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PMR ENGLISH MARKING SYSTEM Paper 1 = 40 marks Paper 2 = 40 marks, To get A is around 80% .

Thats mean you must get a total of 64 marks from both paper. SCORING CRITERIA FOR PAPER 2 MARKING SCHEME FOR SECTION A : QUESTION 1 ( SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION )

EXCELLENT ( 9-10 MARKS )

Excellent and confident use of language. Ideas convey clearly through a variety sentence structure. Confident to use new words to express ideas. Ideas are wellplanned, relevant and linked. Overall accurate use of spelling and punctuation. Confident use of language throughout. Attempts made to construct variety types of sentence structures but occasional errors occur. Most ideas are well planned but links may be absent or inappropriate. Most of the ideas are well organized and conveyed clearly. Overall meaning is still clear. Generally, confident use of the language. Simple sentences with minor errors but meaning is still clear. Satisfactory presentation of ideas. A few punctuation and spelling errors. Poor use of language. Multiple errors found in sentences. Ideas are incomprehensible even after a few readings. Limited and incorrect use of vocabulary. Many spelling and punctuation errors. There is no answer given.

CREDIT ( 5-8 MARKS )

ACHIEVEMENT ( 3-4 MARKS )

LOW ACHIEVEMENT ( O-2 MARKS )

Ways of improving my English


Today, English is used widely. It has become the most popular language of communication between countries and in many fields of human endeavour. So it is important that we learn to use English. Otherwise we will be at a disadvantage. The only effective way of improving my English is to use it, as often as possible. In school, the only time when English is used is during English lessons. That certainly is not enough. So wherever possible I speak English with some friends and teachers who will or can speak English with me. Reading book, magazines and newspapers are good ways of improving my English. On the whole they are grammatically correct. We may speak incorrect English and get away with it. Not so with printed words, they have to be correct. Through reading, I learned how to use correct English in writing and speaking, though at times I still speak the broken English that many of us speak here. Watching television and listening to the radio are two more ways of improving my English. English as it is spoken by the English, Americans, Malaysians and others are distinctly different. So I continue of use English, that is, hear, read, speak and write it. Some of my friends only hear and read it. They can hardly speak or write it, but I will not be like them. I will try any best to master it.

Trip to the beach


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One Sunday afternoon, my parents and I went to the beach. After packing some food and drinks, we set off. When we reached the beach, it was very crowded. The light breeze felt good as it brushed against our cheeks. We found a place under a shady tree to put our things. After changing into our swimming suits, we had a swim in the crystal clear water. A short while later, out stomachs were grumbling. so we changed into dry clothes and had a snack. My sister and I went picking seashells after that. We then built a sand castle with the fine, while doing that, we saw beautiful small crabs walking on the sand. Our family watched the sun set before we went home. Although tired, we were happy because we had a great time at the beach.

The burglars
The moon was out in the night sky as Sam walked towards home after doing assignment in his friend's house nearby. It was a quiet and pleasant evening. As Sam walked past a tree he saw two men climbing over the fence of a house. The occupants of the house were probably not in as the lights were not switched on. Knowing that the two men were obviously burglars up to no good, Sam ran quickly to a telephone booth nearby and called the police. A patrol car with two policemen in it responded to Sam's call for help. They hurried to the scene. The two bad-hats were caught red-handed trying to break into the house. The two men were handcuffed and escorted into the patrol car to be taken to the police station. All they got for their efforts were trouble with the law.

Vocabulary
bad-hats : Someone who deliberately stirs up trouble caught red-handed :To be caught in the act of committing a misdemeanor escorted : one or more people travelled with some police

The importance of friends

Friends play an important role in our lives. One day, we will have to step into this tough and competitive world on our own. Parents and teachers will not always be there to guide us when we need them. At such time, who else other than our own friends can we turn to, to seek advice or even just a shoulder to cry on? Thus, everyone needs a good friend. What is a real good friend like? A good friend is someone who shares your happiness and sorrows. They are those who will never stand you up nor leave you alone when you are down and out. They are those who will prop you up and give you all the support you need. So the saying goes "A friend in need is a friend indeed." A good friend is also a loyal friend. They are the ones who will never betray you, nor let you down. Unfortunately, not everyone makes a good friend. Some friends are not only disloyal, but they may also have certain bad habits with bad influence. There are many types of "bad habits", like smoking, drinking, addiction to drugs, or even illegal racing which lead to reckless driving that can harm our lives. Some people do not have any of these "bad habits", but they can be manipulative. If you do not have enough guts to say "no", they will climb on top of you. Seeing that friends are so important, we should be very careful when it comes to choosing friends. When we have found a good friend, we should treasure and return their valuable friendship.

Reading

There are many ways of spending our time usefully. Reading is one of the best ways of doing so. Reading helps us learn about people and things. It also helps us to know and understand many new words and how to use them. Many people say that reading is the key to success. Unfortunately these people seldom tell us what or how to read. They also do not tell us when to read. Many parents will tell their children to read. "Read, read anything, don't waste your time," they say. This is wrong. Reading cannot be forced on anyone. There is a time and a place for everything. So reading too has to be done in the proper way and at the proper time. We should enjoy whatever we read at the same time we should also understand whatever we are reading. Many of us read because we are told to do so. Some read because their parents want them to do so. Yet others read because they simply want to make their parents or teachers happy. All these are wrong reasons for reading. Reading should be enjoyed so that we can get maximum benefit from it.

The destruction of the environment


The countryside was lovely to behold. White clouds, blue skies and greenery as far as the eyes could see bore testimony to the wonder and beauty of nature. However such beauty could not stand against man's greed. As a human habitat, the environment is constantly subjected to development. Changing economic circumstances and various socio-cultural developments have had a strong affect on the environment. Soon the man came with his bulldozers and other heavy machinery. The countryside was doomed. In a short time, the smoke-belching machinery totally cleared up the land. The hills were flattened and not a single or plant was left standing. The once lovely stream was reduced to a giant concrete drain. Next the builders moved in, erecting huge factories to cater for the needs of the growing industries.

Now, black smoke hides the sky, foul liquids choke the drain and loads of rubbish cover the land. It is yet another triumph for modern industry, and a further destruction of environment.

Vocabulary
doomed : unavoidable destruction or death erecting: to build or establish foul : very dirty, unclean, impure

triumph : the joy or satisfaction caused by this ()

Earth day
We have heard about Birthdays, Open-House Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Father's Day and so on, but how many of us have heard about 'Earth Day'? What is Earth Day? The first 'Earth Day' was celebrated on 22 April 1970 in America. The Americans called on all the people on earth to take care of the earth. They wanted the people to use the forests, rivers, mountains and earth carefully so that the earth will remain useful to our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the many generations to come. They felt that the forests, land, seas and wildlife were being exploited without any thought for the future. Earth Day is a day of celebration. It is celebrated with speeches, contests on earth-consciousness, poster-drawing competitions, compositionwriting, song-writing and many other contests to let the people know about earth, its surroundings and its proper usage. Earth Day has helped thousands of people to realise the importance of a properly managed earth. If we continue to exploit the earth as we are doing now, the day will come when we shall destroy the earth and thus destroy ourselves too.

