A-level Literature Tuition matters


A-level Literature is not for the faint-hearted. This paper is ten times more difficult than the IB Lit paper or for that matter the IB English HL paper. In the same vein, tutoring this subject is not for the weak-hearted either. This is not an easy or fast way to earn money. Is that why I do not have much competition in this area? Too much work for the tutor? Definitely! All it takes is for the tutor to teach 4 students and the poor dear will be inundated with at least 15 different texts all at the same time! Scary thought, right? Yes definitely. Unlike History at H2 in which the same set of  materials can be used for all H2 History students from all the JCs on the island, for Literature this is definitely not the case! Unless there some students from the same JC, it is a set of different texts for each student.

Most tutors who do H1 and H2 Literature are obviously tutoring other levels and so parents need to know that the tutors do not multiple time slots for JC students. In other words, the students do not have different time slots to choose from. Not for these few months anyway because I am busy, 

Are parents cognizant of the amount of effort that a tutor has to put into helping their college children? Have they seen the number of text options for each paper? Do they know that even when two schools are doing the same paper, they can be using different texts? And usually they do use different texts! I have placed a link to SEAB here to show them the number of texts available for schools to choose for each paper.

And this is why I do not like taking students in on the eve of CAs or SAs. There is a lot of back end work to do and  besides a student needs to give the tutor time before he or she can see results.

Having said that, I want my students to enjoy the subject and in teaching this demanding syllabus, I prefer to teach my student to engage in interpretation rather than analysis. I  find it more applicable to learning Literature and mastering the subject. Interpretation according to Nietzsch is everything, and I secretly believe that those who can interpret are much smarter. When you interpret, you enter a higher plane. Interpretation happens when you take into account the context, the cultural and political history of that period and the text to form insights and construct meanings. 

I have written many times before that applying literary theories is essential to doing well for this paper. And of course, close reading of the text is a must too. Close reading is a skill. Some do close reading and see nothing while others do it and are able to decipher and extract meanings and make interpretations. 

Call me if you like to find out more but I only have a few time slots for JC students and I do not travel to the student’s place and I am unable to teach all the texts. My students know it and they accept it. This is because they know it is next to impossible to find a tutor who can teach all 7 texts. I have told a few parents who want that that I can never be able to help their college children. So far most students engage my services even when I am unable to teach two to three texts. Be ready to tell me the texts you are doing when you contact me so that I can let you know whether I can help you. Chances are that there are one to two texts that I am unable to handle because I do not have the time to reread them.

I am honest about whether I can help a student based on the demands of the parents and if the answer is no today, it will be no even in six months’ time or the following year. For these parents, I encourage them to contact the tuition agencies for help.

In the meantime if you are willing to accept that there may be some texts that I cannot teach because I do not have the time to read them, you can call me. 🙂

A sampling of 2 new A-Level Texts – a synopsis of my pedagogy


Lady Windermere’s Fan is another of Wilde’s dramatic masterpieces circumscribed by conventions – the presence of formidable dowagers, English tea rituals and endless rounds of small and early dances and luncheons, suggesting both the comfort and the emptiness of such routines. This glittering comedy of masks and manners displays many of Wilde’s successful dramatic techniques and dilemmas.

For my A-level students, I like to examine with them the dramatic devices, techniques and the aesthetic considerations not to mention framing the play with critical theories and Oscar’s views about life .  In addition the  implication of Wilde as a late Victorian and his modernist impulse in his works will be imparted to my students which will be put to good use in appreciating and analyzing Lady Windermere’s Fan.  

The Duchess of Malfi is a challenging text to read, made richer by the many possible ways to look at the text. While on the one hand, it engages in the discursive construction of women and the notion of women as a female ruler, on the other, it undertakes the examination of morality and corruption and the sense that value and meaning depend on the individual’s ability to rise above a corrupt and corrupting society by living according to his own principles, regardless of consequence.

Is it a political play? A revenge play? Or can it be read allegorically? Whichever way we choose to look at it, Historicism is needed to help us understand the play and the many issues it raises.

Call me now 98761777 to book a slot for next  year or to have sessions during the vacation.

Common themes in Literature texts



There are recurring themes in all our Literature texts and they are namely, prejudice (whether in the form of racial discrimination, class snobbery, or religious persecution), courage, love, family and kinship, patriarchy, friendships, survival and community.

Other less common themes are colonialism, war and survival. These themes are essential in inculcating certain desirable values in students. Many of us can still recall the stigmatisation of Afro-Amercians (negroes) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the result of the prejudice – persecution and perversion of justice.

The books we read make their imprints on our minds. Those with strong messages and codas will be forever etched in our minds.