Literature in English (2205)

UPDATE [20.3.2015]:  The new literature cycle (7th) applies to exam candidates from 2016 onwards.  If you are preparing your students for 2016 exam, then go to this link.

This is an elective paper for SPM.  Over years, I have a handful of students under my care sitting for this paper in the SPM.  Currently I’m coaching 2 Form 5s and 6 Form 4s.  If you are a teacher looking for the possibility to collaborate, my answer is “Yes“.  After all, we teach this paper because we are passionate about it.

I have adequate references and information to teach this paper, thanks to my mentor (If she gives me the permission, I will put a direct link to her FB account here).

Paper 2205 is self-explanatory.  It tests the students on the four basic genres – Short Stories, Novels, Poems and Drama.

Except for short stories and poems, I am using “An Inspector Calls” (drama) by JB Priestley and “Holes” (novel) by Louis Sachar.  I’ve done “Julius Ceasar” (drama) previously upon my students’ request, but I personally find “An Inspector Calls” and “Fasting, Feasting” (novel) fascinating.

You can get the full reading list and discuss with your students what they would like to do.  This reading list is the 6th cycle published in 2007.  This year (2012), I thought it was going to change as how the exam board does every 5 years.  Surprisingly, when I rang up, they told me the reading list remains constant.

Next, the popular question:  Is it difficult? Is it easy to score “A”?  At least, these are my students’ concern.  I think for some teachers that plan to offer their students this paper are going to ask for the same questions too.  It is never easy to be successful.  However, I wish to clarify that it is usually not as monstrous as what we all think literature paper is.  For one, paper 2205 is not the study of big “L”.  It is merely the enrichment version of our literature components found in SPM 1119.

Nonetheless, I do have some criteria in mind.  Not to be picky, but to ensure the student really enjoy the process of learning and preparing herself for the exam.  It would be a torture for the student, if he or she has very limited language ability, dislikes reading, hates to put on the thinking cap, has very limited common sense and most of all can’t get all your jokes most of the time, if not, all the time.

All my students taking this paper share some commonness:

  1. They are all quite outspoken and have their own mind.
  2. They like to discuss more than listening to teacher’s lecture.
  3. They are inquisitive and curious.
  4. They like to watch movies and read books.
  5. They hate routines.

Not all my students are from English speaking background and use English all the time.  This is not the ultimate factor to qualify them for the class.  Rather, the love to think, reflect and think and reflect more.  I would say that for a student to succeed in this paper, there is only ONE factor – maturity.  They must have a mind mature enough to evaluate things, to justify, to scrutinize an issue, to assess a situation.  I challenge my students all the time, to prove me wrong.  “Think as if you are in the courthouse”, I told them.

As for you, teacher, you must have the passion to help you sustain the one and a half year of extra lessons.  I meet my students once a week, two hours per lesson, and they can reach me 24-7 via email.  Other than that, a fearless heart to be challenged.  Equip yourself with this and the lessons are fun and rewarding.

My personal sharing is this.  I find that teaching SPM1119 can no longer quench my thirst for knowledge and sharing.  I yearn to challenge my intellect and to discover new perspectives.  And my 2205 lessons have not failed me so far.


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