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ENHANCING MUET PERFORMANCE Writing 800/4

Presented by: Mdm. Audrey Koh Sui Ean B. Education (TESL) (Honours) UK

Writing carries 30% 2nd most important component Divided into 2 sections Section 1: Report Writing (40 mins x 40 marks) Section 2: Academic Essay (50 mins x 60 marks)

Let’s start with Question 1

Report writing tests understanding of non-linear stimuli (graphs) and synthesizing it into linear form (composition).

What’s the Formula for Q1? 1. TITLE (usually found in the question) 2. INTRODUCTION Paragraph 1: Introduction (What do the stimuli show?) Overview (What is the general trend?) 1. BODY Paragraph 2-3/4: Key Features (What are the outstanding info from the graphs? 1. CONCLUSION Last Paragraph: Summary (Mention the main trend again)

WR Q1 FORMULA:

TITLE I + OV KFs S

Useful Vocabulary to describe the FOUR (4) MAIN TRENDS 1)

2)

3)

4)

rise fall/drop stable/ erratic gain loss stabilise fluctuatin increase decrease g constant improve depreciate unstable consistent escalate deteriorat inconsiste incline e USEFUL ADJECTIVES nt high/highe decline slight/steady/gradual sharp/steep/drastic r/ low/lower/ doubled/tripled/quadrupl highest lowest ed record high/record low more than less than most least

Let’s Analyse a Sample Question Question 1 [40 marks] You are advised to spend about 40 mins on this task.

You are a junior reporter writing for a travel magazine. You have been asked to write a short article on tourism in Malaysia. Your article should integrate all the information given below. You should write between 150 to 200 words.

Tourism in Malaysia (I) The stimuli show a bar graph comparing tourist arrivals in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, a table of the top five tourist markets of income earned from tourism in Malaysia and a newspaper headline on the drop of tourist arrivals. (OV) The general trend is a decrease of tourist arrivals and tourism income in Malaysia.

(KF1) According to the bar graph, Malaysia recorded the highest tourist arrivals in 1999 with more than 7 million persons but it then dropped to 6 million in 2001. (KF2) It stabilised in 2003 and 2005 with an increase to 7 million tourists. (KF3) However, there was a drastic drop in 2007 to just over 5 million visitors. (KF4) This caused a sharp loss of income earned especially from the top three tourist markets in Malaysia. (KF5) Statistics show a steep decrease of tourist spending of more than 20% mostly from Taiwan (-24.2%), Singapore (-22.1%) and Japan (-22.0%).

(KF6) Based on the newspaper headline, the fall in tourist arrivals is due to unknown viral diseases and the fear of natural disasters in Malaysia. (S) In conclusion, the tourism trend in Malaysia is on the decline and it is affecting our tourism income.

Complete Sample Answer Tourism in Malaysia The stimuli show a bar graph comparing tourist arrivals in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, a table of the top five tourist markets of income earned from tourism in Malaysia and a newspaper headline on the drop of tourist arrivals. The general trend is a decrease of tourist arrivals and tourism income in Malaysia. According to the bar graph, Malaysia recorded the highest tourist arrivals in 1999 with more than 7 million persons but it then dropped to 6 million in 2001. It stabilised in 2003 and 2005 with an increase to 7 million tourists. However, there was a drastic drop in 2007 to just over 5 million visitors. This caused a sharp loss of income earned especially from the top three tourist markets in Malaysia. Statistics show a steep decrease of tourist spending of more than 20% mostly from Taiwan (-24.2%), Singapore (-22.1%) and Japan (-22.0%). Based on the headline, the fall in tourist arrivals is due to unknown viral diseases and fear of natural disasters in Malaysia.

In conclusion, the tourism trend in Malaysia is on the decline and it is affecting our tourism income.

Summary Writing Marking Scheme: Band 6 Band 5 Band 4 Band 3 Band 2 Band 1 Task Fulfilment

20 – 18 17 – 15 14 – 11

10 – 7

6–4

3–0

Language & Organisation

20 – 18 17 – 15 14 – 11

10 – 7

6–4

3–0

TOTAL

40 – 34 33 – 27 26 – 21 20 – 14

13 – 7

6–0

Question 2: Academic Essay Students may be presented with:

1.a point of view, 2.an argument or 3.a problem as the core of the question.

Question 2: Academic Essay What do we look for in an essay: Quality of Arguments – logical, mature ideas Ideas and Evidence – support your points (elaboration & examples) Communicative Quality Vocabulary and Sentence Structure

Academic Essay Tip No. 1: STEP 1: BRAINSTORM It is very important to make a list of ideas/main points. You may use various techniques to develop argument/content: 1. List 2. Mind map

Academic Essay Tip No. 2: STEP 2: ORGANISE You MUST write in an academic style, 5 paragraphs. 1. Introduction 2. Body (min x3)

RECOMMENDED ESSAY STRUCTURE FOR MID TO HIGH PROFICIENCY STUDENTS:

MODEL 1

RECOMMENDED for BANDS 3 - 6 1. INTRODUCTION ( x 1 paragraph) - Introductory Statements - Thesis Statement 2. BODY: 3 – 5 points ( x 3-5 paragraphs) Basic guideline: - Topic Sentence 70 words per paragraph, 1. Support i.e. at least 350 words. 2. Support 3. Support (Concluding sentence) 3. CONCLUSION ( x 1 paragraph ) - Closing statement - Restate thesis

MODEL 1 ADVANTAGES Promotes critical thinking skills Room for creativity Shows off linguistic proficiency

DISADVANTAGES Unfocussed Danger of going out of topic Difficult for low proficiency students to excel

RECOMMENDED ESSAY STRUCTURE FOR LOW TO MID PROFICIENCY STUDENTS:

MODEL 2

RECOMMENDED for BANDS 1 - 3 INTRODUCTION ( x 1 paragraph, 70 words) 1. Current situation (Nowadays,… In today’s era of …) 2. Stand (In my opinion, I think/agree/disagree that…) 3. Outline (In this essay, I will discuss 3 reasons/strategies/suggestions which are ____________, ___________ & __________.)