Save our environment


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Every day we see pollution all around us. Unknown to us, many species of animals live in fear of extinction due to pollution. Our government, as well as those of other countries, has imposed laws that forbid mankind to hunt endangered animals, such as tigers. Our main source of oxygen, the trees, are also dying by the thousands every day. Scientific research has shown that the temperature of the Earth has risen to an alarming figure during the past few years. It will most probably rise further if we do not stop polluting the environment. In recent years, many forests have been burnt because of the extremely hot weather. Neighbouring countries have also been affected by these forest fires and resulting haze. Vehicles on the road every day produce huge amounts of hazardous and poisonous gases and billowing clouds of smoke. This will damage the Earth and allow ultra violet rays to penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, thus endangering the lives of humans. People are also living in fear of the Earth being flooded by torrents of melted ice from the North and South poles. Nature societies and governments have encouraged people of all races and from all over the world to lend a helping hand in saving Mother Nature. We would only have to cut down on our usage of paper napkins, buy less or perhaps not buy animal fur coats at all. Handbags, pouches, shoes an other accessories made of animal products should be avoided. Yet, people refuse to cooperate. Our beautiful surroundings will no longer remain the same, not because of anything, but because of the pollution that is happening every day, all around us. No longer will people enjoy sightseeing anymore, as the lovely and attractive scenery will be destroyed. Our future generations may not be able to recognise those cute little puppies and kitten, since there will be none of them roaming the streets. All the animals that our granddaughters and grandsons may see would be in zoo, or even worse, only in books!

Vocabulary
forbid : to refuse to allow,officially or with the right to be obeyed. hazardous : which contains risks or danger

billowing : a rolling mass (as a flame or mist) like a large wave penetrate : to enter, to pass 7

Qualities of a good student


In this advanced world, education is an aspect, which has been stressed on more and more. From the moment an individual is sent to school to acquire knowledge, he or she will spend many years learning. This complicated process of acquiring knowledge in various fields is a time-consuming and arduous task. Therefore, the label 'a good student' is not easy to live up to. Many might wonder about the criteria, which makes a good student. Many people still adhere to stereotype definition of a good student being one who has achieved academic excellence. I, certainly, have an opinion, which differs from theirs. A good student has to diligent and committed to learning. As the old saying goes, "We live in and learn". No matter who, where, what or when, a good student stays focused and is not afraid to question. A good student is able to learn and apply skills, which are taught directly and indirectly, in or outside the classroom. He has (t? the ability to access the information given and the initiative to further research the topics taught in school. During school hours, a good student stays alert at all times and has an inquisitive mind. Self-reliance will be his motto in achieving greater heights or success. Besides that, he is pro-active in learning and always has group discussions with peers and friends. A good student has the creative mind to explore and experiment with different ways and means of memorising facts and figures. He is able to make notes, which are simple yet, complete. Therefore, the test or exa mina ti ons will be fa ced with a cal m and prep are d fra me o f mi nd. Besides that, a good student has high morale. Moral values such as kindness, compassion and consideration are always put into practice in his daily life. He will always be prepared to do his duty as a civic-minded person to ensure the cleanliness of his surroundings. Moreover, he is courteous and always lends a hand to the sick and needy. He is humble and always learns from his past wrongdoings. A good student is a cheerful student too. He always greets the world with an optimistic frame , of mind and smiles at people he meets everyday. Besides, he will willingly teach those who are slow and enlighten those who are in the dark. He provides a shoulder for his peers to cry on and lends an ear to any problems. A good student is a student who is not only caring but also amiable and accessible to all.

A good student leads an active and healthy lifestyle too. He is not the `bookworm" pouring pouring over his studies day in and day out. Taking part in extra 8

curricular activities is part and parcel of a good student's life. He exercises regularly and has a balanced diet. A good student has to be good in many aspects. He has to be able to manage his time and live a healthy, happy and satisfying life. Although no student in this world is a perfect student, the ideal student has to be able to study smart.

Vocabulary
stereotype : a fixed set of ideas about what a particular type of a person or thing which is wrongly believed to be true in all cases courteouspolite and kind, showing good manners and respect for others amiable : pleasant and well-intentioned likable , friendly

My most unforgettable day


The day 15th of December 2009 is still fresh in my memory. I can still feel the happiness and excitement...... That day was a Monday. I got up very early as I could not sleep anymore. I felt nervous and excited. After washing up,i went to school although it was a school holiday. I skipped breakfast for I did not have the mood to eat. At school, I saw some of my classmates so I went over to join them. They were just as nervous as I was. After a few minutes, my class teacher came out from the staff-room. She had the result slips in her hand. As my teacher was giving out the slips, I could feel my heart beating very fast. "Rachel?", my teacher called. It was my turn. My legs were trembling badly as I walked over to my teacher. The teacher smiled at me. She then showed me the result slip I could not believe my eyes when I saw my slip! I had actually scored straight A's in the UPSR examination!!! Ooh, I was so happy I could scream! Many of my teachers and friends came to congratulate me. I felt like flying in the sky.

Up till now, even as I am writing this essay, I can still feel the warmth inside me glow. This day has become my most unforgettable day.
Ij

Vocabulary
trembling : to shake uncontrollably with quick short movements warmth : the state of being warm

A descriptive of a night market in the city


Night market is not a strange place for today's city life. It is almost as same as the wet market. The difference is the market starts in the evening whereas the wet market starts in the morning. Besides that, only every Monday and Wednesday, the place is swarmed with people. On other days, the field is just gathered by a few cows grazing on the coarse grass. Night market is a spectacular and colourful market. From one end to the other, one can see a dense mass of human heads moving about restlessly under the bright neon lights of the hand-carts and stalls. These temporary stalls sell all manners of useful household goods, food and drinks. Night market is a colourful place. There are many types of fruit and vegetables, such as red tomatoes, orange carrots, green capsicums, etc, which are sold. There are all kinds of clothes and materials too. There are different kinds of coloured plastic goods and so on. All of them add up to a marvellous view under the bright moonlight. The field at the night market is crowded by people from all walks of life. Cars spill over everywhere from the parking area to the roadsides. In such condition, only the early birds will get parking spaces. Motorcycles and bicycles going in and out. The crowds of people are walking about and the loaded carts on the middle of the path make it even more difficult to move. It is closed to traffic jam during peak hours in town. It seems like the whole community is there.

