARAGRAPH:
Another important tip to being a successful student is to be organised. You can use a
planner or notebook to write down all your assignments when they are given. This way you
will not forget your homework, dates of tests or projects. Remember, if you are organised you
will be well- prepared and you will have less stress. Moreover, you must complete your
homework on time. Homework helps reinforce what you have learnt. It helps you understand
and remember the information. You must prepare well for exams. A successful student is one
who prepares for exams well in advance, and not at the eleventh hour. If you study
consistently, you will have ample time for revision.

FOURTH PARAGRAPH:
Friends, to be a successful student you must have diverse interests. You should take
part in co-curricular activities in order to become a well-rounded person. These activities
help develop leadership skills and teamwork besides instilling values like cooperation and
tolerance. Discipline is an important aspect of our lives. No matter where you go or what you
do, you will be subjected to rules and regulations. Hence, it is crucial that you obey the school
rules.

FIFTH PARAGRAPH:
Dear friends, What is success if you lack the common courtesies in life? Remember,
you must respect everyone. You must respect your parents, your teachers, the school staff
and also your friends. You must respect other people’s feelings and opinions.

SIXTH PARAGRAPH:
There are also several things you must avoid if you want to be a successful
student. You must avoid wasting time. These days many teenagers spend hours on social
networks such as Facebook or playing computer games. These are a waste of time and will

9
not benefit you in any way. Remember, ‘Time and tide wait for no man’. Also, avoid skipping
school.

FINAL PARAGRAPH:
Some students feel that school is a waste of time as they can learn better from their
tuition teachers. This is not true. The teachers in our school are experienced and well qualified.
They are also experienced examiners and they know how to impart knowledge effectively. I
have to stop here. I hope you have found my talk helpful. Thank you for listening attentively.

Here are some samples of Opening Remarks:

 Thank you very much, Prof. Sarimah, for your very kind introduction. Mr. Chairman,
 Ladies and gentleman, Good morning! I consider it a great honor to be asked to speak
about …on this session of our symposium.
 Ladies and gentleman. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to address such a
distinguished audience.
 Good morning. Let me start by saying just a few words about my own background.
 Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for your kind introduction. President, distinguished
colleagues, ladies and gentleman, Good morning! Is my voice loud enough?
 Good morning, everyone. I appreciate the opportunity to be with you today. I am here to
talk to you about…
 Good morning, everyone. I am very happy to have this chance to give my presentation.
Before I start my speech, let me ask you a question. By a show of hands, how many of
you own a car?

Expressing thanks to the Chairperson:


 Mr. Chairman, thank you for your introduction.
 First, I would like to thank Mr. Chairman for his gracious introduction.
 Thank you very much, Prof. Azizah, for your very kind introduction.
 I would like to thank Dr.Sarimah for permitting me the privilege to speak to this audience.

Forms of Address and Greetings:


 Distinguished colleagues, Ladies and gentleman, Good morning!
 Members of the conference!

Expressing Pleasure and Honour:


 I am very happy/glad/pleased to be here in this school.
 I am honoured/privileged to be here (with you this afternoon).
 I am proud to be here on this special occasion.
 It’s a very great pleasure for me to be able to attend this conference.
 I consider it a great honor to be asked to speak about …on this session of our
symposium/ at this conference. . .

10
 It is a great pleasure to be given the honor of first speaker on this important topic.

Here are some samples of Closing Remarks:


 That's all, thank you.
 That's the end of my presentation.
 So much for my speech, thank you.
 Thank you for your attention.
 Thank you for your listening.
HOW TO WRITE A SPEECH:

Your school is having a month-long ‘A Healthy Body Campaign’. As President of the Health
Club of your school, you decide to give a speech on the ‘Tak Nak Campaign’ recently launched
by the government.

Suggestions:

 Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an anti-smoking campaign called “Tak Nak”.
 many criticised our government for overspending over 6 years
 remind us of the hazard of smoking
 progress steadily from regular use to being addicted to it
 aggressive advertising among the public
 being irresponsible by affecting non-smokers with second-hand smoke.
 harmful effects of tobacco addiction on the body
 shocking statistics of smoke-related deaths
 more effective if other people and organisations are actively involved
 adults have to be good role models by not smoking
 praise the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union for its zero-tolerance of smoking
 smoking and health just do not mix.

When writing your speech, you should remember to:


 address your audience
 state the purpose of the speech
 use all the points given
 end your speech appropriately

11
Here is a sample answer.

“Tak Nak Campaign”

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH
A very good morning to our dear Principal, Puan Norain bt Md. Din, teachers and students. As
you know, our school is having a month-long ‘A Healthy Body Campaign’. As President of the
Health Club of this school, I am going to give a speech on the “Tak Nak Campaign” recently
launched by the government.

SECOND PARAGRAPH
Recently, our former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an
anti-smoking campaign called “Tak Nak”. You can now see this short phrase “Tak Nak”
everywhere – on billboards, posters, TV ads, and sometimes I even hear it on the radio.
Though some people have criticised our government for overspending a lot of money over
6 years for the campaign, it is nothing compared to the huge amounts that tobacco companies
spend to promote smoking.

THIRD PARAGRAPH
But in this war against smoking, money definitely talks; it is necessary for the “Tak
Nak” Campaign to constantly remind us of the hazard of smoking because about 50
Malaysian teenagers light up for the first time every day. In fact, some of these youth progress
steadily from this to regular use, and being addicted to it within a few years. And, this is
despite the warning on every pack of cigarettes that states clearly “Smoking is dangerous to
your health”.

FOURTH PARAGRAPH
What can the “Tak Nak” Campaign do to fight this? Their aggressive advertising
creates media awareness among the public, especially among the fashionable young crowd,
that smokers have yellowed teeth and suffer from shortness of breath and tells them that it is
not cool to smoke. It is also irresponsible of them to affect non-smokers with second-
hand smoke.

FIFTH PARAGRAPH
Also, there is a series of infomercials on TV and in the papers showing the harmful
effects of tobacco addiction on the body and shocking statistics of smoke-related
deaths. We are now familiar with the graphic pictures of damaged lungs on billboards which
should scare people into not smoking. This works, as I know some of my friends are quitting
now, or trying to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke per week.

SIXTH PARAGRAPH
However, I feel any anti-smoking campaign is more effective if other people and
organisations are actively involved too. Yes, the first step has been taken by the top, but
sad to say, many of our politicians smoke themselves and so do some of our parents and
teachers.

SEVENTH PARAGRAPH
These adults have to be good role models by not smoking themselves. If they do
smoke, they should tell their children and students that they regret that they ever started, and
then take steps to quit smoking as soon as possible. They must practise what they preach.

12
EIGHTH PARAGRAPH
On a more positive note, I praise the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union for its zero-
tolerance of smoking because they know that smoking and health just do not mix. How
can our sportsmen excel if they cannot stop smoking.

FINAL PARAGRAPH
Dear teachers and students, thank you for your attention. Let me end my speech by
repeating that smoking is a bad habit, so make “Tak Nak” your principle in life. If you have
started smoking, say “Tak Nak” and quit! And, if you haven’t started smoking, know that
smoking not only damages your health but you are also openly burning your money.

13
2.2 REPORT

You have witnessed two men on a motorcycle trailing behind a woman. One of them
attacked her and snatched her bag. You have been asked to write a report of the incident.

Write your report based on the information below.


 A woman-trying to cross the road - in front of school - two men on a motorcycle
trailing behind-attacked her
 Some students waiting at the bus stop - too shocked to do anything
 You and your friend ran into the school to get help.

When writing the report, you should remember:


- to give a suitable title
- use all the points given
- to provide two relevant details/examples for each of the four points
- to write in paragraphs

STEPS
1. Read the question carefully.
2. Identify the situation and format.
3. Use the 5Ws + 1H approach to elaborate the points given.

You witnessed two men on a motorcycle Introduction:


trailing behind a woman. One of them  Situation
attacked her and snatched her bag. You  Format: Formal report
have been asked to write a report of the
incident. Body:
Elaborate points given:
Write your report based on the information 1. [a] What is the approximate age of
below. the woman?
 A woman – in front of school [b] What was she doing in front of
 Being trailed by two men on a the school?
motorcycle – attacked her 2. [a] Why was she attacked?
 Some students witnessed – did not [b] What did they do?
do anything 3. [a] Where were the students?
 You and your friend ran into school [b] Why didn’t the students do
to get help anything to help?
4. [a] What did you do?
[b] Where did you go to get help?

Conclusion: Summarise the facts and


give recommendations

14
Model Answer

Report on an Attack by Motorcyclists

To: The Principal,


Sek. Men. Seri Melawati,
Kuala Selangor.

