Wednesday, October 16, 2019

An important event

Describe an important event in the novel and how this event changed the life of the character forever.
An important event  which changed the life of Dawan is the scholarship event. On that morning, the teacher did not announce the winner yet.  He started to talk about the sacks of rice in their homes as rentals to the landlord.  Dawan asked why the landlord owned the land instead of the villagers.  The teacher was surprised at her bravery to speak up.  He went on to talk about the injustice and the need to change the system. 
   Suddenly, the headmaster appeared, peering through the windows and the teacher changed the subject to Geography.  When the headmaster had left, he told them that winning the scholarship was more than a prize, it was a heavy responsibility.  He reminded them that the winner must learn how to think and perceive what is wrong with society, to analyse and understand the rules, and change it for a fairer system.  He asked Dawan if she could do all that.  Then, he announced that Dawan had won the scholarship.  Everyone was surprised.
     This event changed Dawan’s life forever.  We would see how Dawan tried to go against her father who believed that girls should not have a fancy education.  We saw how determined she was when she went to see her cousin Noi, who had lived in the city before.  However, her cousin Noi discouraged her and told her the city was not for a girl like her.  She also went to see the Head Monk to get his support and again, he told her what could a mere girl like her do when many have tried and failed.  Finally, she went to talk to her father.  She persuaded her father for her one chance to try.  Her determination paid off when her father finally allowed her to go.
     In conclusion, the scholarship event where Dawan won the scholarship changed Dawan’s life forever. She went against the system, the gender discrimination and fought for her chance to continue her studies.  Finally, she was able to pursue her studies in the city, hoping to return one day to improve the village.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Past examination questions on the novel

2002 - Write a detail account of an event in the novel you have chosen which teaches  you an important moral lesson. In your account, you must make clear what  the moral lesson is. 

2003 - (a) Which character do you sympathize with in the novel you have studied?            
             (b) Explain why you sympathize with this character. Support your answer with evidences from the novel.   

2004 - Choose an event in the novel you have studied which you find to be most memorable.  Give reasons for your choice and , with reference from the text, discuss the event. 

2005 - “Love is important in a family”   How is this shown in the novel you have read? Support your answer with close reference  to the text.

 2006 - The writer describes the main character as a very determined person. Using the details  from the novel that you have studied write about: some instances that show the character’s determination How the determination affects his/her family. 

 2007 - “ It is important to have a person you look up to in your life”   From the novel that you have read, write about one character that you look up to. Give reasons why you choose him/her 

2008 - Using the detail from the novel that you studied, describe what happened at the end of the novel Explain why you find the ending either happy or sad.   Support your answer with close reference to the text. 

2009 - Using the details from the novel that you have studied, write about a difficult decisio made by one of the characters.             With close reference to the text, do you think this was the right decision?

Should Mobile Phones Be Allowed in Schools?

Mobile Phones Should Be Allowed in Schools.  Do you agree?

     Mobile phones have become an indispensable tool to students.  The modern mobile phones have cutting-edge technology.  They are no longer just used for calling or texting.  These smart phones are able to access the Internet, take notes, keep reminders and have large memories to boot.  With these in mind, should mobile phones be allowed in school?  In my opinion, mobile phones should not be allowed in schools.  This will bring a host of problems to the school.
     Firstly, the mobile phones will be too much of a distraction to the students.  At present, many students are already spending too much time on social networking websites and online games.  What is going to stop them from constantly checking on their Facebook updates or posting their status?  This will disrupt their concentration in class and will definitely affect their studies.
     In addition, these smart phones are also an excellent learning resource.  However, this tool could also be used by students to cheat.  They could access websites to help them answer their exam questions.  Students have been found to use the mobile phones to contact each other for answers.
     Besides,  allowing mobile phones in school would create a social divide between the students.  Students who do not have mobile phones or less capable phone would definitely feel the pressure of keeping up.  Some who cannot afford it would resort to stealing.  This would open up a whole new discipline problem to the school.  Imagine the havoc when everytime some loses a phone, a spot-check has to be done on all the students.  This would disrupt classes and a waste of the resources of the discipline master and prefects.
      When used responsibly, a cell phone can be an excellent learning tool.  Students can use applications like the calculator, dictionary, maps and other online resources.  It is especially useful when students do not understand a word.  They can easily look up the word with their mobile phone.  Students love to use technology and tend to be more motivated when given the freedom to use their mobile phones.
     In conclusion, mobile phones  are very useful in a student’s life.  However, they cause too much disruptions in school and might create a social divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.  Our students have not reached the maturity and they are not ready for this responsibility.  Therefore, mobile phones should not be allowed in schools.

