Recently, I picked up teaching again – only to discover that the secondary school English syllabus has changed quite a bit, so it’s like re-learning things all over.
Because this year is the last year of the English 1127 syllabus, a lot of parents are increasingly concerned about the changes that are going to follow with Syllabus 1128 in 2013. For the English O Level takers from next year onward, this basically means that they’ll have new components plus an added emphasis on inferential skills and questions which are literary in nature (having a knowledge of literary devices and techniques, personification etc).
And then comes the huge problem of current English teachers who are not trained in Literature, along with my own internal battle on whether or not I am competent enough to provide the right kind of teaching style for my tuition kid. Personally, I’ve always believed that helping to hone a student’s ability in dissecting a comprehension passage or simply just writing better isn’t that tough. It takes loads of practice, yes, but you don’t always have to have an extensive vocabulary to churn out something effective or powerful. But Lit is quite a problem, especially when so many students find it difficult to express themselves in words or get their head wrapped around metaphors and onomatopoeia.