In the previous two weeks, we shared some tips on how your child can do well for continuous writing in Paper 1.
Now we will turn our attention to Paper 2. We will concentrate on two sections that many students find difficulty in – Comprehension Cloze and Open-ended Comprehension. We will discuss Comprehension Cloze first and move on the Open-ended Comprehension in next weeks article.
Comprehension Cloze focuses on testing the overall language ability of students. The main focus of its assessment is on the vocabulary and grammar of the student.
We are going to discuss two tips: firstly, ‘Building up Thematic Vocabulary’ and secondly, ‘Dissecting the Comprehension Cloze’.
Building up Thematic Vocabulary
One of the strategies parents can do to help their children is to build up thematic knowledge of their child. This is because the cloze passage is always based on a theme and the words that is required to fill in the blanks will usually be words associated with the theme. That is also precisely why in RG Channel, we focus quite a bit on building general knowledge and vocabulary based on many different themes.
At RG Channel, we focus on building general knowledge and vocabulary based on many different themes.
So, what can parents do?
- You and your child can do some research on a topic. This can be done online, from a newspaper or magazine article.
- Together with your child, highlight the vocabulary that is usually used. For example, if you are researching on the topic of war, you might want to highlight words like ‘biological weapons’, ‘curfews’ or ‘war zone’ when they are used in the passage or research.
- Organise the words in a wordlist and your child has a handy vocabulary list of words that might be used if a cloze passage of the same topic comes out.
Repeat and create as many vocabulary list as you like. Of course, this is not a method that will guarantee marks for your child – since there is no certainty that the topic will come out. But what you have done will definitely benefit your child when they come to writing essays in Paper 1.
Dissecting the Comprehension Cloze
In addition to the above strategy, we’ll like to teach you another strategy your child can use during the exam. This strategy does not help your child gain full marks – this is impossible as the Comprehension Cloze tests different assessment objectives and a variety of different strategies need to be used to gain full marks. This tip is targeted at the assessment objective of vocabulary only.
This tip works because the Comprehension Cloze is just like any other normal essay or passage, but with missing words. To help your child to fill in the blanks, they need to understand the passage. To understand the passage, let your child follow these instructions as a guide:
Comprehension Cloze is just like any other normal essay or passage, but with missing words.
- Read the entire passage as a whole and decide what the main theme is.
- Quickly think about all the information that is related to the theme. Your child can use the 5W1H (What, Why, When, Who, Where and How) to help guide their thought process.
- Figure out the topic sentence of each paragraph. The topic sentence is the sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph. It is usually found in the first sentence.
- Using the main idea, list down words that is associated with the main idea of the paragraph. For example, if the main idea is about the ‘size of snakes’, the words your child writes down can be ‘thick’, ‘thin’, ‘long’ and ‘huge’.
- Look at the blanks and fill in as per normal – but your child can use the word list they have generated themselves to see if any of the words fit and if the word list can trigger off some inspiration.
You will be surprised that you child might have actually written down a word that is an answer to one of the blanks in that paragraph. Nevertheless, your child will have less difficulty in answering the blanks since they already have a great understanding of the paragraph through following the instructions in our tip.
How we do it
RG Channel applies this tip to our students and they have shown consistent improvement. To understand this tip and to download free materials, please proceed to part 2. If you really like this, please help us share it too!