Continuous writing is where many students in Singapore struggle for their English PSLE paper, and with good reason. Creative writing skills that are essential to proficient continuous writing can be difficult to cultivate — much less master — in a short span of time. Students who employ traditional rote learning methods to reinforce recall ability before their examinations may find that it doesn’t quite work as well for their continuous writing paper as compared to other subjects where memory work can make a big difference.
So, how then can students improve their composition writing skills and ace their continuous writing for their English PSLE? Here are three things they can immediately start doing to help improve their continuous writing:
1. Read Regularly
Though cliché, reading widely and regularly can truly play a huge role in helping students improve their continuous writing skills. Adopting a habit of reading on a regular basis can lead to gradual improvements in vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, and storytelling that can make for a great cumulative difference in continuous writing proficiency.
Reading also exposes students to numerous writing styles and manners of portraying expressions, feelings, actions, and dialogue — creative writing skills that are crucial to developing an engaging narrative for their continuous writing paper. By repeatedly immersing themselves in writing that is better than their own, students can learn and take inspiration from great writers and implement what they learn to craft a better essay for their English PSLE.
The best part? It’s easily doable! Just pick out a storybook that sounds interesting, or a magazine, newspaper, or online blog to get started. Consistency is key, and will make a world of difference eventually.
2. Build a Word Bank
Another immediately implementable habit students can start building is to create a word bank and expand upon it each day. Students who have limited vocabulary will find creative writing particularly challenging — having a personal word bank can help students expand their range of vocabulary and gain confidence in their continuous and creative English writing skills.
A personal word bank encourages students to continually review past knowledge and use new words to better integrate content in their continuous writing. Daily referrals to a word bank can also help students avoid awkward spelling errors and reinforce their understanding of not only the English language, but other academic subjects where otherwise-foreign words are used.
Students are encouraged to organise their personal word bank to some degree. This can be in terms of categories and context, or even tiers decided based on commonality of words learnt. When practised with reading regularly, it shouldn’t be long before the word bank is fleshed out, and students are equipped with an improved vocabulary range they can leverage to express and impress during their Primary 6 English continuous writing paper.
3. Engage and Expand the Creative Mind
While orthodox English enrichment classes can help improve technical writing skills, it is impossible for student to ace the continuous writing paper without having invested significant time into exercising their creativity. Nobody likes boring writing, and it definitely doesn’t play well with examiners when they must force themselves to stay awake when reviewing a continuous writing essay.
By engaging and expanding their creative mind, students are giving themselves more opportunity and means to explore and express perspectives, opinions, philosophies, and characters in their continuous writing paper. This allows for the development of more interesting storylines that are told in yet more interesting ways. While flawless grammar and sentence structure can earn students a few points, compelling writing and an engaging narrative are what separate the great from the good.
Students should thus engage and expand their creative minds on a daily basis, through embarking on independent projects, playing imaginative games, connecting writing with their interests, and generally finding inspiration in everyday things.
Perfect the Craft with MindChamps Enrichment
These three things make for great places to start with regards to improving continuous writing skills at home. However, though practice can indeed make perfect, doing the right things the wrong way can also leave students further behind than where they’ve initially set foot from. Parents or teachers should be consulted from time to time, to ensure that these habits are being practised correctly.
Also, for the best results, these habits should be adopted alongside a rigorous curriculum — one that is proven to deliver results, such as MindChamps enrichment programmes.
Enrol in our PSLE — The Champion Mindset Way for stark improvements in a limited time, where our neuroscience-based Optimal Flow Method™ ensures students are well-prepared for their PSLE papers, be it English, Maths or Science.
For those in less of a rush, our Creative Writing Programme can work wonders for K2 to P5 children, and equip them with all they need to master the art of writing.