(Adapted from:  Reading and Writing, Nilam Pub, Jenny Ho and Rahmah Sayuti)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Common errors found in students' essays

Correct the following sentences
1. We were enjoyed ourselves very much.
2. We also can prevent the breeding of the mosquitoes.
3. The principle reminded the students to come early for their exam.
4. Thanks for give me this opportunity.
5. Suddently, the car crashed into the tree.
6. If you are effected by dengue fever, you will have the following symptoms.
7. Than, we need to destroy the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes.
8. Then, dengue fever have more at our housing area.
9. Nowaday, we can see many cases of dengue fever.
10. Dengue fever have many symptoms.
11. Futhermore, the patience of dengue fever will vomit.
12. Because of dengue fever, many people have died.
13. And another symptom of dengue fever is vomiting regularly.
14. There are ways how to control the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.
15. Not just that, you will also have a headache.
16. Dengue fever also make we tired.
17. This will avoid the breeding of the mosquitoes.
18. I am sure you all will agree with me that dengue fever is dangerous.
19. As we know that dengue fever is dangerous ill to everyone.
20. You must take care of your healthy.

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 types of errors found in students' answer for the novel

5 types of errors found in students' answer for the novel:
1. mere mention
Students do no elaborate or give evidence.
For example:
The most important event in the novel is the great escape. Rory took Granda out of Rachnadar.
2. mere narration
Students tell the story without answering the question. They are merely giving a synopsis of the story.
3. factual errors
Students do not know the novel well and they tried to elaborate but ended up giving factual errors.
For example:
Granda died at the bus shelter.
4. switching between tenses
If you answer in the present tense, do not change. If you are more comfortable answering in the past tense, make sure it is all in the past tense.
5. answering only one part of the question
For example:
Describe a sad event in the novel and how this event affect the main character.
Describe an event which teaches you a moral lesson.

Monday, June 9, 2014


There are a few things that we can do if we are serious about improving our vocabulary.

1  Read, read and read

Aim to read at least a book a month.  Make it a habit to read magazines, newspapers and anything you can get your hand on.  Look at the way good writers write.  What are the interesting phrases and words used?

2  Look it up

Is there a particular word that is always appearing when you read?  Look it up. Keep a dictionary nearby.  You don't need to look up every word you don't know.  That would kill the joy of reading.  Look up words which will help you understand the passage better.

3  Keep a vocabulary notebook

When I was in school, my English teacher made us keep a notebook for new words we learnt.  At the end of the year, it was fun to look back at what we had collected and used.  Many words became a part of our vocabulary daily.

4  Do word puzzles and play word games
There are many online games that will help you in improving your vocabulary.  For example, go to for games such as word search, crossword puzzle and puzzles.

5  Use online dictionaries

Use the free services of online dictionaries.  Sign up to learn a word a day. Learn the pronunciation of a new word from these websites.

6  Write daily
The fastest way of learning a new word is to use it.  Write about the happenings in your school or about your life.  Look for ways to use these words aptly.  There are many students who turn to the dictionary to memorise some bombastic words to use in their essays but they ended up using them wrongly.

7  Do your own research
Find words that are associated with certain topics. Do a mind map of these words.
For example, when you think of the word 'environment', what are the words that come to your mind?  Use the Internet to help you.

Words associated with 'football' -( nouns, verbs, adjectives)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013



There are no shortcuts to writing good essays.  
1 - Answer the question 
Do not try to memorise an essay and use it as an answer.

2 - Be original 
Try not to use the usual boring plot that you have read before.  I always tell my students to relate real life experiences or write it from the heart.

3 - Don't thesaurize your composition 
Some students like to use bombastic words all over their essays.  It can make the essay very awkward if the vocabulary used is inapt.

4 - Spend some time on your introduction 
Plan your introduction carefully so that it grabs the attention of the reader.  Stay away from the "Everyone in this world......" introduction.
5 - Body paragraphs must relate to your introduction 
Make sure that your introduction leads to the paragraphs and all your paragraphs are cohesive.  Plan for only one main idea for each paragraph.

6 - Use transition 
Use transition markers to begin each paragraph as well as within the paragraph to ensure the smooth flow of the essays.

7 - Remember to write a good conclusion
Remember to end your essay with an appropriate conclusion.  You can summarise your points, state the implication of a certain issue or state your hope for the future.
8 - Time management
Spare some time to check your work.  Watch out for spelling errors, grammatical errors esp tenses.

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