From: Michael Chua Date: 22 April 2012

On Thursday, 22nd April at 7.05 a.m., a young woman in her twenties, who was trying to
cross the road, was attacked by two men on a motorcycle near the T-junction in front of
my school, Sekolah Menengah Seri Melawati at Jalan Dato Hamzah, Kuala Selangor.
One of them hit her on the head with a helmet. When she fell, he started to kick
her. He tried to take her bag away.
Although there were five other students waiting at the bus stop, no one went to
the woman’s aid. First, we were too shocked. Second, the incident happened too quickly.
Third, we dared not interfere.
The unlucky woman clung on to her bag. I think she was too shocked to let go.
When we regained our wits, my friend, Redzuan and I ran into the school shouting for
help. Encik Shan, a discipline teacher from my school, immediately called for the police.
When we went back to the road, I saw a man had come to the poor woman’s aid. She was
so traumatized that she could hardly speak.
I am devastated that such an incident could happen in the daytime right in front of
my school. Some of the school students who witnessed the incident were also in deep
shock as the woman was badly beaten and there was blood all over her head.
It is unthinkable that such a cruel thing can happen in our society and I fear many
more people will get hurt. I suggest that the police patrol the roads more stringently as
there have been many cases of Mat Rempit assaulting ordinary folks on the roads.

15
WORKSHEET ONE:
Fill in the blanks with correct sentences. [Use these questions as guidelines]

[1] What is the approximate age of the woman?


 a young woman in her twenties
[2] What was she doing in front of the school?
 trying to cross the road
[3] Why was she attacked?
 tried to take her bag away
[4] What did they do?
 hit her on the head with a helmet
 he started to kick her.
[5] Where were the students?
 five other students waiting at the bus stop
[6] Why didn’t the students do anything to help?
 too shocked
[7] What did you do?
 Redzuan and I ran into the school shouting for help
[8] What happened to the young woman?
 so traumatized that she could hardly speak.
 the woman was badly beaten and there was blood all over her head.

Report on an Attack by Motorcyclists

To: The Principal,


Sek. Men. Seri Melawati,
Kuala Selangor.

From: Michael Chua Date: 22 April 2012

On Thursday 22nd April at 7.05 a.m., …………..[1]…………….., who was………[2]…………,


was attacked by two men on a motorcycle near the T-junction in front of my school, Sekolah
Menengah Seri Melawati at Jalan Dato Hamzah, Kuala Selangor.

One of them……………[4]…………….. When she fell,………………[4]……………….


He…………….....[3]……………….

Although there were……………..[5]…………………, no one went to the woman’s aid.


First, we were………[6]…………….. Second, the incident happened too quickly. Third, we
dared not interfere.

The unlucky woman clung on to her bag. I think she was too shocked to let go. When
we regained our wits, my friend,…………………………..[7]…………………….. Encik Shan, a
discipline teacher from my school, immediately called for the police. When we went back to
the road, I saw a man had come to the poor woman’s aid. She was………[8]………..

I am devastated that such an incident could happen in the daytime right in front of my school.
Some of the school students who witnessed the incident were also in deep shock as
……………..[8]…………………….

It is unthinkable that such a cruel thing can happen in our society and I fear many more
people will get hurt. I suggest that the police patrol the roads more stringently as there have
been many cases of Mat Rempit assaulting ordinary folks on the roads.

16
WORKSHEET TWO:
Fill in the blanks using the sentences given in the box:

trying to cross the road


tried to take her bag away
too shocked
the woman was badly beaten and there was blood all over her head.
so traumatized that she could hardly speak.
Redzuan and I ran into the school shouting for help
hit her on the head with a helmet
he started to kick her.
five other students waiting at the bus stop
a young woman in her twenties

Report on an Attack by Motorcyclists

To: The Principal,


Sek. Men. Seri Melawati,
Kuala Selangor.

From: Michael Chua Date: 22 April 2012

On Thursday 22nd April at 7.05 a.m., …………..[1]…………….., who was………[2]…………,


was attacked by two men on a motorcycle near the T-junction in front of my school, Sekolah
Menengah Seri Melawati at Jalan Dato Hamzah, Kuala Selangor.

One of them……………[4]…………….. When she fell,…..…………[4]….…………….


He………………..[3]……………….

Although there were……………..[5]…………………, no one went to the woman’s aid.


First, we were………[6]…………….. Second, the incident happened too quickly. Third, we
dared not interfere.

The unlucky woman clung on to her bag. I think she was too shocked to let go. When
we regained our wits, my friend,…………………………..[7]…………………….. Encik Shan, a
discipline teacher from my school, immediately called for the police. When we went back to
the road, I saw a man had come to the poor woman’s aid. She was…………..[8]…………..

I am devastated that such an incident could happen in the daytime right in front of my
school. Some of the school students who witnessed the incident were also in deep shock as
…………………..[8]…………………….

It is unthinkable that such a cruel thing can happen in our society and I fear many more
people will get hurt. I suggest that the police patrol the roads more stringently as there have
been many cases of Mat Rempit assaulting ordinary folks on the roads.

17
WORKSHEET THREE:

Report on an Attack by Motorcyclists

To: The Principal,


Sek. Men. Seri Melawati,
Kuala Selangor.

From: Michael Chua Date: 22 April 2012

On Thursday 22nd April at 7.05 a.m., a young woman in her twenties, __________________

_________________________________________________________________________

in front of my school, Sekolah Menengah Seri Melawati at Jalan Dato Hamzah, Kuala
Selangor.

One of them hit her on the head with a helmet. _____________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

Although there were five other students waiting at the bus stop, ________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

The unlucky woman clung on to her bag. __________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

Encik Shan, a discipline teacher from my school, immediately called for the

police. ____________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

I am devastated that such an incident could happen in the daytime right in front of
my school. ________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

It is unthinkable that such a cruel thing can happen in our society and I fear many
more people will get hurt. I suggest that _________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

18
WORKSHEET FOUR:

Title: ________________________________________

To: _________________________

_________________________

_________________________

From: ________________________ Date: ______________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

19
2.3 ARTICLE

Question 1
You have been asked by the editorial board of the school magazine to write an article on ‘The
benefits of sports in schools’. Write your article based on the notes given below.

- carried out for fun, pleasure or exercise


- good for health– healthy body keeps sickness away
- instills discipline and develops leadership qualities
- help to develop social skills
- relieve stress and tension
- proper time management

When writing your article, you must:


- give your name as the writer
- include all the notes given
- elaborate on the notes given

20
Practice 1 - Fill in the blanks with the appropriate phrases from below:

 good for health  proper time management


 help to develop our social  for fun, pleasure, relaxation or exercise
skills
 Release stress and  instills discipline and develops
tension leadership qualities

The Benefits of Sports in Schools

The word ‘sports’ means games or activities that are done


_______________________________ Playing games like tennis and football or taking part
in athletics are sports activities. They can be done in singles or in groups.

One of the main reasons why sports is highly encouraged in schools is that it is
_________________________. When it is done outdoors, fresh air is taken into the lungs,
resulting in greater flow of oxygen into the heart. Muscles are toned up, fat is burnt and
impurities are removed from the sweats glands. All these, together with a balanced diet, keep
our bodies strong and healthy. Remember the saying, ‘Health is Wealth’. When we are
healthy, illnesses are kept away and we are able to perform better in all we do.

It is an undeniable fact that participation in sports _______________________. For


example, students must attend the various practices and training programmes punctually.
When they are late, they are reprimanded and soon they realize that obeying orders is
important. In addition, some students involved in sports activities may get elected as captains,
secretaries or other positions. Students holding these positions usually develop leadership
qualities. These experiences will help them face up to the challenges of adulthood.

Sports, especially team sports, also _________________________________.


Interaction between teammates, players and their coaches as well as players and their
supporters is instrumental in helping students to open out to each other. The ability to
communicate with others and to work in groups is of importance to every single student.

Sports participation helps students ____________________________________.


The increasing amount of homework and the fear of failure in examinations do not allow
students to relax. Taking part in sports allows them to unwind. After a game or workout at
the gymnasium, the students feel much better and are ready to study after a good bath. This
way of releasing stress is healthy unlike some methods many students resort to such as
smoking, loitering in shopping complexes or taking drugs.

21
We often hear of parents complaining that sports activities affect their children’s
academic performance. From experience, we know that with _________________________
___________, the students are able to excel not only in studies but also in games and sports.

In conclusion, it is obvious that the benefits of sports activities are many. Involvement
in them will not affect one’s studies. On the contrary, it will enhance the student’s ability to
study and perform excellently in examination.

Written by,

Salina bt Mokhtar

22
Practice 2 – Topic Sentence

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate topic sentences as given below:

It is an undeniable fact that The word ‘sports’ means games or


participation in sports instills discipline activities that are done for fun, pleasure,
and develops leadership qualities relaxation or exercise,

Sports participation helps students to Sports, especially team sports, also


release stress and tension. help to develop our social skills

One of the main reasons why sports is With proper time management, the
highly encouraged in schools is that it students are able to excel not only in
is good for health studies but also in games and sports

The Benefits of Sports in Schools

________________________________________________________________ ___
_________________. Playing games like tennis and football or taking part in athletics are
sports activities. They can be done in singles or in groups. Most people have fun and they
enjoy themselves when they play games with their friends.

