Higher secondary level Chinese composition doesn’t have to be synonymous with stress. We still do hear a lot of true stories about students who went from failing to passing with an A2. But you can only imagine the hard work (and learning strategy) that goes into it.
If you’ve got any questions about what you need to know about higher secondary level Chinese composition, you’ve come to the right place for the answers.
1. Habits can make or break.
Every action your child does is a brick to building a strong foundation. To master writing, one must practise. Whether it’s 议论文 (argumentative papers) or 读后感/阅读报告 (article review), write them once per week (or two or three).
Or make a habit to practise Chinese writing for just 10 minutes per day. It’s these daily practices that dictate the results they end up with. Keep writing and practising, and your results will show.
2. Your child is what he/she reads.
Heard of the phrase you are what you eat? That same rule applies to reading. By reading extracurricular books that the student takes interest in, they’re more likely to absorb the overall goodness from it.
Tangibly, they can learn from expert-approved writing examples and use it in their own work. Intangibly, they’re able to grasp knowledge for a wider worldview.
Also, keep abreast with current affairs by watching Mandarin news broadcasts, and downloading newspaper apps etc. If your child can handle more work, take some time to memorise nicely written idioms and phrases and create mind maps of the articles to train your child’s pre-writing thought process.
3. Comparison is endless and superficial.
So don’t do it. And encourage your child not to do it too.
Comparison can happen subconsciously when students witness the progress of others that they can’t seem to attain. Each of them has their own strong traits, and also their struggles. Urge your child to walk down the path of learning Chinese at their own pace. Help them pay attention to their own advancement that is meant for them and themselves only.
4. Learn from the master.
Let your child mingle with students of similar calibre and who are eager to learn. You’d be amazed at the power of positive learning spirit. Surrounding your child (and yourself) with driven people will help them strive for better grades and beyond.
Also, if you’re hiring a tutor for your child, consider one who teaches in a non-traditional way. Learning, to students, ultimately feels like a chore. Make a change to the tutor if needed and see the change in them!
5. Learn from mistakes.
And it’s imperative that learning doubts are clarified timely so they don’t build up that could lead to greater problems.
If you’re not sure what kind of blunders to look out for, these are some that we see most of the time: beginning the essay with a dialogue, lacking imagination, not taking the 5Ws+1H seriously, using too many cliches, having too little emotions, etc.
For ‘O’ levels Chinese composition exam, there are basically two categories:
- 议论文 Narrative essay E.g. 健康和财富，哪个更重要
Train your child to present their ideas/arguments with clarity using simple language – that’ll bring their grades up a notch.
议论文 narrative essay requires less affirmation and are generally more anecdotal.
Moral quotes such as these are also useful in shaping the effect of the overall writing for informal email (私人电邮).
For formal and informal email, both require applying a standard template; making a mistake on that take marks away.
For formal email, the tone should be kept proper throughout the writing since most of them would be addressed to authoritative departments. If your child is stronger in Chinese, they’re more than welcome to challenge themselves with the informal letter. As the content for a formal letter is pretty much fixed, students can easily apply memorized terms and sentences while writing.
7. Work on vocabulary.
We mentioned earlier that reading and taking down greatly written words or phrases are ways to improve. But if your child has a poor foundation of the language, it’ll be best to implement this as a daily assignment. Keep a booklet and categorize these words, phrases, idioms or sentences according to different scenarios (car accident, major international event, family gathering etc.), then break it down to different writing techniques (emotions description, inner thought process. etc.)
If you’re still pondering over what needs to be done to make Chinese composition writing easier for your child, sign up for a free trial lesson with Connected Learning.