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Furthermore, it is also a noisy place. All around, customers and hawkers are bargaining. The din is ear shattering. Nevertheless, everyone is in good mood. The shouting and bargaining are enjoyed by both customers and hawkers. "Apples! Four for $1! Cheap sale!" come the cries of one hawker. Then another hawker suddenly cries, "Apples! Five for $1! Come on! Cheap sale! Cheap sale!" Obviously, there are already a number of people examining the fruits. There are people laughing and children crying. Just two stalls away, the loud music of cd vendors comes along cheering up the situation. The stall is also brightly illuminated. No doubt, it is doing a roaring business. Then a few stalls away, traditional medicine sellers promote their medicine. They use a microphone to speak and a loudspeaker to spread their voice. Because of that, a big crowd of customers will take a look and buy their products. All of that bring a festive atmosphere in the night market. There are loud and happy music like clashing of cymbals and beating of drums, children's laughter, hawkers' call and teenagers' giggling. Everyone is in a holiday mood - enjoying the tasty food and drinks and unwinding after a hard day's work. By about 9 p.m., hawkers begin to pack their things into vans. Some of them remain to get some last minute selling done. "$1 only, Madam! This is the last one. I sold for $2 just now but I want to go home now." In this way, many sales transactions are closed. Furthermore, most vendors have a hard life, trying to make both ends meet. They really need to make some profits each night. Although the night market is very crowded and noisy, but the hawkers and customers will come back again and again because the night market is where things are cheaper as there are no middlemen to make a profit for themselves.

Vocabulary
marvellous : causing great wonder, admiration or pleasure, especially because extremely good unwinding: relax , to stop being nervous

The benefits of being computer literate


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The world is constantly changing around us. People have come to realize the importance of literacy. One has to get educated to live a better life. Now, with the dawning of the new millennium, a new age has risen - one we now call the age of the computers. In this fast developing world, people from all corners of the world are starting to realize the importance of computers. We are now marching into a new era where information technology is simply indispensable. To step into unknown territory, computer is the key. It is thus undeniable that being computer literate is a must. Otherwise, one world feel incapacitated. The computer has made life easy for humans. Let me give an example. Fifty years ago, one of the qualifications for a secretarial post was the ability to write fast and neatly. Now, all you need is a certificate stating that you are computer literate! Besides, the computer helps people to produce fast and efficient work. As a result, with the help of the computer, more things can be done in a shorter time. With the computer, the Internet is made possible. The Internet is a source of knowledge. It can fulfil your every interest. You will be able to search for what you want, be it on health or music. With just a click of the mouse, you are able to improve on what you like. unknowingly, you become a better-equipped person. Education is the key to success. Without education, one has to be contented with a meagre salary. With the help of computers, distant learning is made possible by logging on to the Internet. Imagine yourself getting a degree without going to school or a university. This facility not only helps to save one's money but also one's time as one studies at one's own pace and ability. In addition, the Internet provides cheap and fast communication. You are able to send e-mails instantly after a click. Moreover, you can also chat with your friends. This can also be a sort of entertainment. It is so hard to phone someone or write a letter from a few thousand miles away but it is only a piece of cake for the computer user to send it through the Internet. The Internet is a must for people involved in the business world. These people have large amounts of investments around the globe and with every second ticking, billions and billions of dollars flow in and out of their bank accounts. That is why they need the Internet to enable them to monitor the financial market closely to avoid loss of money. Therefore, the Internal plays a very important role in the daily lives of entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the computer also has its disadvantages. Students, especially those who do not know how to discipline themselves sit in front of the computer all day playing computer games. Some even visit pornographic sites when 12

they log on to the Internet. The academis performance will be affected and they will live a life of dissipation and dissolution. In my opinion, everything has its pros and cons. The computer is not an exception Therefore, guidance should be given to the young and impressionable minds of the nation and there should be a compromise in between so that computer literate users get the best out of everything. With that, I can conclude that the benefits of being computer literate far outweigh the disadvantages.

Vocabulary
meagre : not enough in quantity, quality dissipation the continual search for foolish or dangerous pleasure dissolution decay

The role of woman today


Today, we are stepping into a new millenium. The era of science and technology has caught up with each and every one of us. Men, and women,

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both have equal parts to play in order to make the world a better place for the up and coming generations. The 20th century is a far cry from all the earlier civilizations. For women, especially, they are freed from the tight clutches of Medieval society. They are no longer mere childbearers or caretakers of the family, to be confined only to the kitchens or the bedrooms. These days, women have finally found their rightful place in society. However, this was not an overnight revolution. It was a tiring uphill baffle which took courage and determination most of us can only admire. It was a torrent struggle against the current of so-called ethics. It took a whole series of demonstrations, street protests and even the burning of bras before women could even call upon enough attention to show the world that they were really serious about Women's Liberation. The fruit of their labour? the right to vote, finally! The Women's Liberation Movement was a major milestone for women all over the globe. Being given their voting rights signalled that women now have a voice of their own. But even then, women were still viewed as back-seat drivers, never allowed the chance to really make decisions. In viewing that, some women took the Liberation Movement one step further by actively taking part in the political, social and economic arenas. Although women have yet to take hold of the reins of the world, still, many have proven their capabilities to be as good as, if not better than men. Take First Lady Hilary Clinton for example. Is she not always standing faithfully beside her husband through thick and thin, forever his silent but powerful driving force? Or when she is not playing the "Good Wife" part, isn't she always busy going about doing good as a Samaritan as well as a diplomat? How about the late Princess Diana for instance? She was a true princess at heart, not the kind who puts on airs and dresses up for balls. No, not her! While she was not bringing smiles to the faces of starving Ethopian children, she was out in full gear, campaigning against mine fields and global violence. All that despite being constantly the target of the media people, or rather rumourmongers who are ever ready to devour any sleaze they hear! These two fine ladies are the perfect icons for women today, but they are not the only ones. Many more have followed in their footsteps, and many succeeded in making a change for the better, for themselves, and those around them.

The battle of the sexes has long since existed, and it is safe to say that we are merely halfway through. It only ends with the abolition of prostitution, domestic violence against wires, sexual abuse and discrimination. Therefore the 14

womenfolk of the world must come together, giving support to their sisters all over the globe to secure a fairer world for their daughters and granddaughters of the future!

Vocabulary
Samaritan : known for listening to people who feel uncomfortable talking to someone they know about their problems rumourmongers : a person who spreads rumours sleaze : a thing or person having the quality cheap , dirty poor looking and often suggesting immorality.

The recess time in my school


Of course, recess time is the most enjoyable time in school after learning hard from the first period. There are two recess time in my school. These two recess time are essential for us to unwind and to fill up growling stomach.As soon as the school bell rings for recess, all students perk up. School work burden is forgotten, at least for a while. All the sorrows of being scolded and getting bad marks are forgotten. There will be a stampede towards the canteen. The junior students particularly are chattering in a jovial mood. However, there will be some students going for meetings, going to the library and the washrooms to refresh themselves. Only a minority stays in class. The benches in the canteen at recess time are never unoccupied. Some of them even have to put their things on the tables in the canteen to ensure a seat. An advantage in size could certainly be a great help here. Every stall is always crowded with students. Some of the hawkers are not able to serve the customers at once. It is also hard to walk through the rowdy crowd in the canteen. Believe me, you will experience being pushed from one side to another. Some hearty laugh and chat are always heard. Though recess time may seem short, it is the time for students to share endless gossip with their peers. Very often you will hear the hawkers' screaming at the top of their voices to control the students from pushing and shoving. Some prefects are on duty to control these "uncivilised people". Unfortunately, it makes not much difference. And of course, some impatient students will scream out: "Quick, Auntie, quick, the bell for going back to class will ring soon."