_______________________________________________________________.
When it is done outdoors, fresh air is taken into the lungs, resulting in greater flow of oxygen
into the heart. Muscles are toned up, fat is burnt and impurities are removed from the sweats
glands. All these, together with a balanced diet, keep our bodies strong and healthy.
Remember the saying, ‘Health is Wealth’. When we are healthy, illnesses are kept away and
we are able to perform better in all we do.

___________________________________________________________________
_________________. For example, students must attend the various practices and training
programmes punctually. When they are late, they are reprimanded and soon they realize that
obeying orders is important. In addition, some students involved in sports activities may get
elected as captains, secretaries or other positions. Students holding these positions usually
develop leadership qualities. These experiences will help them face up to the challenges of
adulthood.

___________________________________________________________________

23
__________. Interaction between teammates, players and their coaches as well as players
and their supporters is instrumental in helping students to open out to each other. The ability
to communicate with others and to work in groups is of importance to every single student.

________________________________________________________________ The
increasing amount of homework and the fear of failure in examinations do not allow students
to relax. Taking part in sports allows them to unwind. After a game or workout at the
gymnasium, the students feel much better and are ready to study after a good bath. This way
of releasing stress is healthy unlike some methods many students resort to such as smoking,
loitering in shopping complexes or taking drugs.

We often hear of parents complaining that sports activities affect their children’s
academic performance. From experience, we know that
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

In conclusion, it is obvious that the benefits of sports activities are many. Involvement
in them will not affect one’s studies. On the contrary, it will enhance the student’s ability to
study and perform excellently in examination

Written by,
Salina bt Mokhtar

24
Practice 3:
Choose the correct elaboration to complete the article

When it is done outdoors, fresh air is taken into the lungs, resulting in greater flow of
oxygen into the heart. Muscles are toned up, fat is burnt and impurities are removed
from the sweats glands. All these, together with a balanced diet, keep our bodies
strong and healthy. Remember the saying, ‘Health is Wealth’. When we are healthy,
illnesses are kept away and we are able to perform better in all we do.

The increasing amount of homework and the fear of failure at examinations do not allow
students to relax. Taking part in sports allows them to unwind. After a game or workout
at the gymnasium, the students feel much better and are ready to study after a good
bath. This way of releasing stress is healthy unlike some methods many students resort
to such as smoking, loitering in shopping complexes or taking drugs.

Involvement in them will not affect one’s studies. On the contrary, it will enhance the
student’s ability to study and perform excellently in examination

Interaction between teammates, players and their coaches as well as players and their
supporters is instrumental in helping students to open out to each other. The ability to
communicate with others and to work in groups is of importance to every single student.

For example, students must attend the various practices and training programmes
punctually. When they are late, they are reprimanded and soon they realize that obeying
orders is important

Students holding these positions usually develop leadership qualities. These


experiences will help them face up to the challenges of adulthood.

The Benefits of Sports in Schools

The word ‘sports’ means games or activities that are done for fun, pleasure, relaxation
or exercise. Playing games like tennis and football or taking part in athletics are sports
activities. They can be done in singles or in groups. Most people have fun and they enjoy
themselves when they play games with their friends.

One of the main reasons why sports is highly encouraged in schools is that it is good
for health ________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

25
It is an undeniable fact that participation in sports instills discipline and develops
leadership qualities. _________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
In addition, some students involved in sports activities may get elected as captain,
secretaries or other positions. _________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Sports, especially team sports, also help to develop our social skills.
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Sports participation helps students to release stress and tension.


_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

We often hear of parents complaining that sports activities affect their children’s
academic performance. From experience, we know that with proper time management, the
students are able to excel not only in studies but also in games and sports.

In conclusion, it is obvious that the benefits of sports activities are many

Written by,
Salina bt Mokhtar

Sample Answer

26
The Benefits of Sports

The word ‘sports’ means games or activities that are done for fun, pleasure, relaxation
or exercise. Playing games like tennis and football or taking part in athletics are sports
activities. They can be done in singles or in groups. Most people have fun and they enjoy
themselves when they play games with their friends.

One of the main reasons why sports is highly encouraged in schools is that it is good
for health. When it is done outdoors, fresh air is taken into the lungs, resulting in greater flow
of oxygen into the heart. Muscles are toned up, fat is burnt and impurities are removed from
the sweats glands. All these, together with a balanced diet, keep our bodies strong and
healthy. Remember the saying, ‘Health is Wealth’. When we are healthy, illnesses are kept
away and we are able to perform better in all we do.

It is an undeniable fact that participation in sports instills discipline and develops


leadership qualities. For example, students must attend the various practices and training
programmes punctually. When they are late, they are reprimanded and soon they realize that
obeying orders is important. In addition, some students involved in sports activities may get
elected as captains, secretaries or other positions. Students holding these positions usually
develop leadership qualities. These experiences will help them face up to the challenges of
adulthood.

Sports, especially team sports, also help to develop our social skills. Interaction
between teammates, players and their coaches as well as players and their supporters is
instrumental in helping students to open out to each other. The ability to communicate with
others and to work in groups is of importance to every single student.

Sports participation helps students to release stress and tension. The increasing
amount of homework and the fear of failure at examinations do not allow students to relax.
Taking part in sports allows them to unwind. After a game or workout at the gymnasium, the
students feel much better and are ready to study after a good bath. This way of releasing
stress is healthy unlike some methods many students resort to such as smoking, loitering in
shopping complexes or taking drugs.

We often hear of parents complaining that sports activities affect their children’s
academic performance. From experience, we know that with proper time management, the
students are able to excel not only in studies but also in games and sports.

In conclusion, it is obvious that the benefits of sports activities are many. Involvement
in them will not affect one’s studies. On the contrary, it will enhance the student’s ability to
study and perform excellently in examination.

Written

by,
Salina bt Mokhtar

27
Question 2 - Article for School Magazine / Newsletter

As Chairperson of the English Language Society, you are going to try to persuade
the students to study the language by writing an article in the school newsletter. In the article
you have to tell the students the importance of studying the language. Your article is given in
the point form below:
- will help you to further your studies
- will help you to get a job
- will help you in your job
- will help you in your travels
- will help you to enjoy many interesting programmes in television
- will help you to appreciate many of the world’s most beautiful literary
works

When writing your article, you must:

- give your name as the writer


- include all the notes given
- elaborate on the notes given

28
Practice 1
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate phrases given.

 will help you to get a job


 will also help you greatly in your job
 will also help you a lot when you travel
 will enjoy television’s best programmes
 will enjoy and appreciate the beautiful literary works
 will definitely help you a lot when you want to further your studies

The Importance of Studying English

It is a big concerned for teenagers nowadays as they are unaware of the


importance of English language as they tend to ignore to learn the language. Students’ attitude
towards the language is also crucial to make sure that these teenagers can face the future
world better by learning English language as it is an international language.
Although the government has repeatedly told us of the importance of English, many
students are still not bothered about studying it seriously. There is also a campaign that is still
on to make all the Malaysian becomes a better English learner, which is ‘To uphold Bahasa
Malaysia and to strengthen the English Language’. English is the most important and the most
useful language in the world today. There are many reasons why you should study the
language properly.
First and foremost, English ______________________________________________
_________________________. Almost all books in most subjects at the university are written
in English. In addition, it is a compulsory for any candidate to pass English with credit before
entering any universities. So, if you are poor in English, you will miss the chance for better
education or you are going to have a big problem studying at the university.
The second reason why you have to study English well is that it
______________________. When you go for a job interview, the interviewer will surely talk to
you in English. The first impression you should give in order to succeed and have the job is,
to respond in English fluently. Your chances of getting the job are very slim if you stutter while
interviewing.
A good command of English ___________________________________________.
If the company you work is actively involved in international trade, you have to speak to
prospective customers in English. Miscommunication might occur if your English is bad. And
this will put your company at risk and you will likely be dismissed if this happen.

29
Good English __________________________________________________. Every
country in the world studies English. Even the roadside stall-holders in China speak fairly good
English! At least some of the people you meet on your travels in other countries can
understand English. The language is certainly practical when you are lost in your trip.
Inevitably, English is one of the languages used in any airport in the world in making
announcement. Travelling overseas will be easier if you have a good command of the English
language.
Besides all these, entertainment is one of the major advantages you will experience if
you are good in English. You __________________________________________________
We must admit that many of the best programmes are produced by the Americans and British
companies. The programmes will indirectly improve you language proficiency and boost up
your self confidence in using the language. Quality time is worthily spent if you understand
and enjoy the programmes.
If you are proficient in the language, you will be able to gain knowledge and information
from various sources of reading materials. By reading you _________________
_____________________________ of great writers such as William Shakespeare, Charles
Dickens and Anne Fine just to name a few.
I hope that many students will see and realise the importance of the English Language
for their own future. Although it is a second language in our country, it is now an international
language spoken by people in many countries all over the world.

