New texts for O-level Literature tuition

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Mdm Yu as an O-level Literature tutor is constantly on her toes as Literature texts are changed regularly. A Literature tutor teaches Lit more out of passion and a commitment to helping students rather than for pecuniary gains. To be an effective Literature tutor, there is always the need to plan ahead and prepare in advance so that O-level Literature tuition will be effective. MOE is phasing out seven texts at the end of this year. In other words, 2019 is the last year that these seven texts will be tested for the O-levels although it is common for them to be recycled and be selected as O-level texts in the future.

The five new texts that will be tested from 2020 onwards are Macbeth, View from A Bridge, The Glass Menagerie, Hook & Eye: Stories from the Margin and Fahrenheit 451. They will be taught in the O-level Literature tuition.

O-level Literature tuition that does not do book studies but just on the unseen sections are not effective because they omit a big part of the syllabus. Book studies require the tutor to possess thorough knowledge of the texts and that extends beyond using materials from Wikipedia. The tutor has to read the text closely and patiently so as to have a full grasp of the narrative, plot, characterisation, themes, literary devices and in-depth understanding of scenes.

 

 

 

What is there not to love about George Bernard Shaw?

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He is arguably the second most successful playwright after William Shakespeare. My four big reasons for valorising Shaw are:

First this man is a feminist – in an era where British women were fighting a bitter battle for the right to vote, Shaw was already an ardent advocate of equal rights for women – not only at the ballot box, but in the institutions of higher learning, in the right to pursue a career and be financially independent. His female characters have a mind of their own, unafraid  to speak up for themselves, never mind that he makes them seemingly  “unwomanly” in his plays, (by the way that is how the epithet, Shaw’s “unwomanly woman” originated). The point is this great guy was penning brochures to promote the suffragette movement, speaking at their rallies and gatherings and specifically made them equal as male members of his Fabian Society. He also donated to their cause.

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Second he was a Socialist. He was not the violence/revolution-espousing leftist, in case that is what you are thinking. No he believed in peaceful means of revolution – that was why he founded the Fabian Society. Shaw saw the evils of unbridled capitalism – the greed, the exploitation and the glaring inequalities that it spawned. Yes the wealthy upper class characters in his plays are usually portrayed in rather negative light and he often gives his best lines to the lower classes. The downtrodden working class are often portrayed sympathetically while the wealthy upper class are portrayed as immoral, hypocritical, and self-seeking.

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Third he was a self-made man because in spite of being  forced out of school by a selfish drunkard for a father, he moved to London where he educated himself by reading fervently in libraries, attending talks and lectures  although success eluded him in his thirties (he wrote five novels which all failed abysmally), by his mid-forties, he was already a household name, respected and admired. Actually he did not really liked schools, calling them prisons. He won numerous awards and citations, including the Nobel Prize for Literature not to mention the Academy Award, the Pulitzer Prize. Of course Shaw led a colourful life in the department of romance but his relationships with the opposite gender were mostly platonic but he did have a thing for actresses. However Shaw’s life changed for the better when he became a married man – the married playwright became the successful playwright.

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Fourth he was a remarkably positive person. He was always very persistent and failures did not deter him. His career as a playwright was not always smooth-sailing although his works made him very rich. This is a quality many  of us could certainly emulate. In addition he was witty, entertaining although he had some eccentric habits which I rather you, my dear reader find out on your own.