Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Great Expectations

I'm back after a long absence. I thought I wanted to explore other virtual settings that I have never been before. But this place has a stronger glue!! So here I am wanting you people to share your thoughts on this space.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ends with the idea that perhaps there is a future for Pip and Estella. After all the things they have experienced, being together is no longer a question. How many of you like this ending?

I have also given you the original ending of Great Expectations. It saddens me to read about Estella living a life void of love and Pip living a life without his love. Do you think this is an apt ending for Pip and Estella?.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Literature for Children is the Answer?

The advent of KSSR and KSSM in 2011 marks a new beginning in the education landscape of Malaysia. Children  as early as Year 1 are given the taste of literature.  They read and listen to literary materials deem appropriate for young learners.  Why do you think the move to include literary materials for young learners is made? Do you think we are going towards the right direction in prescribing literature for learners in primary education?

(Early discussion is considered for postings from 5 - 9 February 2013)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beware of the Goblin Man!

Everyday I get agitated. I read Harian Metro (I must confess this is one of my reading diet for the day) and I read about young, sweet and innocent Laura and Jeanie get conned by sweet talking Goblin Man over and over again.  I read about young girls leaving the comfort of their parents' wings to soar high above with the men they barely know and have just met virtually via Facebook. Do not they learn how
"The wicked quaint fruit- merchant men,
 Their fruits like honey to the throat.
 But poison in the blood;

The conniving Goblin Man stood out in this poem for me.  There are many other issues we can emphasize in Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti. Which of the issues found in the poem stood out for you?

Ladies, please remember:
"For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands."

After Apple Picking - I am Done!

The coming semester is looming fast.
"And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
 The rumbling sound
 Of load on load of apples coming in"

I no longer look forward to listening to the sound.
I no longer as passionate as before to not let the apples fall.
1987 has taken its toll on me.
I know when February appears I will drag my feet to my apple orchard
"For I have had too much
 Of Apple-Picking: I am overtired
 Of the great harvest I myself desired"

After Apple Picking speaks to me each time the semester begins and ends. It brings meaning to me as I have impossible expectations of myself and others. But I guess dream small and you will not be disappointed. In your reading of  After Apple Picking, do you empathize with the speaker? How does the poem speak to you?

Expostulation and Reply by William Wordsworth

In today's world, paper qualification is pursued in earnest by individuals.  An educated person is defined by the number of paper qualifications she has.  Her claim of being knowledgeable in an area must be substantiated with copies of certificate, diploma or degree.

Do you think William Wordworth would agree with the direction in which education is heading towards today?
Do you agree that  you gained knowledge even  if  'sit you thus alone, And dream your time away?' or  'That we can feed this mind of ours, In a wise passiveness?. 

George and Lucy: Italy, England and the View

In A Room With A View, the story is set in 2 different distinct geographical settings.  Is there any connotative meaning to this technique of introducing two contrasting places as the setting for the story?
The word view is mentioned several times in this novel. The novel begins by immediately introducing the word view to the readers.  In the first page, the second line, Charlotte complained about the room they were given when Lucy and she arrived at the Pension Bertolini, " She promised us south rooms with a view close together, instead of which here are north rooms, looking into courtyard, and a long way apart."   The word view is also found in the final chapter. George carried Lucy to the window, "so that she, too, saw all the view"( 3rd last page).  Why do you think Forster used the word view several times in this novel?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am an Adult and I am reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

A decade ago, I was baffled when a few of my students reverently mentioned  Harry Potter.  They wanted me to include J.K Rowling's work in their list of readings.  They balked at my choice of assigned reading texts by writers who have long left this world.
I was curious. Who is this Harry Potter?
On my way home, I stopped by a book store in Gombak and got hold of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I started reading after dinner and... I didn't put the book down until I reached the final page.  I was really hooked! Ever since that night I visited Harry Potter at least once a year.  Crazy isn't it?
Did you have the same reaction reading the Philosopher's Stone?  What is it about Harry Potter, his friends and his adventures that make children and adult jump into Harry's world over and over again?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The story of Edna, the joy of Edna and the grief of Edna

Edna keeps pulling me back into her life every year.  Each time I want to let her go, her clutches seem stronger.
Readers, help me out here...... show me why I have made the right decision in including the awakening as  permanent menu for LHE 3251.  What are the interesting issues you have discovered in the Awakening?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Curse, Catch Me If You Can and Step By Wicked Step

As today is our last meeting for this semester, i would like you to look at the 3 novels prescribed for form 5 students. Please compare and contrast the values of these 3 novels.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Youth and Old Age in Dylan Thomas' Fern Hill

Dylan Thomas shared with us his childhood days in Fern Hill.
How does he describe his childhood
and why does he end the poem with the following lines?

And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Among School Children by William Butler Yeats

Among School Children by William Butler Yeats has once been prescribed
as one of the poems in Literature in English Programme.
Imagine, those 17 year old kids have to study this poem for their SPM examination.
I'm sure as you are older and more experience than those kids,
you would have better insights into this poem.
Please write here in this space your thoughts on Among School Children.

Sonnet 2, Sonnet 116 and Sonnet 30 by William Shakespeare

We studied 3 sonnets by William Shakespeare this semester.
To understand Shakespeare's sonnets requires several close readings
as the imageries used are quite challenging especially for ESL learners.
I would like you to share with me your understanding of these 3 sonnets.
Which of these sonnets closely portray your idea of love?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Among School Children among us, the ESL learners

Among School Children by William Butler Yeats has once been prescribed as one of the poems in Literature in English Programme. Imagine, those 17 year old kids have to study this poem for their SPM examination. I'm sure as you are older and more experience than those kids, you would have better insights into this poem. Please write here in this space your thoughts on Among School Children.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Evaluation for the course is not 100% based on the final performance.
What did most of you do in the language lab?
Update status on your fb?
Sorry I didn't award any points for updating status in fb!
I really hope that you would focus on the learning experiences rather than banging on the quarrels.
I so wanted everyone to soar way up in the sky. But, I guess you are more interested in soaring way up elsewhere.
Apologies. You are so very much still in my B.Ed TESL world!!!!
WAKE UP!!!!!!
I think I'm just wasting my time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I know The River by Valerie Bloom


I'm not sure whether I would have any students for this course this semester. Since first face to face is in second week of February, i have to plan earlier for you people. Read carefully the instructions.

This semester in LHE 3211, we are going to look at all the texts prescribed for Literature Component in English Language syllabus.
Please remember in this class we are going to plan activities for secondary school students from various levels of English language proficiency.

Before you plan for classroom activities you need to understand the text from A to Z and beyond. The first text we are going to read, understand, and love is one of the poems prescribed for form 1 students - The River by Valerie Bloom.

You should have no problem in understanding this poem. I forbid you from looking at what other netizens have said about The River. If you discover the meaning of the river through your own interactions with the text, you will be able to plan for many interesting classroom activities - activities that will work in real classroom environment.

2 things I want you to do here.
i) share with us your discovery of The River.
(do you experience difficulties in understanding this poem? if you do then i fear for those
students in form 1)
ii) please commune with nature - to the rivers- and bring along your phones, digital cameras or
whatever relevant gadgets-
Take as many pictures of the rivers and post it along your analysis.