Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Record number of visitors!!!!!

As predicted, speech came out.  I hope this blog has been able to be of some help......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Directed Writing Analysis

Informal letter
Formal letter
Report to the Principal
An informal letter to a friend
An informal letter to a friend
A talk on a reference book
An article
Report on lack of interest in sports
Informal letter
Speech/Formal Letter ?????

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Horrifying Swim

Here is an example of a story with a good plot. Read and highlight the use of interesting phrases which are precise. Many students tend to memorise bombastic words and try to insert into their essays. The words or phrases must be suitable. Originally, this was just a 150-word essay. I have expanded it by using dialogues and more details.

Monday, November 7, 2011

We have reached 200,000.

We have reached 200,000 hits. Thanks to all for the continuous support. May this blog be of help to everyone. I wish to apologise to those who wanted me to mark their essays. I am afraid I do not have time to do that, having to juggle my time between classes, marking and my writing. However, if you have any questions, do write in and I will try my best to answer your queries. Study hard, stay cool and all the best in your SPM.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sad Event Question

Question: Write about a sad event and its effect on the characters in the novel that you have read. Give evidence to support your answer.


The novel that I have studied is Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail. This novel is about a young boy named Rory who lived alone with his grandfather. When Rory and Granda were separated due to a fire, Rory made a decision to run away with Granda so that they could be together.
One of the sad event in this novel is when a fire broke out at the flats where Rory and Granda were staying. On that day, Rory was heading to the bakery as usual to get lunch, the baker told him that something was going on at his flats, the Fire Brigade had gone there and someone had been sent to the hospital. Rory rushed home immediately to find many people surrounding the building. He tried to get into the building. A policeman told him that Granda had been admitted to the hospital but he was going to be all right. Rory heard that Granda had probably left the chip pan on and forgot about it. Then, Rory was taken to the hospital to see Granda.
This event triggered a few other important events which changed their lives forever. As a result of the fire, Rory had to be sent to stay in Castle Street, the children's home and Granda was sent to Rachnadar Hospital. Rory hated Castle Street as he had to face the terrible Tess who bullied everyone around her. He ended up fighting with her. At the same time, Granda was suffering at Rachnadar Hospital. He blamed himself that Rory had ended up in Castle Street. Rory saw that he was retreating further and further into his shell and he did not want Granda to die 'inside'. So, he made a decision to run away.
During the Great Escape, Rory and Granda had to move from place to place. This affected Granda's health. First, they went to Darren's mum's caravan. When Rory received news from Darren that they were found out, they escaped again. This time they were rescued by Ruby and family. They went on an adventurous journey from place to place. At one time, Granda even had to hit a boy who was threatening to catch Rory. Then, Granda hotwired a car and they escaped again. Their adventure ended when Granda fell unconscious at the bus shelter while they were on the run from the police. Finally, Rory had to ask for help and Granda was sent to the hospital. There, they were reunited with Jeff, Rory's father and his new family.
Thus, we can see that the fire that caused Rory and Granda to be separated triggered other events which changed their lives forever. In the end, Rory's problems were solved when they could stay somewhere near his father and they also received home help for Granda and their meals are taken care of by 'meals on wheels'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


DESCRIPTIVE WRITING 2004 Describe a festival celebrated in your area. 2005 Describe the biggest challenge in your life. 2006 Describe an enjoyable weekend you have experienced. 2007 Describe an embarrassing experience in your life. 2008 Write about a person who has worked hard to succeed. 2009 Describe an unforgettable incident that you saw on your way home from school 2010 Describe the most popular student in your school.


PAST YEARS' QUESTIONS FOR NARRATIVE WRITING 2004 Write a story ending with: “…We had never laughed so much in our lives.” 2005 Write a story entitled: ‘An Unexpected Visitor.’ 2006 Write a story ending with: “If only I had been more careful, that wouldn’t have happened.” 2007 Write a story beginning with: “Kim was nervous when the door opened …” 2008 Write a story ending with, “… Now I realized the value a true friend.” 2009 ….We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. 2010 Write a story beginning with “It had been raining all day…”

Friday, September 30, 2011

spm seminar in penang

I will be at the SPM seminar organised by the Star newspaper...hope to meet the Penang folks...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Novel - Catch Us If You Can

What is one life lesson that you have learnt from the main character in the novel that you have studied? Support your answer with close reference to the text.

