Using Our Books to Better Support Learning

We provide our upper secondary students from the Express and Normal Academic streams a copy of our karangan and email books. This approach allows our students with better support when we teach our writing strategies. Our students are able to see how the strategies play out in the samples karangan and email in the book and model them when completing their writing assignments.

On this note, we encourage you to consider including our books in your school booklist for upper secondary Express and Normal Academic classes. Do raise your intention with the owner of your school’s bookstore and instruct the owner to contact us for supply. Do let us know early so that we can set aside supply for your school.

We have just sent the manuscript of our fourth book – Panduan Bacaan & Lisan Untuk Persiapan Peringkat N & O – for printing. We plan to provide our graduating students a copy of this book next year to better support them for their Oral O Level Examination. We are aware as educators that the oral examination is the third-largest mark component of the overall Malay Language assessment in the O Level Examinations. We believe that the book is a good investment for students who are working towards doing well for the Malay Language O Level Examinations.

You may want to include this book too in your Secondary 4 and 5 classes’ booklists. Do contact us should you be interested to do so.

Preparing Students Psychologically for the Imminent ML O Level Results Release

What does a Japanese racehorse have anything to do with graduating classes and the Malay Language O Level results release. Who would have thought that there is a connection and a useful one too?

The Malay Language O Level results release is imminent. The release is anticipated with a varying degree of trepidations from many students, even those who were consistently doing well in assignments and are expected to do ace the examinations. They are the focus of our one-time lesson specially designed for the pre-Malay Language O Level results release.

The objective of our lesson is to psychologically prepare our graduating students when they receive their Malay Language O Level results. All of them have worked tirelessly for the past 18 months now. However, we adults are wise enough to know that life may not necessarily play out as how we plan it to be and we may not get in the end what we have strived hard towards to before. Our students are too young to know this and maybe too inexperienced to accept disappointment to bounce back stronger and focus on the next step.

The next step for our graduating students is the November O Level Examinations for their remaining subjects. They have to remain focus regardless of what is the outcome of their Malay Langauge O Level results. They can achieve this if they are able to take disappointment well and bounce back as soon as possible. However, we have seen over the years there would always be a few whom we had expected to do well lost a lot of time because they were sucked into a depression after receiving an unfavourable result. This lesson is for them.

What this lesson is not – and this is an important caveat – is that it is not for students who refuse to work hard from the start. They should not take what they learn from the lesson any respite for their poor results that were of their own doing. This has to be made clear from the start of the lesson. We do not want students to walk away from the lesson with any unintended message that may affect negatively how they approach work and challenges in life moving forward. We thank God that most of our students are highly motivated to work hard to ace their examinations except for a very small number.

Our special lesson is designed around a short film about a Japanese racehorse named Haru Urara. The video is available in Vimeo. The original lesson can be found here but we have made some modifications.

The most prominent modification is an activity called Dearest me that we have added at the end of the lesson. In this activity, students are invited to write a motivational note to themselves via Google Form using their handphones. These notes are for their eyes only and will not be shared with others. As such, they are expected to be sincere and upfront with what they wrote. Their notes consist of advice and words of motivation to themselves should they get unfavourable results, may God forbids.

We will text these notes to them after the release of the results. What better way to shake one up from a depression slumber than reading one own advice and motivation!

We encourage you to modify the lesson to what suits your students best. Good luck! Do share with us how you lesson went. We would love to hear from you. Cheers

Teaching Comprehension Question Types

We teach our graduating students systematically on how to ace comprehension exercises.

Our 5-step approach consists of teaching them (1) what makes up the structure of a comprehension passage, (2) how to annotate every paragraph in the passage, (3) how to match questions to answers in the passage, (4) what are the different question types and how to answer them, and (5) how to derive the meaning of selected vocabulary asked in the questions.

We share with you here resources we use teaching our graduating students the different question types for 5-mark comprehension questions. You’ll find our lesson recording above and the PowerPoint slides used in the lesson here useful. We hope you benefit from our sharing.

Recent Graduates Shared Their O Level Experiences (and More!)

We invited our most recent graduates to share with our graduating students their experiences preparing for their Malay Language O Level Examinations experiences. This sharing was part of the motivation segment that we conducted on the last day of our Intensive Mother Tongue Programme and has become a tradition that we have maintained for several years now. Following the sharing was the prize-giving ceremony that we have discussed extensively here to end our programme on a high.

The selected students whom we had invited scored distinctions for their Malay Language O Level Examinations and represented both the Secondary 4 Express and 5 Normal Academic streams. Their sharing was meant to inspire our graduating students to work hard specifically for Malay Language and generally for other subjects in the O Level Examinations, In addition, they had the opportunity to learn first-hand experiences from those who ‘have been there and done that’. This was facilitated by the Q&A session where our students could ask these graduates any questions at all.

