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A few words from Madam Li:

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Composition offers the most accurate and holistic assessment of a student’s language ability. Through the process of learning to write a good essay, a student improves on all fronts by picking up skills in aural, oral, reading and writing.

At the moment many parents and teachers are devoting much time and energy into improving students’ essay-writing skills. However, due to limited vocabulary and weak sense of grammar, most students struggle to write complete sentences, let alone good essays. In an environment where Chinese is utilised only infrequently, it is unrealistic to expect students to be able to write well-structured, eloquent compositions.

With more than a decade’s teaching experience, I am confident to say that a student’s reading and writing skills need to be developed from childhood. At the lower-primary level, the student needs a solid grounding in writing complete and vivid sentences, so as to spur their imagination and creativity.

Speakers draw their audience’s attention through fascinating speech, and writers move readers through expressive prose. To write with a lively and rich language, we need to build and apply a vast repertoire of vocabulary.

Many mid- and higher-primary students are still put off by writing compositions. In fact, some have developed psychological barriers. My books offer a solution to this problem. I offer students a large number of suitable vocabulary and well-constructed sentences that are relevant to the composition. The student would then be able to choose from these and apply them in his essays based on his individual ability. This is akin to preparing elemental building materials like bricks and concrete, and then guiding the student to build a house on his own. Through this process, the student would be greatly encouraged by the high standard of his own essays. It is a confidence-building process which would lead to the development of a genuine interest for the art of writing.

Follow-up action after the lesson is another important step. In order to apply the vocabulary and sentences judiciously, it is necessary to selectively memorise certain fragments and passages. This is not a challenging task as the student has already used them in his essays.

Last but not least, good essay-writing skills are developed through consistent practice. There is no shortcut in attaining what seems to be a natural flair for writing. It is not sufficient to solve the many problems a student may face in essay-writing simply by memorising a few ‘standard compositions’.

 

校长自编《作文我最强》系列图书介绍

作文是评估学生语文能力最准确、最全面的途径。作文能反映出学生的综合语言能力。学生在写出一篇优秀作文的过程中,不论听、说、读、写,各方面的能力都会得到提高。


当下,许多家长和老师都在为怎样帮助孩子提高写作能力而犯愁。由于词汇量不足、语感不佳,多数孩子写不出完整的句子,根本没办法动 笔,更谈不上写出好作文。然而,在这样一个缺乏频繁使用华文的语言环境中,要求我们的孩子写出结构合理、句子通顺、文字优美、语言生动的作文实在是苛求。

通过十几年的摸索和实践以及不断的总结,我认为孩子的阅读和写作能力要从小培养。低年级阶段一定要让孩子打好句子的基础,力求写出完整、通顺、生动、有趣、活泼的句子,以激发孩子的想象力和创意。

到了中高年级,多数的孩子还是怕写作文,甚至对写作有心理障碍。要解决这个问题,我会为学生们提供大量相关的好词好句,让学生根据 自己的能力来挑选、拼凑。这就有如为学生准备好砖瓦,引导他们自己搭建房子,让他们觉得: "哇!原来我也可以写出这么优美的文章!"在这个过程中,孩子们得到了极大的鼓舞,逐渐树立信心,对于作文也不再排斥,甚至对写作产生兴趣。

另外,课后积累是关键的一环。为了保证学生能够将所学过的词句运用自如,选择性地记忆、背诵一些好词佳句与经典片段是必要的。孩子们在自己的文章中运用过这些词句之后,要将它们背下来并不难。

写作是一个循序渐进的过程。多练、多记、多背,积累到一定程度,就水到渠成了。作文是一篇篇写出来的,没有捷径可走。仅靠背诵三、五篇优秀作文,是无法解决写作中的各种难题的。

希望这个作文系列的出版能够为困惑的家长和老师们提供帮助。不足之处难免,欢迎致函 info.starriver@gmail.com 与本系列编者李秀蓉老师共勉。