I have studied the novel 'Catch Us If You Can' by Catherine MacPhail. The story is narrated by Rory, a young boy who lived alone with his grandfather, Mr. McIntosh whom he lovingly calls 'Granda'. Rory's father had left him when he was still small and his mother had died of a broken heart.
One life lesson that I have learnt from Rory is that one should be a responsible family member. Rory was a very responsible boy even though he was still a young kid. He realised that Granda had looked after him all his life and now that Granda needed him, he would take care of him. He did the shopping and cooking. He cleaned the house.
Rory also gave up football for Granda. Mr Hood, his football coach had asked him to join the football team but he lied that he did not like football anymore. The truth was, he needed to look after Granda. Granda relied on him to get his lunch and he also had to make sure Granda took his pills. Sometimes, he rushed home during lunchtime to buy two hot pies for their lunch.
When Granda was hospitalised at Rachnadar, Rory realised that if he left Granda there, he would be very miserable and sick. He was very frightened when he visited Granda and he did not respond to him. He was afraid that he would 'be dead inside'. He decided to run away with Granda in order to save him.
Darren's mother was concerned for Rory. She felt that Rory should not have to bear this kind of responsibility. However, Rory felt that it was his responsibility since there was nobody else. Finally, when he found out about his father, he felt that it was high time he lived up to his responsibility as a son and father.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trial Exams SPM 2011

Here are some Trial Exams from various states for you to try:



Novel questions:


Write about one theme that is found in the novel you have read. Discuss how the theme is portrayed.


Using details from the novel that you have studied, write about:
a memorable event how the event affects one of the characters in the story
Support your answer with close reference to the text.

I will update from time to time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Are You Still Playing Your Flute.... - as explained by the poet Zurinah

MASIHKAH KAU BERMAIN SERULING/Are you still playing your flute

Sajak ini menggunakan gaya percakapan penyair dengan seseorang. Orang yang dimaksudkan di sini ialah seorang yang pandai bermain seruling. Sekali pandang ia seperti sajak percintaan kerana banyak menggunakan perkataan yang lembut dan romantis.
Are you still playing your flute
Are you still playing your flute
when there is no time for our love
I am feeling guilty
to be longing for your song

Tetapi percakapan yang lembut dan romantis dengan pemain seruling itu hanyalah satu cara atau gaya penyair meluahkan segala yang mengganggu fikirannya. Sajak ini bertemakan kemasyarakatan . Keseluruhannya merupakan luahan rasa penyair tentang keadaan masyarakat di negaranya dan antara bangsa yang penuh kemelut dan kacau bilau.
Penyair mengenang sang pemain seruling. Sebenarnya yang dikenang oleh penyair ialah kampong yang sedang tenat.
Are you still playing your flute
in the village so quiet and deserted
amidst the sick rice field

Dia menceritakan tentang keadaan dirinya yang berada di kota…kota yang sakit sedangkan kampong sudah sunyi kerana ditinggalkan oleh anak-anak muda. Apakah pemain seruling itu masih ada di kampong bermain serulingnya? . Ini juga bermaksud adakah sang pemain seruling masih mempertahankan seni dan tradisinya.

Alat musik seruling dipilih kerana inilah alat muzik yang paling dekat dengan alam. Cuma sebatang buluh dan tidak memerlukan teknologi canggih untuk menciptanya. Jadi semuanya balik kpd alam. Balik kepada keaslian.
the melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo
uncovered by the breath of an artist
composed by his lips
arranged by his fingers
blown by the wind
to the depth of my heart

Penyair merasa bersalah untuk melayan rasa rindu kepada pemain seruling itu. Begitulah rasa bersalahnya dia memikirkan sesuatu yang indah seperti seni . Di kota dia sepatutnya sibuk kerana di situ kehidupan berlalu dengan pantas.
while here it has become a luxury
to spend time watching the rain
gazing at the evening rays
collecting dew drops
or sniffing scented flowers.

Seolah-olah dia memberikan masanya kepada perkara-perkara yang remeh sedangkan kehidupan sedang dilanda oleh masalah yang sangat besar. Masalah-masalah ini dipaparkan dalam bait seterusnya. Pada masa itu ramai yang menganggur. Orang-orang kita berpecah belah kerana politik . Dan di merata dunia spt Bosnia dan Palestin, orang Islam sedang diburu oleh bom-bom ganas.

in the hazard of this city
my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
my people thorn by politic
my Muslim friends slaughtered mercilessly
this world is old and badly injured.