30
Sample Answer

The Importance of Studying English

It is a big concerned for teenagers nowadays as they are unaware of the importance
of English language as they tend to ignore to learn the language. Students’ attitude towards
the language is also crucial to make sure that these teenagers can face the future world better
by learning English language as it is an international language.
Although the government has repeatedly told us of the importance of English, many
students are still not bothered about studying it seriously. There is also a campaign that still
on to make all the Malaysian becomes a better English learner, which is ‘Enhance Proficiency
in Bahasa Malaysia, Strengthen the English’. English is the most important and the most useful
language in the world today. There are many reasons why you should study the language
properly.
First and foremost, English will definitely help you a lot when you want to further
studies. Almost all books at university are written in English in all subjects. Plus, it is a
compulsory for any candidate to pass English with credit before entering any universities. So,
if you are poor in English, you will blow you chance for better education or worse, you are
going to have a big problem studying at university.
The second reason why you have to study English well is that it will help you to get a
job. When you go for a job interview, the interviewer will surely talk to you in English. The first
impression you should give in order to succeed and have the job is, to respond in English
fluently. Your chances of getting the job are very slim if you stutter while interviewing.
A good command in of English will also help you greatly in your job. If the company
you work is actively involved in international trade, you have to speak to prospective customers
in English. Miscommunication might occur if your English is bad. And this will put your
company at risk and you will likely be dismissed if this happen.
Good English will also help you a lot when you travel. Every country in the world studies
English. Even the roadside stall-holders in China speak fairly good English! At least some of
the people you meet on your travels in other countries can understand English. The language
is certainly practical when you are lost in your trip. Inevitably, English is one of the languages
used in any airport in the world in making announcement. Travelling overseas will be easier if
you have a good command of the English language.
Besides all these, entertainment is one of the major advantages you will experience if
you are good in English. You will enjoy television’s best programmes. We must admit that
many of the best programmes are produced by the Americans and British companies. The
programmes will indirectly improve you language proficiency and boost up your self

31
confidence in using the language. Quality time is worthily spent if you understand and enjoy
the programmes.
If you are proficient in the language, you will be able to gain knowledge and information
from various sources of reading materials. By reading you will enjoy and appreciate the
beautiful literary works of great writers such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and
Anne Fine just to name a few.
I hope that many students will see and realise the importance of the English Language
for their own future. Although it is a second language in our country, it is now an international
language spoken by people in many countries all over the world.

32
2.4 INFORMAL LETTER

Question 1

You have just witnessed the National Day Celebration held in your place. Write a letter to
your foreign pen-friend who wants to know about the National Day Celebrations. Use the
notes below to help you.

 celebrations started with the arrival King and Queen

 contingents marched past

 national anthem, national flag raised

 school children formed National Day logo

 ended with a concert

 headed home - feeling tired

In your letter, you should:


 mention the date, time and place of the event
 write about the various events
 write about the spectators and participants

33
No 359 Seroja Jaya,
Taman Seroja,
43300 Kerian,
Perak.

15th September 2011

Dear Wilson,

How are you? Hope you are doing well with your family and friends. I received your
letter almost a month ago. You requested some information about our National Day
Celebrations. We celebrated our National Day on 31st August 2011 and I waited until the
celebrations were over.
I witnessed the National Day celebrations held in Kuala Lumpur. _____________

______________________________________________________________________
The other dignitaries who were present were the Prime Minister, his deputy and other
cabinet ministers. The spectators started to gather as early as 6.30 a.m. People from all
walks of life turned up in full force to watch the celebrations.

The King took the salute from a guard of honour. _________________________

______________________________________________________________________

The stadium grounds were filled with colourful banners. Contingents from government
ministries, the Armed Forces and multinational companies thrilled the crowds. The marched
past was led by the Malay Division Army music band.____________________

______________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________ It took 120


students to form the beautiful logo. All attention then turned to the fly-past by the national
flags while fighter planes soared past billowing trails of colourful smoke. _____________

______________________________________________________________________

Famous Malaysian artists gave a wonderful performance and it was a blast. _________

______________________________________________________________________

Once I reached home, I went to bed.

I made it a point to go and witness the National Day celebrations just to tell you about
it. How are the National Day celebrations held in your country? I hope you will write and tell
me in your next letter.

Your pen-friend,

__________________

34
Suggested Answers:

Here are some suggested phrases to complete your letter.

o The national anthem was played as the national flag was raised.
o Next, several hundred school children took to the field to form the National Day
.
logo.
o The three-hour celebrations ended with a concert.
o The celebrations kicked off to a start after the arrival of the King and Queen.
o Tired but happy, we headed home after the celebrations ended at about 11.30
am.
o The excited crowds gave a thunderous round of applause as the colourful
contigents marched past.

35
Question 2

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. You are away from home. Your sister has written a
letter to you saying that she wants to get mother something special. She has two items in
mind and she wants you to help her choose the gift.

Using the information below, write a letter to your sister. In your letter:
 compare both items
 state the item you think is more suitable
 give reasons for your choice by providing information about
- what your mother’s preferences are
- previous Mother’s Day gifts she has received

Pollo Watch
Koach Handbag
Specifications
Specifications
 RM370
 RM400
 Waterproof
 Leather handbag
 10% discount
 20% discount

When writing your letter, you must:

 use the correct format

 address your letter appropriately

 use all notes given

36
70, Jalan Bunga Raya,.
Taman Bunga Raya,
Perai,
13600 Butterworth,
Pulau Pinang

Dear sister,

How are you doing there? Hope you are doing well with your studies. How are Mum
and Dad? _________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

The depth of a mother’s love and her selfless services are not only beyond comparison but
also not repayable. __________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

Between the two items you mentioned, I prefer the Vinci leather handbag. Mom
would be happy to receive a new handbag since she has been using her previous handbag
three years ago.
_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

There, I have given all my reasons why I think the Vinci handbag should make the
perfect gift. ________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

Your sister,

___________________

37
Suggested Answers

Here are some suggested phrases to complete your letter.

 However, the ultimate choice is yours. I hope you will make Mother’s Day a
memorable one for Mum. Please send my regards to everyone at home. Really
miss all of you.

 The handbag costs RM400 but with a 20% discount, you need to pay only
RM320. The waterproof Pollo watch which costs RM370 and only with 10%
discount. It will make a good gift but Mum received a watch for her birthday two
years ago. If you buy her another watch, she will probably give it to you or
Sylvia.

 If I remember correctly, Mum received a beautiful leather shoes for Mother’s


Day last year and I know how much she appreciated it. Plus, Mother’s Day is a
time for us to show our appreciation of our mother’s unconditional love.

 One of the ways to show our appreciation for mothers is to buy them gifts as
tokens of our appreciation.

 Your letter took me by surprised. It seems as if it was only yesterday that we


celebrated the last Mother’s Day. Has it been a year already? How time
flies!

38
Question 3

Write a letter to your cousin inviting him/her over to your home to stay for the holidays.
Use the notes given below to write your letter.

 ages since last seen each other – to catch up on each


other’s news
 exams over – take a break
 long holidays – final year holidays
 celebrate dad’s birthday – memorable one
 colourful parades and exhibitions

When writing your letter, you must:

 use the correct format


 address your letter appropriately
 use all notes given

39
48 Jalan Bunga Tanjung
Lembah Ampang,
56021 Ampang,
Kuala Lumpur.

28 January 2011

Dear Amira,

How are you? I hope you are doing well with Uncle Johan and Aunt Zila? How are your
preparations for the final exam? I am sure you will do well since you are always a brilliant
student. As you know, we are going to have our holidays in two weeks time. I had discussed
with Dad and Mom and I had suggested that you come over to my house. I think it will be
exciting to spend time with you.

It has been ages since I last met you. _____________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
It will be a good time for us to catch up our news. __________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Furthermore, you will surely need a break after the exam is over, so, it is the best time
for you to relax and be happy. _____________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
I can assure you that you will not be disappointed as we will be doing a lot of interesting
activities together.

The year-end holidays will be a long time. Almost a month, so what better way than to
spend it with us here? _____________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Don’t forget too, that December 13 is my Dad’s birthday. He is your favourite uncle
right? ____________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Dad will be very happy to have you around to celebrate his birthday.

Aside from that, Dad thinks that you will also enjoy the city lights that will be put up on
December for Christmas. __________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

40
This year, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall will organize a parade and I am sure that it will be a
colourful parade and exhibitions. Just thinking about it makes me feel very excited.

Please think about it and I am sure Uncle Johan will give his permission to come over.
Please send my warmest regards to the whole family. I will look forward to a favourable reply
from you. _____________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Your cousin,

__________________

41
Question 4

Your aunt has asked for a suggestion on a private school she can put her son in when they
move to your city. You have decided to write a letter to tell her about your suggestions.

Use all the notes given below to write your letter.

SRI DAMANSARA SCHOOL

 about 700 students


 fully equipped with language lab
 large field, mini gymnasium
 swimming class – 10 students in each session
 well-known football programme
 experience teachers – locals

When writing the letter, you must:

 use the correct format


 use all notes given
 remember that your letter is to your aunt

42
2.5 FORMAL LETTER

Question 1 : Let’s get to know your topic sentence….

