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 Post subject: English
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:30 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:44 pm
Posts: 32
Could someone please help me with this -my DD is 10 and her written English is way below the standard. She has got a tutor but that is not making any difference! She is excellent in Maths but as a parent how can I help. I do encourage her to read books. Her reading,spoken English are very good. Its only writing where she doesn't put any effort :(


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2824
It's difficult to answer - when you say she doesn't put effort in, do you mean that she can do it but doesn't bother or that she struggles? What does she find hard? What does the tutor say she needs help with? If they aren't making any difference, then I would have to say, change the tutor! What do the school say she needs to work on?

Have you tried getting her to write a simple sentence and then take it in turns to make it better - e.g. The leaves are on the tree - by adding some becomes: The crisp, brown Autumn leaves on the ancient beech tree, fluttered gently in the soft October breeze.

When you read, focus on a small part, like a paragraph and check understanding of the text/individual words, what the author is trying to say by reading between the lines, what might happen in the future etc.

When in the car start a story in a round robin - you give the first sentence and the next person the next and so on - make it fun. You can start by saying "this story has to be a crime/romance/mystery/magic story"


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6693
Location: Herts
There is no reason at all why she cannot make progress in written English if she is good in all other aspects. Get rid of the tutor or just keep them for Maths if they are making the difference. Progress in Written English should be immediate if there is a focus on it. You should be able to see a difference in a one hour session. What is the format of the English exam you are working towards? I have some examples of what a ten year old is capable of in written English which I can send to you if you pm me. DG


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
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With respect to DG I think that's a slightly simplistic view.

Is she yr 5 or 6? When you say "way below the standard" what do you mean? The national average? What she needs for an entrance exam? Where you expect her to be? Also I think it's useful to be specific about how you feel she's below standard and by whose measurements (yours / school / tutor).

I would sit down and work out the specifics and I'm sure you'll then be able to see a way forward :D Nothing's ever as bad as it seems! KKG has given some great suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:44 pm
Posts: 32
Thanks very much for the valuable suggestions.
KC- DD struggles and doesn't bother to improve! Tutor says she is better than others but I don't know whats the level of her other students :roll: ! In one of the parents evenings teacher suggested answers should be more in depth.
You have cited excellent examples.
DP- It is very difficult not knowing where the problem is! The format is 11 plus comprehension,creative writings.
KM- DD is in year 5.Most of her answers are not structured and will only write one line when there are 3-4 lines (comprehension).I feel school and tutor both are going with the flow.She is very good in maths but again I teach her maths as well!


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
Adding to the suggestions for expanding sentences also try starting the sentences in different ways

eg The boy opened the door.
The boy opened the heavy door.
Feeling scared, the boy opened the heavy, creaking door.
Cautiously, the boy opened the heavy creaking door.

Although he was scared, the boy .....etc.

Punctuation is another thing that is important, to get a higher level in writing question marks, exclamation marks, correct placing of speech marks, commas, ellipses ... and if possible colons and semi-colons.


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2824
DS1 used to find creative writing tough - he knew what he wanted to say but couldn't get it down. I told him to be a bit more formulaic about it, which appealed to his scientific/mathematical brain. He learned to use the senses in his writing - ie describing what the sounds were, what was seen, what it felt like etc - then the shoving in of metaphors and similes, lots of adjectives - it's a bit simplistic but you get the idea? As he got more confident, it became more natural.


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6693
Location: Herts
Mummmy, Thanks for your pm but you have disabled receiving pms so I cannot reply to it. Please enable pms on your account so I can reply. Thanks DG


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
You could start with a picture or phrase in the middle of a large piece of paper and then do a sort of mind map

Who, what doing, when, why ,where? you can extend to what with, who with etc..

or I see, I hear, I feel (physical and emotional) I smell, I taste....


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 Post subject: Re: English
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:13 am
Posts: 452
mummmy wrote:
Could someone please help me with this -my DD is 10 and her written English is way below the standard. She has got a tutor but that is not making any difference! She is excellent in Maths but as a parent how can I help. I do encourage her to read books. Her reading,spoken English are very good. Its only writing where she doesn't put any effort :(


It is usually traits of boys :) - excellent at maths, good at reading and terrible at writing.

Creative writing is the hardest one to teach and master. The reason of putting no effort is human tendency of leaving the tough thing and do the ones where you are in the comfort zone. You may need to give plenty of examples on how she could have written the same line. There are tons of building blocks - punctuation, 5W's & senses etc but it all boils down to nicely crafted sentences.


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