Meantime in the library, several students are busy searching and skimming the books for extra reading and setting information for their assignments. Several students

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can be seen engrossed in the daily news with their best friends. The scene in the library during recess time is quiet and full of discipline although some quiet chat can be heard. Some hard-working student or I should say bookworm will stay in their own class to finish their homework or revise. While some students are seen carrying out their cleanliness duty. You may see of a couple of girls diligently mopping the windows, sweeping the floor and cleaning the blackboard. It is certainly pleasant to study in a spick and span class room. Some of the students will also enjoy walking around the passageways in front of the classrooms or in the park chatting with their peers. Some younger students who have not 'tasted' school work pressure play hide and seek with their friends. While the older ones are deep in thought in some corners. A few are seen trying to solve additional Maths or Physics problems. Certainly, one will also see some pupils running here and there along the passageway while the others just loiter around. In the wash rooms, you may find some students washing their faces to refresh themselves after studying hard since morning. Some even have to stand in a queue for a while to use the toilets. The toilets are never unoccupied. Each class has is specified for its own toilet. All in all, I can say that the scene in my school during recess time is one of noise and many students. Students enjoy their own activities during this time. I, myself, enjoy every moment of recess time very much.

Vocabulary
rowdy: nosiy and rough skimming to read, quickly get the main ideas spick- and-spancompletely clean and tidy again

The world I would like to live in


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In the modern era today, everything has undergone tremendous change and improvement. Human beings live fast-paced lives and have become undeniably materialistic. Great scientific discoveries such as human cloning and test-tube babies prove the advanced human intelligence of today. High rises are numerous and systems are computerized for the convenience of all. All these are the results of the usage of advanced technology. But is the Mother Earth of today, where I really want to live? Of course not! Many a time I would build castles in the air, dreaming of the world I would live in. It would be like the garden of Eden. Endless blue skies and white clouds that go floating by without a care in the world. Many trees will grow and fertile lands and rain would be sufficient for all living beings. One could smell the sweet scent of flowers from a distance. The air is fresh and pollution will be non-existent. What a magnificent sight it would be! Various types of animals would live in their protected homes in the woods. Birds chirping merrily on treetops, butterflies dancing in delight, pollinating flowers and even the buzzing of bees would be part of everyday life. There would be no 'endangered species' listed in our books and every animal will live peaceful cycles of life according to the ecological balance. It is a total contrast to the world which we live in today. Besides that, my dream world would be free from pain and suffering. Human beings of all races in the world would live in peace and harmony. Of course, life would not be a bed of roses for everyone. People would work hard to earn a living and practise many good qualities such as generosity, honesty, helping each other and many more. There would be no wars and every child in the world would be well-fed and clothed. Parents would sing lullabys to their offsprings, protect them from harm and cherish them with unconditional love. Cases of unwanted children and murdered babies would disappear in the wink of an eye. No more cases of conspiracy, abduction, arson, murder, drug abuse and other social ills will be found. Every day would have a promising and brighter tomorrow. Isn't this wonderful? We would be able to indulge in simple pleasures of life such as writing poetry, enjoying Mother Nature's gifts and God's creations. The list of things I would like in my ideal world is endless. Although bringing it to reality is a little far-fetched, I do so hope that one day, my secret wish will come true. After all, what harm will a little hope do?

As a teenager , what are the various problems you face?


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Hi! I'm a typical teenager of the 21st century. I'm cool, I'm hot and I click with the very latest in fashion. In fact, I have the perfect, m ach o imag e o f a young teen , vib ran t and full of li fe . Is life a bed of roses? No, problem. That will surely be the typical answer of every teen. Yet, underneath the facade of an I-don't-care attitude, do you know how many problems I face? I wake up in the morning and groggily amble to the washroom. Aaaarrgh! Yet another pimple right in the middle of my nose! As my heart sinks in despair, I know that the day is not off to a good start. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the major, number one problem in m y l i fe , t h e b a n e o f m y e xi st e n ce a cn e . B e f o r e yo u j u m p to th e conclusion that I am just another spoiled, selfish brat all wrapped up in myself, please hold your horses and hear me out. I do not deny that we teenagers place a lot emphasis on our looks and grooming, even to the extent of trying out funky hair-dos, tattoos and body piercing until we drive our parents mad. Hey, this goes to show our creativity in our quest to find the "perfect" look for every one of us. right? I am one of those unfortunate few who have been blessed with pink spots that turn up on my face out of the blue. Can you imagine the embarrassment I feel when others sarcastically point them out? Not to mention how I cringe when a cute member of the opposite sex walks by... which brings me to yet another one of the never-ending problems I face. Through the various educational programmes at school and the Internet, I am increasingly aware of the changes in my body and hormones as I cross the thin line from childhood to adulthood. I cannot help feeling thrilled when a boy compliments me nor can I help staring a t t h o se mo r e g e n e r o u s l y b l e s s e d w i t h p h y s i c a l b e a u t y . A s I l o o k a ro u n d me , I se e o the r te e n ag e rs ju mp in g i n to r e la ti o n shi p s an d fi n d t o th e i r h o rro r, t h a t l o v e i s n e i t h e r i n n o ce n t n o r b l i n d . N e w s p a p e rs are constantly coming up with news of date rape, pregnant teens and re la ti o n shi p -re la te d sui ci d e s. I kno w th e p a th I ha ve to ta ke ; I kn ow t h a t I h a v e t o b e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r m y a c t i o n s , y e t d e e p d o w n i n s i d e , a l i t tl e vo i ce i s te l l i n g me t o b re a k f r e e o f th e n u me ro u s b o u n d a ri e s in my life, to seize every opportunity as life just whizzes past without a second glance. I know that I should not do anything morally wrong, b u t i s i t s o w r o n g t o t a l k t o b o y s , ch a t o n t h e M S N o r j u s t h a n g o u t with friends?