From our experiences thus far, the questions our students put forth did not necessarily centre around Malay Language and other subjects alone but touched on a range of other topics like EAE application and interview, life in polytechnic and BGR. It was amazing to see our students being comfortable discussing openly and learn from their seniors (under our close watch of course, where we jumped in when we felt it was important to enlighten any possible misinformation *smile).

We conducted the session via Google Meet this year because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the session was still as engaging as when we did it face to face in the previous years. This year we had Adibah, Asyiqin, Nadhirah and Adam. They had been generous and also volunteered to share in our Pelajar Cemerlang Series sharing on this website. We have seen a lot of benefits from holding this sharing and we encourage you to consider having it during your yearly Intensive Mother Tongue Programme for your graduating students. All the best!

How to Ace Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension is the last paper of the Malay Language N and O Level Examinations. It is the paper that students are expected to do well and gain back marks that they have lost in the earlier papers because of mistakes. However, listening comprehension may not be easy for students who are not careful. It is littered with distractions to trick students into choosing the wrong answers.

We present below 5 tips that we shared with our students on how to ace listening comprehension. Feel free to share with us other tips that you might have in the comment section so that we can help you share them with others on this website.

This is the most common and convenient trick that you often find in listening comprehension. The recording will throw at you all the wrong options early to falsely lead you into believing that one of them is the answer before quietly making a turn to the right answer.

Let us see if you can spot the Turn in this recording for the question below.

Nyatakan sebab Farah tidak dapat menemani Hakim untuk mendapatkan tiket konsert kumpulan Melodi.

(A) Farah perlu menjaga ibunya yang sakit di rumah.
(B) Farah ada banyak tugasa yang perlu diselesaikan.
(C) Farah sibuk dengan bermacam-macam aktiviti sekolah.
(D) Farah mahu ke Panggung Permata pada waktu tengahari.

You notice that the Turn happens when Farah says, ”Tetapi, sebenarnya . . . ” After the turn, you realize that the answer is (A).

This is the next popular trick and often is often used with other tricks. In this trick, the recording replaces keywords from the question with synonyms to confuse you. So if you are waiting to hear the keywords in the question mentioned in the recording, trust me you will never get to hear them.

Let us see if you can spot how the keyword in the question below is replaced with a synonym in this recording.

Apakah produk terbaharu yang dihasilkan oleh Syarikat Harmoni?

(A) Pil Minda Fokus
(B) Jus Epal Tropika
(C) Susu Soya Segar
(D) Teh Halia Anggerik

You notice that the keyword terbaharu in the question is replaced with a synonym terkini in the recording. The answer is (C).

This trick is more sophisticated than the earlier two tricks and it is employed from question 5 onwards. In this trick, the keyword from the question and some of the answer options are mentioned early in the recording but void of any connection just to distract you into believing that one of the answer options is the right answer. Stay calm and continue to hear closely for you will hear the keyword mentioned again with the right answer that follows.

Let us see if you can spot how the keyword in the question below is thrown early in this recording just to trick you into believing that what follows is the answer.

Sebagai pegawai perkhidmatan pelanggan Cik Shida dilengkapi dengan kemahiran yang memudahkannya menjadi penghantar makanan. Nyatakan kemahiran tersebut.

(A) kemahiran untuk berbahasa Mandarin dan Tamil
(B) kemahiran untuk berkomunikasi dengan sesiapa sahaja
(C) kemahiran untuk menghadapi keadaan yang berbeza-beza
(D) kemahiran untuk melayani pelanggan daripada pelbagai latar belakang

You notice that the keyword (or rather key phrase) pegawai perkhidmatan pelanggan is mentioned early and mentioned again towards the end of the recording. The first mention is to distract you while what follows from the second mention is the right answer which is (C).

This is also another sophisticated trick and is employed in the later questions of listening comprehension. In this trick, you find several half-truth answer options to tempt you to consider any of them as the right answer. Pull back and study the recording till the end. You will find these answer options seem true halfway you listen to the recording but turn out to be false by the time you finish listening to the full recording.

Let us see how many answer options in the question below you can identify as half-truth after scrutinizing till the end of this recording.

Mengapakah Yana kurang selesa dengan tindakan Faiz?

(A) Yana meragui kesahihan tawaran yang diiklankan.
(B) Faiz bertindak secara terburu-buru dan tanpa usul periksa.
(C) Reputasi syarikat yang mengadakan jualan murah itu tidak diketahui.
(D) Iklan tersebut mungkin bertujuan untuk memperdayakan orang ramai.