Many of the students in your school are dissatisfied with the services at your school canteen.
As the Head Prefect, you decide to write a letter of complaint to the Principal regarding the
matter. Use the following notes to write the letter.

COMPLAINTS

Cleanliness Quality and Prices


 premises are filthy  food sold at high
 utensils not properly prices
washed  plenty of junk food

SUGGESTION
SS

Conduct Provide Check the prices Stop the sale of


frequent checks guidelines of the items junk food

When writing the letter you must :

 address the letter to the principal


 mention the complaints
 provide suggestions to improve the canteen
 use all the notes given

Here are some suggested phrases/sentences to complete your letter.

The prices of food items are also very expensive.

The health authorities should conduct surprise checks to improve the cleanliness of the
canteen.

In the first place, the food and drinks are prepared and served under filthy conditions.

I suggest that the school authorities provide more stern guidelines to the canteen
operator regarding the types of food sold, prices and cleanliness.

The canteen sells a great variety of junk food and what is disheartening is that, the junk
food sold at the canteen seems to be very popular with students.

43
Exercise 1 : Try this out!

Alif Imran,
Lot 456, Jalan Cakera Alam
45800 Bandar Puncak Sentosa,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

The Principal,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sentosa,
Bandar Puncak Sentosa,
45800 KUALA SELANGOR. 25 MARCH 2012

Dear Sir,

Unhygienic Conditions Of School Canteen

On behalf of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sentosa, I wish to complain about the
unhygienic conditions of our school canteen. It has become a matter of crucial concern not only among
the students but also among parents.

2. We are extremely displeased with the cleanliness, services and the quality of food sold at the
canteen. __________________________________________________ Furthermore, the canteen
workers neither cover their hair nor wear aprons while cooking or serving food. The kitchen is dirty and
is infested with cockroaches. Moreover, the cooking utensils are not properly washed.

3. _____________________________________________________________ This food is


definitely unhealthy for the students. The sale of fizzy drinks has also caused dissatisfaction among
parents as students prefer to quench their thirst with fizzy drinks rather than plain water. Why are the
school authorities keeping mum over this? Considerations of students’ health and hygiene should
override other concerns including profits.

4. _______________________________________________ The canteen operators are not


adhering to the price list put up in the beginning of the year. On the other hand, they have increased
the prices twice in recent month.

5. Will they only act when there is an outbreak of food poisoning? In view of above complaints,
________________________________________________________________ Perhaps they should
also stop the sale of junk food. ________________________________ They must make sure that
students are charged reasonable prices for quality food. If the canteen operator cannot provide this, the
authorities should terminate their contract.

6. It is our hope that all the parties concerned will view our comments constructively and do
something to upgrade the conditions of the canteen.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Alif

Imran
(ALIF IMRAN)

44
Suggested answers : How’s your score?

Alif Imran,
Lot 456, Jalan Cakera Alam
45800 Bandar Puncak Sentosa,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

The Principal,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sentosa,
Bandar Puncak Sentosa,
45800 KUALA SELANGOR. 25 MARCH 2012

Dear Sir,

Unhygienic Conditions Of School Canteen

On behalf of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sentosa, I wish to complain about the
unhygienic conditions of our school canteen. It has become a matter of crucial concern not only among
the students but also among parents.

2. We are extremely displeased with the cleanliness, services and the quality of food sold at the
canteen. In the first place, the food and drinks are prepared and served under filthy conditions.
Furthermore, the canteen workers neither cover their hair nor wear aprons while cooking or serving
food. The kitchen is dirty and is infested with cockroaches. Moreover, the cooking utensils are not
properly washed.

3. The canteen sells a great variety of junk food and what is disheartening is that, the junk
food sold at the canteen seems to be very popular with students. This food is definitely unhealthy
for the students. The sale of fizzy drinks has also caused dissatisfaction among parents as students
prefer to quench their thirst with fizzy drinks rather than plain water. Why are the school authorities
keeping mum over this? Considerations of students’ health and hygiene should override other concerns
including profits.

4. The prices of food items are also very expensive. The canteen operators are not adhering to
the price list put up in the beginning of the year. On the other hand, they have increased the prices
twice in recent month.

5. Will they only act when there is an outbreak of food poisoning? In view of above complaints, I
suggest that the school authorities provide more stern guidelines to the canteen operator
regarding the types of food sold, prices and cleanliness. Perhaps they should also stop the sale of
junk food. The health authorities should conduct surprise checks to improve the cleanliness of
the canteen. They must make sure that students are charged reasonable prices for quality food. If the
canteen operator cannot provide this, the authorities should terminate their contract.

6. It is our hope that all the parties concerned will view our comments constructively and do
something to upgrade the conditions of the canteen.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Alif Imran
(ALIF IMRAN)

45
Question 2 : Let’s expand it…

The Prefect’s Board conducted a survey on a few matters which could be improved in your
school. As the secretary of the Prefect’s Board, write a letter to the principal to inform him
about the matters.

These are the findings :

 the unsatisfactory services provided by the library


 books are old and torn
 outdated novels and story books

 the need to improve the cleanliness of the school premises


 rubbish all over the place
 toilets are unclean

 the need to provide a pedestrian crossing in


front of the school
 busy road in front of the school
 motorists tend to speed

When writing the letter, you should :


- address the letter appropriately
- use all the points given
- elaborate on the points

Here are some suggested elaboration to complete your letter.

There are a lot of cars and even lorries which use the road every day, as it is the main
road for the people in the area.

Thus, students who prefer to read recently published books for example, books in the
Harry Potter series find it bored to spend time in the library.

The pedestrian crossing will not only work as a deterrent for speeding motorists but it
will also enhance the safety of the students who cross the busy road.

Therefore, the school administration should place a greater emphasis on cleanliness


and beautification projects.

To do this, school authorities should rope in media and health officials.

Litter is strewn all over the school premises. Most of the time, the toilets are dirty and
there are a lot of graffiti on the walls.

Therefore, it is difficult for the students to do revision and research for their class
assignments.

46
Exercise 2 : Try this out!

Belina Raj,
41, Jalan USJ 3/2E,
Subang Jaya,
42110 Shah Alam.

The Principal,
Sekolah Menengah Seri Rampai,
43560 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan. 15 APRIL 2012

Dear Madam,
Unsatisfactory Conditions In School

On behalf of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Rampai, I am writing to


express my dissatisfaction with the conditions in school recently. These matters require urgent
attention.

2. We are very frustrated with the services provided by the school library. First and
foremost, the conditions of the books there. Most of the books in the library are old and many
of them are torn and tattered. _____________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Moreover, the novels and story books are also outdated_____________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Library is supposed to be a conducive place for us to fill up our time wisely.

3. Another pressing problem is the cleanliness of the toilets and school compound.
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Immediate solutions to this problem should include placing dustbins at strategic places and
punishing litterbugs and graffiti ‘artist’. However, the most effective long term solution will be
to create awareness among students regarding the importance of
cleanliness.________________________________________________________________
__________________________The challenge is now to inculcate the message deep in the
hearts and minds of all students. _______________________________________________

47
_________________________________________________________________________
4. The safety of the students while walking to and from the school is another cause for
concern. The road in front of the school is very busy, especially during peek hours.
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
Thus, every year fatalities involving students occur especially along the main road in front of
our school. Many motorists tend to speed along the main road. We suggest that the school
urge the authorities to build a pedestrian crossing for students. _______________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

5. The prefects hope that these matters will be given due consideration by the school
administration.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Belina
(BELINA RAJ)

48
Suggested answer : Let’s check!

Belina Raj,
41, Jalan USJ 3/2E,
Subang Jaya,
42110 Shah Alam.

The Principal,
Sekolah Menengah Seri Rampai,
43560 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan. 15 APRIL 2012

Dear Madam,

Unsatisfactory Conditions In School

On behalf of the students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Rampai, I am writing to express my
dissatisfaction with the conditions in school recently. These matters require urgent attention.

2. We are very frustrated with the services provided by the school library. First and foremost,
the conditions of the books there. Most of the books in the library are old and many of them are torn
and tattered. Therefore, it is difficult for the students to do revision and research for their class
assignments. Moreover, the novels and story books are also outdated. Thus, students who prefer
to read recently published books for example, books in the Harry Potter series find it bored to
spend time in the library. Library is supposed to be a conducive place for us to fill up our time wisely.

3. Another pressing problem is the cleanliness of the toilets and school compound. Litter
is strewn all over the school premises. Most of the time, the toilets are dirty and there are a lot
of graffiti on the walls. Immediate solutions to this problem should include placing dustbins at strategic
places and punishing litterbugs and graffiti ‘artist’. However, the most effective long term solution will
be to create awareness among students regarding the importance of cleanliness. To do this, school
authorities should rope in media and health officials. The challenge is now to inculcate the message
deep in the hearts and minds of all students. Therefore, the school administration should place a
greater emphasis on cleanliness and beautification projects.