Back to the basics, I know that I am the future of my c o u n t r y a n d th e i mp o r ta n t ro l e I p l a y i n so c i e t y. T h u s, I s tr i v e h a r d t o e xce l i n m y st u d i e s i n o rd e r t o a c h i e ve m y a m b i t i o n s . H o w e ve r, so me ti me s I fe e l stre sse d o u t b y th e va ri o u s de ma n d s

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m y te a che rs a n d p a ren ts m a k e o f m e . I a m t r y i n g m y b e s t ! A t times, I have to take time to smell the roses. I am also in a whirl a b o u t w h i c h c a r e e r t o p u r s u e w h e n I g r a d u a t e f r o m h i g h s ch o o l . S h o u l d I b e a d o c t o r , a l a w y e r o r a te ach er? A gla mo rou s model , an air ho stess, a mo vie star? I do not ha ve an y extrao rdina ry tale nts but I am willing to try my be st, I wil l not let my parents down. However, I am at the crossroad of my life- w h i c h p a t h should I choose? I a m al so ve ry vu ln e ra bl e so me ti me s. Wh e n I am do w n , a ki n d word of encouragement will do wonders to brighten up my day. To my dear parents, even though I sometimes protest about my c u r f e w , I rea l l y w an t you to p u t yo u r fo o t do w n an d assu re me th a t th e r e are still some rules in my life. To my friends, I find difficulty in expressing mysel f, so p le a se b e p a tie n t wi th me . I am a typical teenager. Problems are part and parcel of m y e ve r yd a y l i f e . H o w e v e r, I w i l l tr y my b e st t o o ve rco me t h e m and in the process, strengthen my character and belief in myself. I w i l l b e the best!

Vocabulary
ma cho : bei ng o r wish ing to ap pea r ve ry typical o f a ma n cringe to have a very uncomfotable feeling of shame of dislike curfew : the time during which people must be indoors according to this rule

Children of today are too pampered


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"Mum, Ron just got a new phone!" "So?" "So?? I want a new Siemens too. Mine has no WAP functions." "But dear, you are only in Form 3. Why would you need all those features when you just bought a phone not so long ago?" "But Mum..." "No means no." Slam! "Honey, why don't we get him a new phone?" "Darling, we seem to be getting him everything he wants. Shouldn't we limit it a tad bit?" " A t t h e e x p e n s e o f t h e d o o r f l y i n g o f f i t s h i n g e s ? ? " "But---" " H o n e y , w e o n l y w a n t h i m t o b e h a p p y , r i g h t ? " "Oh, very well..." Children of today are too pampered. Period. In a world of technological advances and materialism, many adult have come to view material wealth as the highest form of success. Naturally, human nature leads these same people to shower their success and share this so-called joy with the ones closest to them. Parents behave likewise. Young children in contemporary time often receive too much pocket allowance for their age group. Why would a ten-year-old need RM50.00 a month when he packs sandwiches to school, goes home for lunch and take dinner with his family? What is a child to do with all this expendable cash? He spends it on toys his parents refuse to buy him, she spends it on dresses for a birthday party her parents have already denied her permission to go to. After all the refusals and denying of permission, the child in this modern civilisation still gets what he or she desires. Should society find it disconcerting that its offspring are becoming more and more rebellious by the day? On the other hand, many teenagers - who always seem to be g r u m bl i ng ab o u t th e la ck o f sp e n di n g mo ne y - h a ve th ei r ow n transport, that is cars and motorcycles obtained in their own name. Even if those vehicles are not theirs to stake claim to, they are still theirs to use as and when they desire. Whatever happened to those rain-or-shine-you're-taking-the-bus days? Yet despite this privilege, a majority of teenagers complain increasingly of their bone shakers, of getting wet riding a bike... The list goes on while the world s h a k e s its head and wonders why its children have become uncontrollably demanding. Apart from material wealth, many children and youths are being unwittingly spoilt by their equally ignorant parents. Many parents today are being over-protective of their children. Thirty years ago it would have been perfectly fine to discipline a student in school. Thirty years later, the same simple act of hitting the child on the palms would conjure up choruses of "Child Abuse!", "Abuse of Authority!", "No to 20

Physical Punishment!" et cetera. Thus, as a child learns not authority in school, the child grows up defying authority as a norm. This form of pampering subtly confines the child's growth and stunts his or her ability to built strong and proper interpersonal relationships. Is it not ironic that parents complain of t h e g r o w i n g i r r e v e r e n c e a n d insolence of their children? Children are gift from God, just as parents are often viewed as the guardians of humanity. However, anything in excess is and has never done any good for anyone. This same principle applies to pampering one's offspring. Perhaps it is time that families took a go od loo k a t thei r ma ke-up and spe nd so me p reciou s mo men ts evaluating the conditions of their homes. To love one's child is noble and indeed an obligation; but to spoil him or her in the process would not only be wrong done upon the child and oneself, it would also be a sin to society. Spoil our children, destroy our future. Would you disagree?

Vocabulary
pampered : too much attention to making someone comfortable and happy treat too kindly. rebellious : disobedient and hard to control tending to rebel irreverence showing lack of respect for important people or organizations

My Best Friend
Although I have many friends, there is only one friend whom I really trust and care about. Her name is Ivy Alexandra.

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Ivy is an only child but she does not have indulgent parents. They do not pamper her. They allow her to learn to be independent. she is nice and helpful, unlike other friends I know who are selfish, arrogant spoilt brats. We had known each other since we were young. During our childhood, she always lent me a helping hand and stood up for me whenever I was bullied. She was always by my side when I needed her assistance. We respect and care about each other like sisters. She helped me learn to stick up for myself. When I was young, I was quite a coward and was always bullied by my classmates. I learnt a lot from her. Now that we have grown up, we still face any crisis together. She has an outstanding personality which I admire. She never gives up because of failure. She will strive until she succeeds. She passes her examinations with flying colours. When people meet her for the first time, they would think that she's rather fierce, but behind this facade is a generous and caring girl. She never hesitates to donate to the needy. She is good at sports too and would have made a good athlete but she is too busy to spa r e t i m e f o r i t . S h e i s t a l e n t e d i n d a n c i n g and has achieved good grades. One more thing that is special about her is that she can both be serious and playful. As a class monitor, she is serious and responsible in carrying out her duties. However, when she is around her close friends, she is playful. She is one in a million. She is popular in school. I have to admit that sometimes we a rg u e b u t i t o n l y t a ke s t w o m i n u te s to ma ke u p . W e w i l l b e b e s t fr i e n d s f o r e ve r.

