Monday, June 9, 2014


There are a few things that we can do if we are serious about improving our vocabulary.

1  Read, read and read

Aim to read at least a book a month.  Make it a habit to read magazines, newspapers and anything you can get your hand on.  Look at the way good writers write.  What are the interesting phrases and words used?

2  Look it up

Is there a particular word that is always appearing when you read?  Look it up. Keep a dictionary nearby.  You don't need to look up every word you don't know.  That would kill the joy of reading.  Look up words which will help you understand the passage better.

3  Keep a vocabulary notebook

When I was in school, my English teacher made us keep a notebook for new words we learnt.  At the end of the year, it was fun to look back at what we had collected and used.  Many words became a part of our vocabulary daily.

4  Do word puzzles and play word games
There are many online games that will help you in improving your vocabulary.  For example, go to for games such as word search, crossword puzzle and puzzles.

5  Use online dictionaries

Use the free services of online dictionaries.  Sign up to learn a word a day. Learn the pronunciation of a new word from these websites.

6  Write daily
The fastest way of learning a new word is to use it.  Write about the happenings in your school or about your life.  Look for ways to use these words aptly.  There are many students who turn to the dictionary to memorise some bombastic words to use in their essays but they ended up using them wrongly.

7  Do your own research
Find words that are associated with certain topics. Do a mind map of these words.
For example, when you think of the word 'environment', what are the words that come to your mind?  Use the Internet to help you.

Words associated with 'football' -( nouns, verbs, adjectives)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013



There are no shortcuts to writing good essays.  
1 - Answer the question 
Do not try to memorise an essay and use it as an answer.

2 - Be original 
Try not to use the usual boring plot that you have read before.  I always tell my students to relate real life experiences or write it from the heart.

3 - Don't thesaurize your composition 
Some students like to use bombastic words all over their essays.  It can make the essay very awkward if the vocabulary used is inapt.

4 - Spend some time on your introduction 
Plan your introduction carefully so that it grabs the attention of the reader.  Stay away from the "Everyone in this world......" introduction.
5 - Body paragraphs must relate to your introduction 
Make sure that your introduction leads to the paragraphs and all your paragraphs are cohesive.  Plan for only one main idea for each paragraph.

6 - Use transition 
Use transition markers to begin each paragraph as well as within the paragraph to ensure the smooth flow of the essays.

7 - Remember to write a good conclusion
Remember to end your essay with an appropriate conclusion.  You can summarise your points, state the implication of a certain issue or state your hope for the future.
8 - Time management
Spare some time to check your work.  Watch out for spelling errors, grammatical errors esp tenses.


Hello everyone,
Sorry I have not been able to update my blog due to time constraints.  However, most of the notes and stuff are still usable.  Thanks for all your comments and continuous support.  I will try to update the blog more often.



Friday, August 17, 2012


Time really flies...  I thought we had just started the new year and now we are actually approaching the end.  For those of you who are preparing for the trial exam, here are some tips for you:

Directed Writing
1  Make sure you know all the format for each task required.
    E.g.  formal letter, informal letter, report, article, speech and recount.

2  Remember to use all the points given.  Add some elaboration.  

3  Do not spend too much time on this essay and neglect your CW.

Continuous Writing

1  Prepare two short stories of your own, just in case there is no other choice.  
    A happy story and a sad story.  Do not memorise from the workbook or anywhere else.
   If you need to do that, change the ending, and the characters.

Do post any questions over here.  I am sorry I do not have time to grade your essays, so do not e-mail me your essays.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Overused words

Other ways to say... those grossly overused and abused words.
These are some words you can use to replace the 'tired' words.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Corrections for essays..common errors

This is the essay posted by Farah. I is a good effort.   Anyone care to correct some of the common errors?  I have highlighted the errors.  The yellow highlights show the serious errors, blue - word usage..and red - spelling.

Fea and I had been friends since primary school. We were so close as we did almost everything together. We were also well known as one of the top students in our school. Eventhough we were in different classes, but we still dear to each other. Fea was also my neighbour. Which made us become even closer.

It was the second day of school since it was started on 3rd January 2011. A new girl named Nazirah registered at our school. She became popular drastically as she was beautiful and rich. Most of the boys were attracted to her. Everyone wanted to be her friends including me. That was the moment I started neglecting Fea. She noticed that I wanted to make Nazirah pay attention to me.

"What are you doing now? You have left me for that new girl." Fea asked me. I did not give any response to her. I just walked away without even looking at her. After a few steps, I turned and I noticed there were tears falling from her eyes. Maybe she was hurt by the way I treated her. I did not care about other matters. All I knew was, I needed to befriend with Nazirah. I did not want Fea to be an interrupter in my life.

A few days later, Nazirah and I had been friends. We were together no matter where we went. Rumors about Nazirah and I were spreading all over the school. They said I had been Nazirah's follower as I was there where ever she was. I started to abandon my studies and my results dropped terribly. I was afraid to to show my result to my parents as I was one of the top students before. Finally, no matter how hard I hide it, they knew about y result. They were really angry with my behavior when I tried to lie to them. I was grounded and my pocket money was cut. I was sad and stressed up.

I tried to ask for Fea's help but no avail. She did not wanted to help me. She said that was my problem not hers. So she asked me to stay away from her. I was shocked. I never thought she would ever did that. Out of sudden, I realised I was nobody to her. While I was having a major problem in my studies, to pick up every lessons that I learnt back, Fea came.

"I am always here for you." Fea put her hand on my shoulder. I was shocked with Fea appearance at my house. I never thought that she still wanted to be my friend. I realised that Fea never left me. She kept her eyes on me from far away. I bursted into tears. I asked for forgiveness and she just smiled and nodded her head. I was really thankful that Fea still wanted to befriends with me again and that was the happiest moment in my l

Friday, February 3, 2012

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...