4. The safety of the students while walking to and from the school is another cause for
concern. The road in front of the school is very busy, especially during peek hours. There are a lot of
cars and even lorries which use the road every day, as it is the main road for the people in the
area. Thus, every year fatalities involving students occur especially along the main road in front of our
school. Many motorists tend to speed along the main road. We suggest that the school urge the
authorities to build a pedestrian crossing for students. The pedestrian crossing will not only work as
a deterrent for speeding motorists but it will also enhance the safety of the students who cross
the busy road.

5. The prefects hope that these matters will be given due consideration by the school administration.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Belina
(BELINA RAJ)

49
Question 3 : Practice makes perfect…

After noticing the poor condition of the school field, you decide to write a letter of complaint to
the school principal.

Use the following notes to write your letter :

 unsatisfactory condition
 full of stones
 breeding ground for mosquitoes
 standard of school games – poor
 safety and healthy of students – at risk
 urge the principal to take appropriate steps

When writing your letter, you must remember to include the following :

 use all the notes given


 write in paragraphs
 that this is a formal letter and it should be written as such

50
Exercise 3 : Now…Try this yourself!

Kok Chin Kiat,


Taman Mawar,
56700 Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

The Principal,
SMK Taman Mawar,
56700 Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan. 30 May 2012

Dear Sir,
Unsatisfactory Conditions of the School Field

____________________________________________________________ I am a Form Five student.


I find the condition of the school field most ____________________________________.

2. Last Friday, my brother who is in Form Two, came home with grazed knees. According to
him, he had a fall in the field during the Physical Education lesson.________________________
_______________________________________________________ This is the cause of the knees
being grazed. Apparently many of his classmates suffer the same fate whenever they fall during a game.
This is why many of his classmates make excuses not to play games anymore. The teacher
understands the circumstances and does not force them to play actively in the field. I
personally feel that when this happens,______________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________ It is a
breeding ground for mosquitoes. Students’ health thus become in jeopardy.

4. I find such conditions ____________. Moreover, the standard of the school games has dropped.
The safety of students is also at risk_________________________________________
_______ ______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

5. ____________________________________________________________ and take


appropriate actions to make our school field as pleasant as it used to be.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Chin Kiat
(KOK CHIN KIAT)

51
Suggested answer : Don’t give up!

Kok Chin Kiat,


Taman Mawar,
56700 Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

The Principal,
SMK Taman Mawar,
56700 Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan. 30 May 2012

Dear Sir,
Unsatisfactory Conditions of the School Field

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the condition of the school field. I am a


Form Five student. I find the condition of the school field most disappointing.

2. Last Friday, my brother who is in Form Two, came home with grazed knees. According
to him, he had a fall in the field during the Physical Education lesson. The field is full of small
stones. This is the cause of the knees being grazed. Apparently many of his classmates suffer
the same fate whenever they fall during a game. This is why many of his classmates make
excuses not to play games anymore. The teacher understands the circumstances and does
not force them to play actively in the field. I personally feel that when this happens, it defeats
the whole purpose of having a school field, unlike some schools which do not have
one.

3. The school field is soggy and full of water after rain especially during rainy
season. It is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Students’ health thus become in jeopardy.

4. I find such conditions very disturbing. Moreover, the standard of the school games has
dropped. The safety of students is also at risk. Apparently the school field is a danger zone
for the students.

5. I hope that you will look into the matter seriously before more serious accidents
occur and take appropriate actions to make our school field as pleasant as it used to be.
Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Chin Kiat
(KOK CHIN KIAT)

52
Question 4

Your class is unhappy with your school canteen. As the monitor of your class, you have
been asked to write a letter to your principal, to complain about the following:

 food left uncovered


 attract many flies
 food served is stale
 food too expensive
 oily plates and cups
 rude workers
 workers not properly attired
 dustbins not cleared daily
 same menu daily

In your letter, you would also like to offer three suggestions from your classmates:

 stringent checks
 cheaper food
 serve a variety of food

When writing a letter, you should remember:


- to set out the letter correctly
- to include all the points given
- to write in paragraphs

53
54
3.0 SUMMARY

Practice 1

1 Keeping with tradition, bank officer Madam Tan has taught


her children about preserving their cultural legacy, especially during
this time of the year when the Chinese celebrated the Qing Ming or
the Tomb Sweeping Day Festival.
2 During the celebration, family members would make time to 5
visit or their ancestors’ or relatives’ graves at the cemetery 10 days
before or after the actual day of the festival. , Madam Tan said
family members, however, can visit the graves to pay homage even
after the customary period.
3 She said one can prepare any sort of offerings for the dead. 10
“But traditions will die out if the younger generations do not observe
these practices.” Tan, 55 who together with her husband and
children had spent the Saturday morning cleaning the tomb areas
and making offerings such as roasted chicken, steamed buns,
fruits, tea and wine. 15
4 The family had even brought a big umbrella to shade them
while they offered incense and joss paper. It’s a normal scene
during Qing Ming where the quiet cemetery would become lively
with visitors from near and far to show their filial piety.
5 Madam Tan’s son, Tan Eng Beng, said he would follow his 20
family to the cemetery each year to pay respect and remember
those who have passed away. It is because this is a cultural
practice which should be passed down from one generation to
another.
6 Even if our loved ones had died, it does not mean that the 25
bond shared when alive should be broken.

Adapted from Families visit graves of ancestors


NST

55
Based on the passage given, write a summary of :
 Qing Ming and
 what the Chinese do.

Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be given not to change the
original meaning.
Your summary must
 be in continuous writing
 use materials from line 2 to the end
 not longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given.

Begin your summary as follows:

Families visit graves of ancestors during Qing Ming to show……


___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

56
The words in bold are the points

1 Keeping with tradition, bank officer Madam Tan has taught


her children about preserving their cultural legacy, especially
during this time of the year when the Chinese celebrated the Qing
Ming or the Tomb Sweeping Day Festival.
2 During the celebration, family members would make time to 5
visit or their ancestors’ or relatives’ graves at the cemetery 10
days before or after the actual day of the festival. , Madam Tan
said family members, however, can visit the graves to pay
homage even after the customary period.
3 She said one can prepare any sort of offerings for the dead. 10
“But traditions will die out if the younger generations do not
observe these practices.” Tan, 55 who together with her husband
and children had spent the Saturday morning cleaning the tomb
areas and making offerings such as roasted chicken, steamed
buns, fruits, tea and wine. 15
4 The family had even brought a big umbrella to shade them
while they offered incense and joss paper. It’s a normal scene
during Qing Ming where the quiet cemetery would become lively
with visitors from near and far to show their filial piety.
5 Madam Tan’s son, Tan Eng Beng, said he would follow his 20
family to the cemetery each year to pay respect and remember
those who have passed away. It is because this is a cultural
practice which should be passed down from one generation to
another.
6 Even if our loved ones had died, it does not mean that the 25
bond shared when alive should be broken.

Adapted from Families visit graves of ancestors NST

Content Points

1. preserving their cultural legacy


2. make time to visit or their ancestors’ or relatives’ graves
3. 10 days before or after the actual day of the festival
4. visit the graves to pay homage
5. traditions will die
6. if the younger generations do not observe these
practices.
7. cleaning the tomb
8. making offerings
9. offered incense and joss paper
10. to pay respect
11. remember those who have passed away.
12. this is a cultural practice which should be passed down
13. it does not mean that the bond shared when alive should be broken.

57
Practice 2

Based on the passage given, write a summary on:


 the reasons that led the writer to run away from home

1 I packed my bag with a heavy heart. It was indeed a difficult decision to


make, but my mind was set. Before stepping out of my room, I took a glance
at the family picture taken on my sixteenth birthday. Mom looked so kind and
loving. Dad was still the same, wearing his gentle smile. How could they be
so cruel to me, their only daughter? Didn’t they love me at all? 5
2 Weren’t they sensitive to my feelings? I would never get the answer, I
guess. Without delaying any further, I walked briskly out of the house and
headed towards the railway station. I made up my mind to run away. I was
really hurt. “I think it is better to let her stay with her grandma to teach her a
good lesson.” I overheard Mom’s whisper to my father which had been 10
haunting my mind since last week. Just because I had failed my final exam
did not mean that I had not strived to do my best.
3 I knew both my parents had high hopes for me. I regretted that I had
failed them. I never knew that mom would react so drastically. I was convinced
that no one really cared for me or loved me. Enough is enough, I told myself. 15
I decided to leave home and the unpleasant past.
4 I cried my way to the railway station. Where the train would take me I
did not really care. After all who cared for me? Even my best friend, John
seemed to be indifferent. He never seemed free to console me when I needed
him most. From afar, I could hear the train approaching. I closed my eyes and 20
prayed that everything would be just fine when I reached a new town with new
faces. By leaving home, I hoped would help me forget my unpleasant past.
5 Perhaps I could get a job to fend for myself. It would be difficult to start
a new life in unfamiliar surroundings but did I have a choice? Staying with
granny was not a solution. In fact I dreaded going there. Granny was an old- 25
fashioned lady who easily got hysterical at my attire, appearance, interests
and what not. Moreover, to stay with Granny at a place up in the hill was like
solitary confinement.
6 As I was about to step on to the train, I heard a familiar voice shouting
and calling out to me. I turned and saw my mom together with dad running to 30
my direction. Oh no! They had found me! I looked down without any courage
to face them. I thought they would be in rage at my running away.
7 However, mom coolly held my hand and tried to say something. Dad
was silent while he held my other hand. They must have read my letter, I
muttered to myself. Mom explained that she was sending my cousin away and 35
not me. Then I looked up and saw my mom and dad smiling. I smiled too. Both
of them kept telling me that they loved me and always would. For the very first
time ever, I felt secure and began to realize how much they really cared. I was
8 touched.
Everything seemed so right and I would treasure that very moment for 40
the rest of my life. I pledged silently that I would work hard and not disappoint
my parents any more. Their unselfish love had given me the confidence and
courage to succeed, and I believe I could if I set my mind on it. I held my
parents and we went home happily

 the time when her parents came to take her back

58
Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the
original meaning.

