Certain themes can be difficult for students to write on. Describing certain emotions that are not often dealt with in compositions can be challenging for some. Recently, we worked on the theme of embarrassment. Unlike being sad, happy or afraid, describing being embarrassed is an emotion not often described during composition writing. During the planning stage of our composition writing, we decided to create a protagonist that was not likeable. Arrogant and over confident, our protagonist learnt a painful lesson from being embarrassed.

List of phrases to describe pride and embarrassment

To help my students describe the protagonist’s emotions, I came up with a list of phrases to describe pride / arrogance and another list to describe being embarrassed.

List of phrases to describe pride/arrogance

  • bursting with confidence
  • turned a deaf ear to my coach’s caution
  • determined to prove that I was not an amateur
  • told my friend with the utmost confidence that I could
  • boasting that the competition/race would not be a challenge at all
  • brushing off my group members pleas to practice one more time
  • told everyone nonchalantly that I had first place in the bag
  • decided that now was the time to show them what I was made of
  • with my nose in the air
  • looked down on them
  • deemed the competition unworthy
  • puffed out my chest and strode confidently
  • blowing my own trumpet
  • smirking in satisfaction

List of phrases to describe embarrassment

  • my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach when I realised that….
  • tears stung my eyes as I was mocked mercilessly
  • my cheeks burned as I met the accusing glares of my classmates/teammates
  • a cold wave of dread washed over me
  • could not bear to lift my head and meet the eyes of my coach
  • wished the earth would open up and swallow me
  • mortified that I had made a fool of myself
  • overcome with mortification
  • hot tears coursed down my cheeks

Model composition: an embarrassing incident

Below is a model composition, taken from one of my P6 students. While I had many interesting compositions from this theme, I chose Samuel’s because I was chuckling while I was marking it. Aside from the vivid soccer descriptions, Samuel had also used the phrases provided well and developed the theme relevantly, all done within the 50 minute writing time frame I had given them in class. I hope that you enjoy reading this model composition as much as I did.

Model composition: an embarrassing incident picture

The azure blue sky was brightly lit by the white, hot sun and the heat was beating down mercilessly on the pavement. I held my chin up high and confidently strolled towards the soccer stadium, dressed in my best soccer jersey. I had been waiting for this day so that I could show off my soccer skills to my classmates.

              I strolled into the stadium and glanced around me. The spectators’ seats were nearly full. I saw the sponsor’s logo and was reminded how I had decided to play in the soccer match. I was lazily watching Youtube videos when an advertisement popped up about a local soccer event. I hurriedly signed up for it with my parents’ consent and told a few of my classmates to sign up for it as well.

              The day of the event had arrived and there I was bursting with confidence, imagining how loudly the crowd would clap and cheer for me once I crushed my opponents.

I walked around the field, smirking at the opponents and told them, ”Prepare to be crushed peeps!”

They shook their heads in disgust while murmuring something about me being too proud.

              The referee soon told us to get into our positions. I puffed out my chest and smirked at my unworthy, or so I thought, opponents. When the referee blew the whistle, I immediately rushed towards the ball with my state-of-the-art soccer shoes. I put my foot on the ball, kicked it backwards and started dribbling toward the goal post. Stealing a quick glance behind me, I was confused by my opponents’ reactions. They were just standing, looking stunned. As the expression on their faces became blurry, I looked forward and gave the ball a hard kick towards the confused-looking goalkeeper. As soon as the ball went flying into the net, the crowd was silent for a moment before they started boo-ing. At first, I was confused but then I heard the commentator.

“ A spectacular own goal!” The spectators burst into laughter.

I swallowed hard as a wave of dread washed over me. I had scored a goal in my own team’s goalpost! I looked on to the ground, calculating the odds of the ground opening up to swallow me. Heat rushed to my cheeks. I was utterly embarrassed as I jogged back to my position, trying to block out the insults and colourful words spewing out of my teammates’ mouths.

              The second half of the match was no better. I kept missing the ball when my teammates passed it to me. By then, my opponents were laughing at me. Soon, the match came to a bitter end. It was a thirteen to zero massacre. I was mortified that I had made a fool of myself and kept looking at the ground when we were called for refreshments. I could not bear to lift my head to meet the eyes of my teammates. Tears welled up in my eyes as I walked out of the stadium in embarrassment. I had overestimated my skills and upon reaching home, I locked myself in my room and reflected on the day’s incidents.

              As the saying goes, pride comes before a fall. Even though I was terribly embarrassed about my soccer failure, I had learnt an important lesson on humility.

P6 English tuition 2022 timetable

LocationDayStart timeEnd time
Bukit TimahThursday5 pm7 pm
Bukit TimahSaturday9 am11 am
Bukit TimahSaturday11 am1 pm
Bukit TimahSaturday2 pm4 pm
Hougang PelikatFriday5 pm7 pm
Updated on September 27, 2021