Open Response Essay Writing (Public Domain) Based on SPM Scoring Rubric among Non-Native Students in Negeri Sembilan


  • Nur Faizal Aznan
  • Rozita Radhiah Said


Essay Writing, Malay Language, Secondary School, Non-Native Speaker, Language Mistake, Generating Idea


The highest level of language skill is essay writing, and to achieve it, a student must comprehend numerous language sub-skills in the first place. Writing skills represent a high value of marks in the secondary school Malay language subject, especially at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination level. As a result, non-native speaker students always experience challenges since they are unable to acquire the aspects of Malay language essay writing effectively. Therefore, to analyse the relevance of the ideas raised by the students toward the title of open-response essay writing provided by the teacher, this qualitative research has been carried out by using the document analysis method. Besides, the researchers also aimed to analyse students' language difficulties when they presented ideas for essay titles based on the SPM scoring rubrics set by the Malaysia Examinations Council 2022. Purposive sampling was used to select 10 essay scripts among non-native speaker students that in a medium level of achievement in several secondary schools in Negeri Sembilan. The results found that most participants (80%) did not achieve an excellent level in terms of the relevance of ideas because they did not meet the task requirements (30%), had irrelevant and unclear descriptions, and did not match the title of the task (30%), non-grammatical sentences (80%), general, limited, and inaccurate vocabulary (80%), and uninteresting and ineffective essays (30%). The findings also indicate that the most noticeable and dominant language errors were incorrect use of terms and vocabulary (80%), followed by spelling errors (75%) and incorrect use of affixes (75%). Due to the poor performance of non-native speaker students in essay writing, the researchers suggested conducting a study on how to write essays in Malay language subjects by creating a step-by-step composing module that is simple but systematic, fun, informative, meaningful, and effective also the approach can ensure a long-lasting understanding for the students.