Your summary must


 be in continuous form (not in note form)
 use materials from lines 7 to 43
 not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

Begin your summary as follows:

Without delaying any further, I walked briskly out of the . . .


___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

59
The words in bold are the points

1 I packed my bag with a heavy heart. It was indeed a difficult decision


to make, but my mind was set. Before stepping out of my room, I took a glance
at the family picture taken on my sixteenth birthday. Mom looked so kind and
loving. Dad was still the same, wearing his gentle smile. How could they be
so cruel to me, their only daughter? Didn’t they love me at all? 5
2 Weren’t they sensitive to my feelings? I would never get the answer, I
guess. Without delaying any further, I walked briskly out of the house and
headed towards the railway station. I made up my mind to run away. I was
really hurt. “I think it is better to let her stay with her grandma to teach
her a good lesson.” I overheard Mom’s whisper to my father which had been 10
haunting my mind since last week. Just because I had failed my final exam
did not mean that I had not strived to do my best.
3 I knew both my parents had high hopes for me. I regretted that I had
failed them. I never knew that mom would react so drastically. I was
convinced that no one really cared for me or loved me. Enough is enough, 15
I told myself. I decided to leave home and the unpleasant past.
4 I cried my way to the railway station. Where the train would take me I
did not really care. After all who cared for me? Even my best friend, John
seemed to be indifferent. He never seemed free to console me when I needed
him most. From afar, I could hear the train approaching. I closed my eyes and 20
prayed that everything would be just fine when I reached a new town with
new faces. By leaving home, I hoped would help me forget my
5 unpleasant past.
Perhaps I could get a job to fend for myself. It would be difficult to start
a new life in unfamiliar surroundings but did I have a choice? Staying with 25
granny was not a solution. I fact I dreaded going there. Granny was an old-
fashioned lady who easily got hysterical at my attire, appearance, interests
and what not. Moreover, to stay with Granny at a place up in the hill was
6 like solitary confinement.
As I was about to step on to the train, I heard a familiar voice shouting 30
and calling out to me. I turned and saw my mom together with dad running to
my direction. Oh no! They had found me! I looked down without any courage
7 to face them. I thought they would be in rage at my running away.
However, mom coolly held my hand and tried to say something. Dad
was silent while he held my other hand. They must have read my letter, I 35
muttered to myself. Mom explained that she was sending my cousin away
and not me. Then I looked up and saw my mom and dad smiling. I smiled
too. Both of them kept telling me that they loved me and always would. For
the very first time ever, I felt secure and began to realize how much they really
8 cared. I was touched. 40
Everything seemed so right and I would treasure that very moment for
the rest of my life. I pledged silently that I would work hard and not disappoint
my parents any more. Their unselfish love had given me the confidence and
courage to succeed, and I believe I could if I set my mind on it. I held my
parents and we went home happily

60
Content points

1. decided to run away


2. felt hurt
3. parents wanted to send her to grandmother
4. thought being punished for failing examination
5. convinced that no one cared for her
6. staying with grandmother meant isolation
7. leaving home – chance to forget unpleasant past
8. parents found her at train station
9. explained the truth, cousin to be sent to grandmother’s, not her
10. returned home happily

This is an example of how you can rephrase when answering the summary

made up my mind to run away


 decided to run away

I was really hurt … to let her stay with her grandma to teach her a good lesson
 felt hurt that parents wanted to send her to grandmother

just because I had failed my final exam did not mean that I had not strived to do my
best
 thought being punished for failing examination

I was convinced that no one really cared for me or loved me


 convinced that no one cared for her

By leaving home, I hoped would help me forget my unpleasant past


 leaving home – chance to forget unpleasant past

to stay with Granny at a place up in the hill was like solitary confinement
 staying with grandmother meant isolation

They had found me!


 parents found her at train station

Mom explained that she was sending my cousin away and not me.
 explained the truth, cousin to be sent to grandmother’s, not her

we went home happily


 returned home happily

61
Practice 3

1 “Hurry up children, your ong ngoai must be hungry by now,” Mother called out
from the front room of our family home in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. She had carefully placed
steamed rice, fried chicken and vegetables in each compartment of the lunch rack, all
set to be delivered to ong ngoai, our grandfather. My father a staff sergeant with the
Philippine Air Force, worked as a surgical technician for eight years and had married 5
Mother, a local girl. Because of his work, he was away from home for week at a time.
Mother was a housewife who took great care of Trang and me. She gave us the daily
noon time job of taking lunch to out grandfather, who lived alone in a small rented
2 apartment.
“Here, send the food to ong ngoai quickly. Be careful not to spill the food.” 10
3 She added.
I was six years old. Trang, my sister, who was eight years older, was helping
4 me get dressed. I was excited at the thought of getting out of the house.
Mother, over-concerned, recited her list of reminders as she always did every
day: “Stay on the side of the road. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t stop 15
to talk to strangers. Come back straight to the house after you have delivered the food.
5 Do not stop anywhere along the way. Run along now.”
So hand in hand, with Trang carrying the lunch rack, we scurried one block
down the road to our grandfather’s place. He was a retired judge and I was happy to
6 see him every day. It was he who gave me my first cac (the equivalent of cents at that 20
time).
It was 1974 and war was spreading all over Vietnam, but in Tay Ninh life was
7 peaceful and continued as usual. However, on that particular day, as Trang and I made
8 our way to grandfather’s place, whizz!
“Duck down!” Trang cried as we walked along. “Stay low and take cover! 25
Ratatatatat! Somewhere in the mountains just outside town, Vietcong soldiers
9 fired their flying bullets down our path. I bent so low that I actually dragged my face
along the ground as I ran.
As we squatted at the side of the road, covering our heads, I started to worry
about ong ngoai. He liked his food served hot. If we did not get there on time and his 30
10 lunch turned cold – Oh, I did like the thought of it! I refused to let this outbreak of
shooting slow us down. “Let’s just run for it!” I said.
Trang suggested duckwalking down the road but it was not a good idea. After
a few paces, my short little legs began cramping. We tried all the manoeuvres that could
save our lives but nothing seemed to work. We were ready to sit things out until the 35
shooting was over. Then I suddenly remembered. If we ever came under fire, our elders
11 had told us time after time, we should run from side to side. “Bullets travel in a straight
line,” they said. “Run in a zigzag.”
So taking a deep breath, we set off again, running wildly back and forth across
the road. After what seemed forever, the shooting ceased. “God Almighty be praised, 40
12 the food is still warm,” was all I could say after we arrived at our grandfather’s
apartment, completely unaware of the danger from which we had just escaped. Five
cents awaited each of us!
As an adult, I sometimes look back on that eventful day. I now know what my
young mind could not understand then: it is impossible to go through life without 45
hardship and struggles being thrown at you. They come when you least think they
would, like when you are happily walking down a street and bullets start flying at you.
You can try to avoid them all you want, but as long as you are alive, they will keep
coming, from all directions. Sure, you might get wounded, but you just have to bandage
your wounds, pick yourself up and start walking again.

Adapted from Reader’s Digest, May


2006

62
Based on the passage given, write a summary on:
 the advice the writer’s mother gave her and her sister
 what the writer and her sister did during the shooting

Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the
original meaning.

Your summary must


 be in continuous writing (not in note form)
 use material from lines 10 – 43
 not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below.

Begin your summary as follows:

The writer’s mother reminded her and her sister not to . . .