Is this the end of our love?
time is forcing us as artists
not to be ourselves.
Ini bukan masa untuk memberi perhatian kepada seni. Ini adalah masa untuk bekerja keras. Apabila seniman tidak dapat melayani kecintaannya kepada seni maka itu seperti mereka dituntut untuk tidak menjadi seniman lagi
Posted by Zurinah Hassan at zurinahhassan.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 10, 2011

astro tutor tv channel 603

Tune in to channel 603 for spm english revision and practice. There are revision exercises for Paper 1 as well as Paper 2. Each week, one episode is aired on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Go to the astro website to check out the timetable for other subjects. I wrote episode 6 onwards...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Past Years' Questions - Continuous Writing

a.A day you wished had never happened
b. You have been given a chance to visit a country of your choice. Which country would you choose and why?
c. An invention you cannot live without
d Friends
e Write a story that ends with:
If only I had listened to his/her advice

a.Describe a festival celebrated in your area
b Write a story ending with:
“We had never laughed so much in our lives.”
c My ideal school
d How can we help promote tourism in Malaysia?
e Clothes

a.Describe the biggest challenge in your life
b Write a story with the title: An Unexpected Visitor
c How to keep oneself healthy
d If you were given a chance to be anybody, who would you want to be and why?
e Music

a.Describe an enjoyable weekend you have experienced
b Write a story ending with:
“If only I had been more careful, that wouldn’t have happened.”
c. What changes would you like to see in your life in the next ten years?
d. How can television help students in their studies?
e Food

a.Describe an embarrassing experience in your life
b ‘Teenagers today are only interested in entertainment.’ Do you agree?
c. My early years
d. Write a story beginning with:
Kim was nervous when the door opened
e Tomorrow

a. Write about a person who has worked hard to succeed in life
b Examinations – good or bad?
c. My perfect future husband or wife
d Write a story ending with:
“Now I realise the value of a true friend.”
e. Stars

Thursday, March 17, 2011

100,000 hits

I was caught by surprise this morning when I saw that we have already reached more than 100,000 hits. It shows that you guys have been busy during the holidays searching for notes or doing some research of your own...I also noticed that most of my followers are not my own students..it is high time I rope them in...
Cheers everyone...here's to another 100,000 hits.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Practice 1 In The Midst of Hardship

Practice 1
Read the stanza below and answer the questions that follow,
In the Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin
Stanza 1
At dawn they returned home
their soaky clothes torn
and approached the stove
their limbs marked by scratches
their legs full of wounds
but on their brows
there was not a sign of despair

(a) Which phrase in stanza 1 shows that the people are injured? (1 mark)

(b) Give the meaning of the following words:

(i) ‘soaky’ (1 mark)
(ii) ‘limbs’ (1 mark)
(c) Do you admire the actions of the people? Give a reason for your answer. (2 marks)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In the Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin

At dawn they returned home

their soaky clothes torn

and approached the stove

their limbs marked by scratches

their legs full of wounds

but on their brows

there was not a sign of despair

The whole day and night just passed

they had to brave the horrendous flood

in the water all the time

between bloated carcasses

and tiny chips of tree barks

desperately looking for their son’s

albino buffalo that was never found

They were born amidst hardship

and grew up without a sigh or a complaint

now they are in the kitchen, making

jokes while rolling their cigarette leaves


The villagers returned home early in the morning. Their clothes were torn and wet as they walked into their kitchen. Their arms and legs had cuts all over but they were not depressed.

They had spent one whole day and night searching for their son's albino buffalo, wading through the floodwaters, surrounded by broken twigs, pieces of tree barks and animal carcasses. However, they did not find the buffalo.

The villagers had been born into a life of hardships but they never grumbled. Even after all they had been through, they could still crack jokes and relax in the kitchen.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Exam format 2011

The new format for the literature component are as follows:

Poem 5 marks
Novel 15 marks
Total 20 marks

As you can see, the short stories and the drama will not be tested in SPM. The poems will include all the four poems.
A circular has been sent to school to confirm this a week ago.
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