A.K.U.G.U.R.U. actually means 'I am a Teacher' (Aku guru in Bahasa Malaysia). It contains all the items related to my profession as a secondary school English teacher which includes my English lessons, my interests, my passion for Liverpool FC, and also my family affairs. Hope you enjoy your reading!

(The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of information taken from this blog.)


Type your question here and I will find the answer for you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Student's Common Mistakes

I'm halfway from finishing marking Paper 1. Here, I will compile some of the common mistakes made by my students in their essays.

1. Writing a sentence too long.

Lastly, thank you to all because success the speech today because you all hear the speech because it was boring.

This sentence consists of 4 basic sentences, and all the sentences are connected by the word 'because'. It is better for the student to write shorter sentences to minimize grammatical and structural mistakes. The above sentence could be written "Lastly, thank you to all. Today's speech is a success. You all listened to it even though it was boring."

2. Using wrong connectors.

I think the maintaining good discipline at the school is very important. However, it also can make (a student) become good forever.

Connectors add information, introduce a similar idea, give an opposite idea, and introduce the result. Using wrong connectors will disrupt the flow between sentences. The word 'However' in the second sentence above is wrongly used. It denotes that the idea in the sentence is a complete opposite from the first, although idea of making a student good is stressing the first idea of maintaining good discipline. Thus, the appropriate connector should be 'Moreover' as in this correction "I think maintaining good discipline at the school is very important. Moreover, it can also make a student to become a good person."

3. Confusion in placing the adjectives.

The problem discipline is the nail long, the hair long and other.

Adjectives are words to describe a noun, and they are always put before a noun they are describing. In the above sentence, the adjectives are put after the nouns. The students probably confused with Malay language which put the adjectives after the nouns - nail long (kuku panjang), hair long (rambut panjang). Even 'problem discipline' (masalah disiplin) is a confusion. The sentence should be correctly written as "The (examples of) disciplinary problems are long nails and long hair."

4. No finite verb in a complete sentence.

I the president of the Civics Club.

The golden rule is that in a complete sentence, there should be a finite verb. There is no finite verb in the above sentence. I (a pronoun), the (an article), president (a noun), of (a preposition), the (an article), Civics (an adjective), Club (a noun). The correct sentence is "I am the president of the Civics Club."

5. Disagreement between the subjects and its verbs.

We arrives at the market. I is very excited.

This is the most common mistakes of all. No matter how many lessons stressed on this particular grammatical problem, the students never get it right. They are still confused where to put 's' and where not to put 's'. Singular and plural are the same to them. The obvious correction for the above sentence is "We arrive at the market. I am very excited."

Friday, August 20, 2010


It was an unfortunate paper 2 experience for the students in my classes. The so called 'graphics-short texts' questions were full of texts only - no pie charts, no cartoons, no nothing! Even my brightest student only managed to answer 10 out of 15 MCQs correctly (I teach middle classes students). Most of the texts require the students to know synonyms, and considering the facts that these students are weak in their vocabularies, I am not shocked at how poorly they performed in Section A for paper 2. Section B was not kind also, it deviated from the usual 5 headers 5 short descriptions into 1 header only - TRISHAW - making it difficult for them to transfer the information from the longer description. For Section C, the text was an ordinary one - not too easy and not too difficult - but the students need to show some effort in order to answer them correctly. And for Section D, my targeted poem did not come out, instead it was substituted by The Road Not Taken, whereas the story Looking For A Rain God appeared as predicted. The theme 'greed' for the novel has been taught to the students, but as I have yet to mark that section, I can just pray that some of them do remember their lesson.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Literature Form 4 for SPM 2010 Students

SPM trial is just around the corner. In order to help those students who just woke up from their dreams, and found that literature materials for last year's Form 4 are hard to find at the bookstores, I will provide here some sample questions and answers. It is only a small portion, but I hope it will be helpful, especially to my lazy youngest brother.