Vocabulary
arrogant : unpleasantly proud flying colours : very successfully , splendidly facade : an appearance

An unforgettable experience
Whenever somebody asks me to relate an experience that I can never forget, millions of different experiences come into my mind. But there is one experience 22

which I would consider to be the most unforgettable and most scary. It was the first time I rode on a roller coaster. Why? The fear and anxiety that I felt, is beyond one's imagination. Let me recall the whole incident. It was a sunny day. I woke up early in the morning. The room that came into view was unfamiliar. "Weird!' I thought to myself. Why couldn't I recognize my own room?" After a while, I remembered. "I'm in the United States of America. We are going to Disneyland today." My sister's voice interrupted my thought. I could sense happiness in her cheerful voice. The moment we reached there, my sister suggested, "Let's go for a ride on the roller coaster. I've heard so much about the roller coaster in Disneyland and I'm dying to try it. "No way, man. I wouldn't want to be scared to death!" I protested, shaking my head from left to right as hard as i could. Come on! Mom, can we go?" my sister asked. No! No! No!" I answered. But my sister didn't give in. She begged my mother until my mother said, Okay go on." Without wasting a second, my sister dragged me to where the roller coaster was. I was really nervous. Wow! my sister cried out loudly. She could not hide her surprise. "This is the biggest roller coaster I have ever seen." I agreed with her in my heart. The big roller coaster that stood in front of me did amaze me. "Hurry up!" urged my sister. I followed her unwillingly. I was even more nervous when I saw the sign CAUTION. My sister led me into a small room where the person-in-charge showed us our seats. I sat on my seat reluctantly. "Relax and take it easy!" my sister tried to comfort me but it did not help. I nodded obediently and managed to flash her a smile. After a while, I heard a siren that hurt my ears. The siren warned us that the SCARY trip was about to begin. I shut my eyes tightly. Both my hands seized the seat so tightly that they ached. I guess I was panicky. I tried to calm myself down but in vain. I heard people shouting excitedly. They were so eager to begin. Finally, I felt the roller coaster move. Slowly at first, then faster, faster and faster as it began to pick up speed. I felt my stomach turning upside down. It moved so fast that I nearly fell from my seat. I felt sweat streaming down my face from my forehead. My heart was pounding loudly. I regretted taking a ride on this scary thing.

"When will this big, stupid caterpillar stop moving? Please slow down, slow down or I'll get a heart attack." I pleaded in my heart but the roller coaster refused to listen to my pleas. I heard people screaming crazily. It was driving me nuts. The roller coaster swung to the left and then to the right. It swung so hard that my head 23

knocked against the front seat. When the roller coaster slid down from the highest peak, it was the most frightening part of the whole trip. My eyes were wide open. My heart stopped beating. I screamed at the top of my voice and my hair was flying wildly in the air." The fifteen-minute ride on the roller coaster was like fifteen years to me. My face was as pale as a corpse when I came down from the roller coaster. I buried my face in my hands because I felt the world was spinning. My father and mother rushed towards me when they sensed something was wrong with me. My whole body was trembling and my hands were icy cold. I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. From that moment on, whenever people mention roller coaster, a chill runs through my spine. I think that ride on the roller coaster was the most unforgettable experience in my life.

Vocabulary corpse : a dead body trembling : to shake uncontrollably with quick short movements chill : an unpleasant sensation of coldness

Abandonment of babies
Nowadays a disturbing social malady has surfaced. Due to unwanted pregnancies, the number of babies being abandoned has proliferated. This heinous act, as termed by many, must be looked into seriously and measures

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ought

to

be

taken

by

all

parties

to

curb

this

problem.

As teenagers are impressionable, impulsive and immature, more often than not, they indulge in sexual activities without realizing its consequences. Therefore, to blame and punish them entirely of this dire situation may well seem too simplistic, as they might not have understood their own wrong doings. On the contrary, what we must do is to educate them about sex. The school, for instance has to play a more active role in educating the students about sex. Though it may seem rather embarrassing to discuss sex, especially to those who are conservative in thought, prevention is always better than cure. it might be too late to impart this knowledge on safe sex once they get pregnant. Therefore, student must be taught how to practice safe sex to avoid unwanted pregnancies and hence avoiding abandonment of babies as well. Apart from that, various social groups must play a more active role in society. For a start, these organizations must have qualified counselors who are able to give professional advice to young couples who have got themselves in trouble. This is imperative as one wrong spoken word could lead to mere harm than good. They should never despised them but on the other hand always willing to lend a hand to help take care of the baby. Furthermore, these groups should have connections with adoption agencies in case any love child is to be put up for adoption. As for parents, they must try to adopt an understanding and more tolerant attitude towards their children. Many a time, teenagers abandoned their babies to avoid being ostracized by their families. Panic-stricken, it is not surprising to find teenage mothers indulging in such unimaginable acts. Therefore, parents, being the closest kin to their children must learn to accept the bitter truth. They should never disown their children. On the other hand, they should always be there to help and support their children in any situation that comes along. Once this parent-children relationship is established, pregnant teenagers would have no problem approaching their parents for help and hence babies world not be abandoned. Last but no least, religious teachings need to be instilled in every teenager. They need to be taught that there is a time for everything under the sun and that they must refrain from premarital sex as taught by the Roman Catholic church to prevent this undesirable situation of babies being thrown in rubbish bins, drains, and other places. Coupled with religious teachings too, teenagers will learn to realize that it is sinful to abandon babies. With this conscience, there would not be so many cases of unwanted pregnancies. Subsequently, abandonment of babies reduces naturally.

In conclusion, abandonment of babies in nothing new. However, the situation has exacerbated throughout there years. Thus, we all should do our part in tackling the problem more effectively before it gets out of hand.

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Vocabulary
malady : something that is wrong with a system or organization sinful being or guilty of sin, wicked exacerbated to make (something bad) worse

A day when everything went wrong


Life has its ups and downs, highs and lows. Sometimes you feel as if you are on top of the world, other times you feel as if everyone or everything has turned against you. I vividly recall a day when nothing went as I expected. Everything seemed out to get me, to trick me. It was the hardest test of my patience and perseverance. My parents were away for the whole day, trusting me to be independent enough to take care of my daily needs. There would not be any adult supervision, just me. Hooray! It was my wildest dream come true. It was going to be the best day of my life! "Ring..." the alarm clock rang madly, rudely awakening me from my deep slumber. Horror of horrors, I was late for school! Scrambling around the house like a madcap, I managed to dress myself in just a few seconds, breaking my usual record. As the saying goes ' Haste makes waste', buttons seemed to evade themselves from my fingertips, while the books and pencils seemed to hide themselves, making me search every nook and cranny for them, wasting my precious seconds away. My burn toasts, too, slipped from my butterfingers and landed with the buttered side on the floor. Typical Murphy's Law! At long last, I was ready but the bus had gone. So I got out my bicycle, wiping away cobwebs from my face. Oh dear! My bike was not exactly in its first flush of youth. I shuddered as my eyes ran through its bruised and battered frame. Heaving a great sigh, I consigned myself to it with some trepidation and started my journey.