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

63
___________________________________________________________________

The words in bold are the points

1 “Hurry up children, your ong ngoai must be hungry by now,” Mother called out
from the front room of our family home in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. She had carefully placed
steamed rice, fried chicken and vegetables in each compartment of the lunch rack, all
set to be delivered to ong ngoai, our grandfather. My father a staff sergeant with the
Philippine Air Force, worked as a surgical technician for eight years and had married 5
Mother, a local girl. Because of his work, he was away from home for week at a time.
Mother was a housewife who took great care of Trang and me. She gave us the daily
noon time job of taking lunch to out grandfather, who lived alone in a small rented
2 apartment.
“Here, send the food to ong ngoai quickly. Be careful not to spill the food.” 10
3 She added.
I was six years old. Trang, my sister, who was eight years older, was helping
4 me get dressed. I was excited at the thought of getting out of the house.
Mother, over-concerned, recited her list of reminders as she always did every
day: “Stay on the side of the road. Look both ways before crossing the street. 15
Don’t stop to talk to strangers. Come back straight to the house after you have
5 delivered the food. Do not stop anywhere along the way. Run along now.”
So hand in hand, with Trang carrying the lunch rack, we scurried one block
down the road to our grandfather’s place. He was a retired judge and I was happy to
6 see him every day. It was he who gave me my first cac (the equivalent of cents at that 20
time).
It was 1974 and war was spreading all over Vietnam, but in Tay Ninh life was
7 peaceful and continued as usual. However, on that particular day, as Trang and I made
8 our way to grandfather’s place, whizz!
“Duck down!” Trang cried as we walked along. “Stay low and take cover!" 25
Ratatatatat! Somewhere in the mountains just outside town, Vietcong soldiers
9 fired their flying bullets down our path. I bent so low that I actually dragged my face
along the ground as I ran.
As we squatted at the side of the road, covering our heads, I started to
worry about ong ngoai. He liked his food served hot. If we did not get there on time and 30
10 his lunch turned cold – Oh, I did like the thought of it! I refused to let this outbreak of
shooting slow us down. “Let’s just run for it!” I said.
Trang suggested duckwalking down the road but it was not a good idea. After
a few paces, my short little legs began cramping. We tried all the manoeuvres that
could save our lives but nothing seemed to work. We were ready to sit things out until 35
the shooting was over. Then I suddenly remembered. If we ever came under fire, our
11 elders had told us time after time, we should run from side to side. “Bullets travel in a
straight line,” they said. “Run in a zigzag.”
So taking a deep breath, we set off again, running wildly back and forth
across the road. After what seemed forever, the shooting ceased. “God Almighty be 40
praised, the food is still warm,” was all I could say after we arrived at our grandfather’s
12 apartment, completely unaware of the danger from which we had just escaped. Five
cents awaited each of us!
As an adult, I sometimes look back on that eventful day. I now know what my
young mind could not understand then: it is impossible to go through life without 45
hardship and struggles being thrown at you. They come when you least think they
would, like when you are happily walking down a street and bullets start flying at you.
You can try to avoid them all you want, but as long as you are alive, they will keep
coming, from all directions. Sure, you might get wounded, but you just have to bandage
your wounds, pick yourself up and start walking again.

Adapted from Reader’s Digest, May


2006

64
Content points

1. not to spill the food.


2. stay on the side of the road.
3. look both ways before crossing the street.
4. do not stop to talk to strangers.
5. come back straight to the house after they have delivered the food.
6. do not stop along the way
7. ducked down/stayed low and took cover
8. bent so low (that she actually dragged her face along the ground) as she
ran
9. squatted at the side of the road.
10. covered their heads
11. duck-walked down the road.
12. tried all the manoeuvres that could save their lives
13. ran from side to side/ ran in a zigzag/ ran wildly back and forth across the
road.

65
Practice 4

1 It is true that supermarkets are much more common than they used to
be. By ‘supermarket’ I mean the kind of large store which has several sections
stocking a wide range of goods: food, drinks, kitchen equipment, stationery,
clothes and toys. Normally, the customer pays for all his purchases at the
same time, at a cash desk situated somewhere near the way out. It is very 5
convenient to be able to buy so many things in the same place, at prices which
are often lower than in small shops; and it is probably for this reason that many
people prefer to shop there. However, it is exceptionally handier to get things
needed in a small place like a traditional shop, especially when you are in
hurry. You will save more time in a small shop compared to a big supermarket! 10
2 Some people claim the supermarkets are the shop of the future. They
say that their bright lights and attractive shelves are much better than the
cramped confusion of the small ‘kedai’, with its forest of buckets and brooms
hanging from the ceiling and its narrow passageways between piles of sacks
and boxes leading to the dark interior. Who cares, these people say, if old- 15
fashioned shops like this have to close down! Unfortunately, today’s small
shops are much more stylish than they use to be. Some do not even look like
a traditional local shop. The decorations of the shops are equally good as
supermarkets. So, who says that the Malaysia of tomorrow has no place for
out-of-date businesses like these? 20
3 In my opinion, traditional shops have a lot of good points which the big
modern supermarkets cannot match. In the first place, although supermarkets
prices may appear low, the customer often has to spend more money when
he goes there. A visit to a supermarket easily involves expensive journey by a
car or bus, whereas there is a small shop within easy walking distance of most 25
people houses. Moreover, supermarkets force you to buy certain fixed quantity
of most items. This quantity maybe more than you need. Small shops however,
allow you to buy exactly the amount of sugar, rice or spices that you need, so
you will probably spend less there.
4 Secondly, the small local shop is much more friendly that the 30
supermarket. If the owner knows you, he can help you choose between the
different brands which he has in stock. He will let you choose the best onions
and potatoes out of the box – something you can hardly do in a supermarket.
He may even be able to offer you credit if you are short of money.
Supermarkets on the other hand, are much more impersonal. You probably do 35
not know any of the sales assistants, and you will be lucky to get a smile from
the busy girl at the cash desk as she takes your money and hunts for small
change in the drawer. She probably does not even have time to say ‘thank
you’ before she turns to the next impatient customer in the long queue.
5 What is more, the local shop is a social centre in a way that the 40
supermarket can never be. In the ‘kedai’ you can meet your neighbours, chat
about local events or family problems and discuss the car you are trying to sell
or the success of your latest mango crop.
6 For all these reasons, I prefer the traditional shops. Although
supermarkets do have a few advantages, it would be foolish to neglect our 45
small shops and force them to close. If that happened, we would lose
valuable part of our Malaysian way of life.

66
Based on the passage given, write a summary on:
 The advantages of a traditional small shop

Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the
original meaning.

Your summary must:


 be in continuous writing form (not in note form)
 use materials from lines 7 to 33
 not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

Begin your summary as follows:

A traditional small shop has its own distinctive features because………


___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

67
The words in bold are the points

1 It is true that supermarkets are much more common than they used to
be. By ‘supermarket’ I mean the kind of large store which has several sections
stocking a wide range of goods: food, drinks, kitchen equipment, stationery,
clothes and toys. Normally, the customer pays for all his purchases at the
same time, at a cash desk situated somewhere near the way out. It is very 5
convenient to be able to buy so many things in the same place, at prices
which are often lower than in small shops; and it is probably for this reason
that many people prefer to shop there. However, it is exceptionally handier to
get things needed in a small place like a traditional shop, especially when you
are in hurry. You will save more time in a small shop compared to a big 10
supermarket!
2 Some people claim the supermarkets are the shop of the future. They
say that their bright lights and attractive shelves are much better than the
cramped confusion of the small ‘kedai’, with its forest of buckets and brooms
hanging from the ceiling and its narrow passageways between piles of sacks 15
and boxes leading to the dark interior. Who cares, these people say, if old-
fashioned shops like this have to close down! Unfortunately, today’s small
shops are much more stylish than they use to be. Some do not even look
like a traditional local shop. The decorations of the shops are equally good as
supermarkets. So, who says that the Malaysia of tomorrow has no place for 20
out-of-date businesses like these?
3 In my opinion, traditional shops have a lot of good points which the big
modern supermarkets cannot match. In the first place, although supermarkets
prices may appear low, the customer often has to spend more money when
he goes there. A visit to a supermarket easily involves expensive journey by a 25
car or bus, whereas there is a small shop within easy walking distance of
most people houses. Moreover, supermarkets force you to buy certain fixed
quantity of most items. This quantity maybe more than you need. Small shops
however, allow you to buy exactly the amount of sugar, rice or spices that
you need, so you will probably spend less there. 30
4 Secondly, the small local shop is much more friendly that the
supermarket. If the owner knows you, he can help you choose between the
different brands which he has in stock. He will let you choose the best onions
and potatoes out of the box – something you can hardly do in a supermarket.
He may even be able to offer you credit if you are short of money. 35
Supermarkets on the other hand, are much more impersonal. You probably do
not know any of the sales assistants, and you will be lucky to get a smile from
the busy girl at the cash desk as she takes your money and hunts for small
change in the drawer. She probably does not even have time to say ‘thank
you’ before she turns to the next impatient customer in the long queue. 40
5 What is more, the local shop is a social centre in a way that the
supermarket can never be. In the ‘kedai’ you can meet your neighbours,
chat about local events or family problems and discuss the car you are trying
to sell or the success of your latest mango crop. 45
6 For all these reasons, I prefer the traditional shops. Although
supermarkets do have a few advantages, it would be foolish to neglect our
small shops and force them to close. If that happened, we would lose
valuable
part of our Malaysian way of life.

68
Content points

1. convenient to get things in a small space


2. save a lot of time
3. much more stylish in decoration
4. within easy walking distance of most people houses
5. allow you to buy exactly the amount of everything that you need
6. probably spend less
7. much more friendly
8. help you choose between the different brands
9. may even be able to offer you credit if you are short of money
10. a social centre
11. can meet your neighbours
12. chat the latest news

69