1ST POINT ( x 1 paragraph, 70 words) 1. Main Idea (Firstly,… First and foremost,…) 2. Reasons (This is because…Moreover,…) 3. Examples (For example,… and so on.) 4. Mini conclusion (Therefore,…)

2ND POINT ( x 1 paragraph, 70 words) 1. Main Idea (Secondly,…The second reason is…) 2. Reasons (This is due to…In addition,…) 3. Examples (For instance,… and many more.) 4. Mini conclusion (Thus,…)

3RD POINT ( x 1 paragraph, 70 words) 1. Main Idea (Finally,…Last but not least…) 2. Reasons (This means that… Furthermore,…) 3. Examples (Take for example,… and others.) 4. Mini conclusion (Hence,…)

CONCLUSION ( x 1 paragraph, 70 words) 1. Repeat Points (In conclusion/In a nutshell, the 3 reasons/strategies/suggestions I have mentioned above are…) 2. Repeat Stand (In my opinion, I still strongly believe that…) 3. Recommendation (Our government should…/We should…)

MODEL 2 ADVANTAGES Helps students achieve basic proficiency by providing structures Boosts confidence and motivation to write Aids in developing and organising ideas

DISADVANTAGES Stifles creativity Repetitive style of writing Monotonous for examiner to mark May bore high flyers

Let’s look at a sample question: Question 2:

Since achieving independence in 1957, Malaysia has been known for its peaceful and multi-racial society. What can be done to further enhance national unity and solidarity among the various races? Elaborate and give relevant examples in more than 350 words.

st

1 Paragraph - Introduction: Nowadays, Malaysia is a leading tourist destination because we are famous for our multi-racial society who live in peace and harmony. In my opinion, I strongly agree that national unity can be enhanced to strengthen solidarity among all the various races in this country. In this essay, I will discuss three solid strategies for enhancing national unity which are every individual needs to be more patriotic, be respectful of each different culture and mould a future generation that is tolerant and grateful to be Malaysian.

nd

2

Paragraph - Point 1:

First and foremost, every individual can play a part in enhancing national unit by being more patriotic. This is because when we are patriotic we will appreciate being a Malaysian citizen who has the right to live a peaceful and war-free life. Moreover, having high patriotism will ensure that we really love our country and we will not do anything to harm the peace and harmony. For example, every one of us can respect the ‘Negaraku’ song and our ‘Rukunegara’, fly our national flag during Independence day and so on. Therefore, if everyone plays their part and becomes more patriotic, this will easily enhance the spirit of national unity.

rd

3 Paragraph - Point 2: Secondly, as loyal Malaysians, we should always be respectful of each and every culture found in this country. This is due to the fact that respecting the main races like Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as the indigenous races will ensure that we will continue to live side by side in harmony. In addition, every race that makes up the Malaysian society is unique and should be cherished for its special traditions and cultures. For instance, we should visit one another during ‘Open House’ or wedding celebrations, religious festivals and many more. Thus, by respecting the uniqueness of every culture, this helps us promote racial solidarity and enhance national unity .

th

4 Paragraph - Point 3: Last but not least, truancy can be curbed by encouraging cooperation with local police authorities and the general public. This means that we can get assistance from the police as they are the higher authority and they can even set up a ‘Police Hut’ within the school grounds. Furthermore, the public can report students wearing uniform who escape by calling or sending sms messages to the school authorities or even the police. Take for example, to solve this problem we can organise regular spot checks by police, give the school emergency number to the shop owners, neighbourhood residents and others. Hence, everyone can cooperate to reduce cases of truancy.

th

5 Paragraph - Conclusion: In a nutshell, the three strategies I have suggested are to be more patriotic and respectful of each unique culture as well as teach our children to be more grateful Malaysian citizens. In my opinion, I still strongly believe that national unity can be enhanced if we all play an active role. I hope that our government can highlight this issue in the media by organising more patriotism campaigns so that we can produce a united society that can contribute productively to the achievement of Vision 2020.

A final note on Question 2… Remember to address the following: 1. QUESTION @ ISSUE, 2. ORGANISATION @ FORMAT, 3. REGISTER @ VOCABULARY 4. & GRAMMAR

Writing Marking Scheme (Question 2) Band 6

Band 5

Band 4

Band 3

Band 2

Band 1

Task Fulfilment

30 – 26

25 – 21

20 – 16

15 – 11

10 – 6

5-0

Language & Organisation

30 – 26

25 – 21

20 – 16

15 – 11

10 – 6

5-0

TOTAL

60 – 51

50 – 41

40 – 31

30 – 21

20 – 11

10 – 0

If you can follow this writing style.. you will definitely move up in your current band..

Good luck!!!


Muet Writing 2011