On a bright, sunny morning like that, cycling should be a delightful way to admire Mother Nature at her best. However, I supposed I had got up from the wrong side of the bed. So, there I was, growling and muttering under my breath. And Lady Luck was certainly not on my side too. My aged bicycle proved to be no match for a tiny pebble, and so down I went, school bag and all, landing on the sidewalk like a sack of potatoes. An acute pain shot up my leg, and a nasty wound bled profusely. Muffling a

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cry, I willed myself to get up. "Just grin and bear it!" my inner voice said. Tears stung my eyes as I hobbled painfully to school, wheeling my bicycle lugging my bag I was a pitiful sight. I managed to reach school without doing myself anymore bodily harm. After being reprimanded by my teacher for being late, I felt under the weather and snapped at everyone like a bear with a sore head. Luckily, classes passed uneventfully. Thank God for that! As the day dragged by slowly, I practically had to pinch my arms every two seconds to prevent myself from dozing off. Needless to say, lessons went on but nothing went into my hazy mind that swarmed in space like a zombie. Saved by the bell! The walls of the institution shook as pupils spread their wings and flew off beyond the school gates, where freedom awaited them. Just in time I remembered that my friends and I were going fishing later in the afternoon. It was my maiden trip and nothing was going to spoil my day. In a split-second, my mood brightened and I whistled all the way home, forgetting about the past events in the morning. At last, everything was ready. All my friends were there and the fishing equipment had been prepared in advance. Then. as luck would have it, big billowing clouds started to cover the bright sun. Thunder rumbled threateningly and rain was imminent. I prayed silently imploring the sun to chase away the clouds. Alas, my hopes was dashed as big drops of rain began to fall. Downcast, I trudged home. Drenched from head to toe, I did not even give my soaked condition a thought. Disappointment was hard to bear and a bitter pill to swallow, especially in big doses like this. I fought back tears of despair, reproaching myself for being such a baby. Once home, I was relived with joy to find my parents back. I dashed into my mum's arms, sobbing out my woes. I related to her the unfortunate incidents of the day. Mum, my confidante, my sunshine after the rain, my bright shining star who guided me through the thorns of teenage years, provided me a shoulder to cry on. At last, I was able to retrospect rationally and find humour in being such a fool on the day when everything went wrong.

Vocabulary
reprimanded : to express strong official disapproval of confidante a person to whom you tell your secrets retrospect : thinking back to the past from the present

The football match


A football match was in progress. Elvis, the striker, headed towards the opponent's goal with the ball at his feet.

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Adam, the defender for the opposing team, tried to stop Elvis, but Elvis was fast. He slipped past Adam. In desperation Adam grabbed hold of Elvis's jersey thus stopping Elvis in his tracks. Elvis was so upset by Adams illegal action that he hold turned, grabbed hold of Adam and started punching Adam. Adam fought back and soon they were punching and kicking at each other. The referee blew his whistle and showed the red card to the two brawlers. Elvis and Adam left the field in disgust. All they got for their trouble were a black eye and a torn jersey each.

Vocabulary Opponent : a person who takes the opposite side in a game Brawlers : a noisy quarrel of fight and often in a pubic place Disgust : a strong feeling of dislike caused by behaviour that one strongly disapproves

A visit to an interesting place in Malaysia

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During the semester holidays, my siblings and I were quite in the dumps because there was nothing to do and we were bored to death. Out of the blue, my parents decided to take us to the National Park in Pahang. The Pahang National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malaysia. It is known far and wide for its beauty. As the saying goes, "Seeing is believing", I had yearned to go there for many years and it seemed like my dream was coming true. In Pahang, we stayed in a motel. It was a traditional building with lots of exquisite carvings and designs. The next morning, we went to the National Park by jeep. The jalopy wheezed up and down the bumpy road, it was on the verge of breaking down. When we finally reached our destination, we heaved a sign of relief. When I stepped into the park, I was thunderstruck. It was beautiful, more beautiful than I had ever imagined! Green trees towered over colourful flowers. Birds were chirping and squirrels played on the mossy ground. The majestic Gunung Tahan loomed in the background, a king reigning over his subjects. Palm trees swayed their leafy arms as the breeze blew, a sign of welcome. This was truly Mother Nature at her best. Amid all this splendour, I seemed just to be just a tiny being admiring a huge palace. In the National Park, it was very cool and peaceful. After being in the bustling city with its noisy traffic, the silence was music to my ears. The hectic days in the city were replaced by soothing walks and recreational activities. I soon found out that there was more to it than meets the eye. As you walk along the jungle trail, you can be sure that hundreds of pairs of eyes are watching your every move. Occasionally, squirrels would playfully jump on your back or rabbits would brush against your legs. Flowers bloomed everywhere, dotting the green with red and yellow. However, beware, for the most poisonous mushrooms are those with brilliant colours. In the National Park one can go for walks or go rafting in the crystal clear waters. My family even visited an aboriginal village. The natives were simple and honest. Their fierce loyalty and respect for one another was a model to all of us. They were kind-hearted and the guide even taught us a few words in the native language. Altogether, it was the best holiday I had ever had. The National Park in Pahang is truly an interesting place in Malaysia and I would not have missed the trip for anything in the world.

Vocabulary

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thunderstruck : extremely suprise, shocked splendour : excellent or grand beauty aboriginal : people or living things that have existed in a place from the earliest time

An unforgettable lesson
I was having fun in the sea with my friends. I am a good swimmer but was inclined to show off my skills. We were in chest-deep water but I ventured out into deeper water to show my friends how well I could swim. For a while i swam merrily about. Suddenly i was seized by cramps in my legs. i could not swim any longer. In desperation i shouted for help and tried to stay afloat with my hands. i was in real danger of drowning. My friends were not good swimmers and thus could not help. Fortunately a man on the seashore heard my cries. Immediately the man swam out and pulled me to the shore. I thanked the man for saving my life. From then on i never showed off again in the sea.

Vocabulary
inclined : likely, tending to ventured : to risk going somewhere or doing something dangerous merrily : cheerful, full of lively happiness or fun

cramps : sharp pains in the stomach

A beautiful place I have visited

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The Botanical Gardens is definitely one interesting place that I would recommend to anyone who asks me for my advice. The beauty of it is somehow beyond description. Each flower, each plant has its own way of capturing your soul. Each blade of grass, each tree somehow knows how to coordinate with others to form a picturesque scenery that no architect or designer could ever copy. No best selling novelist or Nobel prize winner could possibly put its miraculous beauty into words. One actually has to be there to feel the magic it does to me, and it still does, until today. I vividly remember the first day I explored this place. Contrary to my views about it now, I found this place no different from my own garden, even worse. It was still dark when my parents drove me here. Under thick, heavy eyelids, my sleepy eyeballs focused on the twinkling stars blinking at me. They were probably warning me about this place that I was about to explore, at least that was what I thought at that time as I was dragged to my feet after sleeping no more than four hours and to tolerate the incessant comments my parents made on the way to it. When I was standing at the gate, the land was still enveloped in the darkness of the previous night. And yet, I could vaguely see some people already strolling up and down. How could these old people see in such darkness? Maybe it was my brain that refused to let my eyes function as a way of punishment for allowing myself to be dragged to this place and having to skip my precious sleep. I clung to my mother's hand, afraid that I would get lost. The smell, yes, the dreadful stench I breathed in until I thought I might throw up if I stayed any longer. I didn't, of course. Then, there were noises everywhere, the horrible sounds made by some disgusting bugs, trying to scare their enemy away, I guess; the sound of the monkeys swinging above my head, trying to show off, huh? Well, you won't get my compliments, though. Not forgetting to mention the annoying mosquitoes! They followed me everywhere, just to suck my tasty blood. Worst of all, they kept hovering around my ears and when I made several attempts to kill them with my palm, I ended up slapping my own face. And finally, there was fog everywhere. Even though I could hardly see, I could actually feel it lingering around me, like a deadly ghost which was about to swallow me up. The cold intensified, its wet swirl penetrating my clothing, chilling and numbing me. Oh, God! This is worse then hell, please bring me out of this place. That was what I prayed at that time, and thank God, He didn't answer me. It must be miles that I'd walked since I was feeling like a zombie, dragged by my mother. It was then that I suddenly saw rays of sunlight eagerly emerging from behind the valley. Within a minute, it cast a whole new world in front of me. Suddenly I saw it all! I saw its beauty; the same beauty that had captivated visitors all this while. I was actually standing on a bridge similar to Penang's prominence. My sleepiness vanished in an instant as the cool, gentle morning breeze kissed my face and lifted my hair as if trying to tell me, "Wake up, sleepy head". I witnessed those trees, plants, flowers, small hells, stream, bridges, children, elderly people, combining to create their own unique and mirrored beauty. I forgot about time as I let my gaze play around the green of the trees, the pale blue and pinks of the flowers, the different patterns of the grass as the wind wove everything onto different dimensions from one minute to the next.