You notice that all the answer options are half-truth expect for (A).

This is the strategy that we strongly advised students to employ for selected questions where they are unsure if they have got the right answer. In this strategy, we urge them to ignore the recording and run down each of the answer options with a logic test. A logic test simply aims to tease out if the answer options hold true in a real-world setting.  If it does, it is likely the right answer. To facilitate the logic test, just imagine what would you do if you are faced with the question asked in real life.

Let us see which answer option in the question below survives your logic test.

Apakah langkah yang paling penting sebelum memulakan proses tawar-menawar?

(A) menanyakan harga barangan yang mahu dibeli
(B) meminta agar harga barangan yang mahu dibeli dikurangkan
(C) membuat tawaran yang sesuai bagi barangan yang mahu dibeli
(D) membandingkan harga barangan yang mahu dibeli terlebih dahulu

You notice that (D) is the what you and anyone else would do if you address the question above in real life. That’s the logic test in play.

We hope you have benefited from our sharing. We wish you all the best in the coming N and O Level Listening Comprehension Examinations. Do share this post with your colleagues and friends. Cheers!

More Students Earning Collectibles

We are glad to report that more students are now earning their Kami Pelajar A1 collectibles. This is a good sign as these collectibles are visual evidences to indicate that these students have attained good momentum and are on an upward trajectory leading up to their coming O Level Malay Language Examinations in June. Students appreciate it when their efforts are affirmed through these visual evidences and draw much psychological comfort to learn that they on the right track. These earned collectibles will spur them to continue working hard to earn the remaining collectibles and in the process prepare well for all the 12 examinable items in their O Level Malay Language Examinations.

Among them most notebly is Rabia who has earned 5 of the possible 12 collectibles. Rabia telah tawan Lautan Peribahasa, Taufan Kefahaman Subjektif, Belantara E-mel Tidak Rasmi, Cakerawala E-mel Rasmi dan Kehangatan Lisan. We humbly and sincerely pray that God blesses our effort and translate these collectibles into more students scoring distinctions in the coming O Level Malay Language Examinations, Allahumma ameen

Our Recipe to Keeping Students’ Motivation High During Full HBL

At the start of the year, we did not anticipate there would a worldwide virus outbreak and we never heard the term circuit breaker being used before to name the strategy to stop the virus from spreading in Singapore.

In short, full home-based learning was remotely far from our mind. But now that we are in the midst of it, we are grateful that our collectibles have helped us keep our graduating students’ motivation high during the full home-based learning.

We document our journey employing our collectibles in teaching nd learning in the section and subsections of Kami Pelajar A1. Do check it out. Who knows you may like and consider our approach for your graduating class next year.

CROSS THE LINE ~ The Target Setting Activity Visually!

Our PLT project this year is the Saya Pelajar A1 Collectibles which we introduce to our graduating class who will be sitting for the Malay Language O Level Examinations in June. We use these collectibles as a teaching resource to invoke our students’ affective domain in order to motivate them to work harder to achieve distinctions in their O Level Examinations for Malay Language.

Details of our journey in coming up with these collectibles can be found here. We documented our journey in the longest ever post we had written. Happy reading! We hope that you gleam useful lessons from our experiences. : )

The above is the first lesson of our PLT project. The lesson is called ‘Cross The Line’. ‘Cross The Line’ focuses on helping students to set targets for their Malay Language O Level Examinations in June, identify possible challenges and solutions to overcome those challenges, and finally learn from alumni who scored distinctions in the previous Malay Language O Level Examinations.

This first lesson is the first of five installments where we will repeat segments of the first lesson again throught the first semester before our students sit for their O Level Examinations for Malay Language in June. We do this so that our students are often reminded of their targets and can track their progress visually. Puzzled? Just check out the video and you can find more details here.

And finally, if you would like to carry out this PLT project with your graduating students this year, do get in touch with us. We would love to learn from you!

OUR THIRD MUST-HAVE BOOK: Contoh E-Mel Untuk Persiapan Peringkat N & O

Good news! We finally published our third must-have book that completes our set of print resources to help students preparing for their Paper 1 N & O level examinations.

Second good news! We are on GeBiz now! You can order our books from GeBiz using your school fund. Just approach your School’s Administrative Manager (AM) for help.

Pelajar Cemerlang Series 2

This is the second series of videos where some of the students who scored distinctions in the June ML O level exams volunteered to share their success recipe. The videos serve as good motivation resources for future graduating students working towards ML distinctions. You can view all the videos here; https://karangkutu.com/pelajar-cemerlang-series/