Analysis past years questions:
2009 - Monsoon History
2008 - If
2007 - si tenggang's homecoming
2006 - The Road Not Taken
2005 - si tenggang's homecoming
2004 - Sonnet 18
2003 - Monsoon History
2002 - If
2001 - si tenggang's homecoming

From the six poems learned in Form 4, only There's Been A Death in the Opposite House does not come out yet. And next year, this list of poems is not going to be used anymore. I strongly recommend this poem, and I will give several questions based on it. (Please highlight or triple click under the questions for answers)

There's Been A Death in the Opposite House

1. What do you think had happened and where did the event take place?
- Someone had died in the house opposite the poet's house.

2. How did the poet know what had happened?
- The poet knew by the atmosphere that surrounds the house - dull and lifeless.

3. What atmosphere did the place hold?
- The place has a sombre and dismal atmosphere with an air of sadness.

4. Name some of the people that were mentioned in the extract.
- Neighbours, children and doctors.

5. In the line 'They wonder if it died on that', what does 'it' refer to?
- 'it' refers to the dead person.

6. Why do you think there were so many people going in and out of the house?
- The neighbours came to pay their last respects.

7. What was flung out of the window and why?
- A mattress was flung out of the window to prevent the disease of the dead person from spreading.

8. How does the poet react to this kind of event as a young boy?
- As a young boy, the poet looked at the funeral with curiosity.

9. Who seems to be in control of the situation and why?
- The minister seems to be the person in control of the situation because he is the one officially in charge.

10. What is considered as 'the appalling trade'?
- The 'appaling trade' refers to the undertaking services and other business related to death.

11. What does the phrase 'dark parade' refer to?
- The phrase 'dark parade' refers to the funeral procession which is going to take place with the mourners dressed in black.


Analysis past years questions:
2009 - The Necklace
2008 - The Sound Machine
2007 - The Lotus Eater
2006 - The Drover's Wife
2005 - Looking for A Rain God
2004 - The Lotus Eater
2003 - The Drover's Wife
2002 - The Sound Machine
2001 - The Necklace

From the five stories, all of them already came out twice, except Looking for A Rain God. Therefore, I will put here some questions and answers taken from the story. (Remember, this is only my opinion)

1. What reason did the family give for the disappearance of the two girls?
- They said the children died of unknown causes.

2. Did the people believe the family? Why?
- No. They felt that it was strange for the two girls to die at the same time.

3. What aroused the suspicion of the people?
- The unnatural looks of the family when asked about the two girls.

4. Who told the police the truth?
- The mother of the two girls told the police the truth.

5. What happened in mid November? What effects did it have on the land?
- The rain fled away and the land was covered with mist. It made it impossible to plant vegetables which will lead to starvation.

6. Who among the family were quite happy and why do you think so?
- The two girls were quite happy because they were too young to understand what is happening.

7. How did the two girls amuse themselves?
- They played a game of making house.

8. What were the feelings of the family during the drought? Give reasons for your answer.
- The family was in great despair because it was impossible for them to grow crops and their food is running low.

9. What was the problem that had caused misery among the people?
- It has not rained for a long time, causing a drought.

10. What do you think are the consequences of this problem?
- The consequences of the drought are less food and starvation.

11. How did the womenfolk react to this problem?
- The women broke under the strain by starting high-pitched wailing and stamping their feet.

12. What did Mokgobja remember from his younger days?
- Mokgobja remembered that when he was young, he had witnessed a rain-making ceremony.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

To All Students, Good Luck in Your Trial!

Today the trial for PMR students starts, while the trial for other exams will start on the 17th. It will be the benchmark for the students as to how they have already grasp the knowledge given by the teachers in each subjects. All the efforts attending the classes and extra classes will count for nothing if they cannot interpret them into correct answers. For teachers, they will surely use the trial results to ascertain whether the school target will be achieved. Even more so, the NKRA stipulates that target should not be lower than that of the previous year - they should be higher by 3% at the least.

Sweat it out, guys!

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