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The birds seemed to be in good mood as they kept singing this beautiful melody until I found myself humming along with them too. I started to jog, surprisingly, without feeling tired. The number of visitors had tripled without my realizing it. Even toddlers who had just learned to walk eagerly followed their parents to explore the wonder of this land. Lucky them! I felt pity for myself for not knowing of its existence until then. I saw some people picnicking on the grass verge, depicting their happiness to mother earth. There were groups of middle-aged people practising their 'Tai-chi" here and there. Serenity and peace showed on their face. Perhaps its their way of relaxing and at the same time search for peace in their minds and souls. Tourists were seen everywhere. From their faces, I could tell them that this place appeared to be as interesting to them as it was to me. Monkeys were one of the biggest attractions here. Seeing their antics, I couldn't help but laugh. My earlier opinion of them changed totally as I saw them grabbing bananas and peanuts from the frightened children. Some poor children were chased by them. Those fierce looks on their faces forced the little ones to throw whatever food were in their hands to the hungry monkeys. I had to admit they were actually as clever as humans, only more mischievous and entertaining. I followed my mother along a little dark path. I felt like Tarzan in a real jungle. Seeing the little ants working diligently in a straight line, I realized how I had squandered my time away. Even animals knew how precious time was. And there, in the middle of all the flora and fauna, I saw the famous lotus lake. The lotus with its big, pale pink petals and yellows buds, all squeezing into the small lake somehow seduced me, as it always did to all the visitors. The path brought me to another noteworthy place, the orchidarium - an enormous cage full of hundreds of species of orchids from all over the world. Trailing down the tarred path, I reached the cactus farm. It still amazes me now that such large cactus can be planted in Malaysia. I spent almost three hours just observing the natural beauty created by the hand of God. When I walked out of the Botanical Gardens, I took a quick look around. Mother Nature has now been so badly damaged and polluted that humans find it so uncomfortable to live in this place. Thus, their only effortto preserve the treasures of Mother Nature is by creating and maintaining the Botanical Gardens.

Vocabulary
incessant : something bad continuous over a long period of time , never stopping prominence : noticeable, easily seen mischievous : playfully troublesome

The importance of physical exercise


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Each of us has a physical body made of muscles, blood, bones and various other living tissues. When any of these are injured or not working properly, we get ill. Nobody likes to be ill. So it is important that we keep our body healthy. Exercising the body is one way of keeping it healthy. If we do not exercise then our muscles become weaker and we are less able to do things properly. Also the bones can become weaker and thus break easily. There are many types of exercises that we may participate in. We may play badminton, football, netball or whatever games that we prefer. We may also jog, walk, swim or climb a mountain. Older folks prefer less strenuous exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga or a leisurely stroll in the park. For the really fit young people, there are rock-climbing, gymnastics and other physically demanding activities. We exercise to keep the body healthy. However there are some who overdo things and end up injuring themselves. It is fine to jog for a few kilometres. It is madness to jog until we are exhausted. Also they are people who become addicted to their exercises. They become unhappy when they are unable to exercise or when they lose to someone in a competition. Exercises are important. No exercise may result in a weak body. Too much exercise may result in injury. Neither extremes are good. It is up to us to be sensible in exercising.

The subject I like best

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In school, we learn many subjects. They are English, Mathematics, Science, Chinese, and many other important subjects. Among the subjects taught in school, I like English best. English is a very important subject. In many parts of our country, people speak English. Nowadays, the frequently used and popular language is English. Many schools teach English. Today, almost everybody uses English to chat about business and just about anything under the sky. Computers use English and so, too, do the Internet; MSN and many other sophisticated electronic gadgets. English is a very easy subject to learn. Even a child can learn to speak English well. Recently, the Government launched campaigns encouraging people to use English. Some adults even English lessons to improve their English. Many parents, too, send their children for extra English lessons tuition centres. If you want to study overseas in universities like Cambridge or Oxford, you must be proficient in English. Or late, there are many parents who send their children to other countries to study English at a tender age. Many advanced countries in Europe, America and Asia use English. In a 'borderless' world where trade and commerce are very important, communication, using English via the electronic media, is the order of the day. I hope that everyone uses English whether he or she is young or old. Then, he or she will have many friends and a very bright future.

Vocabulary
sophisticated : produced or developed with a high level of skill and knowledge

Fatal Hiking Accidents


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Three friends, John, Ryan and Stephen were out hiking. They wanted to hike their way to a Cavanal Hill and camp there for the weekend. To reach their destination, they had to cross many natural obstacles. There were streams, rivers, bushes, trees and many mosquitoes and leeches. At a stream, John and Ryan crossed carefully as the bank was steep and slippery. Stephen was not careful enough. He slipped and fell. As a result he twisted his leg badly and could not get up. John and Ryan pulled Stephen up from the stream and examined his leg.They were not sure whether the leg was broken or not. So they put a splint on to the leg. Next they cut two poles from the trees nearby and improvised a stretcher for Stephen. So began a long tiring journey back to civilization. John and Ryan had to carry the seriously injured Stephen all the way on the makeshift stretcher. Fortunately they were both young and strong and manage to perform the task. Stephen could only lie down quietly and trust his friends. It was exhausting, but finally they managed to come out of the wilderness. They found a telephone booth and used it to call an ambulance. The ambulance arrived a few minutes later and took Stephen to hospital. He had been hospitalized for one month after suffering a devastating leg injury.

Vocabulary
improvised : to do or make something one has not prepared for owing to an unexpected situation civilization : life in a place which has all the comforts of the modern world makeshift : being something made or used in the case if a sudden or urgent need devastating : destroying completely

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